Free Paris Travel Resources on our New Website

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From innovative chefs to neighborhood flea markets and major works of art, Paris offers much to discover in 2016.  And the low exchange rates (at this writing, the euro and the USD are nearly at par) make discovery affordable.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or practical information, our new Paris by Design website makes it easy to learn the city’s possibilities.

Panoramic photos take you into the heart of the city, from the Seine to the sidewalk to the table. (Read why these gorgeous pics were not so easy to come by.)

Expanded Travel Resource pages share tips on Paris apartments vs hotels, taxi vs Uber, airlines, and upgrades.

Favorite apps help you suss out the best pastries and translations, navigate the city, and enjoy the Louvre.

Need help getting organized? Packing and to-do lists give you the inside scoop on Paris fashion while eliminating pre-trip stress.

And then there is our raison d’être: our small group Paris tours and custom travel planning services, easily accessed by pull down menus and photo grids.

Please take a look around the new site — and let us know what you think!

Paris Haiku—Riding the Bus

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Today another “this could have been written in Paris but wasn’t” haiku, by Australian poet Janice Bostok.

 

stationary bus
talking we visit places
within each other

 

I love taking the bus in Paris, and use the system more and more to get around the city with friends and clients. It’s a pleasure to see the neighborhoods we pass through.

My favorite lines are the 91 and the 69, the 91 because it was the first line I learned, the 69 because of its interesting, cross-city route.

Each bus begins its journey with a few minutes of quiet rumbling.

Riders get on, settle in, friends lean toward each other and talk in low voices. We focus on the world inside the bus until it begins to move.

And what a rich world it is! I’m grateful to Bostok for her sensitivity to the potential in these moments of waiting, to the trip within the trip.

She turns the image of travel inside-out in this haiku.

Where do you ride the bus?

Paris via Poetry — Announcing Haiku Fridays

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I love Paris because she takes me by surprise. She gets me thinking. She wakes me up. She moves me. Even in her most ordinary moments, Paris is sublime.

How to capture those moments, those fleeting insights? Photographs can help… journals, too… But haiku does it best.

Haiku are short, often 3 line poems that look closely at everyday objects. They use precise images, traditionally drawing on the natural world, to express an emotion or a mood.

At the heart of every haiku is a surprise, an insight, a revelation, a “pop”!

A single moment has changed the way the writer sees the world, and when we read the poem, our perspective shifts, too. Isn’t this why we travel?

Announcing Haiku Fridays — weekly glimpses of Paris via poetry, and a great way to keep your Paris experiences alive.

On Fridays, I’ll share a favorite Paris haiku. I welcome your company, your thoughts, and your favorite haiku.

This week, the poem that put Paris on the haiku map: Ezra Pound’s famous “Metro” poem.

While Pound’s verses don’t adhere to the traditional 5-7-5 syllable count, they’re haiku-like in other ways. Three lines paint a vivid picture. They compare two things, one man-made, the other natural, by setting them side-by-side.

The connection is startling, and full of sensory impressions. After riding the Metro hundreds of times, the reader sees its arrival in a new way. I love Pound’s imagination, his precision. And you?

In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
— Ezra Pound, 1916

Next week, I’ll introduce you to a present-day Parisian haikuiste.

In the meantime, if you have a Paris haiku, post it here!

To read Pound’s own words about his poem, click here.

A vendredi prochain! See you next Friday!

Hemingway Bar Closes at the Ritz

The Hemingway Bar at the Paris Ritz closed earlier this month, as the hotel prepares for two years of renovations. The bar, which contains the author’s rifle and other memorabilia, has been a gathering place for locals, and a place of literary pilgrimage for visitors to the city.

The Ritz opened in 1898 under the direction of Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz. It was the first Paris hotel to have electricity on all floors, and bathrooms within its rooms.

Renovations won’t greatly change the luxurious, Louis XV style, but will certainly update behind-the-scenes functions, such as air conditioning, heating and plumbing.

The renovation will close more than 100 rooms and suites, as well as L’Espadon restaurant (a Michelin two star), and the Ritz-Escoffier cooking school.

The trendy Ritz Bar has also closed; the Bar Vendôme will be open for lunch, brunch, dinner and high tea through the summer. The hotel will close July 31.