Author Archive for Colleen's Paris

This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on Colleensparis.com - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!

Caro and Jeunet – Their Art of Creative Movies Exhibit

Poster for Caro/Jeunet exhibit at Halle Saint Pierre Montmartre until July 31, 2018

Caro/Jeunet is a Paris/Montmartre exhibit (until July 31) for cinema lovers of the out of the ordinary. Some recognizable film examples are Amélie Poulain, Delicatessen, Alien Resurrection, The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, The City of Lost Children. Their film music, special effects, costumes, props are always out of the ordinary. Marc Caro is a graphic novelist and illustrator. Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a director. After the “Alien” success, Jeunet left Hollywood. He wanted to go back to the neighborhood and make a little film with some friends in Montmartre. Voilà! The little film became the global success, the Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain”. I can recommend the exhibit and the tea salon for a very tasty lunch…..

Paris Seine Flooding Routine and the Statue

Image of le Zouave statue, Pont de l'Alma and the Eiffel Tower during Paris Seine flooding

An image on the front page of a Spanish newspaper showed the Seine flooding. This prompted a reader planning a Paris visit to inquire about the situation. Looking back at my photos from 2016, I had some evidence of the river a couple of days after its peak. Each year the Seine’s waters rise, usually as snow melts and reservoirs flood. This year, the Seine seems to be flooding a bit early from heavy rains. The last record for flooding was in June 2016. Le Zouave statue on the Pont de l’Alma is one of the gauges used. Legend says: “When the Zouave’s feet are under water, the Seine is flooded”. Authorities predict the Paris portion of the River Seine could reach 6,20 m by Saturday, January 27. The recent Paris Seine record is 2016 at 6,05-6,10 m.

Saying Goodbye to Icons in the Bastille Neighborhood

painting of à la Petite Fabrique

Living in a small neighborhood of the Bastille, the hardest phrases to hear over the last year have been: “We’re closing and retiring” and “They have sold the shop for their retirement”: Holmes, the stationery store, and now à la Petite Fabrique, the chocolate factory. Holmes was transformed into an upscale Italian restaurant and word is that Alain Ducasse is buying the Petite Fabrique…. The neighborhood in the area of Hugo’s Les Miserables and the French Revolution has gone upscale.

Notre-Dame de Paris, Swedish Music and Candlelight

Adèle Söderberg (1880-1915), Sankta Lucia postcard, God Jul - Merry ChristmasWikimedia Commons

To get you into the holiday spirit a special Swedish-style musical event is held in Paris. The event is always held at the Swedish Church (Svenska kyrkan) and most years at a large church in Paris; Paroisse de la Madeleine, Notre-Dame de Paris. The event is a musical Swedish tradition celebrating lightness during the winter darkness.

Time to Write to the North Pole – Père Noël is Back in Business

Pere Noel and La Poste Secretariat opens today November 9 for letters to Santa

Don’t complain about a full email inbox. Last year, Père Noël (Santa Claus) received around 91,000 emails once the season opened. And it is that time again. Madame and Père Noël’s post office opened November 9. This year, you can email or send a colourful paper letter. Get out the crayons and colourful ideas. The secretariat is part of la Poste France. The elves are working in Libourne in the Gironde region. According a LaDepche.fr, 1.2 million children from over 140 countries wrote paper wish letters addressed to Père Noël”.

Champs Elysées Christmas Market No More

Chalets along Champs-Elysées for Christmas Market and Santa Claus Pere Noel

Two events will effect somebody this latter part of 2017. Planning on the Champs-Elysées Christmas market? Stuck in traffic? It’s like a soap opera or a custody fight in a divorce. Whose side will you be on?
Every year Christmas markets attract 30 million people visitors in France. Fifteen million of those visit one or more of the 250 chalets along the Champs-Elysées for the Paris Christmas market. If you are stuck in traffic this week, the carnival operators are conducting an “escargot” (snail) slowing down and blocking traffic with their semi trucks on the expressways. They want to set up their chalets on the Champs-Elysées.