Paris apartments: a few good picks


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Tourists are in luck this year. There are a glut of vacation rentals at attractive prices. We all know the probable reasons.

I recently trolled the scene at HomeAway/V.R.B.O. and other reputable agency sites and have come up with the following recommendations. Note: I don’t accept kickbacks, the listings are strictly my own.

A few tips: 1. Always check out the square footage. 2. Read the reviews. 3. Know if there is an elevator, if not how many steps to the apartment. 4. Street or neighbor noise?  5. Internet a must.  6. Proximity to metro/public transportation/city center. 7. Go to “street view” in Google Maps (see if there is construction going on). 8. Kitchen…stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave?). 9. Bathroom….nice shower?  10. Where’s the bed? Is this really a studio? Foldout?  11. Fall: When does the heat get turned on? 12. Don’t be afraid to ask the landlord questions. 13. All inclusive price?  Refundable deposit…when. 14. Who will be there to give you the keys (fee if your plane is late?)  15. How do they accept payment.  Make it easy. Normally you don’t have to sign contracts, give them your passport number. Book using Visa or PayPal most secure. Bank transfers costly.


The apartments:

Three from, an agency easy to work with offering a nice range of properties:

Champs Elysées – Faubourg Saint Honoré III


Passy – Trocadero I

Saint Germain des Pres – Prince

Some others I randomly chose that are well priced on HomeAway/V.R.B.O.

Rue De La Roquette    Average $97/night

Rue Danielle Casanova – PARIS 1   Average $126/night, sleeps 4

Apart Galerie Vivienne  Average $129

In upcoming blogs I’ll be showcasing more vacation rentals that I consider bargains.  Here’s hoping you find the perfect “home away from home.” Once you unpack your bags and are settled, start walking…….


The No Worries Paris guidebook


Goodbye Bill


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Bill Cunningham, one of the original street-style photographers died on Saturday in Manhattan.

I met him in Paris on several occasions. We were both on the same quest….capturing the excitement of Fashion Week. From years of experience, he knew the who’s who, had all the show addresses (many big houses keep theirs secret), had front row seats (sometimes he was content just to photograph the comings and goings), and ALWAYS, come rain or shine, wore his blue signature shirt. He stood a little stooped (who wouldn’t at 87), had crooked teeth, and a smile that crept up to his eyes. If you said “hi”, he didn’t respond because, like most photographers on the job, the shot takes precedence over everything. Dedicated, humble, never pushy, always carefully selecting his subject, he was an original and I will truly miss him.


9 pet friendly Paris hotels



Let’s face it. We all love our dogs and miss them big time when vacation time rolls around. Long plane rides are prohibitive and most hotels don’t entertain the canine crowd. But there’s good news. Some hotels in Paris are realizing pet lovers are big business and  opening their properties to pampered poodles, discriminating daschunds and reluctantly . . . goofy golden retrievers.  Be sure to heed the weight limits in these listings:

43 Avenue Bugeaud, 75116

The mansion was originally built by the widow of French prime minister, Adolphe Thiers, to provide a learning centre for some of France’s most talented students. Double rooms from $400.75. Owners charged 30 euros per dog.


19 Place du Panthéon, 75005

The fifth and sixth floors have panoramic views over Paris’ rooftops. $140/night. Small dogs under 10kg can stay for £15 a night

31 Avenue George V
Paris 75008

Rooms from $1375/night. One pet under 7 kilos is allowed for no additional fee.

22 Rue Buci
Paris 75006

Rooms start at $230/night. One small pet is allowed for no additional fee. Please note that pets are not allowed in the breakfast area.


5 Rue Des Volontaires
Paris 75015

One pet is allowed for a fee of 15 euros per night. Please note that pets are not allowed in the restaurants or bar.  $87


BEST WESTERN EMPIRE ULYSSES , 3 Rue De Montenotte, Paris 75017
Pets are welcome for an additional fee of 5 euros per night. $134

31 Rue Du Roi De Sicile
Paris 75004

One pet is allowed for no additional fee. Please note that pets are not allowed anywhere in the public areas.  $123

SEVRES SAINT GERMAIN HOTEL, 22 Rue Saint-Placide, 75006 Paris    $139

2 rue des Guillemites, 75004

Dogs stay for free, and the hotel can provide bowls and food on request.   $300

Now, go walk the dog. Here is your guide, all walks are free.

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Paris: make your night magical



A quick fix to tired feet or general walking malaise can be had for a pittance. Bateaux Mouche prowl the Seine in style and if you don’t mind feeling like you’re on a cattle car smooshed together with a lot of other international tourists, get over it and buy a ticket.


