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Le Citizen Hotel on the Canal St. Martin

As The Hood prepares to close its doors for summer renovations, the coffee shop and bistro launches another exciting project today, partnering with Le Citizen Hotel on a new menu of fresh Asian barbecue dishes.

The Hood’s co-owner, and Masterchef champion, Khanh-Ly Huynh has teamed up with Adelie Delajot, head of the kitchen at Le Citizen, to curate the new menu inspired by both chefs’ signature dishes and styles.

Adelie Delajot (Le Citizen) and Khanh-Ly Huynh (The Hood)

The partnership makes perfect sense not only in terms of timing, but also with regards to each chef’s cuisine and philosophy. While Khanh-Ly looks to her Vietnamese heritage to fuse together Asian and French dishes, Adelie takes her inspiration from afar after spending time in Australia, the U.S.A., and South-East Asia. Both also champion locally sourced produce, small and sustainable producers, going organic where possible, and great coffee! And like The Hood’s well-known music events, Le Citizen also opens its doors to various creative endeavors with after-work events focused around art, music, and gastronomy.

Octopus skewer: The Hood at Le Citizen Hotel

Regulars worried about spending the summer without their bahn mi fix can still find The Hood’s signature sandwiches on the menu, veggie option included, along with light summery dishes such as salad and gazpacho du jour, vegetables pickled in-house, and seasonal fruits. With this being barbecue season there is also plenty of tender pork in the form of ribs and gua bao, and we can certainly vouch for the delicious brochette de poulpe (octopus kebab).

Le Citizen Hotel

Le Citizen will also be serving up its collection of French craft beers, excellent coffee courtesy of Brûlerie Lanni, including a special vegan iced chai latte, and throwing its doors open onto the canal to bring the summer in. Alternatively, the menu is also available to take-away to soak up the sun with a canal-side picnic.

The Asian summer barbecue pop-up will run from July 15 to September from 7am until 10pm. Le Citizen is located on the Canal St Martin at 96 Quai de Jemmapes in the 10th.

The Hood’s space at 80 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud will reopen in September.

The post The Hood Pops up at Le Citizen Hotel This Summer appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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CRÉATURES at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

We can’t get enough of the vegetarian restaurants popping up in Paris these days. One of the most exciting of this bumper crop is CRÉATURES, an ephemeral summer concept on the rooftop at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. Launched in June, it will only be around until mid-October– so RUN, don’t walk, to this trendy hot spot…

CRÉATURES at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

For one thing, you’re privy to one of the finest panoramic views of the city of Paris, the endless skyline punctuated with familiar landmarks including the Eiffel Tower. The famous department store has transformed its rooftop as a veritable summer ecosystem, so not only do you have the vegetarian restaurant, but you also have urban gardens and a mixology bar with creations– both alcoholic and non-alcoholic– based on garden-fresh herbs and plants.

CRÉATURES at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

Chef Julien Sebbag (Moma Group) was tapped to oversee the restaurant, and he’s designed a menu that’s meant to be shared, with dishes prepared right in front of you in an open kitchen. His dishes reflect his Mediterranean roots and a childhood spent between Tel-Aviv and Paris. Think roasted cauliflower, hummus, aubergine pancakes, roasted peaches with feta, strawberries with smoked buffalo mozzarella, and focaccia stuffed with vegetables. Gorgeous salads include cucumber, blackcurrant & basil or fennel, kohlrabi, ricotta, avocado and summer pear.

CRÉATURES at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

We won’t blame you if you want to stay all day. Start with a veggie breakfast, linger until lunch, stroll the gardens, then order up an aperitif to watch the sun go down in style. The space itself has a cool retro vibe, designed with a gazebo, vintage decor sourced from the Paris flea markets, and recycled materials. You’ll also find books and vinyls resembling a curiosity cabinet. Fun perk: You can even browse in a library of self-service vinyl records.

CRÉATURES at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

Open 7 days a week, from 10am to 1am, continuous service.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
The Rooftop-Terrace at Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
25, Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, 9th arrondissement.

CRÉATURES at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

The post Summer Hot Spots: CRÉATURES at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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Fireworks from July 14, 2013 from the Champs de Mars in Paris, in front of the Eiffel Tower, Bastille day 2017. Image credit: Flickr, Yann Caradec

There’s nothing like summer in Paris. The city sets up “beaches” along the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette, with activities galore at Paris Plages. Restaurants and hotels embrace a summery vibe with pop-up events on their terrasses. Museums stage major blockbuster exhibitions. And, if you’re lucky to be in Paris on July 14 for la fête nationale, then you can partake in the big Bastille Day celebrations. The city puts on a great show! Here are the details.

