Category Archives: PARIS


It’s chic and cheap by Paris standards, but those aren’t the only draws. Celebrity chef Christian Constant’s newish baby bistro, Les Cocottes de Christian Constant, serves casual and creative casseroles popular with locals as well as tourists from around the world.


They are like fraternal twins with features in common, but totally different looks.As to similarities, both hotels sit in the spiffy Eighth Arrondissement of Paris, a short stroll to the Champs Elysées. Both are relatively new or newly recreated and boast five star designations. Both offer comfortable, luxurious stays at rates less than “palace” hotels […]

D’Chez Eux and Perfect Roast Chicken

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,”  an epigram coined in 1849 by French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, has traveled through time, been translated into different languages (English: the more things change, the more they stay the same) and morphed into a proverb. Used by a variety of people around the world, including statesmen, writers, moms […]

Paris Wine Bars

Noël Balen grew up sure of two things: what he wanted to do with his life—music and writing books—and what he didn’t want to do—all the rest. He has certainly achieved his goals. Noël is not only a musician, music critic, director and producer, but also a well-known author. His writing career began with a whodunit, […]

Mandarin Oriental Paris

Today is my birthday. I wish I were in Paris. More precisely, I wish I were in Paris staying at the Mandarin Oriental Paris—a celebration hotel if ever there was one. Unlike other Paris five stars, which can be elegant to the point of stuffy, the Mandarin creates an atmosphere of luxury gift wrapped with […]


We all have favorite books about favorite places. I happen to love Paris and my three favorite books illuminating the city are Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast, Gertrude Stein’s “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” and David Downie’s “Paris, Paris Journey into the City of Light.” Although it is possible (and totally pleasurable) to explore […]


My favorite Paris flea market is not the famous Les Puces de Saint-Quen at Porte de Clignancourt (covering 17 acres and claustrophobically crowded), but the gentle Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves covering two long lanes and quiet enough to allow up-close and personal liaisons with a happy array of second-hand treasures. At […]