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March 2005

Paris Guide

Here are recommendations from women travelers and their friends for a great Paris experience. Restaurants Left Bank Brasserie Balzar, 49 Rue des Ecoles (5th), tel: 01.43.54.13.67, popular Left Bank hangout Cafe Rostand, 61 Place Edmond Rostand (6th, across from Luxembourg Gardens), tel: 01.43.54.61.58 C'est Mon Plaisir, 8 Rue Falguiere (15th near Montparnasse), 01.42.73.07.02 Chez Clement (chain), 9 Place St. Andre des Arts (6th -- and other locations), 53. 01.56.81.32.00, www.chezclement.com Chez Henri, 9 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve (5th), 01.43.29.12.12 Chez Maitre Paul, 12 Rue Monsieur-le-Prince (6th), 01.43.54.74.59 Fish la Boissonerie, 69 Rue de Seine (5th near Rue de Buci market), especially for seafood lovers and wine lovers Le Coupe Chou, 11 Rue de Lanneau (5th), www.lecoupechou.com Le Petit Pontoise, 9 Rue de Pontoise (5th), 01.43.29.25.20 Reminet Le Relais d'Ile Les Bouquinistes (or Les Bookinistes), Quai des Grands Augustins Thoumieux, 79 Rue St-Dominique (7th), telephone 01.47.05.49.75, busy bistro with... Read more →


Paris: Best of Le Shopping

Wandering around Paris for more than a week, I made a list of the shops that don't always make the guide books and thus might not be on your list . They're worth checking out. Why? In a city that has a true embarrassment of riches, these are the places that stood out, kept me happy, showed special flair among the competition, and weren't unreasonably pricey. I tend to duck the touristy shops, although some are included because they have something worthy of attention, and focus on "the real Paris," where the Parisians shop. Bookstores The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore, 22 Rue Saint Paul, 4th Arrondissement, telephone 01.48.04.75.08. Email-- good.reading@wanadoo.fr. With so many English-speaking people in Paris, there are several English language bookstores. While Brentanos and Shakespeare & Company have well-established and deserving brands, The Red Wheelbarrow in the Marais is the place to which I will always return. It's a... Read more →


The Woman Who Saved Paris

On the top of the Left Bank hill housing the dramatic Panthéon monument seen from afar across the city stands a particularly inspiring church, the Église St-Étienne-du-Mont, one of the spiritual centers of Paris. In a special shrine within the church lie the remains of Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, who in the 5th century is said to have saved Paris from Attila the Hun through her prophesy. Her memory is revived each morning at 8 a.m. when the bells in four bell towers awake the neighborhood in a sustained medley -- and sound out the hours and half hours and other special holy times throughout the day. On this site in the 6th century in the basilica of Sainte-Pierre-Saint-Paul, King Clovis -- who had converted to Christianity under the guidance of Saint Geneviève -- along with Queen Clothilde and Geneviève herself were buried. The present church, still... Read more →


Patricia Wells Talks Parisian Cuisine

In her more than 20 years in Paris, food critic and connoisseur Patricia Wells has steeped herself in the culture, traditions, restaurants and home cooking of Paris and of France. Her authoritative book, The Food Lover's Guide to Paris, 4th Edition, has more than 400 pages of info on dining, cooking schools, specialty foods, wine bistros, markets and more. I first interviewed Patricia in the late '80s about her book, Bistro Cooking, which has served as one basis of my home cooking when I want to prepare French food simply in my own kitchen. Not only has Patricia written several books on the topic, she also now runs her own cooking classes and keeps writing books, the next one on vegetables. I caught up with Patricia for an interview that updates the Paris food scene for women. Q: In the 20-plus years you've been in Paris, what are the most... Read more →


Paris a la Carte

This is not about food, but about the many ways you can lose yourself (in a very pleasant and creative way) in a city like Paris. I love the open-air markets, and every day, despite the snow, there is one to be found nearby in the 5th and 6th Arrondissements (districts) on the Left Bank (and anywhere else in the city for that matter). Imagine the snow-covered ground -- and the most beautiful tulips in yellow with red tinges sitting there waiting for you in the market. Or a fresh fillet of sole, an artichoke, a bunch of thyme and a Gamay red wine from the Loire. I start the morning in the market at Place Maubert near the intersection of the 5th and 6th Ar. on the Left Bank, seized first by a cashmere paisley pashmina (about $38) to wrap around my jacket like the French women do (it... Read more →