Dazzling fireworks

The 30-minute fireworks show over the Eiffel Tower is spectacular and not to be missed. Many Parisians will pack a picnic and head to spots along the Champ de Mars or Seine riverbank to watch les feux d’artifice. The theme this year is ‘The Federations.’ Keep in mind that the sun sets late in Paris in the summer, hence the fireworks start late (at 11 pm), so if you have children with you, expect a late bedtime.

The fireworks show will be preceded by a grand classical concert– free and open to the public for the 7th consecutive year– at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Starting at 9:30 pm this year, it will feature the Orchestre National de France and the Chœur et la Maîtrise de Radio France.

The Trocadero. Image credit: Flickr, Cedric Lange

Tip: One of the best places to view the fireworks is the Trocadéro, but get there early to stake a spot. Other panoramic spots in Paris for viewing the fireworks include Belleville park and Sacré-Cœur. The

viewing deck also offers a special Bastille Day evening.

To get an idea of these beautiful fireworks, check out Meredith Mullins’ photo essay.

Parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées

The day’s celebrations kick off with a military parade on the famous avenue. Expect to see elite military units, army bands, and a flyover of fighter jets streaming the French national colors in streams behind them. Timing: President Macron will arrive at 10:10 am, the parade officially starts at 10:30 am and concludes at 11:45 am.

A rehearsal of the Military Parade on Bastille Day held July 14, 2017. Image credit: Flickr, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Firemen’s Balls

Bastille Day is also synonymous with traditional Bals des Pompiers (Fireman’s Ball), which take place on the 13th and 14th of July at fire stations in all arrondissements of the city. You will often see groups of firemen in uniform selling tickets on the street prior to the events. These are merry good fun, and often last until the wee hours. The money collected from admissions benefits the fire department staff and facilities.

Image credit: Unsplash, ardianlumi Seine River Cruise

Of course the best way to get up close and personal with the fireworks is to view them from the water, and the city’s river cruise companies pull out all the stops to throw a good party. (Note that there’s often a price tag to match.) Dinner cruises include Ducasse sur Seine, Bateaux Parisiens, Bateaux Mouches, and La Marina (Paris City Vision). Note that Vedettes du Pont Neuf offers a one-hour champagne cruise for 17 euros.

Bastille Day, taken on the Pont de la Concorde overlooking the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero and the Seine. Image credit: Joshua Veitch-Michaelis Hotel Parties & Events

The city’s hotels and restaurants get in on the action with fun themed events. At the Hoxton Paris, for example, there will be Pétanque and Margaritas to celebrate Bastille Day on the new La Riviera terrasse. A welcome drink is included in the fun. Across town, Hotel Plaza Athénée is planning a special Bastille Day Brunch on Sunday, July 14. The breakfast room and La Cour Jardin will be decked out in blue, white and red and Bakery Chef, Guillaume Cabrol, will offer a variety of breads (including gluten-free options, and his famous Gugelhupf and chocolate puff pastry brioche). Award-winning pastry chefs Angelo Musa and Alexandre Dufeu have come up with tempting treats, as well.

courtesy of Hotel Plaza Athénée

The post Where to Celebrate Bastille Day, le 14 Juillet, in Paris appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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Set in one of the historic Art Deco buildings designed by Jean Walter between 1929 and 1931 (a Parisian architectural landmark) and situated in one of the most desirable areas of the elegant 16th arrondissement, on the border of the beautiful Bois de Boulogne, this majestic family apartment of nearly 500sqm benefits from extraordinary volumes and views on the Tour Eiffel and on the residential gardens of the nearby mansions.

The property, on the noble second floor of this beautiful building, extends over 3 levels, communicating between them through vast reception spaces, beautiful staircases and corridors. The very high ceilings give a sense of incredible vastness; the very large windows, opening on the airy and green surroundings, assure light and majesty to the exceptional volumes of the astounding reception area.

This is a very sought-after Art Déco Walter building. Ideal for a large family (8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms) and for great receptions. This extraordinary and unique apartment, originally designed for a large family, requires rather extensive renovation works, which can however represent a unique opportunity to eventually re-adapt the floor plan to the needs of modern living by creating even additional reception areas. We love the feeling of living as if we were in the setting of a 1930s painting by Tamara de Lempicka.

Price: €6,500,000

[contact-form-7]

The post For Sale: Incredible 8 Bedroom Triplex in a Famous Art Deco Building appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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Fauchon L’Hotel. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Holding a glass of champagne and nibbling on a madeleine, I looked out across Boulevard Malesherbes to the Morris column which young Marcel Proust in his In Search of Lost Time consulted every morning for news of his favorite actress. The fashionable Fauchon L’Hotel, a new kid on the block of Paris’s luxury hotels, sits at the corner of Place de la Madeleine and Boulevard Malesherbes, a truly Proustian corner of Paris, and would have suited him to the ground. But while many of the trendy Parisian hotels can be a little ostentatious and intimidating, the small – only 54 rooms and suites -Fauchon L’Hotel bucks the trend and rides the understated elegance wave.

