Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cheap Shopping: La Petite Boutique

Wandering around the 6e arrondissement the other day, I stumbled upon the most adorable little shop on rue St. Andre des Arts - La Petite Boutique. This place has tons of great and well-priced cards, postcards, jewelry and knickknacks that would make equally great souvenirs or general additions to your home or office.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sponsored Post: Parlez Le Français With EasyFrench

("L'Information Scolaire" by Robert Doisneau via Blogzoom)

*Note: This post was written on behalf of EasyFrench

If you’re planning a trip to France, you might be wondering how best to learn some French language skills in order to make your time here more pleasant (not to mention easier when that cutie asks you for directions). In the age of the Internet, there are tons of ways to learn a new language, but nothing compares to the tailor-made experience of a real class. Language classes used to be inflexible things around which you had to build your life, but not anymore. Who has time for that? If you choose your class method wisely, learning French can be both fun and easy. That’s the goal of EasyFrench, which tailors its teaching methods to fit your lifestyle.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything. Sounds pretty all-encompassing, right? This traveling exhibition started in London but has popped over to Italy, Russia and now Paris with its exposition of "undiscovered, unintentional and untrained artists from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries." Which begs the question:

What the hell does that mean?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cheap Art: "Correspondances"

(Stephen Antonakos, "The Package Project," via Artyficielle)

I am a true sucker for mail. I love getting it, I love giving it, I love all its inherent proof that the world is small and traversable. I love the look of it, and the beautiful surprise of finding a note of hello in my little mailbox when I least expect it.

But there are people who take mail to the next level. People like my friend Stephanie Land, an incredible artist, photographer and printmaker who hand-makes stationery and writes the most wonderful and timely notes, and whose mail is regarded amongst its recipients as true art. I thought of her this weekend as I visited Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton's Correspondances exhibit on the Champs-Élysées.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Single Girl's Guide to Valentine's Day In Paris

(Audrey Hepburn in Montmartre, via The Times)

Personally, I think that Paris is the perfect city to be a woman alone. French women are respected for having their own strength, and nobody here looks at you twice if you're sitting at a café on your own. Indeed, the City of Light is a wonderful place to find yourself if you're an independent lady. That being said, it's still Paris and come Valentine's Day, there's no way to avoid the romantic masses crowding the city. If you're a lady chillin' toute seule or with your girlfriends in Paris on Valentine's Day, here are a few ideas to make it a night to remember. (Also applies to my single guy readers, too... :-)

EAT - At all costs, avoid fancy restaurants (particularly near the Eiffel Tower). You will never get a table, sorry babes. Instead, why not eschew tradition for the night and hit up one of Paris' more ethnic eateries? I recommend the incredible falafel at L'As du Fallafel or the vegetarian platter at Muniyandi Vilas (both meals less than 10€).

DRINK - You're not the only singleton in this city, you know - don't forget that Valentine's is a great night to hunt down the hotties. Head to the bar at Chez Jeannette in the 10e arrondissement, where the music is great and the crowd looks like an open audition for the Strokes. This place is consistently full of cuties, right down to the three hipster bartenders.

WATCH - If you want to keep things low-key, head to Le Champo and catch a film in whichever retrospective they're running. In the past they've celebrated beloved filmmakers from Tim Burton to Roman Polanski to the Coen brothers. Another fab cinema is Le Nouveau Latina, which shows flicks for 5€ every day at noon and has a comfy cinephile café upstairs.

SOCIALIZE - One year I spent Valentine's night at a Franglish meeting, where not only did I get to improve my French and meet some new friends, but since it was a certain evening, everyone knew everybody else present was single. The night had less the feeling of a manhunt and more the recognition that yep, we're all single here, let's have drinks together and fumble to speak each other's language.

If there are no Franglish meetings happening, check out Meetup and find an event that sounds like it'd be fun to hit, like the "Without Valentine Masquerade Party." Other possibilities for the night are a jazz and poetry session, or - deep breath - karaoke.

When all else fails, DANCE - Rex Club. Barrio Latino. La Peña. Go, sweat, frisk, feel good.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cheap Drinks: Le Scandale

This little hideaway tucked onto a side street just south of Pigalle is like a speakeasy in plain sight. The music is loud, the drinks are cheap, and there's a great little raised platform in the back nook where you can look down upon your minions (as I was obviously doing from the above vantage point). When I went a couple of weeks ago, our beers were 3€ and whiskey at 5€, but go now while you can - the friend who brought me there, a true Parisian who grew up in the area, seemed to think this bar and its crazy cheap drinks would be short-lived.

Le Scandale
4 rue Viollet le Duc 75009 Paris
Métro: M2, M12 to Pigalle

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cheap Art: Paper Architecture

Architecture is thought of in terms of strength, stability and fortitude. But an exhibit on now at Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine shows us how delicate, beautiful and intricate a building can be.


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