Happy Birthday! La Tour Eiffel Turns 125 Years Old

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Today, Paris’s Eiffel Tower turns 125 years old. I can’t imagine there’s a monument anywhere in the world that is as recognizable as La Tour Eiffel or as indelibly linked with a nation’s culture as is this wonderful French monument created for the 1889 World’s Fair (and which was supposed to be torn down two decades after the event ended). The tower is beloved by both the French and by visitors from around the world. Check out these 40 little-known facts about the Eiffel Tower as well as some of the hundreds of photos I’ve taken of La Tour over the years. Continue Reading →

Hotel de Sully: A Mansion in the Heart of LGBT Paris

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Paris’s Marais district, and in particular the areas around the Metro stations Hotel de Ville and Saint-Paul, is the heart of the City of Light’s thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. And while there are plenty of LGBT shops, bars, restaurants and sight-seeing destinations in this neighborhood, it’s also home to more than a dozen 17th and 18th century mansions, called Hotels de Particuliers, that once served as single-family homes to France’s wealthy aristocrats who wished to live near Continue Reading →

Spring Has Sprung at the Jardin des Plantes

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Springtime in Paris is simply glorious. All of the flowers in the city’s parks start to bloom, the trees start to blossom, those bone-chilling breezes off the Seine turn more pleasant than polar, and the Parisians who hunkered down for the winter suddenly seem incapable of staying inside one minute longer. A fantastic way to experience le printemps in the City of Light is by visiting one of Paris’s grand parks. For springtime sights, sounds and smells, I’m partial to the Jardin des Plantes, an enormous botanical garden in the Latin Quarter. Continue Reading →

Pollution in Paris = Free Bike Rentals

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Among the many things I love about Paris is the city’s fantastic 24/7 low-cost bicycle rental program, called Velib’. And I was reminded of my fondness for Velib’ when I saw that because there is a smog problem in Paris this week caused by unusual weather patterns, bike rentals are completely free until the pollution lifts. But even when the program charges its usual rates, Velib’ is still a super cost-effective (and green) way to get around the City of Light! Continue Reading →

Librairie Gourmande Named Top Cookbook Store

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Bon Appetit magazine today released its list of the best cookbook stores in the world, and it’s no surprise that Paris’s fantastic Librairie Gourmande is among them. “Food and wine books, old and new” is the motto of this two-level gold mine of cookbooks and other cuisine-related reading. Continue Reading →

Cost-Cutting in World’s Second-Most Expensive City

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According to a new Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, Paris is the second most-expensive city in the world in which to live. There’s no doubt that Paris isn’t cheap. But the City of Light can be much more affordable if you know where to shop, when to dine, which museums to visit, and so on. Here are 10 tips you, as visitors to the City of Light, can embrace to lower your expenditures while still enjoying a full, fantastic Parisian experience. Continue Reading →

The History of Paris at the Musee Carnavalet

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The Musee Carnavalet chronicles the history of Paris from its founding in 250 B.C. to today’s 21st century center of business, art and culture. The collection is massive, and only a fraction is on display in the museum’s nearly 100 rooms. The museum houses 2,600 paintings, 20,000 drawings, 300,000 engravings, 150,000 photos, 2,000 sculptures and countless other items of historical significance. Continue Reading →