Fauchon L’Hotel. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

The hotel’s tagline is ‘La rose est le couleur de homme qui ose’, pink is the color of a man who dares, and pink is the accent color throughout the property. From the ties of the welcoming concierge to the notepads and pens in the rooms, and the gigantic mini bar, dubbed gourmet bar, found in the superior and deluxe rooms, and the deluxe and junior suites. Ah, yes, the gourmet bar…

Fauchon L’Hotel. Fauchon L’Hotel. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

That madeleine I was nibbling and the champagne, of course pink, all came from that gourmet bar. And while a minibar with goodies is nothing new in hotel rooms, at Fauchon they are a little different. Obviously Fauchon already has the edge when it comes to delicatessen and all sorts of delectable goodies, with the first delicatessen store opening on Place de la Madeleine back in 1886, and in the hotel they pop some of those in the gourmet bar for their guests to enjoy. For free, and replenished every day. So, with the champagne you could nibble on crackers with some foie gras, tapenade, or rillettes Saint-Jacques; or maybe some nougat, salty caramels bonbons, or Earl Grey biscuits, or maybe just some of the macarons tempting you from the coffee table.

Fauchon L’Hotel. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Fauchon L’Hotel is all about indulgence, and living life to the full. That not only includes champagne and delectable nibbles, but also a Carita Spa offering pampering treatments, and a gym, should you start feeling guilty. But, seriously, who needs a gym when you have Paris’s fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré on the doorstep? Just walk and shop the calories off.

Fauchon L’Hotel. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Being a small hotel, it is all about the small, personal touches. Nougat and sweets stand on every surface, the staff knows you and is ready to show you around, and then there are some seriously luxurious indulgences you can opt – and pay – for, as well: How about Shoes in my Suite, or Bags in My Suite? In each case the top designers from said Faubourg will come to your suite bringing with them tempting merchandise. Think Louboutin, Hermès bags, Dior, Chanel. So, if you are serious about having a fashionable stay and indulging, go right ahead.

Fauchon L’Hotel. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Me, I left any further indulgences until breakfast when I started off with the best intentions with a lovely green detox juice and a fluffy egg-white omelette, only then to blow it all on the warm croissants and Fauchon nutty chocolate spread. Oh, and a glass of champagne. The Fauchon experience is all about treating yourself, right?

Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris, 4 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008
Tel: +33 (0)1 87 86 28 00
Rates start around 600 euros a night.

Fauchon L’Hotel. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

The post A Delicious Stay at Fauchon L’Hotel in Paris appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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Credit image © Unsplash. devetpan

It is summer in Paris and it is coming in with a vengeance. One great way to escape the heat is to spend a day at one of the many museums in Paris. Some are air-conditioned and a few even have the vents in the floors (which makes for a nice little cooling break when you stand over them). While the heat from the crowds will still rival even the best air conditioner, it is still a great way to find relief and take in amazing art at the same time. There are some fantastic exhibitions taking place this summer.

One of the season’s most anticipated exhibits is one dedicated to Berthe Morisot, one of the only women painters of the French Impressionist movement. With her dark locks and stunning gaze, she was the perfect model for Édouard Manet and would model for some of his pieces. However, she became an artist in her own right, creating paintings that showed everyday family life– forging her own path in the male dominated Impressionists.

As a young girl, Berthe and her sister Edma would visit the Louvre as young art students and spend their day copying paintings. Here they would also meet the great painters of the day, including Manet. Artist Henri Fantin-Latour took his friend Édouard Manet one day to the Louvre to meet Morisot who was copying a Rubens painting; it would be the start of a very long friendship. Following Manet’s shocking of the Parisian Salon with Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’herbe, he was looking for a new model, and Berthe would have everything he wanted. In 1868, Manet would paint The Balcony for which Berthe would pose after much apprehension. Being a model for an artist was not the profession for a woman of society in Paris at the time.

Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (in mourning for her father), 1872, Musée d’Orsay © Public domain

Continuing to work with Manet for six years, he would capture her many times including his hauntingly beautiful painting, Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets that can be seen in the Musée d’Orsay. Theirs was a relationship built on great respect and love between two artists. In 1874, she would marry Édouard’s brother, Eugène Manet– a marriage that would give her the time to focus on her art. She painted the simple moments of a woman’s everyday life and those between a mother and child often outside under the trees or in an opened field. Her soft inviting images rivaled that of many of the men of the Impressionist movement.

The exhibition of the Musée d’Orsay on view until 22 September is the first of its kind in Paris since the 1941 expo dedicated to Morisot. The exhibition includes pieces gathered from private collections, many of which have never been on view in France, alongside works gathered from many Paris museums. The granddaughter of Rococo artists Jean-Honoré Fragonard was fiercely independent for the day and through this exhibit, you will see how she broke the glass ceiling of the male dominated profession.

