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 Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

Calendar of Paris Events

March 10
Heather will be the featured guest speaker at Parler Paris Après Midi, discussing the topic "How Parisian Women Do It: Feminism & Femininity in the City of Light". Naughty Paris Guides will be available for €25 (cash only).  From 3-5pm, upstairs at Café de la Mairie, corner of Rue des Archives and Rue de Bretagne, 3rd. Free entry.

March 17
Sex & Booze: An Erotic Book Club at The Chamber, where we'll be reading Story of O by Anne Declos, drinking cocktails, and talking about...well, sex. Limited to 8 women only, 8-10pm in a private home; sign up while there's space!

March 20-21
You will have a rare chance  to hear Betthoven's towering masterpiece Missa Solemnis for a modest price at either Saint Eustache or the American Cathedral, and to see for yourself the high standard reached by the Paris Choral Society. Don't wait -- order your tickets online now at www.parischoralsociety.org

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


Breaking News!!

I didn't really have plans to watch the World Cup final. The idea of being trampled by exuberant crowds sort of put me off the idea. But yesterday afternoon a French friend invited me to watch the match with a bunch of friends, which sounded so darned civilized I agreed to meet him there at 7:30pm.

Remembering the cancellation of bus service and the electricity cuts in the Metro (people kept falling onto the tracks in their "party" state), I thought it might be a good night to dust off the bike. I rarely ride it in the city, it's more of a country bike (a cross between a mountain bike and a street bike). But even though those comfy Dutch-style cruisers are more lady-like (and only €175 at Go Sport), I have an emotional attachment to my vélo (I rode it from Minneapolis to Chicago when I graduated from college), so I won't be switching anytime soon.

I'm the one with the helmet on. And sometimes even cycling gloves (I hate calluses) if it's not too hot. I have a side mirror so I can see how close the busses are to squashing me. I didn't get on the road until 7:30pm, and the streets were already practically empty, everyone piled into cafés and bars and restaurants to see the match. The few vehicles on the road were honking, many with passengers brandishing huge flags -- French or Italian -- from the window. I arrived at the apartment two seconds before the French captain Zinedine Zidane scored the team's only goal. 

The rest of the match, as you all know, was very exciting, a real nail-biter. During the pauses we all (mostly French, plus me and a guy who was half-American and half-Spanish) went out onto the balcony overlooking the street. A suspiciously huge French flag hung from the balustrade ("Which library did you steal this from?"). We all agreed that even if France didn't win, they were playing a good game.

Then what happened? Who knows. Rampant speculation. Zidane, in the final minutes of overtime, lost his cool with one of the Italian players and head-butted him in the solar plexus. Ouchie. It was actually kinda funny, like he was one of those characters from He-Man (Ram-Man...I had to look that up). Not so funny a few seconds later when the red card came out and he retired (literally), head down, to the lockers. Such a sad ending for one of the legends of the World Cup, everyone said (because no matter why he did it -- rumors of racial slur, of being hit in his injured shoulder, etc. -- losing one's cool is never cool).


Okay, I just looked at the FIFA Official World Cup site, and Zidane has been voted Best Player for the 2006 World Cup!! Hooray Zizou! That's a much more fitting end to the career of such a great player and (aside from the obvious glitch) role model for Franco-Arab kids -- hell, ALL kids!

Post note: In a typical linguistical faux pas of hilarious proportions, I referred to Zidane as "Zizi". As my French friend kindly pointed out, that means something else. ;)




It's a Dirty Job...You Want It?

The ultra-hip, super-offensive and totally funny magazine Vice is looking for an upstart go-getter to run their France market. Think you can sell €50,000 ads one day and write about dog shit the next? Then maybe this job is for you. Check out the details here (and remember me later when you're bathing in Dom Perignon).


Herbes du Luxembourg

Looking for medicinal herbs, teas, Dr. Bach's essences, Sainte-Hildegarde products, dietary supplements or essential oils? There's a pretty boutique facing the Jardin du Luxembourg that specializes in all of these things, with personalized advice if you're not sure what you need.

Les Herbes du Luxembourg

"Herboristerie Traditionnelle"
3 Rue Médicis, 6th
Tel 01 43 26 91 53
M° Odéon or RER Luxembourg

Open Mon & Sat 11am-7pm, Tues-Fri 10:30am-7pm. 


Coupe du Monde 2006

bleues.jpgTonight France plays Italy for the Football (aka Soccer) World Cup. To say the town has "Les Bleues" Fever would be an understatement. And there are so many Italians in Paris that no matter who wins you can expect a lot of joyously noisy celebratiing tonight!

The match will be on everywhere, probably in places you least expect it. But for sure you can see it on a giant, open-air screen at:  

-  Stade Charlety (99, boulevard Kellermann - RER Cité Universitaire, 13th)

- Stade Jean Bouin (17, avenue Pierre de Coubertin - M° Porte de Saint-Cloud, 16th)

- Parc des Princes (Access by the tribune Paris - M° Porte de Saint-Cloud, 16th)

Entrance is free, open from 7pm (match starts at 8pm).


A Message from Jimmy Carter for Americans Living Abroad

On November 7, Americans throughout our land will vote in mid-term elections for the House and Senate. I am speaking to you today, as the Honorary Chairman of Democrats Abroad, to urge you to join them - wherever you may be in the world..

Click to read more ...


So civilized...

A scene from last week's open-air screening of Triplettes de Belleville in front of the Hôtel de Ville. They were worried it might rain, thus the black plastic bags ready to be pulled over the canvas chairs.