By Irene Fogarty
Forget all the clichés about France and the French. It’s too expensive, they’re arrogant, rude, won’t speak English, never smile, smoke non-stop, eat and never gain a pound, hate Americans and love to say “no.” It’s not true, though they do seem a bit broody on the metro. Focus on the good stuff. The croissants, macarons, museums, Chateauneuf du Pape, brie, women in high heels on bikes, and Carla and Sarko satires. Not to mention all that magnificent architecture, history, culture and the countless philosophers this land of “freedom fries” is famous for.
So now that you’re ready to head over, you’ve come to the right place to get the best in culture, cuisine and entertainment. After 13 years in the world’s best city (I heart NY), and 13 months in its most complimentary city, I’ll be telling you about all the latest places I’ve discovered. Everything and anything I think might make your Paris experience even more enjoyable. And each month, I’ll also include a little factoid about Paris that is of absolutely no use to you at all, but somehow is charming to know all the same. Or at least I think so !
A new perspective on photography
Paris has a new gallery of photography. Located in the 16th arrondisement, not far from Etoile (translation: Arc de Triomphe), A. Galerie is not your typical cool, sleek, minimalist salon that separates viewer from the work. Here, you’re invited take a look, I mean a real look, stand back or sit down to let the energy of the photographs seep into your soul. As owner Arnaud Adida, says, “The concept behind A. Galerie is rather simple. I want people to feel they can take a few minutes of the day to reflect and really see the photographs in a new light. So they go away with a new vision for the day.”
12 rue Leonce Reynaud
Tel : 06.20.85.85.85
Nov 12-Dec 20, 2009 – “A Shadow Falls” by Nick Brandt
Don’t leave Paris without trying the couscous royale at Chez Omar in the hip Marais district. Tender slabs of beef, veal, chicken in a rich couscous broth. There’s even exceptionally good vegetables for vegetarians as well as wonderful fish dishes – all at very appetizing prices. Take a look around, you may be hobnobbing with actors, musicians, in this down-to-earth eatery. Even more impressive is that the interior has purposely never been remodeled, so you can travel back in time and get an authentic taste of a much older Paris. No matter what day you go, this inexpensive resto is always buzzing.
47, Rue Bretagne
01 42 72 36 26
The root to natural wine
Wine bars in Paris are going through a renaissance. Just check out Racines, (translation: roots) in the second arrondisement, for the most natural (translation: organic) wine list in the city. That’s not all Madames! Try their delectable natural dishes including classic French cuisine, and best of all, feast-like platters of cheese and charcuterie with a wonderful selection of wines by the glass. Incroyable!
Open Mon – Fri. Book in advance for dinner to avoid bitter disappointment!
8 Passage des Panoramas,
Factoid of the month:
Did you know there’s a Rue Rude in Paris? Tres impoli!
It’s located right near Etoile, and a picture of the street sign is a nice photo memento.