An Update on Paris Street Art in the 13th 

It's been awhile since my last update of the latest street art in the 13th arrondissement, but there's always more being added! The 13th has an impressive number of street art murals from artists around the world thanks to support from the local Mayor Jérôme Coumet, who is keen to cover up some of the less interesting towers of the district with beautiful murals, and local galleries who regularly feature these artists in shows. Last week I visited the vernissage at the Galerie Mathgoth for the street artist Christian Guémy, aka "C215".

Click to read more ...


New Book Alert: Travel Journalism!

Travel journalism. It’s a glamorous profession, you probably think. Expense accounts to eat in fancy restaurants, free stays in luxury hotels, endless offers to trek the globe — sounds good, right?

Well, travel journalists don’t actually do those things as much as you think. Not real ones, at least. And now that anyone can publish online, from blogs to Instagram, it’s all become a bit more complicated. Being a travel journalist is actually much more complex and nuanced than writing about your latest trip to some coastal town. There’s a lot at stake when you write about a foreign place. 

That’s the takeaway from my book, Travel Journalism: Informing Tourists in the Digital Age, published by Routledge this year. The culmination of nearly 6 years of research at the Sorbonne, it covers travel journalism from a variety of viewpoints. How has social media affected travel journalism? How can it be a constructive practice? How has the sharing economy intersected with journalism? 

There are a lot of questions, and many answers to choose from, but this book, I hope, gets the conversation started.

Heather — founder of Secrets of Paris, in case you didn't know — gave me my first break into travel journalism years ago when she took me under her wing. A true journalist herself, she instilled a lot of the values and practices in me that I discuss in this book. She’s proof that travel journalism can be better than what most of us are seeing online. As we led our trave writing workshop a few years ago, we discussed many of the ideas I wrote about in this book, and I hope that they can now be useful to a new generation of travel journalists.

Make note, however, that this is not simply a how-to guide for wannabe journalists. It's more of an ethnography, a snapshot of the profession in the early 21st century. If you are familiar with the basic tenets of journalism or have worked in travel media, you’ll probably find it informative. There are a lot of academic references in it, but don’t be daunted. The principle messages should be fairly straightforward to any reader with some journalism experience.

If you’re a media student, a practitioner, or simply curious about travel journalism and its changes with the internet, this book might be of interest to you. I hope to see what sorts of ideas and research spin off it, because my work is far from the last word on travel journalism!

Check out Travel Journalism: Informing Tourists in the Digital Age on Amazon here.


Station F's New Italian Food Market 

When there is a line in Paris, you know you’ve stumbled upon something new and trendy. Recently, we waited in a line at the Station F, a small business incubator and one of the newest hot spots in Paris. Housed in a former rail station in the 13th arrondissement used by La Poste, today it is home to Paris’s coolest small business start-ups.

But we don’t care about business — not here at least. Today we’re talking about food.

Click to read more ...


Cycling in Paris: An Update

I’m not in London anymore. When I moved back to Paris after a year and a half in the UK, this became clear on many levels. The baguettes. The smoking. The cafés. It was all just as I had left it — almost. 

One of the most striking difference was as I hopped on my bike to whisk off to some social engagement where I realized that Paris’s cycle culture had changed enormously, and mostly for the better.

Click to read more ...


Mystery Author Cara Black's Research in Paris' 13th Arrondissement

New York Times best-selling author of the Aimée Leduc mystery series set in Paris, Cara Black spends a lot of the time in the city interviewing locals to research her books. I've known Cara for a long time (we even launched our books together at a fabulous event in San Francisco three years ago), so I was thrilled to hear the newest book in the series Murder on the Left Bank would take place in my neighborhood, Paris' 13th arrondissement. Here is Cara's blog post about the morning we spent together strolling around the local market, shopping for groceries (me) and gathering stories from the long-time locals who grew up here. 

Click to read more ...


Music by the Glass

Sinfonietta, a Paris chamber music organization, sponsors a series called Music by the Glass which features intimate concerts in small concert halls and private homes throughout the city. The same concert is performed on Friday and Saturday evenings, once in a hall and once in a lovely, spacious Paris home. Article by Secrets of Paris contributor Yvonne Shao

Click to read more ...