To discover more of Berthe Morisot, visit the Musée Marmottan-Monet where you will find an entire room dedicated to her sketches, photos and paintings, including Manet’s Portrait of Berthe Morisot Reclining. The museum itself is a treasure and a must for any Impressionist lover; after all it holds the painting that named the movement.

Berthe Morisot (The rest), 1869, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence © Public domain

Also open in Paris until 21 July at the Musée Maillol is the collection of Emil Buhrle that includes many Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings including art by Manet, Pissaro, Monet, Degas, Sisley, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Cézanne. This will be the last time the collection is seen in Paris before it moves to its permanent location in Zurich; do not miss it.

The first half of the 19th century in Paris was dominated by Romanticism– sweeping through the canvas, sheet music and in the pages of some of the most beloved French names. The Petit Palais and the Musée de la Vie Romantique are holding a joint exhibition focusing on the years following the fall of Napoleon in 1815 to 1848.

The Petit Palais. Image credit © Timothy Tolle

The Palais des Tuileries may be nothing more than a memory today, but during these years, it was the residence of the Head of State and the site of the most glamorous parties. The Palais that was burned down is brought back to life in paintings and through the interior recreated from pieces that belonged to one of its most beloved figures, the Duchesse de Berry. If there is one thing that springs to mind when you think of the Romantique movement, it is the art by Eugène Delacroix. Along with fellow artists Théodore Géricault, Chassériau and Ingres, their grand paintings of scenes from history and from the pages of the great poets using color and light would have the Salon talking and inspiring artist for generations to come. In the middle of the Romantic Era, one author stood out above the rest, Victor Hugo. Featuring a hunchback that fell in love with a gypsy at Notre Dame de Paris, his 1831 book gave new life to the cathedral that had fallen in disrepair. The love story would reignite a fascination of the Middle ages, Gothic architecture and old Paris. His book became a bestseller again in 2019 following the fire at Notre Dame. Victor Hugo continues to spark interest through Esmeralda and Quasimodo all these years later.

The exhibition continues at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, the secluded museum that was once the home of Dutch artist Ary Scheffer and where the pillars of the Romantic Movement would gather. George Sand and Chopin, Dickens, Delacroix, Hugo and Balzac could all be found on any given day. Today the museum is dedicated to this time and holds memorabilia of George Sand. The exhibit itself focuses on the writers of the era and the grand Salons and their hosts.

François-Louis Dejuinne’s 1826 rendering of Juliette Récamier in her fourth-floor chambers at Abbaye-aux-Bois. Image credit © Public domain

It is hard to get past the stunning painting of Madame Juliette Récamier lounging on her chaise with a book resting gently on her lap. Purchase the combined ticket to visit both of these great exhibits until 15 September and plan to sit in the lovely garden, pretending you are back in this beautiful era. Download the app before you go and after visiting the museums, the app will send you on a treasure hunt to find what remains of this beautiful period in Parisian history.

Portrait of Dora Maar, Paris, 1937 at Musée Picasso. Image credit © Flickr, Yann Caradec

Dora Maar may be best known for being the lover and muse of Picasso, but she was an artist in her own right. At the Centre Pompidou for only a few weeks more than 500 pieces are brought together displaying the talent of Maar. Beginning as a photographer in the 1920s, she captured the effects of the Depression and eventually lead her to fashion and advertising work. Surrealism was beginning to sweep into Paris and this was reflected in her work. Man Ray and Jean Cocteau would use the ebony haired beauty with deep eyes in their own photographs. Although any mention of Maar always leads to Picasso. It was Maar that encouraged the Spanish artist to create one of his best known works Guernica.

Image credit © Pixabay, Almudena_Sanz_Tabernero

Documenting the process on film, from start to finish, Maar captured and pushed Picasso to use his art to make a statement of the atrocities of war. Their relationship would be volatile most of the time and would last over eight years. Maar was always an interesting figure that was prone to fits of depression. Picasso would paint her as the “weeping woman” many times, saying that it was how he saw her. Once away from Picasso she began to paint. His influence is easy to see in her early works, but she would find her own voice and step out of his shadow. Sadly, most of her art is unknown, until now. Running until 29 July, this exhibition digs deeper and opens up the life of a woman that has a story that should be told. After the exhibit walk to St Germain and sit in Square Laurent-Prache next to the Église de Saint Germain des Prés where Dora Maar can be found in a sculpture by Picasso. The monument to poet Guillaume Apollinaire doesn’t have much to do with the man himself. When Picasso was commissioned to create a piece for his friend, he made the process very difficult and in the end said he would do whatever he wanted or nothing at all. The sculpture of Dora Maar in the end may be his own remembrance of her as well.

