Archive for December, 2013


Christmas During La Crise

Forget the eggnog: Christmastime in France is when everyone pulls out all the stops and stuffs themselves with the most luxurious foods around: lobster and smoked salmon, caviar and champagne, fois gras and chocolates—it’s as if the holiday table were a buffet at the Cannes Film Festival. This year is no exception, crisis notwithstanding. Supermarkets […]

Boozing BoBos!

Brought to you by the Maison Mere team, Artisan is the latest addition to the growing list of interesting places around Pigalle. However, unlike Maison Mere, which swings from sad quasi-quesadillas to surprisingly good mini-burgers, Artisan is consistently very good. I can comfortably attest to this after several successful visits. Artisan’s understated décor is charming and […]

I Don’t Want to Know

The French will use sex to sell ANYTHING. New proof today: “…As you have never seen her before!” That old come-on is currently being used for…wait for it…The Lady and the Unicorn. Yes, the Middle Age tapestries depicting the 5 senses, on view at the Museum of the Middle Ages. Don’t expect it to be […]

A New App for Paris

At tea at Mariage Freres in the 6th arrondissement, Remi Morlot told me about a smartphone app he’s developing that sounds like it could solve longstanding problems for visitors to Paris. One issue involves the standard book guide to the city. You can’t be expected to memorize the info, but you also don’t want to […]

How to Get the Lowest Hotel Rates

In recent years, the quest for a good room rate has become a challenge equal to that  of hunting for airfare bargains. Prices on hotel and aggregator websites vary radically from day to day, depending on availability, season, and the vagaries of the market. Many of the hotels listed here have rates that vary by as […]

Alaia: Eh…

There are lots of great museum shows on right now for the fashion lover. There’s the wardrobe of a 1930s fashion plate at the Carnavalet (which is free and open on Tuesdays, when most museums are closed). At the Musee des Arts Decoratifs is a survey of contemporary jewelry. It’s mind-blowing, from the live-caterpillar earrings […]

Almost Older Than God

It’s a beautiful (if chilly) day to visit Les Arenes de Lutece, the oldest monument in the city. Built in the first century AD, this amphitheatre could seat some 17,000 for plays, circuses, and the odd gladiator games. Note the animal cages! The arena is usually pretty sparsely peopled; this morning there’s wasn’t much more […]

Tools of the Trade

Ashtray in the home of one of the editors of the news agency Agence France Presse.

Vivian Maier Photo Show in Paris

Run, don’t walk, to the Vivian Maier photo exhibit at Galerie Frederic Moison in St. Germain des Pres. The story behind this French au pair in Chicago, discovered posthumously, is fascinating enough, but the images on their own are just jaw-droppingly beautiful.

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