May 25, 2015

Memorial Day at the Suresnes American Cemetery

High atop the Mont Valérien at the Suresnes American Cemetery,  lie 1,565 American soldiers who served our country during WWI and WWII. Each year, people come here from all over the world to pay their respects and show their gratitude during a moving Memorial Day ceremony*.

Suresnes American Cemetery, France
 
Yesterday, gathered at the base of the chapel overlooking Paris, visitors joined local officials and members of the military for speeches, prayers, wreath laying and the raising of both the French and American flags with their respective anthems. Looking up into the clear blue sky, those in attendance also had a brief glimpse of an American F16 as it roared overhead.

Chapel at the Suresnes American Cemetery, France

Memorial Day speech by Mayor of Suresnes, Christian Dupuy
Military at the Suresnes American Cemetery, France

It truly was a special occasion. For those unable to attend the ceremony, the cemetery and chapel remain open year round for visits.

Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial
123 Boulevard Washington
92150 Suresnes 

Note: The ceremony is traditionally held the day before Memorial Day.


May 18, 2015

Chic Shopping in Le Haut Marais

Paris' Haut Marais district is home to the hottest boutiques, galleries and restaurants for the city’s hippest inhabitants (and visitors!).  Throughout the tiny streets there are tons of gems to discover for even the most discerning foodies, artists, fashionistas and fashionmistas.

When planning a day in this area, there are two places that have it all: the 1,500 m² concept store Merci, and La Maison Plisson food hall.

Opened in 2009, Merci brings together fashion, design, household goods and 3 cafés/restaurants under one roof. Throughout the year, the store transforms its displays over 15 times to highlight unique themes, such as the Urban Market, as experienced during my recent visit.

Merci concept store, Paris, France
Merci concept store, Paris, France
Merci concept store, Paris, France
Merci concept store, Paris, France
Merci concept store, Paris, France

La Maison Plisson is the newest phenomenon to hit the Marais’ streets. Opened just weeks ago, this épicerie and café is the go-to spot for locally produced eats. Here you can fill your shopping tote with everything from produce, charcuterie and cheese, to wine, bread and sweets.

La Maison Plisson, Paris, France
La Maison Plisson, Paris, France
La Maison Plisson, Paris, France
La Maison Plisson, Paris, France


Merci
111 boulevard Beaumarchais
75003 Paris

La Maison Plisson
93 boulevard Beaumarchais
75003 Paris

May 12, 2015

Fun for All at the Jardin d’Acclimatation

Paris has no shortage of green spaces and parks to spend a beautiful spring day, one of them being the Jardin d’Acclimatation

Located near the Bois de Boulogne and the recently opened Fondation Louis Vuitton, this park is an absolute paradise for children and families. Here there is no shortage of ways to be entertained.

Jardin d'Acclimatation, Paris

Admission to the park is 3€ per person (or included with the purchase of a ticket to the neighboring Fondation Louis Vuitton). Once inside, there are a variety of free attractions such as playgrounds, a petting zoo and themed gardens to discover. For an additional cost, amusement park rides,  restaurants, workshops and more can also be enjoyed. 

Jardin d'Acclimatation, Paris
Jardin d'Acclimatation, Paris 
Jardin d'Acclimatation, Paris
Jardin d'Acclimatation, Paris
Jardin d'Acclimatation, Paris 

Jardin d'Acclimatation
Bois de Boulogne
75016 Paris


May 11, 2015

Inside the Exquisite Fondation Louis Vuitton

Since it opened its doors in October 2014, I have been eager to discover the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, this grand glass building is truly magnificent.

Exterior of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

Not a big fan of modern art, I was more captivated by the structural design than the contemporary pieces within it. Inside, large white and airy rooms create a smooth flow and purist backdrop throughout the different galleries. Outside, a cascading water feature gives a nod to the building’s boat like appearance. 

Rose sculpture and foyer at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
Gallery featuring Sigmar Polke at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
Sculpture by Thomas Schütte at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
Work by Olafur Eliasson at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
The high point for me however, was the incredible view from the uppermost terrace. Visitors are privy to a spectacular look at the Eiffel Tower, La Défense and the Jardin d’Acclimatation. 

View of La Défense from  the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

And if like me, you’re a little more keen on the art classics, be sure not to miss the temporary exhibit, Les Clefs d’une passion, (on until July 6, 2015), which showcases old favorites like Monet, Matisse and Picasso. 


La Fondation Louis Vuitton
8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi
75116 Paris

May 9, 2015

A Rainy Day at Le Musée des Arts et Métiers

An effort to embrace last weekend’s rainy weather led us to discover a museum that neither one of us had ever visited, Le Musée des arts et métiers.

As it was the first Sunday of the month, admission was free (You can learn more about participating museums and conditions here.), which naturally made it even better.

Musée des arts et métiers, Paris

Located in the Marais, the museum, dedicated to technological innovation, was founded in 1784 and is home to over 2,400 inventions. Spread throughout a colossal building, including a church, it's divided into seven collections: Scientific Instruments, Materials, Energy, Mechanics, Construction, Communication and Transport.

Here we discover everything from the first computers, televisions and cameras, to airplanes, Lavoisier’s chemistry tools and Foucault’s pendulum. 

Musée des arts et métiers, Paris
Musée des arts et métiers, Paris
Musée des arts et métiers, Paris
Musée des arts et métiers, Paris

Musée des arts et métiers 
60 rue Réaumur
75003 Paris

May 4, 2015

Fabulous French Food at Le P'tit Troquet

The month of May in France is rather wonderful, thanks to its numerous bank holidays. This year, we are lucky to have two of them fall on Fridays, creating much-appreciated long weekends.

Unfortunately, the weather over the past few days hasn't been cooperating, and put a damper on our initial outdoor plans. But with a little revision to our schedule, we were still able to enjoy a nice relaxing 3 days.

On Thursday night, as the rain poured down and fog engulfed the Eiffel Tower, we found shelter in one of our favorite bistrots, Le P'tit Troquet.
Eiffel Tower on a foggy evening
Interior of Le P'tit Troquet, Paris

Located in the 7th arrondissement, Le P'tit Troquet is a tiny, eclectically decorated spot to savor a traditional French meal.The service always comes with a smile and their outstanding entrée + plat + dessert menu assures that you never leave with an empty stomach.

Special of the day: Goat cheese and vegetable nems at Le P'tit Troquet, Paris
Beef bourguignon at Le P'tit Troquet, Paris
Crème brûlée at Le P'tit Troquet, Paris
Exterior of Le P'tit Troquet, Paris

Le P'tit Troquet
28, rue de l'Exposition  
75007 Paris