Lingerie Boutiques In Paris — Popular As The Baguette

There are a few things you will quickly notice about Paris:  a boulangerie on just about every block, a pharmacy on every other block, and upscale lingerie boutiques displaying their seductive wares as commonly as a baguette.  Unlike Victoria’s Secret, which appeals as strongly to men clientele as women, the lingerie boutiques are decidedly for women.  Indeed, men rarely step into these boutiques, and are usually shoved out the door given they simply have no clue what to buy.  And while Valentine’s Day may create some churn in business, let’s face it — these shops are busy all year round.  Now with the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, visiting Paris and these boutiques you will also see where the book and film got their inspiration. Read More »

Paris Winter Sale (Soldes)

IMGP2007.JPGParis only has two sanctioned sales during the year — in January just after the Christmas break and in July just before the August holiday.  This year’s winter shopping sale season begins on January 7 and ends on February 16.  Unlike sales in the U.S., stores are open mostly during normal hours, except have extended days open on a few Sundays.  While it seems impossible, French law only allows sales during this time period, otherwise stores must get permission from the police to hold discounted sales outside this time period.  The theory behind this is that this protects the small mom and pop shops from heavy discounting by the major giants, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but, in reality, this is a way to preserve price protection and state sanctioned price parity among retailers. Read More »

Galette des Rois (King’s Cake)

Galette des Roi.JPGJust when you think New Year festivities are at an end, La Fête des Rois starts on the Epiphany holiday, which falls on the first Sunday in January.  This is a great holiday, where bakeries in France and throughout Paris make a round almond pastry cake that families buy to share, and celebrate a holiday where anyone can be king or queen for a day.  A ’fève’ (originally a bean but now tends to be a plastic or enamel trinket) is baked inside the cake and the cake is shared around the table. Whoever bites into the almond crusty cake and finds the fève (just be careful not to break your tooth!) is crowned king or queen for the day.  It is not too late to get your galette to be king for a day! Read More »

Recycling Christmas Trees In Paris

christmas-tree-recycling-sign-paris.jpgWith the Christmas season at its end, Parisians must now discard millions of Christmas trees tucked away in their apartments, which is no small task for a city of over 2 million people (11 million plus including the suburbs).  Paris, however, is innovative at many things, including the recycling of its Christmas trees.  The city establishes multiple recycling areas at parks throughout the city — one of our favorite places being at Place Rodin in the 16th Arrondissement, which includes an orginal Rodin sculpture at the roundabout.  But how do people discard of their trees, especially when they live four or five floors up in a tall apartment building?  Read More »

Grand Carousel — Place de la Concorde

Winter time in Paris is always festive, but to experience the city from on high in the heart of Paris, go visit La grande Roue — the Great Ferris Wheel – at Place de la Concorde.  Towering the size of a football field, La grand Roue comfortably fits 6-8 people in a single chariot (seat), and offers some of the best views of the city.  Situated at the entrance of Jardin des Tuileries, it is also close the the Christmas Market on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.  Read More »

Strasbourg for Christmas

Strausbourg 017-1.jpgThe French seem to radiate holiday warmth as the temperatures drop and Noël draws nearer. Believe it or not, this country of wine, cheese and on average, rather little snow may contain Santa’s Workshop itself. Strasbourg, the self-proclaimed “Capital of Christmas,” certainly convinced me that Christmas magic is from here, amongst its incredible Gothic cathedral and superb Alsatian eateries. Read More »