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 →

Remembering the Nazi Impact on Paris

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Straddling the eastern tip of Ile de la Cite just behind Notre Dame is the Memorial de la Deportation, a tribute to the more than 200,000 French men, women and children—including homosexuals—who died in Nazi extermination camps during World War II. The memorial is a poignant reminder of the role racism, antisemitism, homophobia and flat-out hatred played in the deaths of nearly 50 million people worldwide during WW II. Continue Reading →

Hotel de Sully: A Mansion in the Heart of LGBT Paris

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Paris’s Marais district, and in particular the areas around the Metro stations Hotel de Ville and Saint-Paul, is the heart of the City of Light’s thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. And while there are plenty of LGBT shops, bars, restaurants and sight-seeing destinations in this neighborhood, it’s also home to more than a dozen 17th and 18th century mansions, called Hotels de Particuliers, that once served as single-family homes to France’s wealthy aristocrats who wished to live near Continue Reading →

Cost-Cutting in World’s Second-Most Expensive City

Petit Palais

According to a new Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, Paris is the second most-expensive city in the world in which to live. There’s no doubt that Paris isn’t cheap. But the City of Light can be much more affordable if you know where to shop, when to dine, which museums to visit, and so on. Here are 10 tips you, as visitors to the City of Light, can embrace to lower your expenditures while still enjoying a full, fantastic Parisian experience. Continue Reading →

Disneyland Paris!

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Disneyland Paris is smaller than it’s U.S. cousins, but the rides are much better (Indiana Jones is a coaster with a loop; Space Mountain also has loops and blows away the L.A. version) and the park is much more do-able in a day. Plus: WALL*E and French food! Continue Reading →

Paris’s Iconic Eiffel Tower

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Today’s memories of Paris are all about the Eiffel Tower. This iconic symbol of Paris – indeed, of all of France – is recognizable worldwide and celebrated by Francophiles in every nation. I’ve been up the tower five times (twice at night, three times during the day), including actually climbing the steps to the second level during my high school French trip in 1985. During my last visit to Paris in November and December 2012, the apartment I rented in the 6th Arrondissement had a fantastic view of the tower, and I could see it twinkling each night from my balcony. Magical! Continue Reading →

Palais-Royal: Grand and Quirky

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Today’s Paris memories are of the Palais-Royal, a one-time palace located near the Louvre on the Right Bank. Once called the Palais-Cardinal, the palace is today home to an unusual modern art exhibit and a gorgeous enclosed courtyard with a huge reflecting pool, numerous statues and perfectly aligned rows of trees and shrubbery. Continue Reading →

Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s ‘Paris From Above’

Paris from the Air

French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has created a fantastic book and video of imagery taken of Paris from a helicopter above the city. It’s breath taking! Continue Reading →