Monday, September 30, 2013

Discovering Paris With CROP THE BLOCK

(Video still via CROP THE BLOCK)

When French-born Adrien Degouve was traveling or studying abroad, he wanted a way to show the spirit of Paris to the new friends he met. He searched for videos online that captured the essence of the varied Parisian neighborhoods and arrondissements, but found many of them were of amateur quality. So, like any good entrepreneur, he saw the opportunity and decided to fill the demand. Thus CROP THE BLOCK was born.

CROP THE BLOCK is a collection of creative, high-quality short videos that highlight the unique beauties of neighborhoods around Paris. Ranging from documentary style to short fictions, each video is created by a different local filmmaker or "cropper" who knows the area intimately and shows it from his or her own joyful and enthusiastic perspective. One video shows a man rollerblading around the iconic pyramid of the Louvre to the sounds of electropop, while another features a charming and witty host to tell us all about Place d'Italie (while saving us from boring history lectures). Still another depicts two young lovers in black and white on the Seine in the style of Agnès Varda. My favorite is this clever montage by Camille Lorente and Lucie de Ribier of the colorful and diverse Château Rouge area, featuring a pair of shoes that undergo a cool transformation:

This is an awesome site because anybody with an interest in or tie to Paris can enjoy it. Whether you're a proper Parisian and want to see fascinating new takes on the neighborhoods of your city, or if you're an expat or traveler who wants to discover a new 'hood, or a Francophile who just wants to spend an afternoon living vicariously through a group of talented filmmakers in Paris, CROP THE BLOCK is THE digital way to experience Paris, and soon they'll be expanding to feature other cities around Europe and hopefully, eventually, the world. Check out the site to watch all the films.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sponsored Post: Paris to London with iDBUS

(Photo courtesy iDBUS)

Paris and London have a long and well-documented relationship. If you're in one of the two cities, it only makes sense to visit the other while you're "in the area." But not everybody can afford tickets on the high-speed Eurostar trains. Though Eurostar does have some sales throughout the year, you can get an even more affordable round trip ticket between Paris and London any day of the year with iDBUS bus services.

iDBUS' frequent daily voyages and user-friendly site makes it super-easy to book a cheap ticket between cities. You can go from Paris' Bercy Station to London's Victoria Coach Station with their 39€ Mini Price! I'm not gonna lie, it is a long journey - about 8 or 9 hours - but that's a snap for overnight voyages and with your ticket you get free wi-fi, electrical sockets for your gadgets, real-time voyage updates, and you're guaranteed one free checked bag plus a carry-on.

When you sign up for the iDBUS newsletter, you'll get updates and first notice on deals between Paris and London, but I'll let you in on a deal that lasts all year round: buy 3 tickets, get one free. If you have a few friends to bring to London (or from there to Paris), go in on the deal together and save some bucks!

iDBUS also has lines to Amsterdam, Genoa, Turin and several other cities in France, so if you're looking to travel in style for cheap, especially from Paris to London, check out the site and make use of this awesome deal. Just don't forget your passport.


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