Archive for the 'French Traditions' Category


Prep the Pastels!

A traditional Easter egg hunt goes grand in the gorgeous manicured gardens of Chateau Vaux le Vicomte on April 19, 20 and 21. Leonidas, the chocolates company, hides over 85,000 eggs throughout the Le Notre-designed grounds. There is a separate egg hunt for adults, plus egg decorating workshops, face painting, and pony rides for children.

Watch Your Back

Happy Poisson d’avril! Just like April Fool’s Day, the first of April is a day for hoaxes and pranks. The difference in France, however, is that it is also a tradition to pin a paper fish on an unsuspecting person’s back. One the poisson is discovered, the pranker shouts, “Poisson d’avril!” Leave it to the [...]

The City’s Most Famous Sandwich

Le croque-monsieur is THE real French sandwich. It is not just a ham and cheese sandwich made with two pieces of bread. It is toasted and it is famous. They are available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a wide variety of croque-monsieur flavors [...]

That Explains It

A friend explains the reason for one of Paris’s most marked socio-cultural traditions: In Paris, they love to make you run all over town to do paperwork, and when you do 1/3 of the time you arrive at the right place during their (schitzo) open hours and are met with a sign like this. It [...]

Yellow Coin Season

It’s pièce jaune time! You can pick up this nice foldable box (pictured) at the post office, fill it with all your pièces jaunes or yellow coins–the small change in the Euro Zone is yellowish or copper. Then bring it back in to the post office before February 15th and voilà, you have helped children [...]

Yesterday’s Agenda

Vintage, blank mini-agenda books are one of those items you see often enough in Paris flea markets, but no so much in US ones. Last year I snagged a blank 1974 agenda after doing a quick check on my iPhone to discover that the dates of each month back then fell on the same days [...]

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 [...]

Christmas Markets: A French Tradition

I encourage everyone to shop at the many Christmas markets around town (listed on the calendar) where you’ll find planet of hand-made crafts and unique gifts made in France. If you don’t find your bliss there (too much vin chaud usually does me in), there are also some great finds in the city’s smaller boutiques: I’ve [...]

Cream of Calvados?

Although the Normandie region is just two to three hours from Paris, it’s hardly considered “local.” At least not by the proud Normans! I always get the urge to visit in the fall when the apples are in season to stock up on my favorite French liquor, Crème de Calvados. If you’ve never heard of [...]

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