Culture, For tourists only, Museums and Monuments, Travel, Travel with Kids, Understand France and the French

France Miniature

Our friend Patrick Mikla always surprises us with 'inside' discoveries of Paris and France. From the time we met him some 15 year ago, I can remember each and every one of our adventures. The latest is France Miniature. He took the day off and took us Élancourt, a town about an hour drive outside of Paris, where this miniature…read more
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

Top Five things to do in Paris

Tops on my list used to be a climb to the top of La Samaritaine (sadly, no more) to the free observation deck where you could see all of Paris (like in that famous Willy Ronis photo), guided by a painted tile chart of the names of all the distinctive landmarks on view below. Now, I'd have to replace that with a climb to either the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame (almost always long lines), or the Eiffel Tower (also long lines). ... At least, you can say you saw them, though you'll spend more time jockeying for position among the tourists than in getting a good view (time that could have been spent seeing the other thousands of pieces that any other museum would build their entire collection around) 3.