Archive for the 'The City' Category


Star Baby

It started with a tweet. Somewhere out in the city’s eastern suburbs there was a giant plastic baby sitting on top of a petrol station. Was it still there, and how did it get there in the first place? Someone thought I might know, or might be curious enough to find out. They weren’t wrong! [...]

A Bridge to Yesteryear

More than beautiful ornaments and a way to cross the Seine, Paris bridges are mirrors of history. They reflect impermanence, bad weather, political turbulence, and much more. The Pont au Change that exists today was built in 1858-1860. As the link between the Place du Châtelet on the right bank and the boulevard du Palais [...]

Around the Edges

Around 27 million tourists visit Paris each year, but only a small percentage of these people step outside of the city limits. A specially drawn footpath around Paris – and a new book detailing the route – aims to change this situation. Here I discuss the path and the Paris suburbs with its creator, Paul-Hervé [...]

Where to Donate Clothing

Now that you’ve all stuffed your tiny Parisian closets full of new clothing from the winter sales, time to clean out the old stuff you never wear. There are many places in Paris to donate used clothing (Croix Rouge, Emmaüs, etc), but they are not centrally located nor open at all hours. The easiest option [...]

Art vs. Ads

Most would agree that strolling through the heart Paris feels very much akin to strolling the halls of a museum. The advertisements for luxury goods, office supplies and electronics that line the city’s pristine boulevards, however, can be a jarring juxtaposition. Artist Etienne Lavie sought to illustrate what the city might look like if classical [...]

Let Paris Be Your Valentine

We are not all lucky in love all the time. Thankfully, Paris is there to be our Valentine anytime, but especially at night. See more midnight moments by Prete-Moi Paris here.

Decoding Vintage Prints of Paris

This is one of a half-dozen prints we bought one afternoon at an antiques fair outside the Saint-Sulpice church in June 2013. Initially attracted by the view of the Tour St. Jacques, it was the lesser details on the river that caught our attention. The floating bathhouse for women (Bains des Dames) spoke of an [...]

Revamping Dead Metro Stations

Paris has metro stations that are unused and abandoned. The artist Nathalie Koziuscot-Morizet has some amazing ideas of what to do with them. Paris is one of the only cities I can imaging getting on board with one of these.

Crazy Cakes

I’d first become interested in the Hopital Bicêtre establishment after discovering that it was paired in infamy with the Pitié Salpetrière. In the 18th century, male patients (perhaps we should say the mentally ill) from Bicêtre were forcibly married to female patients from the Salpetrière and sent out to populate French colonies in the Americas. Although classed [...]

Money Machines in Shops

There are a few new things you might notice on your next trip to France. Many small shops like bakeries have begun using special automated change machines (les monnayeurs, en français) where the client inserts the cash payment and gets change without the staff ever having to touch your money. These were originally adopted to [...]

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