Picasso Museum Set for Reopening. Again

Musee Picasso

Paris’s famed Picasso Museum is set to reopen on Saturday, October 25, after a planned two-year renovation project stretched to more than five years in length and resulted in cost overruns nearly doubling the initial eight-figure budget. The museum, established when Picasso’s family members donated hundreds of pieces of art to the French government in lieu of estate taxes when the artist passed away, shut in August 2009 for a planned two-year, $40 million renovation. Numerous times since, the museum’s administration announced additional delays and more expenditures. In fact, just this spring the renovation team announced a June reopening. Obviously, that never happened. So will Saturday’s reopening actually occur? There’s every indication that this time it’s done deal. Continue Reading →

Eiffel Renovations Include Glass Floor. Sacre Bleu!

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Renovations of the first level of the Eiffel Tower wrapped up this week, and they include a new feature that is wowing (and in some cases terrifying!) tourists: A glass floor 57 meters above the ground that one can walk across–or, as the case seems to be, lie on to take selfies. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo opened the new attraction this week, telling CNN that the project is helping Paris reinvent itself “without ruining our history.” She christened the new see-through-floor with a series of Twitter messages in several languages inviting tourists to pay a visit to the Eiffel Tower to check out the nearly $39 million in renovations, which also include shops, restaurants, a new museum and newly installed safety railings that provide better views of the City of Light. Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →