01/06/2013 14:42:00 PM
The United flight from Washington, DC to Paris arrives at 6:30 in the morning, a time at which, in late December, Paris skies are still pitch black and the only cafe customers are men taking their little cups of coffee at the counter.
07/02/2011 01:04:00 AM
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.
By the time many of you see this video, we will be on a plane, winging our way back across the Atlantic to our home in Washington, DC. While I'm sad that our Parisian adventure is over and canno
07/01/2011 01:03:00 AM
We're coming down to the wire here and I realize that there's not time to write about my visit to the royal palace at Compiegne, Anish Kapoor's Leviathan installation at the Grand Palais which I visited twice, dinner at Spring (after they cancel
06/30/2011 00:58:00 AM
For one thing, the view right outside the front door of his office building. There's nothing quite like that in Arlington, Virginia.
06/29/2011 01:06:00 AM
I've asked my kids many times to reflect on their experiences and it's a little bit like pulling teeth. And now that school is out, while they're happy to read for pleasure, writing is not high on their list of priorities. I'm sure one day they'll lo
06/28/2011 01:04:00 AM
If you've been wondering why I've been on radio silence with respect to your comments recently, it's only because we spent the past 10 days in Turkey, a kind of last hurrah for our international adventure. I managed to post plenty in advance of
06/27/2011 00:46:00 AM
You could do an entire blog on street art in Paris (for all I know someone has) and once you start looking for it, it seems to be everywhere. Here are a few favorites that popped out at me during my recent forays around town.
In the 2nd:
06/26/2011 01:03:00 AM
Paris can be kind of coy. Her people take a while to warm up to you (or at least to understand your pathetic attempts at speaking French) and lovely spots are often hidden behind locked gates. Short person that I am, I walked pa
06/25/2011 00:55:00 AM
You've heard it all before but I'm saying it again, more than anything to remind myself that life in Paris, like life anyplace else, has its unpleasant and annoying moments. And even the trick of adding "in Paris" to the end of thes
06/24/2011 00:58:00 AM
There's an image of Ruth Reichl's Remembrance of Things Paris over in the sidebar of this page marked "What I'm Reading" But that's a lie. I'm not reading anything now. Maybe it's the craziness of moving or a yen to watch movie
06/23/2011 01:01:00 AM
Because it's impossible to have too many pictures of the Eiffel Tower, right? In any season, under any metereological conditions, at any time of day, from any angle or distance.
06/22/2011 01:03:00 AM
Thought I'd finally post a photo of myself? Well kind of. I loved this bit of street art I happened upon while prowling around the streets of the 19th and 20th arrondissements. That would be me, walking and snappin
06/21/2011 01:07:00 AM
When I hear horns honking on my block, it usually means that someone has parked in front of a building entrance, blocking the residents from either entering or exiting. One morning last week, the honking was more insistent than usual and when I
06/20/2011 00:47:00 AM
The French adventure in Mexico during the 19th century pretty much ended in disaster. Perhaps it was inevitable given the clash in palates. This latest product by Old El Paso, which dominates the international aisle of most French su
06/19/2011 01:02:00 AM
My patience with this number series is wearing thin. But while I'm too bored to count all the way to 100 (and you do have to give me credit for getting halfway there), I have a few numbers from the vault to share. So without further ado,
06/18/2011 01:07:00 AM
My heart is being tugged in three ways at once these days. A lot is already behind me: people whom I've seen for the last time; metro rides I won't make again; tears held back or wiped dry; experiences that have been documented, put
06/17/2011 00:54:00 AM
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Commune, a government that held power in Paris from March to May 1871. It's a period of history that no one much likes to talk about, perhaps because it was marked by so much internecine violence.&nb
06/16/2011 00:54:00 AM
Although I've given up on the idea of walking all the streets of Paris (or even all the streets on my Streetwise Paris map) before we part, that hasn't kept me from carrying the map with me and highlighting each achievement as I go. And it
06/15/2011 00:54:00 AM
This map of Europe, a gift from my sister, hung on the wall of our apartment almost from the moment we moved in and very quickly became a living document of our travels. It was virtually impossible to capture in a photograph and I'm afraid that
06/14/2011 01:05:00 AM
After two passes through the town of Auvers sur Oise with my hiking group which offered little time to soak up the history of Vincent Van Gogh's final days there, I finally made the time to go back in early May. With perfect weather and a great
06/13/2011 01:03:00 AM
After all the sunny weather we had in April and May, it's not so easy to go back to the typical Parisian weather -- cool and gray being the order of the day, pretty much any time of year. But after being cooped up in the house much of last week
06/12/2011 01:02:00 AM
The forties. Special numbers to me because these are the years I passed in Paris.
