My Top Ten Outings for the Fall

PARIS--By October, our tans have faded and we are back to wearing boots and pants, if not parkas, pea coats and sweaters. Even if you see the odd pink coat in the store windows, we are already bracing for the rainy season and at last,...

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Monet’s Giverny Shows How to Cultivate Your Garden

GIVERNY, FRANCE--"One must cultivate one's garden. Il faut cultiver votre jardin." Voltaire's advice, given at the end of Candide, remains ever so relevant, especially when you visit the splendid garden created by the painter Claude Monet in Giverny--now open from April 1rst to October 31rst....

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New Year’s Resolutions à la Française

New Year’s resolutions are vowed year after year-- get fit, stop smoking, eat better, learn something new, spend more time with the family. Sound familiar? Being two weeks into 2014, these same personal goals and promises are probably becoming more and more difficult to uphold with...

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A Different Way of Seeing Paris

Belleville 1A few weeks ago, much to my delight, I discovered a wonderful French walking tour guide named Angénic–who has the keys to Belleville, the trendy working-class district that rivals with Montmartre as the highest point in Paris.

According to her Email directions, we were to meet on the Place Jourdain,  in front of the church that you see as you get out at the Jourdain metro stop on Line 11.  Angénic turned out to have a smile so bright it could light up the Eiffel Tower in case the city every had a blackout.  I will never forget how she began her visit: “In Africa, when one old person dies, they say an entire library burns down.”  With that proverb in mind, 12 years ago, Angénic was prompted to interview the local residents of Belleville–including bakers and hairdressers, bootmakers and hat designers, sculptors and mosaicists, on their personal history and experience of Belleville.