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

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

Calendar of Paris Events

November 7-15
The 40th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine: produce, meats, cheeses, artisan oils, wines, essential oils, herbs, teas, cosmetics, beauty products, household cleaning products, clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor, books, gardening supplies, as well as stands for environmental tourism, different green activist groups such as Greenpeace, etc.

November 12 - Seattle
Heather will be at Seattle's Paris Eastside cooking school and French boutique for the November Sip & Meet event with copies of Naughty Paris for a special price of just $27 (cover price $39). From 6-8pm, wine and nibbles, €5/person. Come say hello if you're in the area!

November 18-22
Shopping for some supplies for your creative projects? Head down to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles for the annual Création & Savoir Faire show. Scrapboooking, knitting, gardening, baking, sewing, crafts, and decorating ideas for the holidays. Entrance €13-15, €22 for the two-day pass, open 9:30am-6:30pm (until 9:30pm Friday).  

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


New French Law Makes it Easy to Chage Insurance Providers 

Good news for those of you living in France: the newly enacted “Loi Hamon” allows consumers to easily – and without any fees – change their car, motorcycle, home or rental insurance providers at any time after one year. That means no more complicated “resiliation” procedures, registered letters or penalty fees if, after the initial year, you find a better offer elsewhere.

Click to read more ...


How to Find Your Perfect Hotel Room in Paris 

It’s hard enough fining a hotel that fulfills the three ideal requirements of location, price and comfort, but then you have to worry about exactly which room you’re going to get (unless of course you book the Shangri-La’s eponymous “Suite Shangri-La”, in which case you should invite me for apéro, I’ll bring the Champagne!).

But now there’s a website, MyRoomIn, which lets you reserve the specific room you want from over 300 extraordinary hotel rooms in Paris. This is particularly interesting because many Parisian hotels have one or two very unique rooms that are unlike any others, and MyRoomIn highlights them all in one place, allowing you to search using over 100 filters to help you narrow down the choices (bed size, view, check-in/out hours, amenities, equipment, decorative vibe, etc).

And the best part is that the team behind MyRoomIn are all locals with experience in the tourism industry, so they know firsthand the best properties in Paris, hand pick each room to be included on the site, and send their own photographer to perfectly capture each one in detail, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Very few hotel booking sites offer this kind of local expertise and transparency, I highly recommend it. 


New Budget Coach Travel to French Cities 

It’s getting cheaper and more comfortable to travel by bus around France and Europe.

Isilines is a new coach service by Eurolines offering very cheap fares on bus routes that aren’t already covered by Eurolines, and in many cases allowing you to travel between small French towns without having to be routed through big cities like Paris, Lyon, or Marseille which is usually the case when taking the train).

The rates for one-way tickets fluctuate depending on the dates, but with their chart it’s easy to see when the cheapest fares are available. Just a quick glance I found the following fares: Paris to Lille €5, Paris to Bordeaux €14, Paris to Aix-en-Provence €18.

Superior Comfort and Amenities

All busses have free WiFi, electric and USB outlets, personal fold-down table, a/c and light control (like in an airplane), no charge for bags, and huge comfy seats that recline. All stations are in city centers, so no more airport shuttles, and buses actually go slow enough to enjoy the views of the French countryside (ever try taking a photo from the window of a TGV zipping through sunflower fields at 275km/h?) If you've got the time, it can be a great way to travel, see the countryside, and avoid the busy airports and train stations.

European Travel

Isilines only covers France (they’ll be adding more stations through 2016). You can also check out the European-wide routes offered by Eurolines and the the SNCF-operated OuiBus (formerly known as iDBus) wich has a 15 or 30-day pass covering 53 European cities.


Rock-en-Seine Festival Live Streaming

Didn't get tickets to this year's three-day Rock-en-Seine music festival in the Domaine de St-Cloud just outside Paris? You can now watch the concerts live in streaming and archived here on the CultureBox feed throughout the duration of the festival, including The Libertines, The Offspring, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand & Sparks, The Chemical Brothers, and Hot Chip, among many more. Starting Friday August 28th, stay tuned!


A Very Special Stuffed Animal Boutique in Paris

A very special thanks to Jason Lee Wong and Martine Marras for sharing this adorable video with Secrets of Paris (subtitles in English):

"Behind a packed shop of plush animals, in the 14th district of Paris, is Patrick - "Monsieur Peluche" - an amazingly friendly and chatty man you wouldn't expect to own a toy shop. This two minute portrait video specifically was made for the Sony FS7 competition in Europe during the month of November 2014. Patrick, however, did not want his face to be filmed - which provided an interesting challenge that ended up a part of the creative narrative."

Tout en Peluche
39 rue Raymond Losserand, 14th
M° Pernety
Tel 09 52 18 22 51




Unique Art Prints in Paris

If you're near the Centre Pompidou, don't miss the Sergeant Paper Art Store (38 rue Quincampoix, 4th), a concept store which promotes and sells original art prints and screen prints by well-known and up-and-coming artists in the field of urban arts, graphic arts and illustration. They are priced to be accessible, in limited editions signed by the artists.

All Photos from Sergeant Paper

You can find prints by the internationally-renowned street artists like Shepard Fairey (of "Obey" and Obama"Hope" poster fame), screen prints of music festival posters like the Gallows from Hellfest, and cool vintage-style posters reminiscent of the old French Chemin de Fer publicity posters from the artist Mads Berg. 

Shepard Fairey art posters with a Rodchenko touch.

Hellfest poster for Gallows and Mads Berg art print. 

I bought my friend a limited-edition print of an illustration that was originally created by the French artist Cruschiform for the Taschen book Cabins. It's called Monks Cabin (below). 

You can purchase their artworks online to be shipped, or you can pick them up in the boutique. The sturdy mailing tube and certificate of authenticity are included with every purchase. They also sell art books and organic cotton t-shirts, scarves, hats, etc. under their Paris-made brand Sergeant Cotton. Open Tues-Sat, noon-8pm.

As an aside, you should visit the Rue Quincampoix even if you're not shopping for prints. I have always loved this historic, virtually car-free cobblestone street, almost always calm despite being in the center of Paris. When I was a student in the 1990s I would hang out with my friends at L'Imprévu, a quirky little café and bar at the bottom of the street that has barely changed in 20 years.

When I first got married and worked at I lived right around the corner on the Rue du Grenier St-Lazare, and always preferred taking the Rue Quincampoix to avoid walking through the ugly 1970s modernism of the Quartier de l'Horloge next to it (although I still like the old Défenseur du Temps). 

Aside from the Starbucks on the corner of the largest intersection, most of the street remains populated by art galleries, hidden little bars, and specialty shops (spraypaint, craft beer, Japanese calligraphy, nuts).