Musee de l’ Armee. Credit: Flickr, Michael McCarthy

You will find more Pablo Picasso at the Musée de l’Armee exhibition of Picasso and the War until 28 July. It’s an interesting exhibition that spans his entire life and how conflict worked its way into his art long before and after Guernica. At the Musée Picasso, until 25 August, Calder-Picasso reflects on two of the biggest figures of the 20th century and the way they looked at the absence of space. The permanent collection is also constantly changing, so even if you have been before, it is great to see again.

For the photography fan, one museum should always be on the list to see. The Jeu de Paume in the Jardin des Tulieries holds many exhibitions at the same time. Housed in what was the tennis court to the king and later the depot of confiscated art, the building itself holds its very own long history. This summer a show by American photographer Sally Mann gives a glimpse into life in the south. The black and white photos are haunting and beautiful showing the delicate and at times hard life of its subjects. Also on display until 22 September is the photography of Marc Pataut titled, Proximities. The French photographer frequently captures images during protests since 1981 giving faces to the struggle. It is also his amazing close-up portraits of his subjects that will be hard to turn away from and leave you wanting to know more.

Musée du Louvre. Credit © Unsplash, tannnpro

The Musée du Louvre will host the hotly anticipated exhibit dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci in October but until then one should not miss the new exhibition dedicated to the drawings of Antoine-Jean Gros. The star student of Jacques-Louis David was an early adaptor and pioneer of the Romantic Movement. The show includes hundreds of drawings, paintings and studies from the Musée du Louvre collection, including one of a young General Bonaparte. Gros would go onto inspire Delacroix and Géricault.

Speaking of Delacroix, don’t miss the Musée Eugène-Delacroix, the sweet small museum off Place du Furstenberg is a hidden oasis off the bustling streets of Paris. Here you spend your time walking into the final residence and studio of the French romantic painter. Until 30 September you get a glimpse into what life in an atelier was really like. With objects that belonged to Delacroix and other artists alongside paintings of the artists studios of Frédéric Bazille, Renoir and Picasso, it is a fascinating glimpse looking behind the curtain and into their private spaces.

Still open and running until 15 September is the grand exhibit Tutankhamun, the Treasures of the Pharaoh. This is the last time you will have an opportunity to see the life of the child king outside of Giza. With over 150 pieces, 50 of which have never left Egypt before, it is a gold gilded extravaganza. The life of King Tut is one we have seen for decades in photos, documentaries and books but seeing these pieces up close is almost indescribable. The crowds are large, but do not let that keep you away; be sure to purchase your tickets in advance.

This list can go on and on, delving into the wonderful things you can find in the museums of Paris. Follow along on Instagram, Bonjour Paris and @claudinebleublonderouge, for a closer look at each and every one.

Image credit © Pixabay, Skitterphoto

The post Summer Art Exhibitions in Paris: What to See in the City appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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Louis Blériot’s “Blériot XI” airplane at the Musée des arts et métiers. Photo: Fern Nesson

In Paris, it’s a delight to visit the permanent collections of lesser known museums. One such gem is found in the Upper Marais district. The Musée des Arts et Metiers is an industrial design museum housed in the former priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs (60 rue Réaumur, 3rd arrondissement).

The Conservatoire national des arts et métiers was founded in 1794 by Henri Grégoire as a museum of technological innovation. After a renovation and expansion in 2000, the museum now exhibits over 2,400 scientific instruments and inventions. These are divided into seven different collections: Scientific instruments, Materials, Energy, Mechanics, Construction, Communication and Transport.

Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson

The museum’s collection is renowned but the museum is worth visiting for its beautiful interiors alone.

The highlight of the collection is the original Foucault’s Pendulum, first exhibited at the International exhibition of Paris in 1855. The device demonstrates the rotation of the Earth. In the courtyard, you’ll also find the original model of Liberty Enlightening the World (AKA the Statue of Liberty) by Auguste Bartholdi.

Closed Mondays. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Full-price ticket is eight euros.

Related article: Favorite Museums in Paris, Our Experts Share Recommendations

Foucault’s Pendulum at Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson Foucault’s Pendulum at Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson Antique engine. Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson Antique engine. Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson Antique car. Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson Louis Blériot’s “Blériot XI” airplane. Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson Antique engine. Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson Antique engine. Musée des Arts et Metiers. Photo: Fern Nesson

The post Photo Essay: Explore the Musée des Arts et Metiers in Paris appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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Credit: Unsplash, norbuw

There is no doubt that Paris has attracted Americans ever since America was born. The bond between the two countries, formed more than two centuries ago out of mutual desire for independence and sovereignty, has only gotten stronger thanks to the continuous cultural exchange between the two nations. Thomas Jefferson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, these are the great names that first come to mind. But how about 21st-century expats? Who are the new Americans in Paris?

I recently interviewed a group of women who have made Paris their home, by choice or by chance. Their stories might be different but their love for the city is a common denominator, and they are all, unsurprisingly, artists and creators.

Geni Mermoud is a street photographer. She was born in Cocoa, Florida, and lived in Birmingham, Alabama for many years, so she simply considers herself a Southern girl. She has been living in Paris for over 25 years.