A ‘bateau mouche’ is a term used generically for such tourist boats on the Seine and does translate literally as “fly boats” (“fly” meaning the insect); however, the name comes from the fact that they were originally manufactured in boatyards situated in the Mouche area of Lyon.


Time your cruise:  Daytime cruises take about 1-1/2 hours.

High season (April to September)
10•15am – 11•00am – 11•30am – 12•15pm
1•00pm – 1•45pm – 2•30pm – 3•00pm
3•30pm – 4•00pm – 4•30pm – 5•00pm
5•30pm – 6•00pm – 6•30pm – 7•00pm

Low season (from October to March)
11•00am* – 12•00 – 1•00pm – 1•45pm
2•30pm* – 3•15pm – 4•00pm – 4•45pm – 5•30pm*
6•15pm – 7•00pm – 7•45pm – 8•30pm* – 9•20pm
Extra departures on weekends from 10:15am
A minimum of 50 passengers is required for the boat to leave the quay

Fares: It’s  best to go directly to their site. Lunch and dinner cruise prices can change. Click here:  The company has nine general cruise boats and 6 restaurant boats.

Board here: Pont de l’Alma
75008 Paris
Metro: Alma – Marceau


“Nighttime is probably the right time to be with the one you love” when you’re in Paris. The boats blast the banks with light and all the monuments look pretty sensational. Seasick prone? Not a problem, the super wide hulls are totally stable. Best seat, front row…but of course. Shimmery and golden as they glide the river, this boat ride is a nice time-out. Of course there are other boats that basically cruise the same route, but this one has been on the job since 1949. Experience counts.

Once you’re rested, refreshed and ready to hit the town, get back on track with No Worries Paris, best walking guide for the city of light.

Healthy fix for chilly spring in Paris: lentil soup



Easy recipe:

3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
Balsamic vinegar, ham or sausages (optional)

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups soup to blender and puree until slightly lumpy – don’t over swirl and make it into babyfood. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. For non-vegetarians consider adding some sausage or ham. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery or cilantro leaves.

Suggest peppery Bob’s Redmill petite green lentils. buy them here


With 25% protein,  the lentil is the vegetable with the highest level of protein other than soybeans.

Provides  antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which bind with and destroy free radicals, reducing oxidative damage to cells.

Have high content of tannins, phytochemicals that prevent cancer growth, making them a good addition to any diet.

Good source of important minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. Iron deficiency causes anemia while zinc is one of several nutrients necessary for fending off infections.

Where to get a good  bowl of lentil soup in Paris?

Restaurant Dominique Bouchet
11 rue Treilhard, 8th arr.

Les Papilles 30 RUE GAY LUSSAC
5th arr (not always on the menu) – their delicious cauliflower soup an alternative


April showers Paris? duck in here


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From 6 April to 1 August 2016, the Pompidou Centre presents an exhibition on one of the 20th century’s leading artists: Paul Klee. This retrospective, featuring 250 works by this major figure of modern art, looks at the career of the artist through the prism of irony. Originating in early German Romanticism, this satire and detachment enabled Paul Klee to be creative and paint whilet at the same time denouncing the policies and ideologies of his time.


The exhibition is organized around seven themes: ‘Les débuts satiriques (Satirical Beginnings)’, ‘Klee et le cubisme (Klee and Cubism)’, ‘Théâtre mécanique (Mechanical Theatre)’, ‘Klee et les constructivismes (Klee and Constructivism)’, ‘Regards en arrière (Looking Back)’, ‘Klee et Picasso (Klee and Picasso)’ and ‘Années de crise (Crisis Years)’.

11am – 9pm. Closed on Tuesday

€14. Reduced rate: €11. Free for children aged under 18.

Metro: Rambuteau (line 11), Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11), Châtelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14)
RER: Châtelet-les Halles (lines A, B and D)
Bus: 29, 38, 47, 75



PERSONA: Now until November 13, 2016

At a time of major debates on transhumanism and artificial intelligence, the Quai Branly Museum presents an exhibition for understanding the mechanisms by which the cultures of the ancient to the most contemporary, “inject person” in objects.

The shaman who summons the spirits through a statuette taking the features of the gods, the child who has a passion for his security blanket, all those who converse with the pet, mutual friend of everyday life … everywhere, the boundaries between the human and all that surrounds it seem more and more permeable, raising broader questions of cohabitation between man, object, animal and machine.

Musée du quai Branly
37 Quai Branly
75007 Paris 7

Closed on Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 11:00 am-07:00 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11:00 am-09:00 pm

What’s happening Paris: March


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A few cherry-picked selections to fit into your walking/eating/shopping/faire les betises schedule.

