My Louvre — Beyond the “Big Three”

Louvre gallery

Today’s Paris memories are all about the fantastic art at the Louvre. Yes, most people maybe a beeline to see the Big Three (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace), but you can spend literally days in the huge museum and never see all of the pieces on display. Here are some of my favorites, Continue Reading →

Paris: The World’s Best “Walking City”

Entrance to Rue Montorgueil

One of things I love to do most while in Paris is simply wander the streets and check out all of the amazing architecture, art and green spaces. There’s so much to see on every single block that it’s almost overwhelming. Even a leisurely ramble with no destination in mind reveals so much beauty. Paris has been called the best “walking city” on Earth, and I have to wholeheartedly agree! Continue Reading →

Les Halles’ Tour Saint-Jacques

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Today’s Paris memories are centered not far from city Hall — the Tour Saint-Jacques, a Gothic tower that is all that remains of a 16th century church. The tower’s rich decoration reflects the wealth of its patrons, the wholesale butchers of the former Les Halles market that existed nearby for centuries. Continue Reading →

Pampered Pooches at Moustaches in the Marais

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No one pampers their pets more than gay men and lesbians, and Paris’s LGBT animal lovers make a beeline for Moustaches, a large dog- and cat-specific emporium offering everything imaginable to spoil Fido or Fluffy. Sure, the boutique carries the basics, but with more than 3,000 items available, you’ll find plenty of fun merchandise—including hundreds of toys—that make fantastic gifts for your furry family members. Continue Reading →

Statues, Statues Everywhere

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One of the things I — and most visitors to Paris — admire most about the City of Light is the abundance of art that greets Parisians each and every day. From glorious architecture to historic fountains to large outdoor murals to anonymously scrawled street art, Paris offers something beautiful to gaze upon no matter where one looks. There’s so much public art that many have dubbed the city a massive “open-air museum.” And that “museum” includes statues and sculptures. Lots of statues and sculptures. In fact, Paris has more than 1,000 statues created by more than 400 artists on public display throughout the city. Continue Reading →

Paris’s Elysee Palace: France’s White House

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Nearly every visitor to the City of Light pays a visit to the Champs Elysees, either to stroll the long, sycamore tree-lined boulevard or to visit the Place de la Concorde or the Arc de Triomphe that anchor the two ends of the elegant thoroughfare. But relatively few walk the two short blocks to visit France’s version of the White House—the Elysee Palace. It’s definitely worth the short detour! Continue Reading →

Picturesque Park Off the Busy Blvd. Sebastopol

Square Emile Chautemps 5

One of the true pleasures of Paris is the array of surprises that one stumbles upon when strolling the twisty-turny lanes through the City of Light. From medieval architecture to historic statues, and from stately fountains to tiny parks and green spaces, there’s something new and exciting practically around every corner. One such delight is the Square Emile Chautemps, located just off the very busy and very commercial Boulevard Sebastopol in the 3rd Arrondissement. Continue Reading →

Saint Honore Pastry: A Classic French Dessert

Saint Honore 4

An iconic French pastry—and one I always order multiple times when I visit Paris—is the Saint Honore, a decadent dessert made of puff pastry, pate a choux (cream-puff dough), creme chiboust (a thick pastry cream made with stiffened egg whites) and creme Chantilly (the French term for whipped cream). Named after the patron saint of French patissiers this stacked pastry comes in such flavors as caramel (also called the “classic” Saint Honore), pistachio, rose-raspberry, chocolate, vanilla-chocolate, chocolate-strawberry and pistachio-sour cherry. Continue Reading →

Have You Seen Paris’s Coat of Arms?

Coat of Arms 5

Chances are that most visitors to the City of Light have no idea that they’ve spotted the official emblem of Paris countless times. Paris’s coat of arms appears on well more than 100 buildings and other structures throughout the city. The reason you likely didn’t recognize that what you’re seeing is an official symbol of Paris is because its main image is that of an ancient merchant sailing ship—not something that most people would associate with France’s capital. Continue Reading →

Fantastic Fromage at La Fermette

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Fromage! Like so many other visitors to France, I have fallen in love with French cheese. Brie de Meaux. Camembert. Epoisses. Reblochon. Bleu d’Auvergne. Chaource. You name it, and I’ve tried it—and loved it. Even what some call “stinky foot cheese.” While every fromagerie in the City of Light carries the most popular cheeses, there are two Parisian fromageries that I go to again and again when I want to sample my favorites or try something new: La Fermette on Rue Montorgueil and Fromagerie Quatrehomme on Rue de Sevres. Continue Reading →