France

A Passion for Paris – on Valentine’s Day

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the most romantic of cities than with the author and photographer Alison Harris, whose most recent book is Paris in Love, and her husband David Downie, author of the forthcoming A Passion for Paris and many other Paris books. The English-language service of France24 interviewed both of …

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Charlie Hebdo: The yawning gap between fact and fear, La Marseillaise, and moving national ceremonies in Paris

Count on The Economist to bring complicated issues into sharp focus with a single well-constructed graphic, such as the one it published on the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. (See it here on the Graphic Detail blog. ($)) But first, run your own thought experiment by answering these questions: What percentage of the population of …

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Will we catch up with Europe in credit-card security at last?

I WRITE ABOUT PARIS, but this story is true there and absolutely every other place in Europe: You go to the restaurant, and all around you the locals are paying with plastic. They push their card into the small wireless machine the waiter brings to the table, key in a PIN, get their receipt, and leave. …

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Flyover tour of Paris on iOS

There’s a neat new feature in Apple’s MAPS app under iOS – Flyover. It’s available for several major cities, but of course I think the Paris one is the neatest. Open Maps on the iPhone or iPad and search for Paris. Under the city name you’ll see a line saying “3D Flyover Tour of Paris.” …

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LOVE LOCKS, R.I.P.

Followup to my post of Aug. 30 For five years, lovers in Paris have demonstrated their eternal fealty by attaching padlocks to the Pont des Arts, an elegant old footbridge that connects the Louvre Museum to the Institut de France across the Seine, then throwing the key in the river — 700,000 of them so …

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The American Queen of Paris Real Estate

Adrian Leeds came to Paris twenty years ago with a husband and a baby and a plan to stay one year. The baby is now a grown daughter, the husband is no longer in the picture, and she’s become the undisputed queen of the American real estate market here. And a permanent resident. She may …

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Fifty kinds of Paris shutters

One of my favorite Paris blogs — no, make that My Favorite Paris blog — is the scrupulously researched and written Parisian Fields. It first caught my attention with its header picture of the outstanding bronze sculpture in the Tuileries Gardens, “L’Arbre des voyelles,” or the Tree of vowels, a 1999 sculpture by the Italian …

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Saint-Germain-des-Prés — a wealth of French history

Riders of the busy Paris métro Line 4, which runs north and south through the entire city, will recognize this unusual station at the old abbey church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which traces its history back to Childebert I (ruled 511–558). It’s in the 6th arrondissement, which is pretty much the center of tourist life. Unlike most métro …

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Are the love locks of Paris on the way out?

It started as a charming tourist phenomenon – Lovers, mostly tourists, engrave their name on a padlock and attach it to the fence along each side of the Pont des Arts, the old footbridge connecting the Institut de France and the Louvre, then throw the key into the Seine below. What could be more romantic? …

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The Liberation of Paris – 70th anniversary

Seventy years ago, after a bloody week-long insurrection by the French Resistance and a nail-biting wait for General Eisenhower to decide to support the recapture of Paris, allied troops flowed into the city as German troops left. The story was told memorably in the 1965 book by Dominic Lapierre and Larry Collins, “Is Paris Burning?” …

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