Musée d’Orsay
1 rue de la Légion-d’Honneur
75007 Paris   From 22 March to 17 July 2016

This exhibition, initially presented at the Palazzo Ducale de Venise in 2015, has now made its way to the galleries of the Orsay Museum. A major representative of naïve art, Henri Rousseau was, in particular, known by the nickname Douanier Rousseau. Although he travelled very little, he was renowned for his paintings which represent jungle scenes. From an album called “Savage Beasts” and following visits to the jardin des Plantes as well as the Natural History museum – these are the things behind his most well-known paintings.

Some of his masterpieces, which belong to the collections of the Orsay and Orangerie Museums, can be found here, alongside others of his paintings on loan from the greatest international establishments. Also on exhibition are works by Kandinsky, Picasso, Seurat and Delaunay but also lesser-known artists, in order to highlight the inspirations and influence of the French painter.

How to get there
Bus 24 Bus 63 Bus 68 Bus 69 Bus 73 Bus 83
Metro 12 Solférino
RER C Musée d’Orsay
Prices:Normal rate : 11.00 €   Reduced rate : 8.50 €



Omnivore Festival: From 06 March to 08 March 2016

Maison de la Mutualité
24 rue Saint-Victor, 75005 Paris

Dedicated to the discovery of all types of food, the Omnivore Festival has already groomed many talents through the five act demonstration. This year, the event is bringing to the spotlight, close to 150 guests for different events of more than 110 master classes.
The food club will welcome renowned chefs like the French Jean-François Piège and Anne-Sophie Pic ; the Spaniard, Andoni Luis Aduriz; the Shanghai chef, Paul Pairet; and Normand Laprise and Charles-Antoine Crête from Quebec. By the way, Montreal is the guest of honor at the festival with about ten different Canadian dishes. The pastry club, on its part, will assemble close to 25 professionals in pastry and chocolate making. French and international producers, grape producers brewers are expected at the Craftsman and liquid clubs. The Avant-Garde club is the platform for showcasing new talents.

How to get there
Metro 10 Cardinal Lemoine,



The Orchestra of Found Items, From 11 March to 20 March 2016

Olympia, 28 boulevard des Capucines, 75009 Paris

Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, the creators of the spectacle Stomp, present a new show which is most detached and fascinating. On stage are uniquely talented drummers who recreate each section of a symphony orchestra using a host of everyday objects turned into musical instruments: pots, bottles, dustbins, barrels, oil cans, lids, sinks and even traffic cones. Far from the kind of chaos that is imagined, these crazy artists offer us an amazing concert. A total of sixty musicians, singers, comedians and dancers will participate in this spectacle which is as explosive as it is inventive.

How to get there: Metro 3 Opéra,  Metro 8 Madeleine
Prices : from 29.00 to 95.00 €

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For even more entertainment, consult your No Worries Paris guidebook

Paris: short course cooking classes




If you’ve been to Paris countless times and want to mix it up and come home with some authentic French cooking skills, give this list a good look.

At the top of the list is the Valentine Day workshop at Le Cordon Bleu, February 13.

Chocolate and raspberry heart-shaped entremets (a light dish served between two courses of a formal meal)
Rose macaroons
Participants will enjoy a glass of Champagne after the class. 190€ per participant.
Translated into English.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
Price: € 190.00
Address: 8 Leon Delhomme street
Duration: 6 Hours

One of the best culinary schools in the world. Le Cordon Bleu proposes a range of short term culinary discoveries for those with a passion for the art of cooking. A complete description of their short courses can be found on their website.

Francoise Meunier is located in the 2nd arrondissement. The Paris cooking school was opened in 1997 by Francoise Meunier, a pioneer of public cooking classes. During the three-hour class students prepare a three-course meal and then sit down to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Classes are in French, but Françoise speaks English.  Address: 7, Paul-Lelong Street.


A typical French cooking class

Promenades Gourmandes with Paule Caillat offers walking tours of culinary Paris and cooking classes. Classes are taught in Paule Caillat’s contemporary home kitchen, located in an easily accessible historic Marais building. With no more than eight students per class, you will relish an experience that is personalized, friendly and fun. Classes start at 9:00 am with an open-air market tour, followed by a hands-on cooking class and a four-course lunch, finishing around 3 :00 pm.Each class includes a cheese tasting, along with discussion and explanation of the subtleties that make France’s fromage so unique.   Address: 187 Du Temple Street.

