Reviews

From stories rooted in French popular culture, to reviews of favorite movies, products and places, follow my musings and get a piece of my mind.

12th arrondissement hideway Heatwave 2.0 has come and gone, leaving Paris and the rest of the country exhausted. Like millions of Europeans, we all did our best to cope (with the exception of Brittany, that remained in the balmy mid-70s and became the envy of France.) I stuck it out in my top-floor studio under…

Is unexpected Paris hard to come by?  Even if books and lists claim the opposite, there are hardly any real secrets left in Paris anymore. There are, however, off-the-beaten-path places (and experiences) some Parisians or visitors (who got lucky, or did their homework) discover and enjoy around the French capital. Many of these have not…

“Monoprix: Not your Everyday Everyday.” In France, if you live in a city of 50,000 people or more, you probably shop chez Monoprix. Born in Rouen in the 1930s after the Great Depression, Monoprix may have been modeled after successful American chainstores like Woolworth’s, it remains a French success story. La marque Monoprix (the Monoprix brand) has changed…

What to do in Paris at night? Just about anything you can think of. The Opera, the movies (look for movies in “V.O.,” presented in their original language with French subtitles,) a stroll by the Seine river or in the atmospheric streets of the Latin Quarter, a cruise on the Seine river, a delicious meal…

Every year, in France’s Provence, locals celebrate the Holidays with the traditional “12 desserts,” a selection of dried fruits, nuts, fresh fruit, cakes and sweet little nothings, an age-long Christian tradition (the 12 desserts symbolizing Jesus’s apostles.) These desserts are best enjoyed during le Réveillon de Noël, (Christmas Eve,) at the end of a copious…

A few days ago, I took you along as I explored one of Paris’ most charming neighborhoods, les Batignolles. The area offers an eclectic mix of eateries from traditional bistros and cafés, to hip restaurants and bars popular with the younger crowd, including Bobos (bourgeois bohemians) who have discovered the neighborhood in recent years. There are established businesses and newer, trendier places.…

Not all Holidays are created equal. On February 2, France celebrates a Catholic holiday, la Chandeleur (Candlemas.) This is a favorite one. For most French people, here is an opportunity to sample savory or sweet versions of the famous crêpes, (a national treasure, hailing from the beautiful Brittany region, la Bretagne.) It is also time to indulge in fortune…