***Secrets of Paris Newsletter #4: February 19, 2001***
Dying for a little Francophone cultural therapy? The French Embassy of the United States has a great site full of French cultural news and events taking place all over the US, from performing arts to education. You can even get the listings of all French films and programs showing on TV and cable channels. A great resource in a streamlined site:
More than just tires, the Michelin web site is the place to go for famous Michelin Guides to hotels and restaurants in Paris and all of Europe. You can also buy maps, get travel advice, and read interesting articles in the Travel Magazine. Almost everything is in English. Even the cute little Michelin Man is there smiling from every page. A good site to bookmark:
No one ever has to know. And you avoid the embarrassment of being caught by your American expat friends coming out of the Thanksgiving store with an armload of Jello mix and Stove Top Stuffing. America to You aims right at the heart of the American expat community: Starbuck's Coffee, Trader Joe's, Jif instant frosting…yum! And there's also pharmaceuticals (Dramamine, Pepto Bismol, Midol!), videos, books, bill paying and film developing services, toys, insurance, and all kinds of services. To be consumed in small doses, of course. After all, nous habitons en France, n'est-ce pas?
Beauty Direct From Paris
I've been a member of Le Club Createurs de Beaute for a few years now, and while I don't buy everything through their catalog, it's a great place to find French brands like Agnes b. cosmetics and Jean-Marc Maniatis hair care at at a huge discount. And once you buy something (online or by mail), they're always giving you even better monthly discounts and specials (and lots of freebies). Available in France, US, UK, Japan and Germany.
High Tech Tunes
French electronic music is breaking into the international airwaves (yes, even in the US of A), and it just keeps getting better. Addicts and weekend fans won't want to miss Hypertunez.com, a bilingual site with exclusive MP3s of leading DJs, an events calendar, on-line radio and the virtual studio. The music spans everything from techno, hard-core and trance to hip-hop, dub, and experimental. Even if you're a newbie, check it out. One can only take so much Brittany Spears, after all, and still remain mentally sound.
A Stroll on the Saucy Side of the Seine
I'm not sure 'seedy' is ever an appropriate word to use in Paris, where moral posturing is a bit of a joke. Paris By Night blends together the regular travel guide shtick with info about Paris's titillating night sports, kinky singles (and not so single) ads, and links to erotic photos of famous Parisian women like Laetitia Casta. Visit for the not-so-mainstream articles and exhaustive listings of clubs, bars, and other night spots. I dare you to try and ignore the saucier links!
If you're a Picasso fan you won't want to miss this rare exhibit of his erotic works, sensual and malicious, as only the artist can be. Leave the kids and the easily offended Auntie at the Jardin des Tuileries. At the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume (5, rue Cambon , Metro Concorde; tel : 01 47 03 12 50) until May 20.
For something a bit more subtle, zen and exotic, visit this exhibit at the Galerie P.M.& Co.
(5, Passage du Grand Cerf , Metro Etienne Marcel; tel 01 55 80 71 06) through March 24. Styled to resemble a chic apartment, where visitors find little erotic treasures created by artists such as Kimiko Yoshida and Marc Ming Chan amongst the P.M.& Co. collection.
Find your favorite French comic book heroes in the garden labyrinths at the Jardins de la Bande Dessinee! Even if you're not a big comic book fan, it's a charming stroll filled with clever topiary and floral arrangements that only the French could pull off. It might not be sunny and warm yet, but you and the kids need to get out of those stuffy museums for awhile. Ends March 23.
Jardins de la BD, Parc de Bercy 75012, Metro Quai de la Gare; tel 01 53 46 19 30.
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