Sunday
Nov052017

The Paris Dream Trip (Part 2): When to Travel

When to Travel

You've all seen it: in a B (or C) movie, a dapperly dressed man with darts of moustache swans in, purses his lips, flutters his eyes and coos about Pareese in zee spreeng-time.

But is that really the best time to visit the City of Light? What’s wrong with zee summer-time, zee autumn-time, or zee winter-time?

The fact is, there are plenty of good times to go to Paris—along with some not-so-good ones.

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Wednesday
Oct112017

The Paris Dream Trip (Part 1)

Let's say you've never been to Paris. Or, more likely, you spent 18 hours there during a family holiday when you hit nine countries in ten days—or one day during Mrs. Sivert's eleventh-grade choir trip, or two days when you were nine years old, sequestered in a hotel while your sister recovered from stomach flu. All of this to say that you’ve never done the trip to Paris, and you’re now aching to take a crack at it.

If you're one of those folks, then this article is for you.

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Tuesday
Oct032017

BOOK EXCERPT: A Taste of Paris by David Downie

A TASTE OF PARIS: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food is author David Downie's latest book about Paris that answers the question: what is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover’s paradise? The publisher's description of the book says "Following the contours of history and the geography of the city, Downie sweeps readers on an insider’s gourmet walking tour of Paris and its neighborhoods taking us through Roman butcher shops, classic Belle Epoque bistros serving diners today, and Marie Antoinette’s exquisite vegetable garden that still supplies produce. Along the way, shedding light on why the rich culinary heritage of France still makes Paris the ultimate arbiter in the world of food."

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Friday
Sep082017

Being a Tourist is OK. Thanks CNN: An Essay


When I read this article on CNN, I thought it was some sort of archived piece from the Victorian era. I had visions of boarding a steamboat, smoke puffing from the funnels, women with parasols waving kerchiefs to lovers as men walked with canes up the gangplank discussing the absurdity of being a tourist. Surely in 2017 a reputable news site wouldn’t be publishing such an unbelievably thoughtless attempt at an essay that delves into an issue that has been so extensively discussed in the past century, right?

“Tourist,” like “tacky,” seems to have become a dirty word," the author writes.

There it was, the beginning to a reductive and poorly researched argument of why it’s OK to be a tourist. What was missing was any context or research to justify this claim, highlighting the quality of journalism CNN sometimes accepts (I’ve written for them, so I can be critical). As a journalist and researcher myself, I was expecting a bit more.

The word “tourist” is not newly pejorative. Let me make that clear right now. And even though I agree with the writer that, indeed, it's just fine to be a tourist, I think we need to think more deeply about what that really means.

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Wednesday
Aug162017

La Modification

Paris changes, poet Charles Baudelaire wrote, faster than the human heart, and as far as my neighborhood is concerned, he was right. We’d hardly settled into our new digs before people starting tearing things up....

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Monday
Aug072017

French fiction, while you wait

You’re at the train station. You forgot to pack a book. You could lose yourself down a Facebook rabbit-hole or play your thousandth game of Candy Crush. Or, you could go to little orange machine and, at the touch of a button, see unfurl before your eyes a freshly pressed original short story, absolutely free.

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