Category: France

The Book to Carry while Cruising Paris

I’ll confess to having a stack of Parisian histories (and a number on my Kindle as well) that have been leafed through but not exactly read. I mean to, I want to, I just haven’t. I am not sure where…

Gertrude Three Ways

I first meet Gertrude Stein during my Pablo Picasso phase, and my Hemingway phase, and my F. Scott Fitzgerald phase and then I come across her in Bryant Park in New York and I see her resting at Père-Lachaise in…

Paris to Woodstock: Sculpture Deep and Light

Travel and art seem to go hand in hand, so today I share two very different works, in two very different places, that trigger very different emotions. Auguste Rodin’s Burghers of Calais commemorates the leaders of Calais who volunteered to…

Paris: This Is the End

A fitting finale for our last day in Paris is a visit to Père-Lachaise Cemetery. On the subway ride there, I begin to doubt the appropriateness of this trek. Are we squandering our time by looking to the past? Will…

Reading Without Reservations

I pick up Alice Steinbach’s Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman (Random House, 2000) at North Salem, N.Y.’s Ruth Keeler Memorial Library book sale, so I don’t have a lot of money invested in it. The first 20…

The Ups and Downs of Mont Saint-Michel

First sighting of Mont Saint-Michele. Photo credit: V. Laino

I both love and loathe my experience at Mont Saint-Michel. I’m enamored of its history—how the Archangel Michael appeared to a priest some 700 years ago and told him to build this church in the water, how the priest equivocated…

Quality Time at the Eiffel Tower

Figuring that the Eiffel Tower will be a ho-hum stop on our tour of France, I buy tickets to go see it on the first night we will be in Paris. I’ve seen the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park,…

Three Lines Worth Waiting On (and Two to Skip)

The frustration of any trip—especially one taken during peak tourism times—is waiting on line. If only all major world attractions had a FastPass, where I could return at a designated hour and cut right to the front of the line.…

Paris: Don’t Skip Sainte Chapelle

During this season of renewal, my mind floats to my favorite churches in Paris. I can’t help but marvel at Sainte Chapelle, stuck next to a courthouse, the little sibling of its competitor, the grand Notre Dame Cathedral. With each…