Culture, Food, Restaurants, Travel

Chez Michel

What a find. Our friends Jean-Jacques and Jane, my husband and I had a dinner out at Chez Michel, in the 10th arrondisement. Cuisine is Breton, and the atmosphere breezy. According to our discriminating friend Jean-Jacques, Chez Michel is one of the top 10 traditional bistros in Paris, and indeed, I think it lives up to its status. My fish…read more
Culture, Food, Restaurants, Un peu différent


Our friend Pierre surprised us by inviting us for a Sunday brunch at Kong . ... Food was nice enough but definitely an 'inside' experience, especially its kooky, disco-ball-and-kid-sumo-adorned bathrooms. Apparently, It was featured as a chic eatery in Sex and the City. 1 rue de Pont Neuf, Paris, 75001.
Apartment neighborhood, Culture, Food, Restaurants

Tarte du Soleil and other perfect plats

We always see our friend/proprietor Sophie Clavié and her gracious husband Philippe when we're in Paris. Her neighborhood bistro is Closerie des Lilas, the world famous magnet for the avant-garde for generations. Their book shows all those who have passed through the place, from Bernard Kouchner, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Ingres, Henry James, and even Sarah Jessica Parker!…read more
Culture, Economy and Exchange rates, In the News

New law on store openings on Sunday meant to woo US tourists

I can't imagine the fact that stores are closed on Sunday to be a reason not to stay an extra day in Paris, but I guess some people must be shopping all the time. As a student, I resented the Sunday closings because it just meant so much more to pack into a Saturday, but now I treasure the idea of one day where everyone is forced to really take the day off. ... TV, of course has ruined some of that nothing-to-do feeling already, but it's more than a bit sad to see the French put one more nail in the coffin of true leisure, which many of us has felt was at the very core of spending time in Europe.

Books, Books on France, Culture, Museums and Monuments, Travel, Understand France and the French

Mona Lisa in Camelot

Two ladies in Camelot..... Who knew... Just read in the Vanity Fair article of how the 1963 American exhibition of the Mona Lisa in New York City and Washington, D.C., was America's first blockbuster art show. The writer Davids recounts in numbing detail the negotiations, preparations, flummoxes and successes of the exhibit. The exhibition was masterminded by the diplomatically savvy…read more
Culture, Food, Museums and Monuments, Restaurants, Shopping, Travel, Travel with Kids, Where to stay

Even those who are on a budget, Paris is an unexpected pleasure

Of course, as I read this article in NY Times , I was reminded once again, the democratic pleasures of Paris... that the Proustian aspects of Paris need not be costly.... taste360.jpg IF YOU GO HOW TO GET AROUND The Vélib’ bicycle-rental system has become exceedingly popular. ... Le Bar à Soupes, 33, rue de Charonne; (33-1) 4357-5379;, offers an excellent lunch deal: a fresh market soup, two types of cheese, bread and a glass of wine for 9.90 euros.

Apartment - 39 rue de Vaugirard - short term rental, Apartment neighborhood, Culture, For tourists only, Travel, Where to stay

If I could not stay at our place, this is where I would stay…

So many friends and others interested in traveling to Paris have been calling us to rent our place or to find other rentals and hotels for their summer holiday. Even though the economy is still in the doldrum and they say travel is definitely down, there are still many who are taking advantage of the recession and finding great values…read more
Culture, Tours and visites, Travel, Un peu différent, Where to stay

Paris Hotels are investing in their own bicycle fleet

Paris Hotels invest in their own branded bicycle fleet and picking models that reinforce the identity of the hotel. Le Meurice, the renowned hotel that occupies an 1835 palace across from the Tuileries, unveiled five retro-style bikes in the blue-green shade of the oxidized copper rooftops of the city, with matching helmets and front baskets emblazoned with the hotel’s gold logo. American and British guests in their 30s tend to be the most enthusiastic customers, according to the hotel; Le Meurice’s sister hotel, the Plaza Athénée, opted for zippy red bikes with panniers. lemeurice_bike.jpg

Culture, In the News, Understand France and the French

French spend most time in bed France is world’s most sleepy country – Odd News |

A study into the leisure habits of people from 30 countries found that the French spent by far the longest amount of time sleeping. ... American's were found to be almost as fond of their beds - with 8.5 hours - said researchers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It seems to me the researchers have jumped from 'time spent in bed' to 'time spent sleeping' a bit too quickly ... remember this is the French we are talking about.

Culture, Economy and Exchange rates, In the News

Class Warfare, French styleFrench executive held hostage by staff | World news | The Guardian

He wasn't exactly stuffed in the back of car and kept in a cave, yet it's hard to feel too much respect for the kidnappers in this case, no matter what the demands. ... Last year, the English boss of a car-parts factory in eastern France was held for 48 hours in his office, sleeping on a massage table and being provided with blankets and sandwiches. ... In another incident last year, police stormed an ice-cream factory in Saint-Dizier to free a manager who had been held hostage by workers over job cuts.