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

Book NOW for September 5-6
The American Church of Paris is hosting A Prarie Home Companion radion show with Garrison Keillor for two dates, September 5th at 8pm and September 6th at 4pm. Tickets are €31, book as soon as possible, space is limited.

Through August 24
The Paris Fun Fair (Fête Foraine) is open in the Tuileries (Louvre Gardens), daily 11am-11:45pm (until 12:45am on Friday and Saturday). Free entrance, but you’ll need to buy tickets for each ride on the usual carnival attractions, or have cash for cotton candy and the games where you can win prizes. The Ferris Wheel has excellent views over Paris! 

Through August 24
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. This year's theme is Adolescence, including films such as Moonrise Kingdom, Scream 4, and American Graffiti.

Through August 31
Between the Lines and the Trenches, a very intimate collection of personal letters, notebooks and photos from the trenches, many never published before. At the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts (222 Boulevard Saint-Germain), through August 31st, entry €7.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL CALENDAR

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

Secrets of Paris Newsletter #146 will be sent August 30th. Sign up here to get it emailed direct to your inbox. 

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? ;)

 

Wednesday
Jun142006

Construction at the Jardin des Plantes

The roses have just peaked this week, but the sweltering heat of the past few days has already wilted quite a few. So I made a point of getting over to the Jardin des Plantes to see their beautiful rose garden before it was too late. The last time I had visited was in February, and the garden was a huge, muddy construction site. The works still aren't finished (supposedly by the end of summer), but there's plenty to see and smaller crowds.

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The Rose Garden is made up  of a long alley with rose-covered  archways.

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One of the stunning specimens.

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The Botanical Garden is still open (the Alpine Garden is only open weekdays).

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This tiny little froggy in the Botanical Garden was making a  lot of noise (looking for a gal froggy).


 
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Many of the alleys of trees remain open. Here you can see where new trees have been planted to replace ones lost during the heat wave of 2003.

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The historic greenhouses (this one from the 1920s) are also being renovated.

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The  central area (where there are usually gorgeous flower beds) is closed; they are installing automatic water systems, finally!

The gardens are open 7:30am until 8pm through September. The Menagerie (zoo), snack stands and the Natural History Museum remain open during construction.