Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Travel Tweet Tuesday - Best tweets for Paris Travel

Travel Tweet Tuesday - Part III
JNSQ-Blog's Top 5 Tweets
@knreichert #Paristweetup is one week from today! Join us on Aug 25 - details & RSVP here: http://twtvite.com/summerparistweetup #paris #france

@kasiainparis LOVE THIS! For the frequent flier: Red Eye-Abstract City Blog: http://nyti.ms/9bEeUo #travel

@aboutparis Around the Corner in Paris: Rock en Seine http://nblo.gs/6W80P

@GirlsGuideParis A do-it yourself insider Paris tour. http://ow.ly/2rpme via escapio. Walk, shop, smell, eat and dream #Paris

@HaveninParis Paris is girly, but your boyfriend, spouse, partner, pal can have fun there! Check Tory's boyfriend's guide to Paris: http://is.gd/erxWb

Good ideas
InaGartenFanClb Ina's Insider's Guide to #Paris http://bit.ly/aeUACo @GirlsGuideParis @WeekendInParis

@52martinis who's going to the tweetup? RT @twtvite_alert Friendly reminder: August 25 Paris Tweet Up is in a week!...

@GirlsGuideParis Beyond Sacré-Coeur in the Pigalle and Montmartre downloadable walking tour! http://ow.ly/2qA3v #paris #montmartre

@gogoparis UT GRAND PRIX 2011 design competition: UT GRAND PRIX is a T-shirt design competition held annually by hip Japanese... http://bit.ly/ba091o

@TheTravelTart #travel 10 Ways to Take Better Travel Photographs http://ow.ly/18CvXY

@GirlsGuideParis To picnic in #Paris...what could be more delightful? How to's here: http://ow.ly/2sRSo

@ParisBuFF RT @whereivebeen "Follow the local dressing code" 25 Essential Travel Tips for Women (cont) http://tl.gd/38rfbv

@HaveninParis Went to see Willy Ronis today. Only two more days. So lovely. http://bit.ly/3wv5xQ #Paris #Photo http://yfrog.com/mmtefj

@parisimperfect RT @kasiainparis: Insightful expat 'rules to live by' http://wp.me/pRQxa-uP

@littlebrownpen Little Brown Pen 2-year anniversary sale! Now through Sun, Aug 22, Buy One, Get One Free: http://www.etsy.com/shop/littlebrownpen #sale

@GirlsGuideParis Six tips for doing Paris like a pro http://ow.ly/2rFNz #paris #traveltips

Restaurants, Museums, To-do in Paris
@GirlsGuideParis best pastry shops in Paris. http://ow.ly/2qzRY Secco in 7th is a must too (after August)

@52martinis RT Madame Figaro asked my advice on where to get in American-inspired cocktail in Paris.http://ow.ly/2rbvE

@gogoparis LAST DAYS: Sculptures and installation by entertaining Flemish artist Wim Delvoye at the Musée Rodin. Until 22 Aug. www.musee-rodin.fr/

@parisimperfect: Last weekend 2 enjoy Villette's Cinema en Plein Air. Good weather! 'My Private Idaho' tmr? http://ow.ly/2svYu

@MyMelange Secrets out - but I have used this for years! The best flight search tool you’ve never heard of via

@BudTravel http://ow.ly/2qNz1 #tt

@mrdavidwhitley The tour bus from hell: 10 Ppl you don’t want in your group http://bit.ly/cBqlmH

@MyMelange Airlines' a la carte services offer early boarding, legroom - USATODAY.com http://ow.ly/2qMym #TT

@simpliflying: Just uploaded 'Clever Airlines June-July' to SlideShare. http://slidesha.re/drRcki

@FlyFromParis Enjoy Italy in September! Fly from #Paris to #Venice from 8€! http://ow.ly/2siYC #travel  

@GirlsGuideParis Check out these Trés Kool hotel options in Paris. http://ow.ly/2rFZM #travel #paris

@parishotel_sale #Paris Comfort #Hotel Mouffetard/Latin Quarter, Hot #Deal -28% OFF. 90€ instead of 125€ for double room, 30Aug http://bit.ly/9jBo9W

@blogsfrancais Le coût final pour France.fr http://bit.ly/bvLc6h

@MyMelange: A French Chateau made the cut! RT @michellefabio: LOVE! 6 Coolest Castle Hotels To Visit (PHOTOS) http://ow.ly/2qChn
@camorose Still figuring out how I feel about the whole debate, but enjoyed @nerdynomad's take on things http://bit.ly/d0M83L

@RetailAGoGo Don't get hacked! Protect your Wordpress blog with the Wordpress Firewall (handy tip from

Funny Ha-Ha
@knreichert Funny! RT @EdmundWalsh God likes punctuality. At least on Saturdays. http://twitpic.com/2gj63q

@davidlebovitz If you want to what kinds of flavors are possible to put in potato chips, go to a French picnic #steak #balsamic #roastchicken ...

@littlebrownpen If Power Point were a physical object, I would throw it on the floor and stomp on it.

