Monday, January 27, 2014

Paris Winter Soldes

The Paris Winter Soldes are on again. 
This year they began January 8th and will go until February 11th. 
I've just read that stores are now allowed to run sales
two extra weeks (consecutive or not) during the year
only if they make sure their sales end no less than a month before the national sales. 

And for the second year in a row,
the Galeries Lafayette will display Paris, Capital of Creation window displays.
Galeries Lafayette is famous for its Christmas window displays. 
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
40, Boulevard Haussmann
75009 Paris 

Summer sales will begin June 25th. 

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Janvier in Paris

A girlfriend just came back from Paris
and over a 2+ hour tea date at our favorite tea shop in Portland
told me all the wonderful tales of walking in my Parisian neighborhood. 

And now I'm missing Paris again! 

Being there right after Christmas, 
she said the crowds were still over the top
wayyyy toooo long
so they opted to skip the long lines 
to nearly every museum
and just walk. 

For her birthday,
they window-shopped all the best chocolateries
and had meals in fabulously beautiful places. 

It makes me think of the little 
Christmas Fairs
and the way everything is still dressed up for the holidays.

And how even bare trees in winter
are gorgeous in Paris. 

Even the carousel gets dressed up.

They sat at cafes and sipped warm drinks
and watched the Parisian world go by
and ate almond croissants with coffee
and Galette des Rois on Epiphany
and sipped champagne
and walked along 
the seine. 


(Photos copyright: KIrsten Steen)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Le French bashing

There seems to be a fight of words 
about the downfall (or not) of France
between Newsweek and Le Monde.

An article in Newsweek states several reasons for the 'Fall of France,'
among them those sky-high taxes, the high price of food and living
and the greatest minds leaving to escape said taxes and... Francois Hollande.

France has come back with a few choice words of its own
defending their culture with its high ranking in foreign investment, according to Ernst and Young;
and in its productivity, still behind the US but with a shorter work year; 
its high population growth and life expectancy (both beating the US);

and of course, its gastronomy: the number one employer in France. 

For me, there is nothing anywhere in the world
like eating in France.

You cannot go to any cafe or restaurant in the US
and get escargot floating in butter, garlic and parsley.
Our steaks may be more tender
but the French smother them with a peppercorn sauce
that makes it out of this world. 
(And while that's the most plebeian of fare,
it's one of my favorites.) 

What are your favorite things about France
and what do you think about Le French bashing?

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen
from Restaurant de la Tour in the 15th)

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Metro Rule Book~ Missing Paris Day

The RATP, (the Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens)
has come out with a new metro rule book,
informing travelers on how to behave.

'An Etiquette Manual for the Modern Traveller.'

Twelve new commandments 
in 4 categories:
courtesy, helpfulness, manners and politeness.

The rules run from keeping music low
to observing the No Smoking signs
to reaching for the bottom of the pole
on hot summer days
(keeping one's armpits to one's self)!
No staring, help others
and hold the door for those behind you.

Click here to see the article in
or to click on the actual manual
which you can read in French.

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen )