Jun 27, 2016

Everything Gainsbourg: Régal du Brasseur


Every place has its favorite sons and daughters, its iconic people that you can't seem to escape. Serge Gainsbourg is one of France's, and his face is particularly in your face in Paris, especially if you happen to walk by his old home in the 7th arrondissement on Rue de Verneuil. You won't have to ask which one it is.

Jun 20, 2016

Qualifications: Galet de Bain


Pippa and her gymnastics team achieve their dream -- to go to Nationals. They compete against the best in Paris, then Region (half of Ile de France), then the Zone (all of Ile de France) in order to qualify. Because theirs is an after-school gym 11-hours-per-week program, competing against mostly kids who do special sports-study programs with 20 hours per week of gym, it's very unusual for girls from this Paris gym to make it. In fact, it's been about 10 years since a team of young girls made it all the way.

Jun 14, 2016

Three Strikes: A Filetta


Beware if you're flying in to France that some of the airport traffic is interrupted because the airport traffic controllers have been striking. And, occasionally, airline staff. Once you get there, beware, because some of the RER, RATP, Parisian metro routes, and national trains are interrupted because the workers are striking. And when (if) you finally get into Paris, hold your nose, because I'll give you one guess who else is striking...

Jun 9, 2016

Don't Pet the Crocodile: Bleu du Nil


It comes from a very reputable-sounding source, a website called scienceinfo: Because of the flooding of the Seine, the crocodiles at the Vincennes Zoo were able to access pipes and sewers normally too high for them, and they escaped. They could come up the drains of Paris. You are told to beware and, smartly, not to try to pet them. Of course it turns out to be a hoax. But it's believable mainly for one reason: a crocodile really did escape into the Paris sewers, in 1984.

Jun 3, 2016

Paris, Underwater: Pavé du Tarn


We first moved to Paris in mid-August, staying for a few days in a place right in the tourist zone next to the Eiffel Tower. Needless to say, almost everything was closed, and after 48 hrs here, the girls complained, "You said there would be treats everywhere in Paris!" Well, normally there are, but it literally took us till our third day to find a bakery that was open. That's how it feels to us now when Pippa and I try to find a spot to eat our picnic in central Paris. But this time, it's due to rain: Large chunks of Paris real estate have simply disappeared.

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