Back next Sunday with the fifties (which I hear are the new thirties.)
06/11/2011 01:02:00 AM
Technical incidents, strikes, sick passengers can all create havoc with the morning commute. But an animal on the track? Let your imagination run wild with this one.
06/10/2011 01:03:00 AM
Okay, I said I wouldn't make this blog into a constant drone about our upcoming departure. But after spending three days inside this week while the movers did their thing, it's very much on my mind. Fortunately, now that we're over the hu
06/09/2011 00:48:00 AM
Métronome was on the French best seller list for months before it came to my attention. Actually I don't pay any attention to what's hot in the French press because most of it is way beyond my capabilities. (And just as an aside, do
06/08/2011 01:05:00 AM
We're at that point in the move where the worst is both behind and in front of us and the present isn't really all that bad. Because yesterday, the trying part of the whole ordeal was having to hang around the house all day with nothing re
06/07/2011 00:45:00 AM
The movers arrive today and leave Thursday: two days to pack and wrap, and one day to lower everything out the window onto a truck. Seven hundred pounds will go by plane; the rest by sea. I've been cleaning and sorting, selling 220 volt
06/06/2011 00:45:00 AM
I'm a little behind on reporting on some of my day trips from Paris. The bare trees in this photo are a dead giveaway that I took this picture back in March and here it is already June. But no matter the season, the Abbaye de Royaumont, s
06/05/2011 00:58:00 AM
Et donc, on continue:
What do you think? Do you have the stomach for more?
06/04/2011 01:03:00 AM
I don't suppose they'd appreciate it if I offered my services. Perhaps I should have just brought my own White-Out and Sharpie.?
06/03/2011 00:55:00 AM
The Paris Metro is best known for its Art Nouveau entrances designed by Hector Guimard. As much as I love them, sometimes it's nice to find something just a bit different, and no less stunning. You can find this stop on line 10, on the bo
06/02/2011 00:45:00 AM
One month left. Five years ago, if someone gave me the chance to spend a month in Paris (or London or San Francisco or many other places for that matter), I think I would have been dazzled by the offer. One whole month. But fro
06/01/2011 00:57:00 AM
Viollet-le-Duc is best known for resurrecting Notre Dame from the ruin it had become by the mid 19th century but he also had his hands in a lot of other projects including the restoration of Carcassone in the southwest corner of France and the renova
05/31/2011 01:02:00 AM
It's been super dry in Paris of late. The farmers are none too happy but the rest of us are getting spoiled by a very long string of sunny days with highs in the mid 70s Fahrenheit. (Of course, wouldn't you know it -- when I got up this m
05/30/2011 00:56:00 AM
I'm guessing these gals are singers but honestly, I have no idea.
I really don't think I'd pay to see Ben L'Oncle Soul live. (And by the way, do you suppose this artist is aware that the term Uncle Ben is considered perjorative to bl
05/29/2011 01:10:00 AM
Back by popular demand.
Shall I continue? Because I can but only if you like.?
05/28/2011 01:10:00 AM
You can try to shame a smoker but it usually doesn't work. The fellow in the tabac (and for the record, I was in there buying a pen) looked at me kind of oddly when I asked if I could take a picture of these plastic sleeves for cigarettes. But he sai
05/27/2011 00:57:00 AM
One quandary for expats lucky enough to snag a Paris assignment is how best to communicate with the folks back home. When things are going great, you're not sure whether you should report on this. Doing so makes you feel like a show off. And if thing
05/26/2011 00:44:00 AM
If I told you that I have an undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school, a doctorate from another top American university, and once worked on Capitol Hill, would that make you interested in reading my blog? I don't think so. (And
05/25/2011 00:52:00 AM
A car this size gives a whole new meaning to the word "compact." Perhaps it's more comfortable to drive if you take out the front seat and drive from the back?
05/24/2011 00:52:00 AM
Back in September, I wrote about my Paris bucket list, the things I wanted to be sure to get done before leaving Paris. And as we enter the home stretch, I figured it was time to take a look back and see just how I'm doing.