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Alesa Gawlik is a freelance web designer and content manager. Born in Wichita, Kansas, and educated in West Virginia, she moved to France five years ago, three of them spent in Paris. 

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Georgianna Lane is a well-known photographer and author of several books, one of them being “Paris In Bloom”. A Southern California native, she fell in love with Paris as a teenager, when she first visited Paris with her mother. She has lived part-time in France for the last six years. 

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Chris Wright is the owner of a luxury stationery company. Born in Portland, Oregon, she made her way to Paris via Germany, where she had lived for ten years. Now, after living in Paris for the last six years, she feels she has found her home. 

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Having first-hand knowledge of expat life myself, I had to ask what the hardest adjustment to life in France was. 

Aligre Market, Marché d’Aligre Beauvau. Credit: Flickr, UI International Programs

For Geni, there were quite a few things at first. “Getting used to the food, language barriers, in-laws, big city life, the French, etc. I think the worst time I had of it, though, was when my kids were in French schools,” she says. “Things are very different here in education. I found myself ranting and raving a good deal of the time about all the things I found to be inexplicable and illogical. Quite often I did my ranting and raving at the school to other parents and to the staff and have even taken that show directly to the principal’s office.” 

Chris agrees on the language barrier. “I’m an American, and French pronunciation has been a real challenge. German was easier for me.”

For Alesa, who arrived in France as a student, life on campus was a difficult adjustment. “No one really seemed interested in making new friends (very different from the U.S. college experience) and I found it difficult to get my foot in the door with the Frenchies.”

“I’ve also had a hard time adjusting to the schedule,” she adds, “having to eat between 12:00-14:00, or not again until 19:30 because the restaurants close, stores closing so early and not being open on Sundays. Five years in and it’s still hard for me.”

Credit: Pixabay, skeeze

Gerogianna found the transition easy and life in France very comfortable, except maybe for the well-known aspect of bureaucracy. “I love Parisians and their way of life,” she says. “It makes me incredibly joyful and grateful for every moment I spend in the city. We are currently looking for a place in the French countryside to establish a new studio for me and to hold workshops. I have yet to deal with all the paperwork and legalities that will involve so perhaps that will prove to be an adjustment!”

Speaking of paperwork and formalities, Alesa has some great advice for newcomers. She recommends getting a printer/scanner so you can get all your documents printed at home, which will save money, time, and effort. And since we are talking about advice for Americans thinking of relocating to Paris, she adds: “Join an expat group (there are a few great ones on Facebook) for moral support, as well as tips from others who have been through the same thing. But don’t spend all your time with other Americans and do learn French! You’ll get so much more out of the city and the language offers so many insights into the French way of thinking and living.”

Chris shares this opinion as well: “Learn the language and culture,” she says. “To truly experience a country and culture, you must integrate yourself. Forget about how Americans do it and learn how the French do it. Learning and respecting the culture of a country will enhance your experience, and you will evolve as a human being.”

“I’d say, “Eat your Wheaties!”,  because you need to be ready for big changes in the way you do things”, adds Geni. “But seriously, my best advice is that you don’t apply your American logic to solving French situations. As soon as I realized that, my life here became so much easier. Learn to see things like a Parisian!”

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France. Credit: sgabriel

Georgianna’s answer concludes on the same note. As daunting as the logistics may seem, she has a positive approach to it all. She adds: “My advice for Americans thinking of relocating to Paris is to do it sooner rather than later. You will gain so much and grow so much that you’ll regret any time that you weren’t living in Paris! Don’t be daunted by the paperwork or immigration. It can all be solved.”

Even after many years of living in France and adapting to French culture, they all agree that they do miss the simplicity and convenience of everyday life in their home country. That being said, they truly appreciate the way France has shaped their lives and careers. “France, and Paris in particular, have been huge inspirations for my work since I was young,” Georgianna says. “The Impressionists, the great garden designers, the gorgeous architecture have all been important influences. So I would definitely say that I would not have achieved the same level of success in my career without my connection to France.”

Fellow photographer Geni adds: “I don’t think I would have had as much enjoyment or success with my photography had I not lived in Paris. There is an endless supply of photo opps here!”

Credit: Unsplash, dnovac

I am curious to find out what they love the most about Paris. “Café life”, says Geni. “There’s nothing like whiling away hours with a friend or two at a well-placed-for-watching-the-world-go-by Parisian café. Make it a Sunday morning with a couple of croissants and it’s heaven on earth.”

For Georgianna, it is the attention to detail that pervades everything French. “Just the way a florist beautifully wraps a bouquet or a shop person presents you with a small purchase can make you feel on top of the world,” she says.

Alesa agrees with Geni about café culture being so utterly Parisian and thoroughly enjoyable. She also appreciates how walkable the city is, and how surprising it can be, even after all this time: “You could spend a lifetime wandering the streets and still stumble upon something you’ve never seen before.”

