Stories & Anecdotes

After the Fire: A Short History of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s Disasters & Rebirths

Like most people, I felt a lump rising in my throat when I saw images of Notre-Dame Cathedral lapped with flames and choked by smoke on April 15th. The fire, ostensibly an accidental […]

Academie de la Grande Chaumière: The Paris Art Studio Favored by Modigliani, Miró and Lempicka

On a quiet side street in Montparnasse that seems worlds apart from the frenetic Boulevards and terraced cafes just feet away, there’s a typically Belle-Epoque building you’d be forgiven for not noticing. But […]

Never get in a Paris taxi without a meter and an illuminated rooftop sign.

Paris Airport Taxis: How to Use Them (& Avoid the Bad Ones)

I still remember my first bad taxi ride from Charles de Gaulle Airport. I was returning home from a visit with family in California, lugging around suitcases so heavy I thought I might […]

Medieval Paris: A Self-Guided Tour of 5 Intriguing Places

During the 19th century, the Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann gutted much of what had been medieval Paris-– forging the iconic skyline and enormous, grandiose boulevards we now (wrongly) tend to think of as timeless. […]

Multiseed baguette from Farine & O, a bakery in Paris' 11th arrondissement

In Review: Farine & O, One of Paris’ Best New Bakeries

  In France, there’s a strongly held belief that the most talented boulangers (bread bakers) are not generally equally gifted at producing top-notch pastries. Similarly, pâtissiers (pastry makers) tend to fall into a class of their very […]

Paris' Belleville neighborhood is rich with street art, working-class and revolutionary history.

Exploring Paris’ Belleville District: A Haven for Artists, Immigrants & Revolutionaries

I’m a former resident of Belleville, that fascinating, messy, somewhat chaotic neighborhood in Paris’ northeastern corner. One that many tourists find odd and even unnerving when they stumble on it– mostly after visiting […]

These 5 Places in Paris Aren’t Usually Associated With African-American History. They Should Be.

“It’s a great city, Paris, a beautiful city––and––it was very good for me.”– James Baldwin, Another Country (1962) One of the most singular and important American authors of the 20th century, James Baldwin […]

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