It starts wel
05/23/2011 00:55:00 AM
What do you suppose the odds are that this lost diamond bracelet will be reunited with its owner?
05/22/2011 01:05:00 AM
Now that I know you can count to ten, want to see if you can make it to twenty?
All together now:
Shall I continue?
05/21/2011 01:02:00 AM
With all the end of year festivities, going away parties, and general panic about trying to experience the best of Paris before my count down timer runs out, I've been way overindulging. Because I can always diet when we get back home, right? And bec
05/20/2011 00:44:00 AM
Last weekend, we went to see Woody Allen's new movie, Midnight in Paris. And how could we not? Even if the reviews had been truly execrable, I could not have resisted the chance to see how Allen might pay tribute to the City of Light.&nbs
05/19/2011 00:55:00 AM
Abercrombie & Fitch finally opened its much awaited Paris store this week. Although to judge from the number of kids already wearing Abercrombie t-shirts and sweatshirts, you might have thought they'd had a Paris base for eons. Clearl
05/18/2011 00:45:00 AM
If there is one thing I have been bound and determined to do before leaving Paris, it is to finally go out on a Velib. Yes, shockingly, after four years here and my arrival almost perfectly coinciding with the advent of Paris's wildly
05/17/2011 00:45:00 AM
Dominique Strauss Kahn, current head of the International Monetary Fund and long thought to be the Socialist Party's best bet to unseat President Sarkozy in next year's election, appears to have self destructed over the weekend. He was hauled o
05/16/2011 00:56:00 AM
There's always something going on around the Arc de Triomphe. And with all the traffic that whizzes around there day in and day out, no lane markings and the rule of priority to those entering the circle, it's always has a kind of crazy an
05/15/2011 01:10:00 AM
Fashionista or frump, there are probably very few women in Paris who do not own a pair of black ballerina flats. And there are also very few whose shoes don't often look like this:
If you stick to the sidewalks, you may be able to avoid this fate.
05/14/2011 05:00:00 AM
I think it was star blogger David Lebovitz who pointed out to all of us that "WTF" can stand either for ...well, you know what, or "welcome to France." And even though we're six weeks and counting from saying good-bye, France is still willing t
05/13/2011 16:03:00 PM
As I am in the mode of taking advantage of every remaining bit of the time left in France, when the opportunity came up to take a two-day trip to Beaune, center of the wine trade in Burgundy, I jumped at the chance. It's a region of France
05/12/2011 01:04:00 AM
The open air market is one of the fixtures of Parisian life. Everyone has their favorite market (even if it's not the one in their quartier) and everyone also has their favorite vendors. And even if you don't do all or even half your food
05/11/2011 00:52:00 AM
My camera has been in the shop for more than two weeks and it's amazing how helpless I feel without it. I keep seeing things I want to document and then remembering that I can't. Thankfully, I just got a notice that it's ready
05/10/2011 00:47:00 AM
I bet you can count to ten in French. But can you do it in Parisian street numbers?
I can keep going if you like......?