International Kitchen gives one day cooking class. And “Cooking Vacations” for 1 to 8 nights. The full day in Paris is a gastronomic experience. Visit a Parisian market with the chef. Learn to cook a full menu. Prices range from $100 to $395 per person, and the cooking courses can usually be confirmed for as few as two people. The lesson takes place in Chef Frédéric’s beautiful apartment kitchen, which is located on the border of the 20th and 11th arrondissements. The class begins in a nearby local market, where you’ll choose your ingredients for your class. Back in the kitchen, Frederic shares some wonderful tips as you create a full menu, including appetizer, main dish and dessert. He will also teach techniques for recreating these wonderful dishes — such as stuffed lamb shoulder and fruit with honey and thyme — at home. After class, enjoy a tasting of everything you’ve created.

L’Atelier des Chefs is one of the best Paris cooking schools. You can select your level of cooking. Also offers 3 hours courses, 4 hours courses. There are five locations in Paris. Check their website for their schedule (in French). Priced right.


Atelier des Sens offers 2, 3 hours courses specially designed for the gourmet. Under the guidance of professional chefs, learn basic cooking techniques and actions to master traditional recipes, be it refined or inventive. Fresh market cuisine, local product cuisine, fusion cuisine, gastronomic cuisine, quick meals, introduction to molecular cuisine and a focus on cooking techniques are classes offered. Address: 40 rue Sedaine Paris 11th arrondissement.

Academie Cinq Sens offers midday cooking where you can learn one recipe.  The also offer children’s courses.  65-85 euros. Address: Village royal 25 rue Royale, 8th arrondissement.

Guest Cooking is specially for tourists who want to learn French home cooking. Workshops for kids. Address:  6 Rue Ernest et Henri Rousselle, 75013 Paris

École de Cuisine Alain DucasseLearn to cook an entire gastronomical menu. Vegetarian classes, vitamin cocktails, fileting to cooking fish, kids’ course, 3 star cooking of the Riviera. 64, rue du Ranelagh – 75016 Paris



Paris by the BOOK


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The No Worries Paris guide, that is. The stock market is plummeting, the political candidate news is disturbing, cheap oil is affecting world markets, there’s trouble in the Middle East, and there are epic storms predicted for the East Coast, but there is still Paris.

A few random pages from the book (or ebook) to inspire your walks are below. There’s no shortage of maps, photos or street by street directions. Have a look:






In a nutshell, No Worries Paris takes readers on a visually luscious journey to the city’s striking monuments, as well as into the cobblestone crannies of its villages and along the glamorous fashion boulevards.

Virtually all of Paris is covered in 10 Walking Tours, each with its own map. Walks take from a half-day to a day to complete, starting at one Metro stop and ending at another. The tours are complemented by 10 Promenades, which are shorter in length, taking in the sights around a single attraction, mainly on the fringes of city’s arrondissiments. No Worries Paris is sure to meet expectations the famous sights s of Paris but it is also full of surprises at out-of-the way places.

The time is now. Gather up all the acorns you’ve saved over the  years, raid the stash under your matrress or max out your credit card. Air fares have never been better.


“Getting around the City of Light should be a cinch. And it is on paper. Then reality gets in the way. There is so much to see, so much to eat. What to do? Jerry and Janine Sprout have made it trouble-free for visitors to Paris by dividing the city into walking tours that take a half to a full day, depending on your pace, and cover anywhere from a few miles to a maximum of six. The promenades in the book are shorter, taking about half a day. Each tour starts and ends at a Metro stop, and there is plenty of time set aside for detours, stops and just wandering. All the famous spots (Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, Montmartre) and neighborhoods are here.” —-Chicago Tribune

Park it in the Marais at Square Georges Cain


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Out of Paris’s 400 parks, the tucked-away Square Georges Cain, an oasis of greenery,  gets my vote for poetic escapes. Maybe it’s the circular design, the gardeners’ decision to fill the center surrounding the statue of Aurore with a sea of orange long-stemmed roses in the spring, or to color coordinate all the other flowers with a pastel palette to complement the archeological relics around the perimeter. The sign at the park’s entrance reads “colors too bright would monopolize the view of the passer by.” Walk in, sit down and I guarantee you’ll feel soothed. There always seems to be an empty bench, just how the neighborhood regulars  like it.



Who was Georges?  Answer: a painter and writer who was a long time curator (1897-1914) at the Carnavalet Museum.

Pieces from the history of Paris dispersed in the square include the remains of the previous Town Hall, Merovingian sarcophagi, and the pediment of the central pavilion of the Tuileries Palace still blackened from the fire that destroyed it.




If you intend to visit Musee Picasso or Musee Carnavalet, this is a place to head for afterwards . Your feet will thank you and you’ll have a chance to read your No Worries Paris guide for where-to-next inspiration.

Stay long enough and you might have a chance to hear ” Le Rossignol Electrique’ by Eric Samakh (1990), a small electronic bird that starts singing whenever the wind blows (iffy in the summer).

7 rue Payenne
75003 Paris
District : Le Marais