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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:

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Calendar of Paris Events

January 7 - February 17
The annual Winter Sales, aka Les Soldes, take place beginning midnight in shops throughout France, particularly on clothing.

Through February 15
Skate on the Eiffel Tower! There is an ice skating rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower, free for those who already have a ticket for the Tower, open daily 10:30am-10:30pm. Skip the line by taking the stairs, it will help you warm up, too! Skates size 25-47 (EU), gloves are required. 

Through February 15
At the Place de la Concorde is the Grande Roue Ferris Wheel. Each enclosed "car" holds six people. €10 for adult, €5 for kids under 10, open daily 11am-midnight (Fri-Sat until 1am).  

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

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Thursday
Mar262009

Happy Days Diner

Happy Days Diner
25, rue Francisque Gay, 6th
Tel. 01 43 29 67 07
M° Saint-Michel
www.happydaysdiner.fr

Fonzie and Pinky Tuscadero in Paris
Review by Jeanne Suica

Being an American is tough in Paris, it's hard enough struggling with the language but on top of that some of us are termed "ugly Americans" who eat McDonalds, drink Starbucks and have no appreciation for fine food.

I'm a cross between the two and not ashamed of it at all. I spent seven years working at The French Culinary Institute in New York eating fine French food every day (tough job!) but since I've left the US there are many days that I would give my right arm for Oreos, Pop Tarts or a good American burger.

Happy Days Diner will bring you back to the Fifties and has an extensive menu of traditional American plates we all know, love and crave. The decor is charming, a bright aqua and pink with roomy booths and a second floor complete with toy model cars and music memorabilia. If you are a big breakfast person (I'm not I drink Starbucks) they offer pancakes, bacon and eggs for a start, a great way to start the day if you sit on the first floor and get a window seat.

Lunch and dinner feature an extensive choice of various burgers, nachos, a BLT sandwich, hotdogs and a grilled cheese sandwich. If the generous portions are not enough there are also sides of coleslaw, French fires and potato sticks and for good measure a tempting selection of milkshakes including Oreo Cookie, sodas, wine and beer.

A kid's menu is also available featuring a mini hamburger, hotdogs or fish sticks which include a drink and ice cream for an affordable 7.50 euros.

If you are a glutton for punishment check out the larger than life desserts, an authentic banana split, sundaes, brownies and an apple crumble, just some of the many choices.

Impressive as the quality, choice and good service is that they have a website which features their full menu, a brief history of the diner concept and some of their recent press. It appears that this establishment that just opened a few months ago is off to a great start.

My only suggestion would be that the wait staff dress up like Fonzie and Pinky Tuscadero.

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