Archive for September, 2012


The Hungry Salamander

This unusual motif of a salamander eating a stalk of corn is found at 151 Rue de Grenelle. The art nouveau double door is part of pair, each with a salamander. The building was the first major work by architect Jules Lavirotte, in1898. The façade, influenced by the French Rococo style, offers only hints of […]

The Montparnasse Tower Restaurant’s Revamp

Locals joke that the reason the Montparnasse Tower offers such spectacular views of the city is because it is the only high-altitude spot from which the imposing tower itself is not visible. Long before its inauguration in 1973, the building and its proponents faced vehement opposition from critics adamant that the cityscape remain unobstructed. The […]

A Semi-Secret Formal Garden

What better way is there to soak up the remains of summer than with a visit to a romantic grade? Around the corner from me is a fairy-tale type castle with a most beautiful formal French garden and I thought I would share it with you before fall sets in. The Hotel de Sens was […]

It’s Nuts!

If anything, shopping in Paris offers way too many options. But I’ve had few discoveries more delightful than La Pistacherie. This boutique—I should say boutiques, since there are three—is usually described as either a delicatessen or sweetshop. But it’s something more unique: an upscale shop for gourmet fruit and nut lovers. Don’t let that put […]

French Heritage Days

Today is the last day of the annual Journées du Patrimoine, during which buildings important to French heritage are open to the public, free. Planning for this event, we always consult Invisible Paris, a blog deeply knowledgable about both history and architecture in the City of Light. Here’s one of its many great recommendations. The […]

And Now, Alice’s Turn

Alice Springs is the third largest town in the Northern Territory, Australia. However, from the 1970s, Alice Springs was also the working name of June Brown(e) Newton, the photographer, born in Melbourne. The Maison Européene de la photography is showing a retrospective of Alice Spring’s photos from the 1970s and 1980s, through November 12. The […]

A View Worth Toasting

Holiday Inn may not be the first name to spring to mind when it comes to luxury travel.  But they’ve upped their game with their 4 star Notre Dame eco-hotel and topped it off with one of the city’s best rooftop views at their summer terrace bar, le Quarante Trois. Taking the elevator to the […]

Paris Blues

It is difficult to select just one photo for blue in Paris. There are thousands of blues–doors and buildings and skies and reflections–but this carrousel in Tuileries and I have a relationship (if that is possible). I have seen it in all seasons, including during a snowstorm one December. This one small part of the […]

Heaven Sent

I popped into this lovely little café the other day while walking around just north of the Bastille and discovered the neighborhood gem that is Café des Anges. Far from a tourist hangout, you’ll usually find the tables occupied by newspaper-reading locals. A 25cl of rosé only set me back 5€. 66 rue de la […]

False Friends

Among the pitfalls in learning French are what is known as “faux amis” (false friends) – that is, words that sound as if they ought to mean the same thing in English and French, but don’t. Like librairie, which is a bookstore, not a library. Or photographe, which is a photographer, not the camera image. Assister doesn’t mean […]

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