Revisiting My Trip to the 2010 French Open

French Open-5

As the 2014 French Open tennis tournament enters day three today, I can’t help but remember my attendance at the 2010 French Open, held in late May-early June at the Roland Garros facility in Western Paris. With the help of my temporary landlord, I bought and printed out a day pass to the outer courts, and was able to attend two junior matches involving American teenagers (they both lost) and a doubles match featuring a highly seeded French team (they won). I also sat for a bit in the courtyard outside Court no. 1 (the third-biggest of the courts in the complex) and watched on a Jumbotron as Serena Williams dispatched her opponent. It was amazing! Continue Reading →

It’s No Cliche: Springtime in Paris is Magical

Spring8

Ah, springtime in Paris.

Certainly you’ve heard more than one visitor to or resident of the City of Light utter this phrase, usually with a wistful sigh. And while it’s true that equating springtime in Paris with extreme bliss is something of a cliché, there’s actually a very logical reason this adage developed—there is nothing in the world quite like springtime in Paris. Continue Reading →

Saint Gilles Garden Offers Total Serenity

St. Gilles Garden 4

One of my favorite green spaces in the Marais is the tranquil Jardin Saint Gilles Grand Veneur-Pauline Roland, a roughly 1,000-square-meter park that is among the most secluded spots in the City of Light, mostly because the park is nearly impossible to find. The garden, particularly enjoyable in late spring when the hundreds of pink, red and white rose bushes and covered trellises are in full bloom, is tucked into a hidden courtyard between several large stone buildings, including the Hotel Grand Veneur mansion built in 1637 for the captain of the king’s huntsmen. Continue Reading →

Spring Has Sprung at the Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes 1

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 →