Disneyland Paris!

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Disneyland Paris is smaller than it’s U.S. cousins, but the rides are much better (Indiana Jones is a coaster with a loop; Space Mountain also has loops and blows away the L.A. version) and the park is much more do-able in a day. Plus: WALL*E and French food! Continue Reading →

Another Fantastic Sunday in Paris

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It’s a chilly winter Sunday in Paris, but that wouldn’t stop me from being out and about in the City of Light. From beautiful churches to what the French call “window licking,” here’s my plan for a fantastic Parisian day. Continue Reading →

Musee Picasso Set to Re-Open in June

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After many delays and a cost overrun of nearly $30 million, renovations to Paris’s Musee Picasso are nearly complete and the museum is set to re-open in June. The museum closed in August 2009 for a planned two-year, $40 million renovation that more than doubled in length and nearly doubled in cost. But the renovations have greatly expanded exhibition space in the museum’s galleries and safety improvements will allow nearly twice as many visitors inside the museum at one time. Continue Reading →

Snails at L’Escargots Montorgueil

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It’s a cliche for sure, but escargots (snails) really are a staple of French cuisine, usually served as an appetizer. You can get them at any Paris bistro, brasserie or restaurant that serves traditional French fare. But if you’re interested in making a meal of snails, head to L’Escargots Montorgueil at the base of the fantastic market street Rue Montorgueil. The 182-year-old restaurant is an institution, both for Parisians and visitors alike. Continue Reading →

Roland Garros: Paris’s Favorite Sport

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As the world remains transfixed by the Winter Olympics, I’m reminded of the only sporting event I’ve ever attended in Europe — the French Open tennis tournament, called Roland Garros in France, which is the name of the facility in Western Paris that hosts the event. For tennis fans, the French Open is very familiar, being one of the four “Grand Slam” tournaments held around the world each year. For those with only a passing interest in the sport, it’s the tournament held on an orange-red clay surface that often leaves players covered in red dust. Continue Reading →

Paris’s Iconic Eiffel Tower

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Today’s memories of Paris are all about the Eiffel Tower. This iconic symbol of Paris – indeed, of all of France – is recognizable worldwide and celebrated by Francophiles in every nation. I’ve been up the tower five times (twice at night, three times during the day), including actually climbing the steps to the second level during my high school French trip in 1985. During my last visit to Paris in November and December 2012, the apartment I rented in the 6th Arrondissement had a fantastic view of the tower, and I could see it twinkling each night from my balcony. Magical! Continue Reading →

Paris’s Unique Street Signs

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An unusual thing that I love about Paris is its iconic green, blue and white street signs. At the top of each is the district (called Arrondissement, and there are 20 of them in Paris) in which the street is located. Then comes the street name. And for my favorite part, the bottom of the sign contains information about the person for whom the street is named, if applicable. You get a mini-history lesson on most street corners! Continue Reading →

Best Cold-Weather Comfort Food: Cassoulet!

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While the U.S. is stuck in the deep freeze, I’m thinking about my favorite cold-weather comfort foods: mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, potato-cheddar soup. But the tastiest and most comforting comfort food I’ve ever eaten is French cassoulet, a white-bean stew with duck confit, sausage and bacon baked in a thick sauce, and then topped with bread crumbs and browned under the broiler. Delish! Continue Reading →

Palais-Royal: Grand and Quirky

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Today’s Paris memories are of the Palais-Royal, a one-time palace located near the Louvre on the Right Bank. Once called the Palais-Cardinal, the palace is today home to an unusual modern art exhibit and a gorgeous enclosed courtyard with a huge reflecting pool, numerous statues and perfectly aligned rows of trees and shrubbery. Continue Reading →