Archive for October, 2011

Le Toussaint

Cemeteries get a lot of cinematic attention on Halloween, but in France they don’t really consider that American import anything more than a commercial holiday for stores to sell candy to kids. The real holiday is actually Toussaint, or All Saints’ Day, on November 1st. On this bank holiday families traditionally visit the cemeteries to […]

Above the 5-Star Hotel: the “Palace” Rating

This year the French government released the official list of French palaces. The “Palace” label, one step higher than the five-star rating, denotes excellence among the most prestigious French hotels. Out of the 7 historical Parisian palaces, only 2 made the new list : the Plaza Athénée (right) and the Meurice. Since the results were […]

O Sola Mio

Exposed beams, an ancient door and a cave dating to the Middle Ages: this seems like an unlikely setting for a Paris restaurant serving ultracontemporary Franco-Japanese fare, yet somehow it all works. Upstairs is an elegant, classic dining room, but downstairs in the “salle japonaise” you’ll be asked to remove your shoes for a seat at one […]

Bouncing Unattractive Women from Nightclubs

I love to dance but I don’t like earsplitting music and have never seen the point of standing in line to be looked over by what, in France, are called physionomistes. They’re the guys whose job it is to make sure a club has a good mix of people, preferably with lots of pretty, stylish […]

Chocolate Hangover

Last weekend marked the 17th annual Salon du Chocolat, and the first annual chocolate hangover for me. Held in a huge pavilion in the Porte de Versailles, it is a chocolate trade show dedicated to the cocoa bean: its growers, chocolatiers, and consumers. I had been warned that there would not be a lot of […]

Unimpressed by Hipster Mexican Food

Last Saturday we decided to go to Candelaria which is a bar/taqueria here in Paris. When we walked in the first thing I noticed was how tiny the eating area is but one look at the menu and I thought “well this looks promising although it is pretty pricey.” 2 tacos for 5,50€ is ridiculous especially […]


There are six sculptures of bronze hands laid on granite stones in Jardin, hand sanitizer, germs, public art, des Tuileries by Louise Bourgeois. A friend entwined her hands in the cold bronze as tens of thousands before her. Then she quickly pulled out the hand sanitizer.

Lost City

We have a tendancy to believe that time moves more slowly in Paris, and that the streets are covered with some kind of protective dust sprinkled by the museum-minded city fathers. However, when you attempt to count how many Starbucks are now installed in the city, and remember that McDonalds is more popular in France […]

De-mall-ition Has Begin

During the city’s last gasp of Indian Summer earlier this month, I was strolling down the Rue Montorgeuil enjoying a scoop of gelato when I came upon a lovely site. The enormous green and yellow construction barricades can’t hide the gradual destruction of one of the city’s ugliest monuments, the Forum des Halles For many […]

Sponsored Post: Spooky Paris: The Dark Corners of the City of Lights

Paris is most commonly associated with romance, fashion and world-class cuisine, but there is also a darker, spookier side to this historic city. Anyone booking late holidays to the French capital in time for Halloween might like to be aware of these spookier places – if not to investigate them, then to at least avoid […]

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