Paris

Review: F is for France — making sense of its ways, A to Z

I came late to this amusing and informative book, I’m sorry to say. It’s an amazingly detailed compilation and exploration of what the French would call curiosités or choses insolites but it’s also a broad cultural overview. It’s an example of the best of a certain type of book designed to explain France to English-speakers. …

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“Voilà une semaine qui commence mal” – last words from the guillotine

I was walking through Place Dauphine on Île de la Cité when a bookstore display caught my eye — it was this book of “stupefying but true” prisoners’ last words before they ascended the steps of the “national razor.” Its title is “Shortcuts,” which is witty enough, but it’s the last little lagniappe that makes it really …

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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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The Eiffel Tower’s 30-million-euro facelift — and glass floor

At 125 years old, the Eiffel Tower is under almost constant painting and renovation, but the most recent has a crowd-scaring twist. The city has just spent 30 million euros updating the first floor, 180 feet above the ground. In addition to cosmetic upgrades and solar panels, part of the flooring was replaced with glass, …

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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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