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 →
As anyone who has ever rented a Parisian apartment—even for just a short stay in the City of Light—knows, one of the true pleasures of non-hotel living in Paris is the views over the city’s iconic rooftops. The hundreds of tiny clay chimneys. The ornate sloping roofs adorning ancient stone buildings. The skylights and wrought-iron balconies peering out over the entire scene. It’s magical. And now, a photo exhibit staged at Paris’s La Galerie Particuliere, located in the artsy Marais, celebrates those picturesque canopies through the images of renowned photographer Michael Wolf.
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There’s a bit of a controversy brewing over plans by a wealthy French entrepreneur to turn a largely nondescript area along the Rue du Vertbois in the Marais into an upscale epicurean “village” called La Jeune Rue. Some say the initiative is the next big advance in urban gentrification, while others claim it merely turns the Paris neighborhood into a sort of Disneyland for the well-to-do. What do you think? Continue Reading →
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 →
There is simply no denying that Midnight in Paris, particularly the introduction scene, truly captures the City of Light in all its glory. Every time I watch the first few minutes of the movie, I start to mentally plan my next visit to Paris. Even in the rain! Read more to check out a YouTube video of the movie’s gorgeous introduction to the beauty of Paris. Continue Reading →
Visitors to the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens are often surprised to stumble across a glittering gold statue of a soldier on horseback, seemingly guarding the posh Hotel Regina that overlooks the area. And many snap pics of the equestrian sculpture without ever really knowing that they’ve captured the likeness of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc), a peasant from northeast France who became a commander in the French military and led several victories over the invading English forces during the Hundred Years’ War. Today, Jeanne d’Arc is a martyr of the Catholic Church and one of the nine patron saints of France. Continue Reading →
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 →
Another of the gorgeous 300-year-old mansions in Paris’s Marais district is the massive Hotel de Rohan, officially named the Hotel de Rohan Strasbourg as it was built in 1705 for the bishop of Strasbourg, Francois-Armand-August de Rohan-Soubise. This 18th century mansion was designed by architect Pierre Alexis-Delamair as the sister to the nearby Hotel de Soubise estate, Today, both manors are owned by the French government, and serve as the location for France’s national archives and the Musee de l’Histoire de France. Continue Reading →
It’s Easter weekend in Paris—called Paques in French. And visitors to the City of Light can enhance their appreciation of the role of Catholicism in the history of Paris through all of the fine art and architecture that can be seen via the city’s 125-plus churches. One of the very best of these—and a must-see destination for first-time visitors—is the dazzling Sainte Chapelle, located just a few blocks from its more famous cousin, Notre Dame. Continue Reading →
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 →