Sunday at the Bastille Farmer’s Market

232323232-fp63243-nu=326--447-69--WSNRCG=3383-964-332-nu0mrj

There are dozens of farmer’s markets in Paris, at least two per each of the city’s 20 districts called arrondissements. The largest and arguably the best is the fantastic Richard Lenoir Market (more commonly called the Bastille market), held Thursdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. along the grand Boulevard Richard Lenoir, just north of the Place de la Bastille.

You can find ANYTHING here … Continue Reading →

When You Get Sick in Paris …

Parisian pharmacy

I’ve got a killer cold. Here, in California, I had to track down an urgent care clinic (my doc was booked for days), pay an arm and a leg, get a prescription for a liquid to numb my throat, go to the pharmacy to get the medication, and then had to wait 24 hours while they ordered more of it because it wasn’t in stock. Fortunately, the medical system in France is very, very different than ours. When one gets sick in France, you first go to the pharmacy. Continue Reading →

The Heart of French History

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

One of my favorite sights to visit in Paris is the gorgeous and historic Basilica of Saint Denis in the suburb of Saint Denis. The church and abbey have been the burial place of French royalty since the 10th century (although kings from as far back as the year 500 have had their remains moved here). Parts of the church itself were constructed more than 1,300 years ago. The history here is mind-boggling. Continue Reading →

So True. So Very True.

555604_10151800279354422_116584269_n

From one of my favorite Paris blogs, Paris Attitude. Continue Reading →

Le Petit Dejeuner

Breakfast in Paris

I’m dreaming of having le petit dejeuner (breakfast) in Paris. The quintessential Parisian breakfast is coffee (or hot chocolate, if you’re indulging), croissants, perhaps a pastry (again for the indulgence), and freshly squeezed OJ. Simple, full of carbs and caffeine to get you going, and delicious. There’s nothing quite like a freshly baked buttery, flaky French croissant! Continue Reading →

A l’Etoile d’Or — The Best Candy Shop in Paris

L'Etoile d'Or

Paris is home to dozens and dozens of top-quality candy shops (boutiques de bonbons). But there is nothing in Paris—actually the entire world—like A l’Etoile d’Or (The Gold Star), a tiny shop in Paris’s Pigalle district that is jammed with the best artisan candies made in France.

The incomparable boutique is helmed by Denise Acabo, a vivacious woman forever dressed as a Parisian schoolgirl in necktie, plaid skirt and pig tails, who is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable candy sellers in Europe. Continue Reading →

Male-centric Art at the Orsay (and Elsewhere)

Au Bonheur du Jour

Paris is all atwitter at the opening of “Masculin/Masculine: The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day,” an enormously popular exhibit held through January 2, 2014, at the Musee d’Orsay that celebrates the nude male form in more than 200 works.

But for perhaps the best close-up peek at male-focused art in the city, visit the private ArtMenParis gallery and the small but delightful Au Bonheur du Jour gallery, where you can purchase the pieces that catch your eye (or perhaps arouse you elsewhere). Continue Reading →

Sunday on the Rue des Rosiers

Rue des Rosiers 1

Paris’s Marais district is home to the city’s LGBT community. But it’s also home to the city’s Jewish community, and the Rue des Rosiers lies at the heart of it. The four-block-long street has a number of fantastic Jewish bakeries, restaurants and curio shops, but, sadly, like much of Paris has fallen prey to the influx of clothing boutiques and even some chain fashion shops. Still, the area is well worth a visit, especially on Sundays, when most of the rest of Paris is closed, but the shops on the Rue des Rosiers are open (and jam packed!) And be sure to try the falafel at L’As du Fallafel, arguable the best in Europe! Continue Reading →

Two Paris Restaurants You Might Want to Skip

Le Georges

An article published in the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph suggests that two well-known Paris restaurants discriminate against patrons based on their ages and looks.

The staffs at Le Georges atop the Pompidou Center and Cafe Marly, which overlooks the Louvre, are instructed to seat only young, good-looking people on the venues’ terraces and prominent tables. Older and less attractive guests are forced inside, and preferable into back corners, the article states.

But, honestly, why would you want to go to either? Continue Reading →

The Moment I Fell in Love with Paris

Paris Je t'Aime's Margot Martindale

When did you fall in love with Paris?

I’m not sure I know the precise moment that I did, only that it happened early … and has endured to this day. I never knew it was possible to fall in love with a city. But I have. I’ve fallen head over heels.

And that reminds me of my favorite scene from one of my favorite movies … Continue Reading →