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Sunday, March 2, 2014

March is one of the best months to visit Paris. Low airfares, available seats at the Garnier, plenty of space to stroll around in the Louvre - and a good chance you can reserve a table at your favorite restaurant. The weather is variable, but if you can stay at least ten days, the sun will try to join you too.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Place des Vosges

After you have spent a few hours or days in the slender winding streets of the Marais, you will come upon the great square park of Place des Vosges. Its history is well known, and you can and should read the accounts: Henry II, fatally wounded by a lance; Henry IV, who decreed the buildings should all have the same facade - regardless of whether each of his nobles had the funds to pay for real brick; the young women of noble birth who let their suitors spill blood in the square dueling over them; Cardinal Richelieu, master of 17th century court intrigue, who lived at number 21; Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables and Notre Dame de Paris, whose home you can still visit at number 6; and many more. Like a permanent stage set for a fairy tale, the Place des Vosges waits for its part in your own larger-than-life story.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rue des Barres

Rue des Barres is one of those quintessential Parisian streets that everyone should experience.  Not much there - a shop, a cafe, an old church. A way to get from the riverbanks into the heart of the Marais.  But it is also a way into the heart of history.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Paris at Night

Right Bank
Assuming reasonable prudence, central Paris is a very safe city at night. Besides restaurants, clubs, opera houses and theaters, some of the best entertainment possible is just to walk the boulevards arm in arm. The Right Bank area of the Marais is one of the most charming from dusk to dawn. You may even hear the clopping of horses' hooves around the corner, ghostly echoes from the very real equines of the Republican Guard at Sully Morland.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cafe Boats

Kiosques Flottantes 
In fine weather, you may come across cafe boats moored at strategic points along the Seine. Our favorite is down the steps to the quai across from Notre Dame. Stop in for lunch, or for a carafe of Sancerre on a warm afternoon. You are here not just for a moment, but forever.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Magic of Paris

In making a list of things to do and things to look for in Paris, it occurred to me that I had to say something about the magic. Real magic. Most people don't talk about it explicitly. But the fact is, that if you are open to it, Paris will reward you with a piece of magic. This may come in the form of a rainbow on the hill at Montmartre, a chance meeting with the mayor, street art that smiles at you, a cloudburst that puts you next to a pleasant stranger, a sentimental object at the flea market, a free cluster of daffodils or muguets de bois, or a stunning snowfall as you walk home from the Garnier. For you, the visitor, or for you, the Paris resident, real magic is a daily possibility. Only the hardest hearts are immune.