@WeekendInParis Always great! @adventurouskate: This week's #TNI recap: hilarious animal encounters around the world! http://bit.ly/bIdrVC #travel

@JNSQBlogParis Just discovered this... it is perfection lol. Thanks @littlebrownpen http://bit.ly/LBPFashNotes

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Mood-lifters: 3rd edition

Morning everybody,
And it continues... some of my fave tweets from the week that will put a smile on your face & get you through Monday!

What's brightening your day today?

@MyMelange: RT @BreakingNews: Update: Police recover stolen Van Gogh painting at Cairo airport - AP http://bit.ly/dyJc1r
@pretavoyager It's the simple things that make getting up for a morning run worthwhile. http://twitpic.com/2g2zbx

@TheTravelTart #fail #humor Things That Are Doing It: Leaflet Fail http://ow.ly/18CvXX

@ParisPerfect I love walking along the Seine. Fav pics http://ow.ly/2ox1b #paris >Double wow!

@jnsqblogparis Just discovered this... it is perfection lol. Thanks @littlebrownpen http://bit.ly/LBPFashNotes

@davidlebovitz I always think things like those cutting boards that fold up are stupid until I try to put something into a jar-& dump it all over the floor
@kvfawcett In France, 'naked' is the norm: http://wapo.st/a26qEy Don't get excited - this is about #wine
@jnsqblogparis I am smitten with this post on the mensies by @writingroads mentioned in @andi_fisher 's saturday six :http://bit.ly/WritingRoadsPeriod

@Parisbug Home. Ah. Nothing like being met by MrLove & PuppyLove as I step off the train-face lick attack AND baggage carrier! Me thinks I was missed.

@LostNCheeseland Back because I found this article on Madame Figaro: New York sur Seine (5€ for nails-tho not full manicure-is great!) http://bit.ly/cmJWuO

@andi_fisher via @huffingtonpost by @lebootcamp : Weight Mgmt: How to Handle Summer Weight Gain Traps (w/ French tips!) http://huff.to/aWyPxG

@hush6 I knew it. Woof! RT @freakonomics Dogs for Everyone?: Dogs improve office productivity. http://nyti.ms/aWdvCC

@vingtparis Galerie Babel opens in St Germain - thanks to la Coquette for this guest piece http://www.lacoquette.blogs.com/ http://fb.me/srFqa74P

@AnnieScott: Ten dumb things you're likely to do if you drink and travel http://is.gd/eoLeD #travel
@writingroads Wow. I'm part of an anthology. Someone buy me a drink. RT @blogcastfm: Blogger Gems - Volume 2 Just Released! http://bit.ly/aKuTfS

@AllieBrosh I've always felt that raisins should be advertised in a more extreme way... http://twitpic.com/2g9l5d

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bonjour Paris Guestage: Recreaddiction

Reposting here - original on Bonjour Paris: http://bonjourparis.com/story/recreaddiction/

That site is rad I'm telling you, check their site for more great articles.

Sometimes I wonder how anyone survives on just two weeks of vacation per year. It seems like voluntary slavery compared to the French philosophy: minimum of five weeks. I look back on the old days like Mandela, reflecting on life in captivity. I was a bug in a cage, staring at a fluorescent light, and now that I've breathed the fresh open spaces and shining sun of a world with ridiculous amounts of vacation, a thought has dawned on me: I can never go back.

Just as living with only two weeks of vacay per year can make you tired, grumpy and desperately in need of a break, living with five weeks can also have some side effects. Frequent daydreaming and overzealous bikini shopping are signs that you may be suffering from over-vacationed-douchbaggery syndrome (OVDS). Don't be fooled... people who have OVDS... are recreaddicts.

OVDS can strike anyone at anytime; it does not believe in discrimination. Symptoms may include but are not limited to:

- over-sharing photo-mania
- depression, or "day-back-from-holiday" blues
- interminable blathering about where you will go or have gone
- spending entire days on travel sites and blogs thinking "I could do that..."
- irritability whenever someone else mentions their holiday while you are not on yours
- incessant whining about having to perform mundane tasks like laundry and actual work

The most flagrant of symptoms, however, is this:

No matter how much vacation you take, you never seem to get enough.

It doesn't happen overnight. It's a process. The first time I took a long vacation, I felt ridiculous for having so many days off. I didn't use them all, and invested the extra cash into next year's trip fund. That was how it started.

It's taken me nearly 5 years to realize this, but they say the first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem...here goes...

I don't have enough vacation god dammit. I have full blown OVDS, and there is no cure.

Five full weeks, plus holidays, plus twelve RTT days ("Réduction du Temps de Travail"—really just code for getting an extra vacation day per month)... is simply insufficient. What has happened to me when roughly 45 days per year is not cutting it?

I didn't believe it would happen to me. Me?! The work-a-holic, five-jobs-at-a-time, I-don't-believe-in-lunch-breaks IT geek? NEVER! How naive I was.

My colleagues laughed at me. My in-laws shook their knowing heads, waiting for the light to come on. Look at me now. I'm a vacation junkie. Just one more day. Just another long weekend. I need a hit! I drank the Kool-Aid and now I'm licking the inside of the plastic cup, not willing to waste a drop. I've tried to blame the French, but when it comes down to it, they just put the vacation in my hands. I'm the one who took it.

The French weren't always the terrible influence they've become. Their love affair with lounging developed over time. Some countries develop consumerism or green-values; France has evolved into a nation of hollidaniacs.

