• Image of radishes either Radis Flamboyant (flaming radish) or de 18 jour (18-day radish) Colleen's Paris
    Life in Paris & France

    How Do You Eat a French Radish?

    Have you ever thought about how you eat a French radish for an aperitif? You can either bite into it directly or use a French method my husband showed me. Cut the center with a knife and slip in a pat of butter. Butter in France is either doux (sweet) or salé (salted). I could have sprinkled some salt or dipped it in salt, the sweet butter catching the grains. Two other thoughts when eating a radish: Are they in season? and which wine is it paired with? In season, my tastebuds like mildly flavorable and not bitter. Some varieties are spicy. One lunch time, after asking the server for…

  • image emergency passport Colleen's Paris
    Life in Paris & France,  Specific Info

    Passport? Obtain an Emergency Passport

    For the first time in four years, I would be visiting my family in the States. For the past four years, my French passport was my entry to other countries before and after the pandemic. Wednesday afternoon, six days before my departure, while entering information into the airline website, the moment of desperation descended upon me. The expired passport, two business days, a weekend and Labor Day stood between me and the flight. Asking those around me for their experiences helped bring down the tension, but I had to act swiftly. With a quick exchange of emails with the Embassy I received a Friday morning appointment, stood in line with…

  • Detail of no parking handicap and other signs BHV Quincaillerie Hardware department colleensparis.com
    Let's Explore,  Life in Paris & France

    Humorous wall and door signs at BHV

    Are you looking for that very Made in France gift or souvenir with a touch of humor? Have you thought about a French door sign? Yes or no, visit a quincaillerie (hardware store) or BHV (Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville). The department store, BHV has a hardware department with many humorous wall and door sign choices such as house numbers, door signs, occupation, WhatsApp neighbourhood watch, etc. I have known about these signs for a long time, but it was a question that spurred me to share this information. Paul, a Colleen’s Paris readers, asked recently if BHV, was still selling the blue and red Jour/Nuit (day/night) no parking signs.…

  • Bugatti type 35 Jean Luc Decluzeau Salon du Chocolat 2022 colleensparis
    Events and Trade Shows,  Food, Drink & Health,  Going Out,  Life in Paris & France

    The Salon du Chocolat 2022 Offered Fashion and a Chocolate Bugatti

    What do you do with 400 kilos (881 pounds) of chocolate? You build a Bugatti Grand Prix type 35, of course! The Bugatti was one of the numerous creative chocolate sculptures at the Salon du Chocolat’s 27th edition in Paris at Porte de Versailles.  The event is always scheduled for the last weekend in October. When I arrived, I headed past the chocolate sculptures, the chocolate tastings, the bean-to-bar stands and straight to the fashion parade of fifteen chocolate-covered dresses and costumes. The announcer was loud and clear, so the event had begun. With two afternoon start times, I would still see everything.  At the world’s largest event dedicated to cocoa, I…

  • Artisans_Workshop_Tassin_Cuir @colleensparis.com @tassincuir La Maison Tassin
    Let's Explore,  Life in Paris & France,  Neighborhoods

    Life in Paris: Tassin Leather Continues an Upholstery Tradition

    Paris neighbourhoods have gone through gentrification significantly in the 2000s. Along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine n the Bastille is no exception. The furniture manufactures and sales offices have given way to clothing and sports stores. There is hope, however, because La Maison Tassin Cuir (leather) continues an upholstery tradition. Their story includes drama. In 2015, a fire destroyed the company’s artisan workshops. Livelihood, unfinished orders from distant lands and their leather went up in flames. Like a phoenix, however, the Tassin company mobilised and moved into adjoining buildings. The former display room became the workshop. The business offices moved to another neighbourhood. Soon, by relative time standards, the salvaged tools…

  • ham and cheese sandwich the croque monsieur at the grocery store
    History,  Let's Explore,  Life in Paris & France

    How did le Croque-Monsieur get its name?

    Le croque-monsieur (croak-missyou) is THE real French sandwich. It is not just a ham and cheese sandwich made with two pieces of bread. It is toasted and it is famous. Le croque-monsieur is one particular sandwich that has made it's way from the brasserie and bistro to the microwave in France. Diners take photos of meals exquisitely arranged on the plate. Not many take a photo of a sandwich. These foods, however, do share something in common. They are available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

  • A Snow day in Paris Snowman at the Louvre Carrousel
    Let's Explore,  Life in Paris & France

    One Day When It Snowed in Paris

    One day last week the blackbirds (merles in French) were chirping away in a choral cacophony of song at at 5:30 am. I wondered if springtime was around the corner -- in mid-January! That springtime moment was short-lived. Thirty-two departments, including Paris and Ile-de-France, were placed under snow warnings. Saturday was going to be a snow day in Paris. Météo-France and our Echo-dot, Alexa, confirmed that the snow would begin by 11 am Saturday.

  • poster for December 31 Jean-Michel Jarre virtual reality at Notre-Dame de paris
    Going Out,  Life in Paris & France,  Theater-Cinema-Music

    How to You Can Listen to the Concert with Notre-Dame de Paris and Jean-Michel Jarre

    A virtual, free concert at Notre-Dame de Paris is taking place on December 31. The electronic music artist, Jean-Michel Jarre, has prepared an out-of-the ordinary concert. The 45-minute concert is direct from his Paris studio while at the same time an avatar plays from the interior of the virtually reconstituted cathedral. The concert takes place December 31 between 11:25 pm and 12:15 a.m. (CET/Paris time). You can listen online, television, or radio. How to listen to the concert What you will hear The musical agenda includes parts of his recent opus, Electronica, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. The music works of Jeff Mills, Rone, BoysNoize, Armin van Buuren…