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Paris vu du Ciel de Yann Arthus-Bertrand

August 2, 2010

Rather than pretend I have a good post prepared, here is a very relevant video, sent to me by the beautiful Eglantine (translation is Paris, as seen from the Heavens):

New York Times, the 10th and the Louvre

July 30, 2010

Built in 1672, the monument is the site of a former gate through the walls of fortified Paris.

Last week the New York Times published a piece by Benji Lanyado in the travel section entitled “Europe without Hotels,” and of course, began with Paris. The story was mostly about services like AirBnB.com, one of a plethora of short term apartment rental websites that are popping up and taking over the hospitality industry.

Although it’s worth reading for the information therein, I have a couple of bones to pick about this article.

First and foremost, it makes no mention of this Times article, which discusses exactly the topic of short-term rentals and how the government considers them illegal. He even mentions, briefly, that this is the case, but does not talk about the other article at all. Okay, so we would call that editorial oversight, whoops.

However my main issue with the article is this quote: “Not bad for an entire apartment with a full kitchen and bathroom, less than 10 minutes by foot from the Louvre.”

The inscription "LUDOVICO MAGNO" translates as "To Louis the Great," referring to Louis XIV

This guy had an apartment on Rue du Faubourg St. Martin, a great street in the same arrondissement as I was living in, the 10th. In fact, it is parallel with my street, la Rue du Faubourge St. Denis, but two blocks farther east. It wishes it could be as cool as my street. We have more markets, better cafés a better people watching scene, and a much better triumphal arch, la porte de St. Denis (pictured above) than the crappy Porte de St. Martin. But my prejudices are unimportant, because my street is farther west, therefore closer to the Louvre, and there’s no way to reach it, by foot, in 10 minutes. My guess was approximately 20 minutes, possibly a minute or two less while walking like a  New Yorker.

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Back in the States!

July 28, 2010

One of the Art Nouveau Guimard entrances at Réamur Sébastopol

With only two weeks to go, 1,500 photos to sift through, and a 350-page book to research, I got caught up with reporting and didn’t write any more posts after the 14th of July.

I had plenty of adventures and the notes and photographs to back them up. Now that I’m back in the States (as of Friday) and writing again (as of today), I’ll be posting until I run out of fresh content as I update the Dummies guide.

For all of those faithfuls who checked the blog every day, thank you, thank you. I will do my best to make sure it’s never empty for more than a day or two in between. Hold your breath for a post involving the New York Times!

And look at the new banner! Photoshop sure knows how to make a panorama!

Please Excuse Me!

July 20, 2010

Dear Concerned Readers,

As some have noticed, I disappeared again for much too long! Let me explain:

In the last two weeks, I realized how little time I have left. So every minute is spent running around, snapping photos (I have over a thousand now!), collecting info, and generally flane-ing all over the city. At points I’ve gotten home so exhausted I can’t even think about editing images and posting!

But, coming up I promise you postings documenting Bastille day celebrations, trips to Versailles and Fontaineblau, stories about the 10th arrondissement, Montmartre, and other interesting neighborhoods. Even if I’m not in Paris anymore (as of Friday! Petit larme), the blog will continue until I run out of things to post about!

Until then, chin up and enjoy my self-portraits from the top of the Tour Montparnasse!

Bisous,

J

Bastille Day and Christian Louboutin!

July 14, 2010

Image by Beivushtang. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Hello all!

Today is France’s independence day, also known as Bastille Day and in general, la fête nationale!

The queens are gagging!

This morning I woke up to French fighter jets circling the skies (viewable from my window) and a whole lot of rain, which has not let up.
But before I talk about Bastille Day celebrations, what’s with the pumps, girl?

Because there is no better way to celebrate than to put on your dancing shoes, and if there’s any party-people I miss in New York, it’s my ladies who happen to be gentlemen. These bitches die over a pair of insanely high and provocatively designed pumps. When I saw this Louboutin window display in a covered gallery street in Paris (I believe it was the Galerie Vivienne), I gagged and immediately heard their screams in the back of my mind.

More on Pumps and Bastille Day!

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Jardin des Plantes et Pigeons

July 13, 2010

Bonjour à tous!

Yesterday I visited one of my old favorite places, le Jardin des Plantes, or the botanical gardens of Paris. This beautiful area — near the Gare d’Austerlitz, the Université Paris 6 campus, and the Institut du Monde Arabe (a Jean Nouvel-designed museum and library) — features long paths lined with exotic and very well-kept plants. It’s also the home to Paris’ zoo and Natural History Museum, which is spread across different themed buildings. The most impressive is the Halle d’Evolution, a massive exhibition that reminds me very much of New York’s, only more up-to-date in its curation.

Visting along the gardens (if you notice in the pictures, right during one of those odd urban moments where the weather is at the same time threatening and beautiful), I couldn’t help but notice one of the oddities that makes Paris extra charming: the Classy Pigeon.

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Absence and the French Medical System

July 11, 2010

Faithful readers, I do apologize. Au début I promised a daily blog. Well, sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs; in my case, biting off more than I can chew left this blog devoid of postings and my body devoid of water.

Some steak tartar is served with raw egg. Image by Rainer Zenz via Wikipedia Commons.

By this I mean that the intense heat of Paris and the total lack of air conditioning left me in a condition too exhausted to post after a long day of research and note-taking. This computer heats up like you wouldn’t believe! But, to add insult to my own injury, last week I decided to try, for the first time, a plate of steak tartar.

Served with capers and onions, my tartar was quite delicious but too rich to finish. I didn’t write home to the maternal presences in my family about this, as they are totally against the consuming raw meat concept of steak tartar (which is supposed to be totally fine for one’s stomach because of the way its prepared and the acids which supposedly kill harfmul bacteria).

Either way, my stomach did not agree with Monsieur le Tartar, and I was, ahem, less comfortable than I should have been the next day.

Luckily for me, France has one of the most egalitarian and helpful medical systems in the world. From them America could take a huge hint and think about the importance of a healthy society.

More on my road to health after the jump!

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