Chris finds it difficult to pick favorites. “It’s impossible to have a favorite thing in France. The culture is so rich, there is so much to enjoy and discover. Every region has its own beauty and speciality. They are true artisans, as they study their trades for years before carrying the title.”

Credit: Unsplash, frankiefoto

With Independence Day approaching, I ask everyone if they still celebrate the 4th of July. But for these well-adjusted Parisians, the national holiday is now Bastille Day – understandably so. Except for Georgianna, who ends on a humorous note: “A little celebration for July 4th, no matter where you are in the world, is always appropriate and fun! My English husband usually offers his condolences on the day.”

Want to find out more about our interviewees and see what they contribute daily to French art and culture? You can find them on Instagram, and from there expand your search further. 

Geni Mermoud – @geeparee22

Georgianna Lane – @georgiannalane

Chris Wright – missparfaite

Alesa Gawlik – @parisbonnenouvelle and @uh_lisa_g

The post The New Americans in Paris (Happy July 4th!) appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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Credit: Unsplash, spicymeatball

You have dreamed your whole life to go to Paris, so what is holding you back? Maybe your significant other or best friend would rather spend a vacation on a beach or hiking on a mountain, but you want to stroll the cobblestones and start every morning with a warm croissant and café on a terrace. I am here to tell you if you want to go, GO!

Paris is one of the easiest cities to visit alone and I have done it more than ten times now. It is easy to navigate, safe, and there are plenty of things to do. When I am in Paris I spend much of my time researching French history, strolling through museums and spending hours sitting on a terrace enjoying a glass or four of French wine. However, the beauty of Paris is that you can make it all your own and anything you want.

Credit: Unplash, dezjeff

My first trip to Paris, many years ago when a friend used her airline miles to get me a ticket, I arrived to visit the city that I had loved even before I ever set foot in it. It was to be a short, six-day trip and then onto Florence where my friend lived. After two days, she said to me one hot and muggy day, “I think you should go back to Paris.” The thought of turning around by myself and heading back to Paris at first sounded pretty scary, but after a lovely lunch and lots of wine, it sounded better and better. A ticket was purchased, hotel secured, and the next day I was back on a plane, heading straight to Paris.

Arriving at Orly, luggage in hand and off to grab a taxi I went. Well, so I thought. Following the taxi signs, I was approached by a man asking if I needed a taxi, well how easy can this be, Oui Oui! As we walked towards the cars, we stopped at a motorcycle. With my large luggage in tow, wondering how this was going to happen and picturing myself dying on the way into the city of love, I told myself that I could do this. Strapping my suitcase and myself, and gripping for my life, it was onto Paris. If you have been in a car on a Paris highway you will recall seeing the motorcycles zipping in-between cars, well this guy wasn’t any different.

Credit: Ujnsplash, projct33

Half way through the trip, my sweaty hands loosened their grip and before I knew it, we were flying by the Jardin du Luxembourg and Place Saint Michel. I wanted to let go and open my arms and embrace being back in Paris, but let’s not get too crazy. It took under 30 minutes during rush hour to get to my hotel, cost about twice as much as it should have, but for the 75 euros I bought a since of freedom I didn’t even know I had, and that is priceless. I was standing on the Pont des Arts as sunset fell and knew I was exactly where I should be. [Editor’s note: The taxi ride from the airport has a fixed price now, mandated by law: 50 euros from CDG to the right bank, 55 euros to the left bank; 30 euros from Orly to the left bank, and 35 euros from Orly to the right bank.]

When you travel on your own, the whole day is open to you– as is the city. If you want to spend four hours in the Cour Puget of the Musée du Louvre, you can. Perhaps walking aimlessly through the streets on an early Sunday morning stopping along the way at a café for that perfect croissant is more on your agenda; you can do that as well. Your time is yours to do with as you would like, so soak it all in.

Montmartre, Paris. Credit: Unsplash, clematc

There are a few things to keep in mind when you plan that solo voyage. Location and safety being the biggest but don’t let any of that scare you. For myself, I stay fairly central on the left or right bank which is a lovely walk to the museums where I spend a lot of my time. Saint Germain is a bustling area at all hours of the day and late into the evening and walking late into the night is never a problem. As a solo woman traveling, I recommend staying in Saint Germain, the Marais, Opera and Latin Quarter areas, especially if you will be walking at night. I have never had a moment that I did not feel safe walking in Paris, even if it was the wee hours of the morning. Be aware of your surroundings and your belongings at all times and walk with confidence and you won’t have any problems.

