Culture

Culture, Travel with Kids, Un peu différent

Tokyo on the Seine

There has always been a long history of love of all that is Japanese in France.  The trend became so intense that in the 19th century, there was a movement called 'Japonisme.'  This wonderful NY travelpost lists many interesting destinations, including Albert Kahn Museé et Jardin. Musts: 1. Galerie Sentou 2. Kunitoraya 3. Jugetsudo http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/letter-from-paris-tokyo-on-the-seine/?_r=0   Save Save Saveread more
Culture

Whiteboard in French?

I love my kids' education at the French American school here in San Francisco. Among other things, it's made them so much more sensitive to language and humor. Today, I asked the kids if there was a French word for a whiteboard. They said that everyone just calls it the "ardoise," which of course is like continuing to call a whiteboard a "blackboard" in English. ... My 8 year old son replied, "How about "blardoise," which I'd say is the perfect adaptation.
Culture, Understand France and the French

Good news/Bad news – no more smoking outside French cafés

Well, no more heaters that allow folks to sit outside and smoke. Paris is moving to ban outdoor heaters at sidewalk cafés.

I've heard more and more that these propane heaters are the single worst thing many homes have in the way of polluting devices. Still, I guess like wood-burning fireplaces, it's sad to see them go.

France long held out against the smoking bans being enacted worldwide in public places, but finally caved in three years ago. But while the inside of Left Bank cafés has been less foggy, the café-clope (coffee and cigarette) culture of the city has continued to thrive by simply spilling into the streets, thanks to the gas heater.

Culture, Understand France and the French

What’s the deal with the Rentree this year?

Paris has been deserted until today, the last day before school officially starts. In other years, we noticed an increasing activity each day leading up to school day. This year though, things are different. Several hypotheses: 1. Many people without kids still have this week off and are Still lazing on the beach somewhere. 2. Those with kids did indeed…read more
Culture, Museums and Monuments, Shopping, Understand France and the French

Hôtel Drouot is pure theatre

The auction rooms at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris date to 1852. They’ve been modernized since then, but the general atmosphere probably hasn’t changed much. On any day of the week, a throng of characters straight out of a Maupassant novel can be found bidding for dusty treasures straight out of the proverbial Old Curiosity Shop. Annually, about 800,000 lots…read more