Remembering Diana at Her Impromptu Paris Memorial

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Today, Aug. 31, 2014, marks the 17th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who passed away in the City of Light as a result of injuries she suffered in a horrific car accident in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. After Diana’s death, Parisians and visitors alike flocked to the Place de l’Alma above the tunnel to pay their respects. Many left bouquets of flowers and personal notes to the Princess at the base of the Flame of Liberty, a replica of the torch held by the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Today, 17 years since Diana’s death, mourners in Paris still leave flowers and notes to the princess at the torch, which has become an impromptu memorial to the People’s Princess. Continue Reading →

Does Paris Need ‘Epicurean Street’ La Jeune Rue?

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There’s a bit of a controversy brewing over plans by a wealthy French entrepreneur to turn a largely nondescript area along the Rue du Vertbois in the Marais into an upscale epicurean “village” called La Jeune Rue. Some say the initiative is the next big advance in urban gentrification, while others claim it merely turns the Paris neighborhood into a sort of Disneyland for the well-to-do. What do you think? Continue Reading →

Take a Weekend Break at Fun, Funky Lezard Cafe

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One of the chief joys of Paris is simply relaxing in one of the city’s cafes. And a cafe terrace can be particularly fun on a spring or summer weekend when you’re with a group of friends, the weather is warm and breezy and Parisians are in buoyant spirits. If you’re ever near the Rue Montorgueil shopping street or Saint Eustache church, a perfect spot for a weekend coffee or cocktail is Lezard Cafe, with its huge, shaded and enormously popular terrace. Continue Reading →

Selfies Instead of Love Locks? Hmmm …

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Paris officials announced this week that they have a partial solution to the city’s “love locks” problem–asking couples that normally would place a padlock on the Pont des Arts to instead take a selfie on a Paris bridge and post it Twitter with the hashtag #lovewithoutlocks. The idea is that couples can celebrate their relationships through social media rather than via real-world padlocks. Yeah, good luck with that. Continue Reading →

‘Midnight in Paris’ Truly Captures the City’s Beauty

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There is simply no denying that Midnight in Paris, particularly the introduction scene, truly captures the City of Light in all its glory. Every time I watch the first few minutes of the movie, I start to mentally plan my next visit to Paris. Even in the rain! Read more to check out a YouTube video of the movie’s gorgeous introduction to the beauty of Paris. Continue Reading →

Celebrated Paris Glacier Raymond Berthillon Dies

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Sad, sad news for lovers of Paris and of the best ice cream available in the City of Light–and perhaps the entire world. Raymond Berthillon, the founder of the famed Ile Saint Louis ice cream shop and next-door ice cream parlor that bears his name has died, the company announced on its website. He was 90 years old. Continue Reading →

Another Summer Treat in Paris – Fete des Tuileries

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Another summertime treat in Paris is the annual La Fete Foraine du Jardin des Tuileries (typically just called the Fete des Tuileries), a temporary funfair set up in the Jardin des Tuileries adjacent to the Louvre. Held this year from June 28 to August 24, the festival includes more than 60 “fair-type” rides, attractions and food vendors. Among the rides is the enormous La Grande Roue—a huge Ferris wheel that provides stunning views over the city. Continue Reading →

Who is Chocolatier Extraordinaire Josephine Vannier?

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Paris is heaven for chocolate lovers, and there are many boutiques run by world-class chocolatiers in the City of Light that should not be missed by sweets connoisseurs—Christian Constant, Michel Cluziel, Pierre Herme, Jean-Paul Hevin and Patrick Roger, to name just a few. But one of my favorites is a Marais shop that is a bit of an enigma—Josephine Vanier on the Rue du Pas de la Mule just steps from the elegant Place des Vosges. It’s not the delicious confections or the gorgeous edible sculptures that are puzzling; it’s exactly who is the never-seen namesake of this fantastic chocolaterie? Continue Reading →

Can’t Get to the Beach? Paris Brings It to You!

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The notion that everything in Paris closes up for the monthof August is slowly becoming more rumor than fact. The tightness of the global economy means that for more and more Parisians “staycations” are becoming the norm, and these City of Light residents definitely need places to eat, shop and relax. To help Parisians who can’t get to a fantastic beach-front resort, the city literally bring the beach to them. Called Paris Plages (translated as Paris Beaches), the annual initiative creates sand banks along two stretches of the Seine River in the heart of the city as well as a beach around the Bassin de la Villette canal in northeastern Paris’s 19th Arrondissement. A number of free events–plus an opportunity to take a mini beach vacation–draws millionss of visitors every summer. Continue Reading →