Capturing the City’s Beauty in “Paris in Color”

Paris in Color

I recently received the book “Paris in Color” by photographer Nichole Robertson, and it’s a wonderful look at the City of Light through about 150 photos of Paris that are grouped by color. But Roberston doesn’t serve up the usual snapshots of iconic Paris landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame. Instead, she chronicles this gorgeous city through the everyday sights that truly give Paris its charm and beauty—a bright-yellow Metro sign, red cafe chairs, bouquets of pink roses for sale by local florists, blue bicycles parked outside a typical neighborhood boutique, the ever-present black chalkboards announcing the day’s specials at local bistros, and so on. Continue Reading →

Literary Left Bank: Home of Gertrude Stein

Stein home 1

Paris was teeming with writers and philosophers in the early 20th century, including many expatriates from England and the United States who were drawn to the City of Light’s bohemian atmosphere, cheap rents and free-flowing wine. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Arthur Koestler, Lawrence Durrell and many others made Paris—especially the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain des Pres neighborhoods on the city’s Left Bank—their home. But a strong coterie of female writers, editors, publishers and booksellers also thrived on the Left Bank. Perhaps the most famous of these were Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. And visitors to the Left Bank can see where the pair lived and worked at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Continue Reading →

Lucky Records: A Quirky Shop for Madonna Maniacs

Lucky Records 1

Madonna is set to release her 13th studio album, titled “Rebel Heart,” early next month. And possibly the very best place in the entire world to purchase the Material Girl’s newest CD is Lucky Records, a quirky, Madonna-centric shop in Paris’s Les Halles district that is Nirvana for fans of her Madgesty: Virtually every Madonna remix and international music release is available for purchase, as well as posters, magazines, calendars, concert videos and even her films on disc. If there’s a Madonna collectible out there, you’ll likely find it at Lucky Records. Continue Reading →

How Did the Croissant Become a French Staple?

Food and Pastries 10

Croissants are ubiquitous in Paris. Every pastry shop and boulangerie makes them. Every café sells them. A typical Parisian breakfast? Croissants and coffee. And for travelers to the City of Light, indulging in a buttery, flaky croissant (or several) is every bit as important as a trip to the Eiffel Tower or a bateau ride on the Seine. But how did this simple pastry become so ingrained in French culture? No one is absolutely certain, but theories abound. (And here’s a guide to where you can find the 10 best croissants in Paris!) Continue Reading →