One of the greatest pleasures in Paris is the delicious food, and traveling alone should not stop you from enjoying every single morsel. One of the advantages of traveling alone is that you are able to meet some wonderful people and a restaurant is the perfect place to make some connections. It is not uncommon to see many people eating alone day and night reading a book or channeling their inner Hemingway and writing away. Lunch is a great way to enjoy some of the best restaurants in Paris and save a little money as well. Inside the café may be a bit intimidating and if that’s the case, grab one of the iconic Paris café chairs on the terrace and as a bonus it comes complete with a live show as people pass by you. The Parisian terrace is the solo traveler’s best friend and the close seats can lead to wonderful conversations.

Credit: Unsplash, disguise_truth

Getting around Paris is very easy either on foot or by metro. I firmly believe the best way to see Paris is to walk the many cobbled streets. The true sense of Paris can only be found on foot by the savvy flâneur, when you take your time and find all sorts of hidden gems and historical facts that you would miss whizzing through the underground. But if some sites are located a bit farther than a slow stroll allows, the metro is a quick and easy way to venture out to them. Paris just announced their new Navigo pass that is great for the visitor and replaces the metro tickets that would frequently become demagnetized as I have found out more times than I would like. At many of the entrances of the metro stations, you will find an attendant who can help you purchase the card and load your amount. There are also multilingual, easy-to-use kiosks where you can buy individual tickets or reload your card.

Parisian walkway. Credit: Unsplash, tcrawlers

There are a few things to watch out for on the metro. You might run into scammers trying to sell you tickets, distracting you at the kiosk to pickpocket you, or grabbing and stealing your phone just as the doors close and they leap out of the metro car. But keep this in mind. Over a million people travel on the Paris metro system every single day without problems. Following a few safety tips will have you mastering it like a pro. When on the metro, try not to stand too close to the door; in peak hours this could be hard to avoid, if you have no choice just be aware of your belongings. A cross body purse with a zipper closure, worn on the front of your body, is your best bet. When in the situation of a large group of people, simply put your hand over the closed opening of your purse. This gives the would-be thief the impression you are paying attention and not an easy target. One other little tip dans le métro is to avoid eye contact. Making eye contact with a man on the metro is an invitation for contact. (Maybe that is what you want, and after all, you are in the City of Love.) But keep in mind that French men are not shy, so just be sure it’s a welcome advance before you start batting those lovely lashes.

There is nothing stopping you as the solo female traveler in Paris, however, if you have a day when you want to meet other people there are some great ways to do it. A walking tour is a fantastic option to connect with fellow travelers. There are many offered all over Paris (Context Travel is a Bonjour Paris favorite), and simply pick a theme that interests you and join the fun. You will spend a few hours with people that share the same curiosities as you, and many tours, including my own, end with a drink at a café where you can really connect with others over a glass of Champagne.

Credit: Unsplash, kchance8

Speaking of wine, another great place to meet people is at the local wine bars. A more relaxed and fun environment then the terrace cafes, the standup wine bars turn into a party later in the night and it’s impossible not to have a great time. At the Odéon treasure by Yves Camdeborde, L’avant Comptoir de la Terre, any given night turns into an Elton John sing-a-long while you dine on Brochette Foie Gras Piquillos and the Champagne never stops flowing. You are all friends by the end of the night.

If you want to go to enjoy all the beauty that is Paris, I hope you take all this as your permission to go do just that. Paris will feed your soul and mine finally came alive that first night I arrived by myself. Nothing should keep you from sitting in one of those green Luxembourg chairs, a great book in your hand, as the hours tick away under the shade of the trees around the Fontaine Médicis. After all, we only live once and these moments should not be missed. Now I think back to that motorcycle taxi ride from Orly and how scared I was at that moment and where it lead me to today as my arms are wrapped around a Frenchman and on the back of a motorcycle with a bottle of Champagne in my bag as we race to the Champ-de-Mars. Well, I would not change a single thing.

If you are looking to travel solo to Paris and have any questions, feel free to reach out. Happy to inspire and push you to take the leap, you won’t regret it.

Eiffel Tower, Paris. Credit: Unsplash, paulmatheson

The post Solo Female Travel to Paris: Tips for Navigating the City of Light appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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This duplex apartment, comprising 2 rooms and 65m ², is located on the famous and prized Boulevard Saint-Germain, right near the Café de Flore, in the 6th district of Paris. This apartment is in a quiet building of high standing, equipped with an elevator  and secured by the presence of a concierge. Quite luminous, this flat gives onto a courtyard. Located on the 4th and 5th floor, it’s composed of a living room and well-equipped kitchen on one floor, and, on the other floor, a bedroom with high ceilings and a bathroom.

The hallway offers the potential of adding an office, while a small mezzanine with a Velux offers storage or an additional sleeping possibility. Modifying the bathroom and making a second bedroom is also possible. A cellar completes this property. Saint-Germain des Près is one of the most famous neighborhoods is Paris, famous for its church, cafés, and boutiques.

Price on application.

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The post For Sale: Duplex Apartment on Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris appeared first on Bonjour Paris.

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