Archive for the 'Politics' Category


Migrant Crisis in Paris

Europe’s migrant crisis isn’t only happening on its southern Mediterranean coasts. In Paris, migrants have formed a sort of slum in La Chappelle, and now they, too, are being forced out–this time by the Paris administration.    

Cringe-Tastic Candidates

Who says the French have no humor? Don’t answer that because I already know (#everybody). But here’s something hilarious, if unwittingly so. Posters for candidates in the local municipal elections taking place right now across the country. From the BCBG boy who wouldn’t hurt a…meerkat? to the duo who fancy themselves on the cover of Voici […]

Christmas Tree Blues

The tallest Christmas tree in Paris this December is also the thorniest. Standing almost half the height of the Notre Dame towers, this impressive evergreen was not paid for by parishioners or the city of Paris, but by the Russian government. With tensions running high between Moscow and other European capitals, this gift – or […]

The Museum of Shopping

No one nails Paris like Adam Gopnik. He has written about the city for the New Yorker and in book form, and has edited (what I consider to be) the best anthology of writings about the city, too. This week he takes on the recent glut of luxury stores that, he believes, are helping to […]

France and the Sharing Economy

A recent cover headline of the news magazine Marianne was “La France Anti-Système,” with several pages about how French people are sick of bureaucracy, taxes, the weak economy and the current administration. They have decided to stop whining and take matters into their own hands to beat the broken systems by joining forces to get […]

How the Tell-All Got Told

Mega-bestseller. A first print run of 200,000 copies released September 4 and already out of stock in many stores and being reprinted. Valérie Trierweiler’s kiss and tell off Merci pour le Moment is a publishing success. Lying, cheating politicos beware: French women don’t keep quiet. The myth that French women don’t mind if their husbands […]

Paris Gets Liberated Today

On the 70th anniversary of The Liberation of Paris, the Hotel de Ville (in the Marais, with its own eponymous metro stop) commemorates one of the most important events in 20th century French history. Told through posters, photographs, newspapers, as well as memorabilia, the exhibit goes from Thursday, August 17, 1944 and the suspension of […]

Ramadan-Themed Ad in the Paris Metro

I don’t remember seeing ads about Ramadan in the Paris metro before this year. Clearly a bigger part of the population than ever is observing Ramadan, the yearly month-long Muslim fasting time, which ends tomorrow. This ad is for a telephone company, Buzzmobile. It says, “Unlimited calls 24h/24. I can gassar without counting!” A footnote says that gassar means “talk […]

The Problem Explained

There’s a big train strike on in France right now. Enfin, it’s not really that big by French standards… just the biggest one in the past four years. Because in France, it’s normal for transport unions to go on strike a lot… and they prefer to go on strike on holidays or in the summer, when the largest […]

Don’t Touch My Friend

Remember this? In the ’80s in France, xenophobia was countered by SOS Racisme, a popular group whose slogan means “Don’t touch my friend.” It was France’s version of the equally cool Two-Tone movement in England, associated with bands like the Specials and the English Beat. I wish there were such a movement now to combat […]

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