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

April 17-26
A comedic and "disrespectful" take on the classic movie Casablanca titled Casablanca: The Gin joint cut takes the stage at Théâtre Déjazet, 41 boulevard du Temple, 75003 Paris for 11 shows next month. With a small cast of only three, this is the play's first appearance in France. Buy tickets online.

May 4
From 8:15 to 11 PM, enjoy the Once Upon a Table dinner at 59, Rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris. For only €130, you have the chance to eat a five course French meal, drink local wine and immerse yourself in Paris' stellar food culture. Register on the website.

Through June 15
Comic book fans, take heed! New exhibit Superheroes: the Art of Alex Ross at the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture brings to us the work of a groundbreaking comic book artist, who has worked on the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Wednesday to Sunday, 11 AM-6 PM at 34 avenue du New York, Paris 75116. 


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

Secrets of Paris Newsletter #140 will be sent April 30th. Sign up here to get it emailed direct to your inbox. 


Cabaret Theatre to the Music of Kurt Weill

You don't have to be a fan of cabaret or even be familiar with the music of Kurt Weill to enjoy Whiskey Bars, but it sure helps if you understand a bit of French. I had already seen Bremner Duthie perform the one-man-show in English about a year ago, just after he had toured the summer festival scene to much critical acclaim. On Saturday night I went to the opening of the French version of the show, and found it just as interesting, if not better because of the fabulously atmospheric venue (Espace La Comédia, 6 impasse Lamier, 11th, M° Philippe Auguste).


Slightly tweaked in its new incarnation, the story is basically about an aging English cabaret singer talking to an invisible French critic in his dressing room as he prepares for that evening's show -- his crucial comeback performance. He speaks in Franglais, his almost perfect French peppered with English when appropriate. The Kurt Weill songs are mostly in English, with one in French and another in German. It's a compelling story -- we find his character funny, sad, dramatic and tragic in turns. His haunting version of Mack the Knife is worth the admission price alone. Catch the show every Saturday night through July 5 at 10:30pm, reservations 01 58 39 39 15, tickets €13-15. Don't miss it!


A Day at the French Open


On June 2 the weather almost felt like spring, sunny and dry for a change. So I joined friends at the Roland Garros Stadium to catch some of the French Open action. Those who don't have tickets for the central courts (Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen) can see what's happening on the big screen set up in the Place des Mousquetaires.


Stadium cushions, daily programs, posters and big tennis balls (for the players to sign, if you can catch them) are for sale on every corner. Larger boutiques sell all sorts of accessories, Lacoste clothing, and Roland Garros souvenirs. There are even little packets of the famous red clay dirt.


The Tenniseum Tennis Museum is open year round at Roland Garros except during the French Open. Entrance is €7.50, For €15 you can visit the museum as well as a behind-the-secenes tour of the stadium's courts, press room, and lockers.  



Mon Bon Chien Anniversary Party

On Thursday I took the little monsters (Lena and Pedro) to the One Year Anniversary party of Mon Bon Chien. The doggies were fed freshly-baked pupcackes while the humans sipped Champagne and pretended they didn't see their charges squirting on the sofa.

Hat Sternstein and her fresh-baked dog biscuits.


She who passes out the snacks gets all of the attention.



French Doctors Make House Calls

A Secrets of Paris reader wrote in today about how after several years of living in Paris she's only just discovered that French doctors make house calls 24 hours, 7 days a week. Learn more about SOS Médecins and the ins and outs of doctor visits in the Paris Resource Guide (under Essentials: Health & Safety).


Me & Audrey Tautou

I spent all Wednesday morning hanging out at Harry's New York Bar (Sank Roo Doe Noo), but before you think my barfly tendencies have returned, I have to say I was working. Earlier in the month I was called in to be an extra for another Claude Berri film (I was an extra for "L'Un reste, l'autre part"), and spent a sweltering afternoon in an un-air conditioned theatre as part of the "audience". I didn't recognize any of the actors, but thought that one of the girls looked a lot like Audrey Tautou, almost as if she could be her little sister.

Almost three weeks later, they're still filming the same movie (tentatively titled "Ensemble, c'est tout") and the casting agent calls to ask if I could do a bar scene at Harry's. I love that bar, so I agreed to come along for another day of filming, this time happy to be indoors on such a wet and chilly day (where the heck did spring go, anyway?). In the beginning I'm at the back of the bar at a table of four, chatting with the other extras. When I see the little Audrey look alike I mention it to the others. "C'est elle," they tell me. It is her!

I had just seen "Da Vinci Code" a few days earlier, so the image of her with longer hair was still fresh in my mind. "But she's so young looking!" And they all agreed, she looks like a teenager in person. I got a closer look later in the scene when I was told to stand next to her at the bar, pretending to talk another extra (we can move our lips, but aren't allowed to make any sound...harder than it looks!) and she's just sooooo tiny!! Maybe five feet tall, 90pounds max. She looks so much...taller on screen. I was obsessed at how small her arms looked next to mine (and I have small arms).

I wish I could say Audrey and I got to know each other between takes, but in French films the extras don't "mix" with the actors. She looked very tired, or maybe that was just for the scene (she had to produce tears at one point). According to an article in Le Figaro, the actress may return to theatre to escape the craziness of her "Da Vinci Code" fame. In any case, it seems she has a long career in front of her!


The Poodle of the Place des Vosges

I just finished adding some (mostly doggie-centric) pet info to the Pets in Paris section of the Resource Guide. Would love to hear your suggestions on what else I should add to the page.


If you've ever eaten at Ma Bourgogne (and you should, yum yum!), you may have seen the resident poodle making himself at home.