Between the world wars, the socialist nation started the first paid work week. Or as I call it, beginning of the end. They decided that they needed a break from the pain and anguish, and the week-long trip turned into two. Soon two was four, and then, before they knew what was happening... it was too late.

On top of the number of days, I'm pretty sure the French have concocted the MOST complicated allocation of rest in the known universe. A mere attempt at creating a more convoluted system would surely prove the existence of aliens. It's a protection mechanism, you see. They can't come right out and say how many days they're consuming—then the problem would be obvious. No, better to hide it behind a smoke screen of terminology, rules, differing time periods and exceptions.

So what makes it all so complicated? Where to begin unraveling the tangled web of vacances is the real question.

We'll start with the standard five weeks that can be used from June 1st until May 31st of the following year. Because Jan 1 - Dec 31 was just... too easy. You only get these after you've worked at least a year in the company. Or in my case, over a year because I was an idiot and started at the end of the year. I got the shaft in so many words.

Then you have holidays... some companies have adopted the absurd notion that if a holiday lands on a weekend, it doesn't count. (The weasels.) Then you have other companies which count them. But you can't always choose when they will be affected. (Ridic.)

Then... you have your RTT days, literal translation is "Reduction of Work Time". Clearly they didn't beat around the bush on this one. These are on thin ice actually and may go buh-bye any minute. Because France has a thirty-five hour work week (HA! 35 my exhausted ass!!), they allow for RTT days to compensate the extra hours that everyone does anyway. Typically it's a day a month, but depends on your company. The kicker is that some of these are "imposed" (forced to be used on certain days), and some are free to use whenever between Jan 1 & Dec 31st of the same year.

The difficult cherry on top is that you can use days before they're actually allotted in some companies. So then you have your days that are used, planned, accrued and will have accrued for both RTT and paid vacation. Don't even get me started on non-paid vacation... that is for the hard-core, the ones for whom there will be no easy road home. Too often I see those end in sabbatical, and it breaks my heart.

So let's recap all this:

- 5 weeks starting June 1st, but only if you've worked from June 1st the previous year, that are only good until the 31st of May the following year.

- 12 days starting Jan 1st, but you can't always use them whenever you want and some may be forced on you.

- Holidays that aren't always holidays.

- Keep track of what you've used, planned, accrued and will have accrued for both RTT and Paid Vacation.

- Don't even think about taking non-paid days off. That's just asking for trouble.

- Sabbaticals are for lost causes. Remember that.

- Have a stroke before you even plan your trip because figuring out how much you can ask off bursts a vein in your head.

I've tried to explain this simply, so it may not seem so bad—but keeping track is like trying to figure out that stupid train math problem. You know the one I'm talking about. If Francine is going south on a train to Nice traveling at 200 kph, and François is in a train riding north to Lille at 150 kph, how many RTT days vs Paid Vacation days will they have left when their trains collide because they were too busy calculating to watch the damn road?

Another way to get your fix is popping one out. If you have kids over here, it's like hitting the vacation jackpot. CHA-fricken-CHING!! My colleagues take on average of six weeks, plus their vacation time which adds up to several MONTHS of paid time off. And the kicker is the more offspring you produce, the more time off you can expect.

I figured France would change me in a lot of ways, like becoming more culturally aware, learning to adapt to different perspectives and simply accepting that living in another country means that you inevitably feel like a trans-Atlantic douche on a weekly basis. But OVDS? Being addicted to my lounge chair was not a result I could have foreseen.

As I write this I wonder what my former, single-nationalitied self would make of this conundrum. Would I be proud of myself for learning to slow down and enjoy life? Or would I be disappointed in my lack of go-getterness?

I'll never know for sure. All I can tell you is that all this talk of vacation has intruded on the planning of my next trip.

Bon voyage!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Say What: It's going to shit bubbles & other French Expressions

In lesson one, I shared some of my favorite swears...bet you didn't think I could top that did you? How wrong you are dear readers, how very wrong indeed!

Perhaps it's because I'm a native English speaker, but I have the impression that the French have got some weird-ass sayings. My first years here were spent repeating "Hein??" (huh?), not because I couldn't understand what they had said, but because I had no effing CLUE what it meant.

This isn't the first time I've shared with you my difficulties with the French language. If you pay attention you will have read the post where I accidentally asked my mother-in-law for a condom, or the time I called my friend's dog a kinky little whore. Meh, it happens with a language this complex.

But sometimes I think French is a "gas factory", as they say here. It's not enough to juggle the tenses, exceptions, pronunciation, regional vernacular and slag... they had to add another layer of insanity: sayings that make no sense whatsoever.

"My teeth are bathing!" was code for I'm full. "It's going to shit bubbles" meant things were going to get ugly. I spent a long time mixing metaphors and confusing meanings behind these sayings.

Short of having lived here your entire life, you'll never understand these phrases, so pay attention, I give you: the bible of odd French Phrases, part I.

Here are some of my favorite idioms AND they're meaning. Enjoy.

