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

October 8-12
The theme for the 81st annual Fête des Vendanges, the grape harvest festival, is Montmartre Fête les Poètes. Events include a parade, grape stomping, the food & wine tasting village, cooking demos, live music, and tons of other fun stuff. Check out the entire program, the online boutique (get your commemorative bottles of wine!) and other info about the festival here.

October 12 
Stock up on fall reading material for a handful of euros and support the English-language SOS Helpline at their Autumn Book Sale today from noon-4pm at Orrick Law Offices (31 ave Pierre Ière de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau). Paperbacks €1, hardcovers €2, all categories for adults and kids, as well as bake sale items. Those who want to donate books can drop them off during the sale.

October 16-17
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Mendelssohn and Brahms exquisitely performed by a brilliant ensemble of young professional musicians. At the Institut FInlandais (Latin Quarter, 60 rue des Ecoles, 5th) from 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited. 

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

Secrets of Paris Newsletter #146 was sent September 10th to subscribers. Sign up here to get it emailed direct to your inbox. 

Saturday
Jun172006

Who are these smiling fools?

What's with all of the big toothy grins? Is this a toothpaste conference or something? Well....yes.

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Wine Expert Olivier (testing the Champagne) et moi (drinking it). On the left, some crazy dude who snuck in.

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Bernard (Flouride Poster Boy 2006) and his Mise-en-Scène specialist François.


This is part of my glamorous journalism career, attend press events like the Fluocaril 60th anniversary event at Le Paris-Paris club. When I received the invitation I was a bit confused at first, because I don't often write about teeth. But it turns out part of the soirée included a runway show of Gentry de Paris' sexy nightgowns (brushing teeth being an activity one tends to do in their PJs, of course). At least half of the people there turned out to be FOGs (Friends of Lady Gentry, the one dancing in the green dress).


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Lady Gentry and her ladies-in-waiting dancing after the show.
 

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Gentry's Legal Eagle (left) and Marc (International Playboy) enjoying the benefits of the FOG lifestyle.

And what do they serve us at a toothpaste press conference while they're showing us slides of rotting teeth? You guessed it: mini chocolate eclaires, chocolate-dipped strawberries, macarons, and Champagne! (would journalists show up for carrots? hell no!) After the short presentation and runway show, we got to stay the rest of the night to dance, drink, and clean off the petit-four trays. 

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Good for your teeth.


I should mention, for the heck of it, that Flocaril now makes a special toothpaste to use before bed, "Fluocaril Nuit". It would be worth having a day toothpaste and a night toothpaste (because we all have such huuuuge apartments in Paris) if the night toothpaste would get rid of the "morning after" party breath that no amount of pre-bed brushing seems to eliminate.

And an idea for all of you scientists out there to start working on: why not just find a way to put flouride in Champagne and macarons? Without ruining the taste, of course... 

 

Saturday
Jun172006

Hidden Rose Garden

Ahhh...the roses are looking splendid! Can any of you guess where this rose garden can be found?

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Hint 1: it's in a central part of the city, but you can only reach it on foot

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Hint 2: There's nothing else in the garden but roses, a small patch of lawn (usually full of sunbathers), and a small water fountain.  

Friday
Jun162006

Pillow Dog

If you crossed a Miniature Pinscher with a pillow (and I know a few of you out there have dogs who like to hump their pillows), this is what you'd get.

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Or maybe Pedro thinks that if he wraps himself up cutely in the sheep skin rug he'll get more doggie treats.

 

Thursday
Jun152006

Hotel Reviews Incoming!

I've started adding hotel reviews to the Resource Guide. In case you're wondering how I choose which ones I put up first, I'm actually going through the newsletter archives, one by one, and pulling out all of those reviews first. After that I'll be filling in with the ones I've reviewed for Fodor's, Time Out, Expedia, and other publications over the past two years.

So please be patient, more are coming!! 

Thursday
Jun152006

Along the Seine

Paris Plage isn't open yet, but it's hot enough that Parisians have started sunbathing along the Seine.

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A photography exhibit by Francis Gazeau has been set up on the Passerelle des Arts through June 30. A great idea in theory (they're beautiful), but most people come to this pedestrian bridge to picnic or hang over the railings to appreciate the view, neither possible since a rope barrier (hard to see in the pic) has been set up to keep people from getting too close to the photos (the artists is sitting as close as he can get to the images). Maybe next time they'll put the images along the quais instead. 

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The trees along the Seine have been completely covered in graffiti. 

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Wednesday
Jun142006

Celebrities in Paris: Leo, Chris, Vince and Jennifer

I'm not really one to follow celebrity news, so I usually have no idea who is dating who or where they happen to be staying while in Paris. Once I had to take a photo of the Paris Ritz for ELLE Hong Kong to illustrate a travel article I wrote. I was standing outside trying to get a decent pic of the main entrance, but there was a small crowd forming, ruining my view. Just as I stepped in front of them to get a clear shot, Hugh Grant and a blonde stepped out. Needless to say, my editor didn't put that photo in there. That was three years ago,and I haven't seen too many stars since then. But this week I saw four in one week.

Audioslave singer Chris Cornell was at his bar, BC (Black Calavados, 44 Rue Pierre 1re de Serbie, 8th) on Thursday night when I arrived, and about 30 minutes later Leonardo DiCaprio arrived with his entourage. No paparazzi, of course, in such a tiny place.

Then (admittedly tipped off by some friends), I saw the foxy Vince Vaughn and his girlfriend Jennifer Aniston right around the corner, going into the Plaza Athénée Hotel (Avenue Montaigne, 8th) on Tuesday. Being in Paris, it's just sooooo uncool to acknowledge stars in the street, let alone scream, throw panties, or ask for an autograph, so I just pretended I didn't notice like everyone else. But just for the record, in case I miss some essential celebrity news, could someone tell me if Chris or Vince get dumped by their ladies? ;)