05/08/2011 22:30:00 PM
Just off the Parc Montsouris in the south end of the 14th arrondissement, you can find a little street out of a picture book. You might feel like you've left the city. Were it not for the cars, you might actually be in another era al
05/07/2011 01:03:00 AM
If you look closely, you can barely discern the carving on this compass rose that says "point zero." ? Stand on this spot in front of Notre Dame and you will be in the official center of the city of Paris, the point from which all distances t
05/06/2011 00:33:00 AM
Last week I had the good fortune to spend a day on a long walk in and around the forest of Fontainebleau. This is one of the things I love about Paris (and also about my good friend who organizes all these great outings so all I have to do is s
05/05/2011 00:35:00 AM
The lilacs have faded, the tulips are a distant memory. Now it's time for the roses. If you are a true connoisseur, there are two places you must visit in Paris: Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne and the Roseraie in L'Haÿ-les-Roses
05/04/2011 00:44:00 AM
It's officially strawberry season in France and these ads for the highly prized gariguette variety from the town of Plougastel in Brittany are everywhere in the metro. (That's a traditional Breton bonnet on the strawberry.) You will pay 2
05/03/2011 00:45:00 AM
When the publicist for Paris-based American author David Downie contacted me asking whether I'd like a copy of Downie's new book Paris, Paris with the explicit expectation that I would post a review on my blog, my first thought was simple: "Free
05/02/2011 01:02:00 AM
Americans tend to imagine France as that fairy tale place where people still do their shopping at the butcher, the baker, and the greengrocer. And while in Paris, you can still do that if you choose, increasingly in places where there is room t
04/30/2011 01:05:00 AM
Over the past four years, there have been any number of times when I have been fed up with this country and ready to hop on the first plane back home. Someone sneering at my French, lousy customer service, and bad weather were just a few o
04/29/2011 00:57:00 AM
I haven't been paying much attention to world news this week but I understand that the television networks are in their "All Royal Wedding All the Time" mode. And what a great story just out of a fairy tale: handsome prince marries beautiful an
04/28/2011 00:55:00 AM
The same day I visited the American Cemetery in Suresnes, I also stopped literally just around the corner at Mont Valérien, once a destination for religious pilgrims but more infamously during World War II, the site of numerous executions of Fr
04/27/2011 01:03:00 AM
You have to look pretty hard to find color in the typical Parisian building but whenever I do, I feel like I've won the lottery. Mosaics, ceramics, brickwork: I love them all. These details are hard to photograph from street l
04/26/2011 00:52:00 AM
I use Yahoo for my e-mail and sometimes the navigation is in English, other times in French. It's pretty much all the same to me. After all, it could be in Greek or Russian or Swahili as long as the login box is in the same place.&nb
04/25/2011 00:23:00 AM
Even if it had rained all of last week, I'd still count myself as a lucky person. Happily that was not the case during the trip we had planned awhile back for the kids' spring vacation -- a week of bike riding along France's Atlantic Coast. The fleec
04/23/2011 00:55:00 AM
If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know I have a soft spot for door knockers. Enough said.
04/22/2011 01:03:00 AM
At the tail end of the 18th century and into the mid 19th, builders in Paris were keen on creating a new kind of retail shopping experience -- the covered passage lined with shops and lit by skylights. At one point, there were 15
04/21/2011 00:48:00 AM
I will be the first to admit that this is a truly horrible photograph. But that's what you get when you try to quick get a photo in a crowded poorly lit Metro station. I saw these three women with their fancy footwear, took a look at my o
04/20/2011 00:25:00 AM
As an American, I knew Victor Hugo as the author of Les Miserables, hard to escape if you ever turned on public television during the 1990s. ?And though this epic, set during the revolution of 1832, along with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is
04/19/2011 00:57:00 AM
Even with the Internet, television, newspapers, and magazines, I've lived in Paris too long to know what passes for fashion among American teenagers. For all I know, 14 year olds in Washington and New York dress exactly like this group spotted
04/18/2011 01:10:00 AM
If you're sick of seeing this book jacket under the "What I'm Reading" heading on the right hand side of the page, you don't know the half of it. Trust me, no one is more sick of the sight than me. It took me a year and a half to read thi
04/16/2011 00:56:00 AM
Having done way too much copy editing, it kills me to see typos in printed material or signage. But in a non-English speaking country, I find these mistakes charming.
On the other hand, hasn't the SNCF heard of Google Translate or Babelfish?
04/15/2011 01:02:00 AM
I hate it that even though we won't be leaving Paris until the beginning of July, the "lasts" are already coming fast furious -- the last time at my gym (because I'm too cheap to pay the exorbitant short term membership rate now that my normal subscr
04/14/2011 00:45:00 AM
Something kooky was going on in Paris this week. First, when it came to telling the time on line 7, the signage had nothing but question marks. As an aside, I have to say that I can never quite get over the fact that one of the termi
04/13/2011 00:45:00 AM
If you've been thinking about heading out to Normandy to visit the American cemetery near the landing beaches, by all means do so. It's an incredibly moving experience that you really shouldn't miss. On the other hand, if time is in short
04/12/2011 01:02:00 AM
What do you think? Modern art? Giant Shell no pest strips?
Actually neither. These hanging objects are intended as housing for sparrows, part of a project by the city of Paris to protect the little birds. Their numbers
04/11/2011 01:05:00 AM
A couple months ago, I'd never heard of the Aeolian Islands off the northeast coast of Sicily. ?It's a bit of a schlep from Paris -- a flight to Milan, another to Catania, overland to Milazza, and then hydrofoil to the main island o
04/09/2011 01:02:00 AM
I am so sorry.