Goes like this:
Literal translation

1) Tremper son biscuit
-To dunk his/her cookie
- Make love

2) Avoir le cul bordé de nouilles
- have the ass full of noodles
- to be lucky

3) Péter plus haut que son cul
- to fart higher than ones ass
- to be pretentious

4) Avoir un poil dans la main
- to have a hair in the hand
- to be lazy

5) Couler un bronze
- to pour a bronze
- to pee

6) Avoir les portugaises ensablées
- to have the Portuguese sanded
- have trouble going number 2

7) Fumer la moquette
- to smoke the carpet
- to say things that make no sense

8) Coûter la peau du cul / des couilles
- to cost the skin of the ass / balls
- to be very expensive

9) Pleuvoir comme vache qui pisse
- to rain like a pissing cow
- to rain very hard

10) Faire un caca nerveux
- make a nervous poop
- to be very nervous about something

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Travel Tweet Tuesday - Part II - Best tweets for Paris Travel

Mornin' Tweeps & Peeps,

OMG people tweet a lot about travel. Fear not, I'm here to sift through the blahblah's & give you the lowdown on tweets that stand out! Back with another catalog of my favorite tweets for travelers for this week, enjoy & share!

Got a tweep you think I should follow? Comment below! Want me to use your tweet in the weekly tweetlist? Hashtag #JNSQ and #Travel and I'll throw yours into the mix.

Have a great #Travel #Tuesday!
xx S

Travel Tweet Tuesday - Best tweets for Paris Travelers, Week of Aug 13th, 2010

JNSQ-Blog's Top 5 Tweets
@kasiainparis EAT a lot. PRAY often. LOVE yourself. http://wp.me/pRQxa-pe #travel

@HaveninParis: Paris tourist scams, how to avoid them. Maggie's tips for a hassle free trip: http://bit.ly/9DxpcG #Paris

@GirlsGuideParis A touch of Paris in Seattle, where to go to fulfill your Francophile desires. http://ow.ly/2qa65 #france

@BethArnold Letter From Paris: Summer in the City, 6 http://nblo.gs/6UiNg

@jnsqblogparis Loving these articles... http://bonjourparis.com/story/august-events-paris/ via @kvfawcett

Good ideas

@ViatorTravel: Top Five Day Trips From Paris http://su.pr/2sG32s #france #travel
@KasiainParis Rainy day in Paris. What to do? A few ideas from @JNSQBlogParis and the locals: http://bit.ly/dyKvfL #travel #Paris

@GotSaga Best Picnic spots in #Paris #France for cheese, wine & love... http://ht.ly/2pGQC #travel
@ParisGetaways RT @FrommersTravel: #Paris Walking Tour: Backstreets of Bastille http://bit.ly/dBaqPj #traveldeals> via @Griffid1

@MyMelange Paris Fashion Showrooms: The New Way to Shop via @HaveninParis http://ow.ly/2qcc6 #paris #shopping

Restaurants, Museums, To-do in Paris
@lostncheeseland 's smack down - Two Parisien restaurants, Two failed potentials http://bit.ly/dgThCB
@camorose In #Paris? Don't miss modern art, feminism and theme parks at Centre Pompidou http://bit.ly/cBrQJo

@parisimperfect This looks fun! Wheelbarrow races? RT @BethArnold A Cure for the Summer-in-#Paris Blues - In Transit Blog - NYTimes.com http://ow.ly/2oVim

@BudgetTraveller New post for #TravelTuesday> What is the cheapest way to travel across Europe: Taking the bus? http://bit.ly/d5ZyRt #travel #lp #rtwsoon

@AirFranceFR Départ et retour de vacances : tout savoir pour voyager facile http://ow.ly/2ktTi

@AirFranceFR Spring Specials on long-haul flights! Sales until June 22 for travel this fall. http://tinyurl.com/24vgt99

@GirlsGuideParis: New hot and tres sexy in #Paris. http://ow.ly/2qesX

@HaveninParis @BethArnold Lovely to meet & enjoy the rainy view of Paris http://bit.ly/b5Ho2X A bientot - Erica

@BudgetTraveller RT @hostelworld Make a donation to #UNICEF with every booking. Competition to win €2,000! http://bit.ly/9y4TLy

@kvfawcett Reading: "Dispatch | Paris in August Redux - T Magazine Blog - NYTimes.com"( http://twitthis.com/utbm5k )

@Fleurishing in case you missed it...proust q & a...pretavoyager http://bit.ly/crPmzy

@MyMelange Women find world, selves with solo travel - CNN.com http://ow.ly/2pCmf #solotravel
@parisimperfect RT @NouveauParisIDF: The access to the top of the arch in La Défense quarter is definitely closed to the public. http://snipurl.com/10ot63

@gogoparis Gogo Guide to Paris @Fashionista_com: Forget the Eiffel Tower: This Guide Reveals Paris’ Hidden... http://bit.ly/b6loJy

Funny Ha-Ha
@davidlebovitz [new blog entry] Economy Candy NYC http://tinyurl.com/2fgn9px

@laBelleinFrance mdr! eeny-meeny-miney-mo - Love it! RT @LostNCheeseland @andi_fisher Claude vs. Pierre http://bit.ly/auzSdf #french #advertising

@52martinis Bar car signs on the train are always marked with martini glasses. What a tease. It's not like they serve martinis on the TGV...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monday Moodlifters 2nd edition

Schmello everyone.

