• Sunbather looking into Seine Paris Plages 2020
    Life in Paris & France,  Specific Info

    Paris Plages 2020 Includes Covid Testing

    Paris Plages is carrying on its tradition in 2020 with sun and fun in this "Eté particulier". Circumstances make this a special summer with daily activities under sanitary conditions. Even Covid testing is included in the activities until August 30. Weekends at the Paris Plages (beach) are very busy. However, visit on a Wednesday and the atmosphere is much calmer. You can even find open deckchairs and parasols! The only line is at for Covid testing between 2 and 6 pm. the average wait time is 30 minutes to 2 hours for two different tests: do you have the antibodies and have you had Covid. Paris Plages is open daily…

  • image of rose in the Musée Rodin garden and Rodin's Thinker
    Let's Explore,  Museums

    Lift the Mask and Smell the Rodin Roses

    Alain Baraton recommends the garden at Musée Rodin for the perfume of roses. Colleen’s Paris recommends you hurry before all the petals fall off. It is the end of July. The alternative is to save the date for next year. You will be swept away by the variety of scents. Early Saturday morning, Mr. Baraton convinced me to make the museum’s garden my focus for the morning. He responded to a listener’s question on the radio: If one is in Paris, what garden would he recommend for a garden visit? He saw rabbits in the garden; I saw the Auguste Rodin’s Le Penseur (The Thinker) surrounded by roses in an…

  • image of fountain reflection Les Halles
    Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

    Les Halles and the Mist in Paris

    After walking for the last 20 minutes between the shade of the buildings and the sun, our body temperatures mounted. On this warm, July morning we were sitting in the shade chatting before going into Les Halles. Without warning we received a lovely surprise: a light mist spouted forth from the fountain in the Jardin Nelson Mandela. It lowered our body temperatures and the air around us. We were ready to attack the book section at FNAC!

  • Let's Explore,  Specialty shops

    Artisanal Shop Brings New Flavours to the Bastille

    On my way to the oriental pastry shop Diamande along the Rue Sedaine in the Bastille, I noticed a new just-opened épicerie. I was tempted to stop for a glass of wine on its terrace (i.e., the sidewalk). When I walked into the shop, the man behind the counter looked familiar even behind his mask: the eyes, the Tintin-spiked haircut. “You resemble someone”, I said. “Who”? he asked. I proceeded to say the television personality who visits French producers and chefs riding up on his red and white checkered tricycle. Bingo! Voilà! Loïc Ballet and his childhood friend, Elodie Charras have opened an artisanal shop selling products (condiments, wine, cheese, charcuterie, oils,…

  • image of 2 restaurateurs at Chez Piippo
    Billet d'Humeur/At a Glance,  Life in Paris & France

    New Real Estate for Paris Sidewalk Cafés

    It is June 2. Parisians are in front of a café drinking their coffee, chatting with a table mate under a red awning and a bright blue sky. This sounds so normal. But it is another memorable day in history. The restaurants have gone from strictly take away to serving sit-down customers. Location, location. If the restaurant is lucky enough to front a wide space or a wide sidewalk, tables may legally extend way beyond their normal space for now. Outside dining is de rigueur until Prime Minister Eduoard Philippe's next status announcement  or until it rains.... (Click on the title to read more.)

  • Couple with photographer wearing masks
    Billet d'Humeur/At a Glance,  Life in Paris & France

    Fashionable Paris Masks

    I am no longer desperate to find just any kind of face mask. Finding a mask has transitioned into its fashionable period in Paris. Face masks are no longer hard to find. They come in various shapes, prices and patterns. One day I saw a mask that coordinated with the skirt a girl was wearing. What would you think of fashionable Italian designed masks? The Italian-designed face masks are sold at the Casino grocery store on Rue Chemin du Vert. Piled together in a cardboard box without any fanfare, they sell for 3,50 Euros. They are comfortable, lightweight, washable, perfect for summer. The Italian-designed and imported to France masks include…

  • Image of Parisian sunset and Pont Notre-Dame
    Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

    Paris: 5 Bridges and the Sun Set

    One Saturday evening in Paris along the Boulevard Henri IV I made my way to Pont de Sully and the Quai des Célestins. During my stroll by Notre-Dame de Paris an exhibition is underway. This Saturday I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the city during a special time. The Conciergerie became a silhouette as the earth rotated until the horizon reached the sun, which burst into vibrant yellows and greys.

  • image of the Boucherie Bruno Marché Bastille
    Billet d'Humeur/At a Glance,  Life in Paris & France

    Paris Markets Wrapped in Plastic

    Life at the Parisian market has taken on a new form. The market is wrapped in plastic wrap. I could only look on. The scene was very surrealistic. On May 13 the markets reopened with new sanitary guidelines. The last time I visited the Bastille Market at Boulevard Richard Lenoir was March 22. Plastic crates separated the shoppers to provide distance. On March 23, the Mayor's office closed all outdoor and indoor markets. The ban did not include the grocery stores. Who needs a straw shopping basket ("panier") to carry around anymore? Market shopping is now available online for home delivery. The delivery order goes through Mayor's Office website, takes…

  • Image of the Amelot entrance Repaire de Cartouche
    Billet d'Humeur/At a Glance,  Life in Paris & France

    Le Doggy Bag Concept Expands in Paris

    Paris has a new dining style in 2020: Take Away or in French "emporter" in le "doggy bag". All closed for health reasons, some cafés and restaurants are creatively staying in business. At the entry door is a table, display case of food, posted menus and sometimes flowers welcome walk-up guests to place their order. Using a paper bag to carry out your lunch or dinner in France, got its start in 2010. Le loi Grenelle 2 required restaurants to reduce their biodegradable garbage whence came le doggy bag or "sac à toutou". Home delivery from chocolate to sushi to pizza is catching on with riders on motor scooters and…