Uncategorized

Visit France Next, Pape François

A 19th-century painting of St. Denis, carrying his head after decapitation. Credit The Art Archive/Kharbine-Tapabor/Art Resource, NY

A 19th-century painting of St. Denis, carrying his head after decapitation. Credit The Art Archive/Kharbine-Tapabor/Art Resource, NY

Paris — AFTER his blockbuster trips to the United States and Cuba, there’s a strong case to be made that Pope Francis’ next visit should be closer to home: to France, known as the “eldest daughter of the church,” because of its religious union with Rome since early Christianity.

Yet the pope has yet to make a state visit here, and relations between France and the Vatican these days are tense.

Continue Reading “Visit France Next, Pape François”

‘Splendor and Misery: Images of Prostitution,’ Captures a Profession in Paris through Artists’ Eyes

22EXHIBITJP3-master675

Léopold Reutlinger’s “La Belle Otéro” from an album of photographs. Credit Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

PARIS — A skirt lifted above her ankle. A beauty mark painted on her cheek. A direct gaze. Sitting alone over a drink in a cafe.

These were some of the clues that a woman in 19th-century Paris might not be a person of standing but just might be a streetwalker.

Ambiguity about prostitutes in the public space is a central theme of “Splendor and Misery: Images of Prostitution 1850-1910,”which opens on Tuesday and runs through Jan. 17 at the Musée d’Orsay here. Taking its title from Honoré de Balzac’s mid-19th-century Comédie Humaine novel “The Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans,” it is touted by the museum as the first major exhibition on the artistic representation of prostitution in Paris.

Continue Reading “‘Splendor and Misery: Images of Prostitution,’ Captures a Profession in Paris through Artists’ Eyes”

International Designation is Sweet Victory for Burgundy

Aubert de Villaine led a decade-long project of research and lobbying that in July finally persuaded Unesco, the United Nations' cultural arm, to grant World Heritage site status to the "climats" of Burgundy. Credit Theophile Trossat for The New York Times

Aubert de Villaine led a decade-long project of research and lobbying that in July finally persuaded Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural arm, to grant World Heritage site status to the “climats” of Burgundy. Credit Theophile Trossat for The New York Times

VOSNE-ROMANÉE, France — Aubert de Villaine gently lowered a long glass tube into an oak barrel and filled it with a rare liquid: Romanée-Conti Burgundy from the 2014 harvest.

Continue reading “International Designation is Sweet Victory for Burgundy”

Ségolène Royal: A Sort-of Vice President, Not-Quite First Lady

Ségolène Royal, France's minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy. Credit Ed Alcock for The New York Times

Ségolène Royal, France’s minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy. Credit Ed Alcock for The New York Times

Paris — François Hollande, the president of France, and Ségolène Royal, a senior cabinet minister who once ran for that post herself, have an exceptionally complicated relationship.

The two lived together for 25 years, raising four children over that time. They broke up in 2007 over an infidelity that Ms. Royal made public a month after she had lost that year’s election for president.

Continue reading “Ségolène Royal: A Sort-of Vice President, Not-Quite First Lady”

Restaurant Report: Konyvbar in Budapest

12BITES-master675

When partners-in-life Gabor Szalay and Ildiko Beky told friends they planned to open a restaurant with menus inspired by books, the response was unanimous. “Everyone said, ‘Don’t do it!’” Ms. Beky recalled. “They said, ‘Books are the past. People will come to read, not to eat.’”

They did it anyway.

Continue reading “Restaurant Report: Konyvbar in Budapest” »

Restaurant Guy Savoy Has a Striking New Home in Paris

Rhubarb at the new Restaurant Guy Savoy. Ed Alcock for The New York Times

PARIS — For 28 years, one of this city’s most famous restaurants operated out of a dark, starkly modern site on rue Troyon, a banal street in the 17th Arrondissement close to the Arc de Triomphe. Now diners at Restaurant Guy Savoy will enter a grand 4,300-square-foot top-floor space on the site of both the oldest institution in France and the oldest factory in Paris: the Monnaie de Paris — the French mint.

Continue reading “Restaurant Guy Savoy Has a Striking New Home in Paris” »

At a Paris Flea Market, Tips for Treasure Hunters

The Marche Dauphine. Credit Julien Bourgeois for The New York Times

St.­Ouen. The name made me shudder. Whenever visitors asked me to take them to that vast set of flea markets just north of the Paris city line, I did my best to divert them elsewhere.

Continue reading “At a Paris Flea Market, Tips for Treasure Hunters” »

Ode to the Classic Bistro

Ed Alcock
A pair of extra-large organic hard-boiled eggs served with homemade mayonnaise from Bistrot Valois.

PARIS — It is a question I have come to dread: Can you recommend the perfect bistro?

The reason it’s so hard to give my visiting friends a good answer is that the Paris bistro scene is in full transformation. And the trends are moving in contradictory, and worrisome, directions.

Continue reading “Ode to the Classic Bistro” »

My European Ritual: Exchanging Books

Credit: Gabriela Plump

Credit: Gabriela Plump

From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month, a group of retirees takes over a corner of the Rue des Martyrs in my neighborhood in the Ninth Arrondissement. It’s time for Circul’Livre, a volunteer operation dedicated to the preservation of the book. Circul’Livre was created in 2004 and now operates in about 20 locations throughout Paris. Used books are classified by subject and displayed in crates. They are not for sale. Customers take as many as they want as long as they adhere to an informal code of honor neither to sell nor destroy them. They are encouraged to drop off their old books.

Continue reading “My European Ritual: Exchanging Books” »

A Tiny Village With Its Very Own Princess

Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon has ruled over the Château de Haroué in the Lorraine region of northeast France since 1982. Gabriela Plump for The New York Times

The French village of Haroué does not have much to offer. There’s a bakery, a pharmacy, a tabac, a restaurant, a police and fire station, a doctor’s office, a retirement home, a church that’s rarely open and a population of fewer than 500.

Continue reading “A Tiny Village With Its Very Own Princess” »