So, it's Monday. The big bad wolf of the work-week has returned (so soon?!) to bite you in the ass. I had a very... eventful day today. That's putting it lightly. Today on a scale of cluster-fuckiness from 1-100 was about... 10,000,000. That sounds about right.

So, needless to say, I need this Monday Mood lifter. I need it more than AIR. I miss it's musk. When I saw the first one below, I literally thought it had been written by someone in my office, watching me nibble at a ham sandwich fighting off frustration. Sometimes I honest-to-god wish that real life had computer elements I use daily. What I wouldn't give for an undo, delete or the occasional #FU.

Enjoy, my favorite tweets that made me feel like I maybe shouldn't jump off the 24th floor when Occam's razor decided to fillet my sanity, then eat it with some fava beans & a nice chianti.


@someecards I'm much more efficient at work when I cry at my desk instead of in the bathroom. http://t.co/dtARv8M

@funnyordie Mel Gibson crashed his Maserati in Malibu. This all feels anticlimactic w/o audio of him saying something racist to an OnStar operator. 
@vivreparis vous entraine dans les hauteurs de Paname avec "Paris vu du ciel" de Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Découvrez la capitale... http://fb.me/F764amn8

@someecards Real graph on public opinion towards gay marriage accidentally looks like a penis: http://t.co/7bnw1Ta

@NarcissusHolmes Photo: How Not To Get Laid #87: http://tumblr.com/xelfor5vz

@rainnwilson Happy Birthday Steve Carell! You're a 47 year old big hairy triangle of a torso. But what a torso!

@cailinash Dream Realized! http://bit.ly/cVVsZO

@theOnion In Focus: Al-Jazeera Introduces 'Lighter Side Of The News' Segment http://onion.com/dknefU

@davidlebovitz [new blog entry] Oh baby, it's Babycakes... http://tinyurl.com/2fb8xwm

i was shocked fox news had such old viewers considering all their young, hip ads for walk-in bathtubs and mesothelioma lawyers.

@fleurishing edith piaf for your #musicmonday http://bit.ly/a8JFqG

@psprive RT @HaveninParis @ParisienSalon: Are you a flâneur? How many ways ARE there to walk in Paris? http://bit.ly/cmIrr0

@GrammarGirl English professor ejected from NYC Starbucks over linguistic dispute: http://bit.ly/czycBZ (via @mightyredpen @cinetrix)

@PreteMoiParis RT @OnlyParisPhoto Our Vintage Parisian Shoot featuredhttp://onestylemile.blogspot.com/2010/08/french-for-thought.html

@sharonbially Trouble getting started w/ ur writing? Try finger painting! says bestselling author @BrunoniaBarry at Writer Unboxed. http://bit.ly/dBVSjU

@francophilia Skating the Roads of Paris via NYTimes.com http://ow.ly/2qbaw #paris (via @MyMelange)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rainy Days - Guest Blog by Priscilla Pilon!!

Weekend in Paris also sent in something extra special for this week's JNSQ Friday Feature -- a lovely guest post for your rainy-day-reading-pleasure!

Priscilla's blog is down to earth, informative and a real treasure in the Paris-loving community. Check out her site, I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!

‘Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down’ is a line from a famous song, but in Paris rainy days will never get me down with so many things to see and do!

Cité de la Musique “The Cité” is a perfect attraction for all age groups on a rainy day in Paris. It is, as the name implies, a mini-city that houses all things music. Former French President François Mitterrand finished this project as one of his last contributions to Paris while at the helm of France. The Cité website states that this venue “is aimed at all audiences: music lovers, youth, artists and budding artists, amateurs and professionals.”

Inside The Cité are facilities that showcase all genres of music in unique ways. There is the Music Museum “Musée de la Musique” that not only lets the tourists see the instruments of yesterday, it also allows visitors to hear any type of music from their extensive audio library. Local musicians share their talents daily and they host seminars about music as well as forums for discussion to enhance the experience. Guided tours are available.

The complex also houses an incredible concert hall that is The Cité’s “la pièce de résistance!” With its superior acoustic quality and capacity to seat 1,000 music lovers, this venue is fantastic for the concerts that are performed there. Many concerts are free and the ranges in music performed there is as varied as grains of sand on the beach.

Complete with a bookshop and Café de la Musique for creative cuisine, you can spend a whole day into the evening at The Cité without worrying about the weather outside!

Location: 221 avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019 Paris
Tel: 33 (0)1 44 84 45 00
Métro: Line 5 Ourcq

Rainy day shopping can be done handily at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Chaumet, and Chanel are just a few of the top names that can be found in Paris’ chic version of a shopping mall. It will be hustling and bustling with Parisians from all over the city, but it is worth a trip to see all the fashion designers in one spot while spying on the locals to see what they think are the hottest trends this season!

Le Bon Marché is conveniently located on the Left Bank at 38, rue de Sèveres 75007. Parking is difficult, but the Métro (Sèveres/Babylone) is mere steps away from its front doors.

