Archive for the 'French Traditions' Category


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 […]

Mimes…Oh, My!

The first time I ever saw a mime was in that wonderful movie, Children of Paradise, which a more sophisticated friend introduced me to when I was 19. Baptiste, the mime in the movie, is first seen on stage, saving the heroine, who was in his audience, from disgrace by showing the crowd that the real […]

Gallerie Vivienne Gathering

If you frequent the side halls in the famous covered passages of Paris, you will likely see gatherings of students sketching the century-old architecture. The arches, the moldings, the skylights, and even the floor tiles are worthy of a sketch. You will see students in the not-so-famous covered passages as well.

The Catholics of France

The French bourgeoisie is very Catholic. To what extent they are truly religious, I can’t say, but for example, most of the top private schools in Paris are Catholic, the upper class goes to church (or pretends it does) more than the other urban classes, and every family seems to be related to a priest […]

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