• 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 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 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…

  • image of resident and mounted gendarmes
    Billet d'Humeur/At a Glance,  Life in Paris & France

    Stopped by the Gendarmes

    It is Covid-19 time and I am out for a beautiful, blue-sky morning walk with my camera. The delivery men on bicycles are collecting bags of chocolate for Easter from the chocolate shop on La rue du Pas-de-la-Mule. Walking past Places des Vosges, I passed a cinematographer and a director/producer filming for the gendarmery television network. Two mounted gendarmes were being filmed while questioning and chatting with locals about the document...

  • painting of à la Petite Fabrique
    Chocolate, Sweets & Bakeries,  Life in Paris & France

    Saying Goodbye to Icons in the Bastille Neighborhood

    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.