Shopping can make anyone hungry and frustrated, so take a break for lunch on a rainy day and try my favorite restaurant in Paris – L’Epi Dupin. Located right around the corner from Le Bon Marché at 11, rue Dupin 75007, you won’t even have to pull out your umbrella, just throw your scarf around your hair and head straight there. Chef François Pasteau's creative cuisine is flavorful without drama, eclectic in nature and yet satisfyingly comfortable like a home cooked meal.
As I always say, “I’d rather be in Paris in the rain, than anywhere else in the sunshine!” Enjoy!

Thanks so much to all the tweeps, and a very special thank you to Priscilla of Weekend in Paris for this inspiring guestpost and to Nichole from Little Brown Pen for the beautiful photos!

JNSQ Friday Feature : The summer that wasn't, 20 Paris rainy day solutions from the locals!

Photo credit: Little Brown Pen - THANK YOU!
This is not a new subject in my blogs... The sun has been taking a big ole dump on my outdoor plans for quite a while now. If the degree of my whiteness is any indicator, we are currently at code ALBINO, (ALERT! ALERT! Entering sunlight may cause spontaneous combustion!), and I feel like that burning ball of fire is giving me the finger behind a curtain of clouds.

So. What do we do about this? I've been cooped up in my apartment too long-- it's time to GTFO!!

Weekend in Paris also sent in something extra special for this week's JNSQ Friday Feature -- a lovely guest post for your rainy-day-reading-pleasure!

Here are a few things that are tempting me at the moment:

- YSL expo at Petit Palais:
I've heard great things about this exhibit, but haven't gotten around to going yet! It's open until this weekend, so as uge I'm down to the wire to get around to doing anything that could give me the slightest insight about how to dress my sorrily-clothed-ass.

- Kentrige 5 Themes expo at Jeu de Paume
This is by far one of my favorite museums in Paris, the expos never fail to disappoint! This expo looks particularly good. I like that it's a mix of mediums - drawings, prints, films & all that. This is good because I have a real attention span pro- DID YOU SEE THAT BIRD FLY BY??

- "Paris d'amour" expo at Hotel de ville!
I actually saw it first in an article from 20 minutes I read in the metro. Note: this was when it first came out months ago and I was all excited about seeing it. I'm very proactive when it comes to fun, obvi. I also remember the image they had used was a beautifl pre-wedding woman destroying a sandwich the size of Greenland in her dainty gown. Loved that.

- Tea at l'Hotel
My friend Rebecca introduced me to this place & it was love at first sit. It's the perfect place to cozy up and drink your self warm again. Luxurious, a bit swanky, but they'll let you sit and relax for hours with a good book. (Read: I'm cheap 5€ is already a lot, so I'm getting my damn money's worth!)

And here are suggestions from the paris experts via Twitter!
These people REALLY know their way around the city, you can trust them with your rainy vacation days! Please be sure to check their blogs and add them on twitter for more insights!!

Thanks to all you amazing tweeps, love this community so much!

Museums & Activities

@ParisCosy  - http://www.pariscosy.com

Go to the Jardin des plantes? the tropical glasshouses... http://ow.ly/2nXwH

@fleurishing - http://www.fleurishingblog.com/
Spend all day at the Musé d'Orsay, or stroll around Palais Royal!

@ParisKarin - http://analienparisienne.wordpress.com/
I recently went to the Cluny -- Musée national du Moyen Âge for the first time on the free Sunday a week or so ago. It was sprinkling on and off that day. It was a perfect museum to see on the free day, too -- not too crowded. That was my rainy day experience so far during this weird-weather summer.

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, of course, were a highlight. I think it was just the amount of medieval art all together in one museum. There is a real sense of time and place there, an ancient past well-represented. The chapel there reminded me of Hogwarts, too, which was cool. ;-)

@BethArnold - http://www.betharnold.com/
I'm a movie-holic, so I'm up for a movie any ole time, especially when it rains.

@HavenInParis - http://hipparis.com
http://www.104.fr/, and walk to a movie  at MK2 Quai de Seine/ Quai de Loire and then shopping at the Bio Coop On the Canal, Forum des Images (amazing and cheap movies)!


@petitfranceblog - http://www.lepetitfranceblog.com/
I'd cruise the gourmet hall at Galeries Lafayette, catch-up on some shopping, then hit their prosciutto & wine bar for lunch :)

@cailinash - http://thedomesticgoddess.tumblr.com/
Is it wrong I automatically thought of Galleries Lafayette as my #parisrainyday solution? :p

Wondering & Lounging

@kasiainparis - http://www.loveinthecityoflights.com/
rainy day in st germain: gallery hopping on rue de seine followed by an apero and people watching at Bar Du Marche

@lafemmecooks - http://lafemmecooks.com/
http://www.onruetatin.com/index.php Also how about trying to make macarons from scratch? http://bit.ly/9RVVDz or mexican hot chocolate?

@LostNCheeseland - http://www.lostincheeseland.com/
check out the Palais de Tokyo or Musé d'Orsay!

@kasiainparis - http://www.loveinthecityoflights.com/
rainy day at Place des Vosges: visit to Maison de Victor Hugo and gallery hopping followed by lunch/cafe at Cafe Hugo

@52Martinis - http://52martinis.blogspot.com/visit the covered passages around the 9th (around the auction houses) lots of cute cafes, restos, shops.

