At a Family Workshop Near Paris, the ‘Drowned Mona Lisa’ Lives On

The most famous person to have died in the Seine River has no identity at all. She is “L’Inconnue de la Seine” — the Unknown Woman of the Seine.

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At These Paris Hotspots, Latin Flavor Is King

Tango, tacos, arepas, olé! The City of Light has a new flavor—and it speaks with a Spanish accent.

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Bordeaux Is Changing—for the Better

Left: The Harmony Room at La Grande Maison. Right: The 17th-century Château de Cérons. Martin Morrell

Left: The Harmony Room at La Grande Maison. Right: The 17th-century Château de Cérons.
Martin Morrell

France’s premier wine-making region produces some of the greatest vintages of all time, but it has historically not taken kindly to visitors—until now. From the city to the grand old châteaux beyond, Bordeaux is showing a fresh face to the world.

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At the Quai Branly, ‘Each Exhibition We Do Is a Book Telling a Story’

 

Oceanic statues in the main hall of the Musée du Quai Branly, whose multilevel open floor plan crosses eras and oceans. Credit Julien Mignot for The New York Times

Oceanic statues in the main hall of the Musée du Quai Branly, whose multilevel open floor plan crosses eras and oceans. Credit Julien Mignot for The New York Times

PARIS — When the Musée du Quai Branly opened here in 2006, there were outraged predictions that this $295 million project was doomed to fail.

Its mismatched structures, plunked down in a neighborhood of grand 19th-century apartment buildings on the Seine, a block from the Eiffel Tower, disturbed traditionalists who felt that the ideal of Parisian architectural elegance had been violated. It scooped up African, Oceanic, American and Asian works of art from the Musée de l’Homme and the Musée des Arts Africains et Oceaniens, drawing criticism from anthropologists for gutting two beloved institutions.

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A journalist’s dark perspective on the nuclear deal with Iran

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Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in September. Jay Solomon warns, “The next U.S. administration must be prepared to confront an Iranian regime just as hostile to the West as past ones.” ( Iranian Supreme Leader’s official website / via European Pressphoto Agency )

Elaine Sciolino is author of “Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran.” Her most recent book, “The Only Street in Paris: Life on the rue des Martyrs,” will be published in paperback and in a French edition in November.

Anyone who hates the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran will love this book.

In “The Iran Wars,” Wall Street Journal chief foreign affairs correspondent Jay Solomon tells the story of Iran’s nuclear program and its projection of power in the region, and the American struggle to contain the country.

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Dior and TV: A ‘New Look’ All Around

“The Collection,” a new Amazon Prime series airing in Britain, tells the story of a Parisian fashion house in postwar France. Credit Nick Briggs/Lookout Point 2016

“The Collection,” a new Amazon Prime series airing in Britain, tells the story of a Parisian fashion house in postwar France. Credit Nick Briggs/Lookout Point 2016

PARIS — For Dior, it is a revolution: a woman leading its creative side for the first time in the house’s 69-year history. On Friday, Maria Grazia Chiuri will unveil her first collection for the house to an audience (and clients) on the edge of their seats with anticipation. So it is fortuitous that this turning point coincides with the release of a glossy, eight-part television drama calculated to remind us how it all began.

“The Collection,” Amazon Prime’s first original British series, which debuted in Britain this month and will be aired in France starting in November, tells the story of two brothers — one a businessman, the other a designer — and their mission to build a great couture house that would reinstate Paris as the center of the fashion world after the end of the Nazi occupation.

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‘It’s a half-mile of magic’: Elaine Sciolino on rue des Martyrs, Paris

Street life …rue des Martys, Paris, looking towards the Sacré-Coeur basilica. All photographs by Gabriela Plump

Street life … rue des Martys, Paris, looking towards the Sacré-Coeur basilica. All photographs by Gabriela Plump

People ask me, “Why did you write a whole book about a single street?” I tell them rue des Martyrs is not just any street. You won’t find it in most guidebooks, but believe me, it’s a half-mile of magic. About a mile north-east of Place de l’Opéra and half a mile south of the Sacré-Coeur basilica, rue des Martyrs cuts through the formerly working-class ninth and 18th arrondissements. It lacks the grandeur of the Champs-Élysées and the elegance of Boulevard Saint-Germain, but its activity is concentrated: it’s home to nearly 200 small shops and restaurants.

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Hotel Review: The Ritz is Once Again Paris’s Crown Jewel

Papa’s Haunt The famous Bar Hemingway looks nearly identical to the space before it closed—and remains an homages to the American writer.

Papa’s Haunt
The famous Bar Hemingway looks nearly identical to the space before it closed—and remains an homages to the American writer.

 

When the Ritz Paris closed for renovations in 2012, she was showing her age. The previous year, the French tourism ministry had left her off its list of French hotel “palaces.” On the day I visited, shortly before the doors shut, the hotel was clearly ready for a refresh: the gladiolas in the lobby were wilting and the tea sandwiches were soggy.   Continue reading “Hotel Review: The Ritz is Once Again Paris’s Crown Jewel” »

A River’s Tales: The Islands of the Seine

A photograph from the Pavillon de l’Arsenal exhibition of a detail of an island in the Seine. Credit Karolina Samborska, 2016

A photograph from the Pavillon de l’Arsenal exhibition of a detail of an island in the Seine. Credit Karolina Samborska, 2016

PARIS — After record rainfall and near-historic flooding this spring, life along the Seine is returning to normal. Tourist boats are again cruising the river. The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay have reopened. Riverside restaurants and nightclubs are back in business.

So this is a moment for Paris to celebrate the charms and secrets of the slow-moving waterway that both divides and unites the city.

On the same day early this month that the Seine rose to its highest level in Paris (20 feet above normal), an exhibition on the river’s islands opened at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal on the Right Bank.

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Empty Tables After Paris and Brussels Terror Attacks

Yannick Alléno at his restaurant in Paris, Pavillon Ledoyen, before opening for the day. To attract diners at lunchtime, he has introduced a slimmed-down menu. Credit Ed Alcock for The New York Times

PARIS — Les Bouquinistes has long been a favorite luxury restaurant of Paris visitors. Set on a quay along the Left Bank, founded by Guy Savoy, a three-Michelin-star chef, it offers a warm welcome, a contemporary setting, a creative menu, prices that are not stratospheric and drop-dead views of the Seine and Notre-Dame.

But on a recent Thursday evening, this 50-seat food emporium was empty except for one couple at a table in front and a small group celebrating a birthday in a back room.

“It is fear of terrorism,” said Cédric Jossot, Les Bouquinistes’s manager. “We rely on tourists — Americans, Japanese — and they are not coming.”

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