Tag Archives: Paris

Art Deco? Paris? Then Hotel Bachaumont

Not everyone likes art deco. Some think it over done. Too much style.  Not “lived in”.  Then again, in certain institutions, like a hotel, and in certain places, like Paris, art deco seems normal.

Enter Hotel Bachaumont. Here is an image

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I could see myself toddling down that hall. And I would be comfortable here

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Food Republic has a positive review.

Traveller lists it as one of the best new boutique hotels in Paris.

Time to give it a try?



Paris: The Return of the Brasseries!

BI informs us that

Unfortunately, brasseries—informal restaurants where iconic French dishes are served alongside a wide selection of drinks—have fallen off the to-do lists of traveling foodies in recent years, who now gravitate towards the city’s chic bistros, wine bars, and even the rising street food scene.

Hmmm …  I am glad to know that not all is lost. Here is a list of a few brasseries that merit a place on a foodie’s to do list.


When Natalie Clifford Barney Met Oscar Wilde

Barney, you may know, was an expat American writer who lived in Paris. She held a famous salon for over 60 years at 20 rue Jacob, and championed some radical causes.

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I find this story to be rather charming

When Barney was five years old her family spent the summer at New York’s Long Beach Hotel where Oscar Wilde happened to be speaking on his American lecture tour. Wilde scooped her up as she ran past him fleeing a group of small boys, held her out of their reach then sat her down on his knee and told her a story.[7] The next day he joined Barney and her mother on the beach, where their conversation changed the course of Alice’s life, inspiring her to pursue art seriously, despite, years later, her husband’s disapproval.[8] She later studied under Carolus-Duran and James McNeill Whistler.[9] Many of Alice Pike Barney’s paintings are now in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.[10]

Barney was indeed, quite a character. And her residence at 20 rue Jacob was quite a place

The pavillon at 20, rue Jacob, Paris. For over 60 years, Natalie Clifford Barney hosted a literary salon, a weekly gathering at which people met to socialize and discuss literature, art, music and any other topic of interest. Barney strove to feature...

It was a magical place

What made No. 20 a kind of miracle on the Left Bank was its garden, a small oasis in a jungle of tightly packed streets, and a remnant of the great seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gardens which once stretched from the rue Jacob down to the Seine. It contained a tiny Doric “Temple d’Amitie,” now decreed a national monument and probably built during the First Empire or the Restoration, and a disused well which Natalie Barney never bothered to explore. The Germans cleared it out during World War II and found that it led to an underground cave and a passage going underneath the Seine to the Louvre.

Here is an image from inside

The most popular biography of Natalie is called “Wild Heart“.

She is included in Nomadic Matt’s tour of “Paris in the 20’s”.

Hitting the Food Stands at the Salon de L’Agriculture

I just added this event to my annual calendar. Late February, early March to Paris for this display of the various regional foods of France. Of course, it is more than that. You get to see lots of animals as well.

This might get you in the mood

Hit the food stands first, unless you enjoy eating with the scent of manure clinging stuck to your clothes. The food pavilion is organized by region so you can stroll & eat your way through each départment of France. Seek out Brittany and its oyster bars to start off light. Head to the Southwest for something more substantial. Duck sausage with onions? Duck rillettes? Follow this with at least two kinds of cheesy potatoes cooked in an enormous pan, preferably aligot from Auvergne and tartiflette from Alsace. They are lowbrow delights, but delicious ones.

Hey! Who is that guy making nice with a cow?

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The Pompidou Centre Anniversary

The Pompidou Centre arrived on the Parisian cultural stage 40 years ago and mouths have been agape ever since. You either love it or hate the “inside out” building.

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For its anniversary, Pompidou is about to get a very expensive facelift. Kim Willshire writes for the Guardian

The anniversary is to be celebrated with preparations for a two-year facelift expected to cost at least €100m. But architectural traditionalists hoping for a more sober, conventional look will be disappointed. According to plans disclosed to the Observer, the refurbished building, once described as resembling an oil refinery, will look just as inside-out as ever.

You might be surprised how the design came about

Piano and Rogers, young and unknown in 1977, intentionally created something extraordinary on the assumption that they stood no chance of winning a building design competition that had attracted more than 600 international entries.

The design reflects a peculiar sort of French cultural militancy. And as such, it deserves is central spot, don’t you think?

Paris May Soon be the Gondola Capital of the World!

Paris is serious about using gondolas for commuter transport.  From CityLab

What marks Paris’ plan a… different (from the not so successful London experiment) is that it will be the first European city to use a gondola as a genuine commuter route across relatively flat terrain. It’s also being pitched as the beginning of a wider national network: The Île-de-France region is currently considering 12 other gondola plans. The region’s premier, Valérie Pécresse, has all but staked her reputation on gondolas, telling newspaper the Journal Du Dimanche last week that:

Pretty interesting. Something in Paris that is not for tourists?