@phyllisflick - http://parisnotebook.wordpress.com/
I like the Danton @ odeon w\ its windows for watching world go by

@52Martinis - http://52martinis.blogspot.com/
How about a movie, but not just any movie - at a funky, artsy cinema like la pagode or studio 28?

@LittleBrownPen - http://littlebrownpen.blogspot.com/
Paris plus rain, plus a night sky, plus lights, equals one of my favorite things. Rather than duck for cover, hit a museum or otherwise camp out inside, I embrace the rain, open the umbrella and enjoy the show. What show? Light dancing on the glowing pavement, moody people tucked under umbrellas and into trench coats, the juxtaposition of warm, glowing interiors and the dark, wet cold. I'll eventually tire of the rain, and will choose a café in which to warm up and enjoy a café creme, but not before I enjoy every sight and sound.

@Badaude - http://www.Badaude.typepad.com
Just go with it. Sit in a café and drip. Parisians love to complain about the weather so take this opportunity to feel more French without putting in too much effort. For maximum effect smoke en terrasse under one of those plastic awnings. Bring a book.

Don't forget to check out Priscilla's Guest Blog!

Thanks so much to all the tweeps, and a very special thank you to Priscilla of Weekend in Paris for this inspiring guestpost and to Nichole from Little Brown Pen for the beautiful photos!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Travel Tweet Tuesday - In tweeps we trust: a catalogue of my fave Paris Travel Tweets of the week!

I work in technology, so you'd think I'd be down with the latest & greatest... yeah, not so much! As the old French saying goes, the cobbler has the crappiest shoes.

I'm late on the Twitter uptake, but am clearly making up for it in re-tweets! Twitter  has become my new obsession. We be making sweet comment love all the live-long day! Especially the hashtags... ht's & I are thick as THIEVES.

It's like wikipedia, the live version. Nice people, online, ready to respond to your questions or comments about places/events except you don't have that little asterisk in the back of your mind that reads "but this is Wikipedia, it might be a load of complete bullshit". In tweeps we trust, because they got the goods.

It's amazing how useful this is for travel and as far as I know, it's not a resource that is tapped frequently enough. As I was drafting this post Priscilla Pilon, author of Weekend In Paris, also did a very good article explaining this, and I recommend you check it out. Priscilla discusses how you can use Twitter to plan your vacation and get some serious info before you go.

In my opinion, she is absolutely right, but there's one caveat: you have to know who to ask! Finding the right tweeps is key to exploiting twitter to the fullest. So, how do you find the right tweeps? That's where your hash-tags come in.

These tags are simply search words attached to each tweet. Twitter has a search functionality in the bar on the right of the screen that you can use to find specific words from tweets. Search your destination with the symbol "#" in front of it, and it will turn up a list of all the tagged tweets. Ex: You want to know about Paris? Search #Paris => bam. Be prepared for information overload! Find a few tweeps who like what you like and follow them to get your network started.

I did a quick search and compiled a list of Travel Tweets about Paris that I thought were worth sharing, will probably do this on a regular basis :) Got a tweep you think I should track? let me know!
xx S

PS - Preview: Friday Feature now with extra bits of Tweep:  The summer that wasn't, things to do on rainy Paris days

Good ideas
@GirlsGuideParis Twenty items to bring back from your Paris trip - and where to find them. http://ow.ly/2o7pZ

@BudgetTraveller We asked the #Paris experts. 41 amazing tips to make the most of Paris on a budget: http://bit.ly/90jTXT #travel

@montmartreguide Soft launch of my new website - Mr Montmartre! http://is.gd/ebNjl #paris #travel #lp #montmartre #drinks #cocktails

@LostNCheeseland Instead of touring Paris by bus, why not by bug? (super cute) http://bit.ly/d0IsDh (via Do It In Paris)

@francophilia Francophile badge of honor! An American Library in Paris library card, whether you live here or not: http://bit.ly/d9jhF7

@WeekendInParis Twitter Used As Easy #Travel Planner for planning my trips to #Paris & everywhere! http://wp.me/pLv7o-cU Happy #TravelTuesday!

@ParisGetaways #Paris #travel #coupon RT @ParisPerfect: Download 10% discount card for Printemps, lg dept store, foreign customers only. http://ow.ly/2njVb

@agentcikay No more starving in #Paris ! http://su.pr/2R7jeZ Top 5 Paris on a Budget Restaurants #travel #lp #budget

To do
@FranceExpat - A cure for the summer-in-Paris blues - http://ow.ly/2oDNi (NYT) via @ParisBuff & @enchantedtravel #Paris #expat

@gogoparis Biennale de Belleville: Paris’s newest contemporary art quarter reinforces its relevance with this new biennale pr... http://bit.ly/aXedBq

@ParisBuFF RT@enchantedtravel RT @petitfranceblog What 2 do in an empty #Paris! RT @nytimestravel A Cure 4 Summer-in-Paris Blues http://nyti.ms/ac7xG5

@ParisbyMouth 3 days in Paris? John Talbott has some advice. http://parisbymouth.com/blogger-buzz-faq-so-i-have-three-days-in-paris-and-i-want-to-eat/

@gourmantic La Conserverie http://bit.ly/byo5SD Another top review from @52martinis

@GotSaga - A marvelous #museum : Carnavalet Museum in #Paris http://ht.ly/2ojWD #travel #tips

@MyMelange Come walk in the shoes of a Parisian. 5 boulevards for strolling http://ow.ly/2mZwD #paris #travel

@Bonjour_Paris #Paris #sightseeing and #history http://ht.ly/2o4O9 #Montparnasse is fascinating. How many people have seen these #travel sights?

