Secrets of Paris 
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About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
* Private Secrets of Paris Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

Calendar of Paris Events

July 13-14 Bastille Day
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" Click here to read the defintitive guide to what to see and do in Paris on July 13th and 14th, what's open, what's not, how to get around, where the parties will be, and insider tips on being prepared:

July 20 - August 16/23
Paris Plages: sand, beach trees, volley balls and bikinis -- on the Seine! Along the Right Bank quays and Hôtel de Ville until August 16th, at the Bassin de la Villette until August 23rd. This year's edition of the Paris Plages will feature many fun activities. Free entry, 9am-midnight. The 2015 schedule will be up here on opening day.

July 22-August 23
The annual Open-Air Cinema Festival takes place Wed-Sun nights at the Parc de la Villette's Triangle Prairie (M° Porte de Pantin), starting at sunset (around 10pm), free entry (deck chair rentals from 7:30pm). This year's haunting and spooky and horrific theme is "Home Cinema" (all films can be downloaded to watch at home from the website), including: Last Days, Beetlejuice, shutter Island, The Shining, Moulin Rouge, the Ghost Writer, and many French and international films (all in VO with French subtitles). 

July 26
Since 1975, the finish line for the Tour de France has been at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysées. Join the crowd of Parisians and tourists alike to see the winner of the race. Expected arrival time: 5:30pm.

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur


October Newsletter #74

IN THIS ISSUE: * Heather’s News * Activities: Music & Drama Classes * Activities: Choir and Orchestra Now Recruiting * Activities: Volunteer Vacation at Historic Restoration Sites * Café & Dining Reviews * Getting Around: Latest News * Adventure: Voyageur Noir Cultural Tours * Getting Here: Between Paris and Switzerland or London * Free English-language classifieds * Home Entertainment: DVDs Delivered to Your Door * Health & Fitness: Sexy Fitness Club * Health & Safety: Where There’s Smoke…or Not * Nightlife: Getting on the List * Shopping: Beer Boutique & Gourmet Spices * Shopping: Fauchon’s 120th Birthday * Make A Difference! Learn CPR * November Events on the Calendar

Click to read more ...


Voyageur Noir Tours

ParisNoir2.JPG Last week I got to see another side of Paris with Carole Fleurival of Voyageur Noir Connection, a private tour company specializing in "The Local Life Experience for Black Travelers". The African-French locals guide their clients through the city's shopping, dining and nightlife spots with a focus on black cultures of all origins in Paris. That's Carole in the photo on the left (in white) with the jewelry créatrice for Divinéa.

An Afro-Parisian resident (via Guadéloupe), she realized that it was her connection with people that made her travels worthwhile. She got the idea for Voyageur Noir tours when she met a U.S. reporter in France who was anxious to discover black Paris. Carole now offers off-the-beaten path shopping tours and cooking classes in her own kitchen, and even arranges dinners for clients with locals -- just like having dinner with a group of new friends eager to share what they love best about France.

ParisNoir1.JPGEven though I've been here for ten years, Carole showed me some amazing little shops and fashion boutiques I had never visited before. She knows when all of the private showroom sales and designer trunk shows take place, and can even introduce you to many of the city's black couture and prête-à-porter designers in person such as Sadio Bee, June, the artist Arnaud Pontier, and turban designer Fredérique Gentil Debaz (photo on the right).

Carole is my favorite kind of guide -- after the first hour you forget she's a guide and just start thinking of her as your own friend who knows all of the best addresses in town. Her English is perfect, and her tours are open to anyone interested in black culture. You can also purchase tour certificate as gifts for friends. The holidays are coming!


Just off the Rue Montorgueil is a little African publisher's bookshop and gallery, ANIBWE (52 rue Greneta, 2nd). The owner Kassi Assemian has classic and contemporary books about all aspects of African culture, and a larger room in the back includes magazines, CDs, DVDs and regular art expositions. A great place to browse!


Kate Mack is a fashion designer with a gorgeous new boutique straddeling the hip Marais and Oberkampf districts  (15 rue Oberkampf, 11th) and also has some of her collection available at the Boutik Red Space (Espace Créateurs, Forum des Halles level -1/Porte Rambuteau). Most of her pieces are unique or very limited in number. She even does custom wedding dresses. Have a look at her recent collection online

Kate Mack in her boutique on Rue Oberkampf.
Voyageur Noir Connection
Owner: Carole Fleurival
+33 160 040 163 (3:00 pm to 5:30 pm, NY time)

Ice Cream Discounts at UGC

I went to see a film at the UGC Les Halles last week, and with my €10.50 ticket (I reserved it in advance, so that includes the €0.30 fee) I got a coupon for a Haagan Daz mini cup or Cream Crisp for 3€. These are about the size of a euro coin. And although you can't take it with you when you go in, you can get much better (and much bigger) ice cream at the Italian gelateria Deliziefollie around the corner for the same price.


Microbrew and Artisan Beer Boutique

The Cave à Bulles specializes in French microbrewed beers, including organic and artisan beers. They also sell some Belgian beers, beer-based products (like vinegar), and beer mugs and bottle openers.


Cave à Bulles
45 rue Quincampoix, 4th

Tel. 01 40 29 03 69

M° Rambuteau


Don't forget to turn back your clock!

It's daylight savings tonight: at 3am (between Saturday and Sunday) turn back your clocks and watches one hour. This is probably obvious to all of you who have jobs, but we freelancers working from home tend to miss these things (or maybe it's just me...I went two days in spring before I noticed I was off).

Salon de Createurs de Mode

There's a three-day "Createurs de Mode" salon featuring 95 clothing and accessory designers from around the world (mostly young,alternative, or up-and-coming brands) at the Espace d'Animation des Blancs Manteaux (48 rue Vieille du Temple, 4th). Free entrance, open Saturday and Sunday 10am-9pm.