Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

Not many sports can trace their origin as decisively as basketball: Fans know the first game was played on December 21, 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. But few Americans are aware that the oldest surviving basketball court is in Paris, inside an unassuming building at 14, rue Trévise in the 9th arrondissement. The entrance, in a […]


This post is dedicated with admiration and gratitude to my friend Gilles Thomas, for his knowledge of Paris’ history — and for his generosity in sharing it. Paris’ history is full of unsung heroes whose names have largely been forgotten. One of these is Charles-Axel Guillaumot. Charles-Axel Guillaumot, “the man who saved Paris.” Esteban and […]


“What makes Paris so special?” I get this question a lot. There’s food, art, centuries of history … and I love the Parisians’ flair for sophisticated simplicity. But what draws me back again and again is that there’s always something new to discover — if you have an attentive eye. To me, Paris is a […]


There are lots of theories about why Paris is called “la ville lumière” (“the city of light”). I’ll save mine for another day — as Esteban and I are on our way to the airport in an hour to catch our flight home — but here are a few of the moments I witnessed over […]


Esteban and I have done so much and seen so many friends over the past week that we’ve started comparing notes to make sure we’re keeping our days straight. There are so many stories to tell — beginning perhaps with today’s superb lunch in Paris’ oldest house. But if I stop now to look for […]


I’ve always wanted to see Paris under a blanket of snow, but have always missed it — sometimes by a matter of hours. So imagine my delight when the blue skies that greeted me and Esteban a few days ago turned a heavy lead gray. At first the flakes were big and deceptively fluffy (because […]


When I first stumbled across A French Frye in Paris some eight years ago, Corey Frye had just married a French girl and moved to Paris. His love for the city and perpetual sense of wonder were infectious — and I related to his earnest (but sometimes ill-fated) attempts at learning French. “My husband and […]


On this day 73 years ago, French and American troops liberated Paris from Nazi occupation. Louise Dillery remembers; she was there. Louise was born in Paris on December 14, 1925 to Radjzla (“Rose”) Silberstein and Israël Gradstein, Jewish Polish immigrants who met in Paris. My mother was from Warsaw, and my father was from Lodz […]


From its doorknobs to its house numbers, Paris is rich in architectural details. But it was the city’s iconic pavers that led me on my most recent historical adventure. In some streets the pavers are still arranged in beautiful fan-like patterns. The rue de l’Abreuvoir offers a nice view of the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre, […]


The Cour du Commerce Saint-André in Paris’ sixth arrondissement is little more than a cobbled alley. Open only to pedestrians, it connects the tony and traffic-choked Boulevard Saint-Germain with the bustling little rue de Buci. But when you step onto its uneven paving stones, you’re stepping onto a spot where centuries of history converge. (Full […]


This is my fourth post in series about the unexpected historical connections that abound in Paris. See the past three days’ posts for other clues — or tune in on Sunday for the full story. The Place de la Concorde is not only Paris’ largest public square, but arguably its most historic. Its name changes […]


Although I missed the supermoon in Paris, seeing the moon set behind the Conciergerie was a lovely consolation. How many men and women have gazed at la lune from their prison cells over the centuries? This is my third post about the unexpected ties that bind Paris’ historical sites. See the past two days’ posts […]


One of my favorite things about Paris is that everything is somehow connected. Here’s the second clue. What does it have to do with yesterday’s photo? I will reveal all on Sunday. Paris’ pavers come in a variety of sizes. You’ll find large ones like these mostly along the quays that line the Seine river.


One of my favorite things about Paris is that everything is somehow connected. Over the next week I’ll show you seven photos that at first glance may seem unrelated — and next Sunday I’ll reveal what they share in common. The Place du Trocadéro offers a great view of the Eiffel Tower, but it had […]


Street photography is my Parisian passion. But when I’m traveling with other people, it’s unreasonable to ask them to wait a half hour until the right person walks into the frame. That’s why on this last trip I concentrated instead on small architectural details I could snap on the run, almost without missing a stride. […]


When it comes to travel, Esteban and I are planners: Before every trip we peruse a stack of guide books from the library, study some history, and map out our logistics. Eight cities and three countries in one trip. WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! Although we still leave plenty of time for serendipity, planning helps us […]


Photography often makes me adopt some strange positions. Such was the case when I slithered on my belly along Paris’ Seine river to frame this shot. So engrossed was I in my task that I barely registered the sound of the street-sweeping vehicle approaching from behind, nor did I notice it stopping. “Is everything alright, […]


I was going to whine about how busy the past month has been (because it has felt like the writer’s equivalent of a puppy mill). But then I stumbled across this photo I shot in May and was reminded that even when we’re quite literally running from one thing to the next, there’s still beauty […]


I may have emitted an involuntary little squeal last month when I happened across this scene in Paris: a Citroën deux-chevaux in front of the Place des Vosges. Could it get any more classic? But that wasn’t the first frame I shot. My first frame was an unimaginative, wide-angle snapshot. I take a lot of […]


“You’re going to Paris again?” The annoyance is palpable when friends ask that — and it’s a fair question. There are so many beautiful places in the world, so many interesting cities besides Paris. “Don’t you get bored, seeing the same stuff?” I’m always tempted to reply: This quote came to mind last month in […]