@GotSaga 10 Places that can't be missed in #Paris http://ht.ly/2oiij #travel #tips

@FlyFromLondon Ready for romance? Fly from #London to #Paris from £25! http://ow.ly/2oy0Z #travel

@FlyFromParis Stroll the canals this September! Fly from #Paris to #Venice from 25€! http://ow.ly/2oxY8 #travel

@Find_Hotels Paris hotels resorts the free guide. http://bit.ly/9xqiHJ hotel ratings reviews 47H #Paris #France #travel #hotels #vacation

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thursday Say What: Insults part I, saying S#%@ in another language always makes you feel better, non?

I'm all about the repeat offenders this week. Monday Mood-Lifters is followed by, Thursday Say What! If you're a darling and read regularly, you know that I enjoy the occasional swear word. By occasional, I of course mean, every three words.

Since I am a bit of a specialist, I've decided that my very first "Thursday Say What:" should be dedicated to the art of foul-mouth-ed-ness. (Shocker, I know.)

Here are some of my very FAVORITE swear words, pronunciation, and times when they're appropriate to use. I even threw in a prudish alternative for those moments when you want to say something that won't make the object of your colorful description want to face-plant your dirty mouth into the wall.

Please note the following situations when it is NOT appropriate to say ANY of these phrases, I know from personal experience:
- in church, or with a priest/nun
- when talking about a baby
- chatting with your mother-in-law
- while on an international conference call
- in the middle of a public street surrounded by children

BONUS WARNING: These phrases are not for the timid, so don't use them lightly or in any kind of a formal situation. I'm getting hard core on your asses, so believe me when I tell you that it would be very bad to repeat these things unless you're sure of the surrounding company's level of comfort with your profanity. Choose your swearing moments wisely, or suffer the consequences!

I've included the phonetic translation in brackets for you French nerds out there, and for the rest of y'all, the English pronunciation in parenthesis.

1) Oh putain.
[o  py tɛ]
(oh pew-taih)
Literal Definition: oh the whore.
Meaning: Fuck or Shit (basically.)
Prudish Alternatives: "punaise" [py nɛz](pew-nez)

This is by far my favie. There has rarely been a time in my life when something bad has happened, (like walking in caca, or dealing with language and cultural barriers), when I've not wanted to say "Ohhhhh Putaaaaaiiiin". It's my go-to, and I highly recommend.

2) Enculé de merde de sa race.
Pronunciation: [œ ky le  də  merd  də  sa ras ]  (ahn kew lay de mare de sah rahss)
Literal Definition: stuffed with the poop of his race
Meaning: Fucking Asshole
Prudish Alternatives: En foiré  [œ fwa re] (ahn fwar ay)

This little bute is a combo of several insults. I yank this one out of my hat when I'm REEEEEEALLY mad. You don't want to hear me say this to you. It generally means I'm about to hand your ass to you in pieces. Best to say this to someone who you're fairly sure is not going to try to beat the s#@% out of you.

3) Connard (m) / Connasse (f)
Pronunciation: [kɔ naʁ] (koh nar) / [kɔ nas] (koh nahsse)
Literal Definition: Imbecility (fyi: root meaning is actually c@%#, how's that for history!)
Meaning: Bastard
Prudish Alternatives: abruti [a bry ti] (a broo tee), couillon [cuj ɔ] (kwee oh), petit con [pti coɔ] (peh ti coh)

You got your classic insult here. If someone's being a jerk and you want to give the verbal equivalent of kicking them in the balls... this is your swear. Can also be preceded with "Espèce de" (translation: speices of, pronounced [ɛ spɛ sdə] (eh speh sdeh)) for added effect.

4) Saloperie
Pronunciation: [sa lo pri] (sa lo pree)
Literal Definition: Bitchery
Meaning: Son of a bitch
Prudish Alternatives: salté [sal te] (sahl tay)

This is a good one for describing things. Things that are shit. That "saloperie" of a project. That "saloperie" of a raise. I'm used to employing this one... maybe a bit too used to it. It helps.

5) Bordel de merde
Pronunciation: [bɔʁ dɛl də merd] (bor del deh mayrd)
Literal Definition: Messy of shit.
Meaning: Total fucking shit
Prudish Alternatives: crotte [krot] (krot), proute [prut] (proot), zut [zut] (zoot)

An oldie, but a goodie. "Bordel de merde" is what you say when you drop a crystal glass. It's what you say when you walk in human excrement. This one, can help you survive many a catastrophe. If you're anything like me, the occasional swear word is a release, it gets the anger out of you before you let it out on someone.

So next time your plane is delayed, or your luggage lost -- you'll know what to say! Still, I hope you won't need to use these :)

Expats... share your favorites below? I had fun discussing this with my colleagues at lunch and I'm sure you've got some good ones!

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