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  • Chair with stack of books about Paris and Champagne, Hemingway, Angels
    Specific Info

    Prepare Your Visit to Paris, France

    Suitcase? Check! Camera? Check! Walking shoes? Check! Reading material? Prepare in advance with some book ideas! Language? Brush up on that French grammar! Frantastique is my Wednesday exercise. Then when I go shopping or chat on the street, those proper verbs just slide right out ... still studying though! Some of the books in my library are Paris walking tours. They provide enough material to stroll through Paris and explore. Another prepares you with a story and history for your Champagne tasting. David Downie's books are walking tours of history. Each chapter of each book weaves a tale of discovery. Tilar J. Mazzeo's book whisks you into Champagne history with…

  • 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.

  • Chalets along Champs-Elysées for Christmas Market and Santa Claus Pere Noel
    Christmas,  Specific Info

    Champs Elysées Christmas Market No More

    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.

  • David Downie's latest book comes out September 26, 2017
    Book Reviews,  Books & Guides & Writing,  Food, Drink & Health

    David Downie’s Parisian Love Affair with Food

    "A Taste of Paris, A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food" is a fun book in David's style. David combines history, travelogue and a personal quest. David's quest this time: "What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover's paradise?" You can follow his Paris food seduction from 53 BC to the present. Bringing Paris food history alive, David presents lots of written culinary activity between the 1300s and 1792 (end of the Ancien Régime) with all the King Louis's, their chefs and the chefs’ cookbooks. David takes us back to the barbarian Parisiis squatting, eating with no tableware and demonstrates how the…

  • Roms waiting for the next ATM victim
    Life in Paris & France,  Money,  Police

    For the Paris Police Dial 17

    When an emergency arises in Paris or you want to report a problem to the police, dial "17". Today a security guard at the Banque de France helped me after an incident at the BNP Paribas Beaumarchais, Bastille. After speaking with the police on the guard's phone, I noticed the number on his screen "17". I will never forget that number and used it about an hour later. By coincidence the same three teenagers who hassled me earlier at the ATM inside the BNP Paribas were leaving the line one metro train the same time as I walked off. I dialed "17".

  • Lulu dans ma rue homepage for help at home Saint-Paul, Villiers and Commerces areas
    Life in Paris & France,  Neighborhoods

    Lulu Dans Ma Rue On Vacation-Update Success

    From our balconettes (Parisian wrought iron window fences), we are enjoying our carrots - getting fatter every day, fresh cherry tomatoes, and wild strawberries; the plants are blooming. BUT who will water them while we are on vacation? Lulu Anna. The city of Paris (Mairie de Paris) has a service called Lulu dans ma rue (Lulu on my street). Need a helping hand taking things to the cellar (cave)? Ironing? Water your plants?

  • Image from Foire de Paris website new for 2017 Déco Village
    Events and Trade Shows,  Life in Paris & France

    Foire de Paris 2017-Successful Treasure Hunt

    Each year it seems I have a list of items to look for at the Foire de Paris (Paris Home Show) until May 8. This year was no different. I list of treasures to hunt for. Every year nine out of ten of the 500,000 visitors buys something from one of the 1,700 stands. One third of the visitors have a home improvement project in mind when they walk through the entry gates. This year my list included: A new shopping basket because my handles pulled away from the threads. Found it in the Madagascar