Archive for July, 2012


The Colonne Sèche

I had always known of them as standpipes. Colonne sèches are an essential part of fire-fighting equipment for taller buildings. The water pressure from fire hydrants cannot raise the water beyond a few storeys. Moreover, fire hoses either have to spray on the fire from outside or be dragged up the stairs to the fire, [...]

News Olympics

You really get a different kind of Olympic coverage on French radio. France Culture just ran a LONG philosophical discussion lamenting both the advent of clothing in the Olympics (athletes originally competed butt-naked) and the decision to drop poetry competitions. On a more modern topic, they debated whether photographs taken at the games capture moments [...]

The City’s Oldest Wall

Perhaps one of the city’s most overlooked excursions, The Remnants of the Wall of Philippe Auguste is not your typical Parisian landmark and offers its own history within the heart of the city. King Phillip II of France demanded a stone wall be built to protect the capital, and the Louvre Palace, in particular, against [...]

Paris: Such a Beach

For all the city dwellers who can’t make it out of town to spend their summer on a beach, or for the travelers who got a hot deal on a Paris vacation only to find the town mostly deserted during the month of August, our fair city has created an annual tradition to help beat [...]

The Closerie, Then and Now

The restaurant, piano bar and café Closerie des Lilas has kept both a nostalgic look and a feel of tradition and authenticity. Behind a flowered façade, its wooden walls and dim lights welcome elegant patrons and tourists who frequent this address all year long, making it a popular dining venue. They most probably end-up sitting [...]

The Hidden Streets of Paris

Paris, one of the world’s most historic and beautiful cities, is home to many celebrated streets and avenues known across the world. However, the City of Light plays host to just as many hidden streets and squares, each with its own unique character, history and fascinating reasons to visit. For visitors to Paris both veteran [...]

Outdoor Cinema Begins

Paris’ annual open air cinema festival at the vast modernist La Villette park – one of the greatest annual summer events in the city – started last night and runs through August 26. This year’s theme of “Metamorphosis” unites a varied program of films ranging from Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep to the German indy filmGoodbye, Lenin! to Ken [...]

They Don’t Shower!

Did you know the French don’t shower? Baby shower, that is. France is the most fertile of the European Union countries. This is something the country is proud of, and encourages through free daycare from the baby’s age of 6 months onward (among other perqs). But one pro-baby tradition that has yet to take hold [...]

The Jam Room

I Iike the simple concept of La Chambre aux Confitures and the clean, streamlined presentation. Over 100 jellies and jams made by ten artisanal manufactures are divided into six categories: winter citrus, spring fruits, summer red fruits, summer yellow fruits, autumn fruits, and other fruits. There is also a selection of sweet and salty jams [...]

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