• Image of Le Figaro newspaper small business owners
    Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

    Paris: Shopping for Essentials – Who decides?

    Thinking about the holiday shopping ahead? France is working through a vocabulary issue: what is considered essential shopping and what is non-essential? On the morning breakfast show, Télématin, Gabriel Atal, a government spokesperson, said it was unfortunate the government chose the legal form of the word, essential. In other words, deciding what is or is not essential is very controversial. Small businesses are hurting in November Monoprix, a mini-department store (grocery, household, parapharmacy, clothing, toiletries, etc.) was fully open during the first 55-day lockdown. This time, to be in solidarity with the small business, certain departments are cordoned off: books for example. However, magazines are sold because the magazine kiosks and…

  • 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.

  • Choral procession and concert every December Svenska Kyrkan, Paris
    Christmas,  Going Out

    Something Different for Christmas in Paris

    Looking for something out of the ordinary as you prepare for Christmas in Paris? A reader asked me this question, so here are a couple of ideas: the Swedish Church (Svenska Kyrkan), Affären (the Swedish shop and café) and the AAWE bazaar: Sankta Lucia (Sainte Lucie, Saint Lucia, Santa Lucia, etc.) is a choral presentation and procession filled with candlelight. In the procession, the church choir holds candles and sings; the Lucia wears a crown of candles her head. It is a tradition that I experienced when I lived in Stockholm and one that continues here in Paris. The Swedish Church (Svenska kyrkan) (église suedoise) holds this event every year…