04/08/2011 00:56:00 AM
Some days are just like that.
Special thanks to Dana, a great friend and loyal reader who will be leaving Paris soon, for sending this along to me.
04/07/2011 00:47:00 AM
This New York hot dog stand is parked outside the oh so chic Publicis Drugstore on the Champs Élysées. I have to admit that a merguez in a baguette is no substitute for a good street dog. But I still think I'll pass.
04/06/2011 00:48:00 AM
?If you spend much time commuting by train in these parts, you're bound to encounter all manner of folks with outstretched hands. There are musicians (of varying talent) with their change cups duct taped to their amplifiers, well groomed but
04/05/2011 01:08:00 AM
Is this a commentary on the dark times we live in or the fact that it's painted in the middle of the street?
Translation: Fear is closing in on us.
04/04/2011 00:56:00 AM
For all the downsides of having house guests (the laundry, the cooking, the extra people in your space), I do enjoy sharing with visitors, even those who have been to Paris many times, some of the lesser known but nonetheless interesting sites.
04/02/2011 01:05:00 AM
This sign isn't some leftover from a bygone age as the store in question truly exists. (Although to be fair, the sign was more blogworthy than the actual shop window.) My question? What century are we in anyway?
04/01/2011 01:02:00 AM
Ever had an annoying song stuck in your head, those lyrics plaguing your thoughts all day long? That's how I feel about the article "No Dowdy Women " which appeared recently on the Bonjour Paris site. The author's premise is obvious from
03/31/2011 01:07:00 AM
This plaque, bolted to the exterior wall of the mairie of the 3rd arrondissement, is all that's left of the building where Louis XVI and his family were held prisoner during the French Revolution. The prison was part of a larger fortress built
03/30/2011 01:01:00 AM
I was going to call this post "Variations on a Theme" or maybe "Knock, Knock," and then it occurred to me -- hadn't I already used these titles? The answer is yes, and the hard truth is that I am repeating myself. Oh the tribulations of a
03/29/2011 00:45:00 AM
For all the fun I've had taking photos of Paris, there are sound and scent memories I want for my scrapbook as well. Eh voila. Thanks to the Freesound Project, I've been able to find sound files of some of those little things that will al
03/28/2011 01:01:00 AM
I'd love to get an explanation of wh?y so many Parisian street corners sport duplicate street signs. Here the old sign appears up top, the newer one, which includes information about the person for whom the street was named, appears belo
03/26/2011 02:02:00 AM
You can get a bottle of wine in Paris for less than the price of a bottle of Coke. I'm not saying that's the wine you should buy, but it is one small indicator of how the drink itself transcends social class. (Alt
03/25/2011 02:02:00 AM
We've been having an incredible stretch of perfect weather here in Paris -- blue skies with daytime highs in the mid 60s -- a welcome respite after the gray chill of a Parisian winter. Yesterday, my travels took me through the Jardin
03/24/2011 01:44:00 AM
Some months back, I shared with you the story of Roxana, an acquaintance who has embarked upon a mission of walking every street in Paris before her husband's work assignment ends two years from now. It got to me to wondering how many streets I
03/23/2011 01:45:00 AM
It's spring break somewhere and Paris is once again flush with tourists. The bazaar that is the base of the Eiffel Tower is in full swing: lines of visitors waiting their turn to ascend, trinket sellers, ice cream vendors, families with small childre
03/22/2011 02:01:00 AM
Scootering is a very popular and eminently practical way to get around Paris. And it's not just for kids; I often see adults in business attire on their trottinettes but it's rare that I have my camera out at the right moment. Yesterday,
03/21/2011 02:03:00 AM
Yesterday was the annual Jour du Macaron, another excuse for those crazy for the little almond-based sandwich cookies to go whole hog. A number of the top macaron makers in Paris were offering a taste of their wares for free, and I'm willing to
03/19/2011 02:02:00 AM
Drum roll please. The winner of the photo book of some of my favorite Just Another American in Paris images is:
Congratulations, Cherie. Please send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing ad
03/18/2011 02:03:00 AM
I'm thinking that we could all use a little good news right about now.?
The deadline has passed for my blog giveaway. I'll announce the lucky winner tomorrow.