Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Rock en Seine – There’s always next year!

August 25th, 2014

The (now) annual 3-day rock festival on the outskirts of Paris finished last night.  Good timing too – just before a week of rain started!  With 5 stages and a packed 3-day lineup this is a major festival (lots of American/British/French- along with a smattering of other-groups including Lana Del Ray, Portishead, Jake Bugg, Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy, Queens of the Stone Age, Thee Oh Sees, Tinariwen.  And it’s one of those rare summer music festivals that you can get to on public transit!  Easy


So many (sometimes poetic) ways to say ‘gone fishing’

August 18th, 2014

Paris is pretty much shuttered in August except for monuments, museums and stores in tourist areas.  Elsewhere in the city, lots and lots of stores and restaurants are closed.  Below is a sampling of how they announce the news, from the basic and straightforward to the poetic. Closed for annual vacation, reopening August 25.  Have a good vacation. Closed for annual vacation.  Return to port expected September 9.  See you soon. (a seafood bistrot) ‘Ithaque’ (a bookstore) heading out to sea, August 3 – 21


Definitely to be avoided!

August 17th, 2014

The Champs-Elysées on a Saturday afternoon in August (well, probably any afternoon/evening in August) when the line to get in to Ladurée was about 50 deep! Two hours later is was maybe down to 25 – and I can’t even begin to imagine the wait time!  Part of the problem is that it seems like every tourist in Paris flocks to the Champs-Elysées (it’s a challenge just to walk down the sidewalk); the other is that even major stores like Ladurée close all but their


A train station?

August 14th, 2014

Really?  This bench is, well, a train stop (l’Isthme) if not a station. It’s my favorite stop that the Tire-Bouchon, a summer only train (July & August, daily; weekends in June & September), that links Auray to Quiberon in Brittany.  When I took it 15 or so years ago the seats were barely padded wooden benches.  But last week I found that it’s been modernized – but still fun.  And it allows you to visit the Quiberon peninsula without having to rent a car.  Auray is


Love Celtic Music? Festival Interceltique, Lorient, Brittany

August 8th, 2014

There’s still time!  The Festival Interceltique held in Lorient, a city in southern Brittany, runs through this Sunday.  There are venues all over town in this small city, all within walking distance of each other.  And there’s music almost all the time (but especially in the evening) at the bars and restaurants that line the major streets.  This year the music of Ireland is featured but there are Celtic groups from many countries (Scotland, Australia, northern Spain, New Brunswick, Isle of Man, etc.).  I was


Trouble finding a bakery that’s open in Paris this month?

August 7th, 2014

Well, the city of Paris has you covered!  Click here for a link to a list that you can download.  But maybe what’s most interesting is why this list exists at all.   Since 1957 each town has had the right to determine when bakeries close for vacation (pharmacies are the other business whose closings are regulated).  Since 1995 Paris has divided bakeries into two groups, those who close for vacation in July and those who take August off.  In case it wasn’t already clear, the


Paris Plages

August 6th, 2014

A beach vacation in the heart of Paris!  It’s really a lot of fun and you have until August 17 to wiggle your toes in the sand, sunbathe facing the Seine, run through the mister to cool off, play pétanque, get a bite, have drink, refill your water bottles, take a salsa dance class, read a book or ride a bike along the roadway closed to cars for the duration.  It’s a great place to take a break from the tourist sites, especially if you’re


New York Jazz in Paris

July 29th, 2014

Two summer jazz festivals in Paris featuring the best of New York jazz – the American Jazz Festiv’Halles at the Sunside/Sunset and Nous n’irons pas à New York (we’re not going to New York) at the Duc des Lombards.  But hurry, the NY jazz programming at the Duc des Lombards ends this weekend on August 2nd.  You have a bit longer for the festival at the Sunside – theirs runs through August 9th (though both clubs have things programmed all month long). Sunside/Sunset, 60 rue


Tour de France Time!

July 7th, 2014

The 101st Tour de France started on July 5th and will make its traditional finish in Paris along the Champs-Elysées on Sunday, July 27th.  Between now and then it will wind its way from a start in England, through Belgium, France and Spain, with a route that highlights and honors major events of WWI.  For complete coverage check out the official Tour de France website here.  And if you’re planning a driving trip in France this month anywhere near the race route, check for road closures.  Or


Summer sales are coming!

June 23rd, 2014

The big summer sale period in France is about to start!  With dates regulated by the government, this year’s summer sales run from June 25th (this Wednesday) until July  29th, 2014.  Most retail stores participate in some way – including higher-end brands.  And surveys suggest that over 80% of the French plan to participate!  Some spend the days and weeks leading up to the start scouting the stores for treasures, the better to pounce on Day 1.  Others prefer to wait until the initial crush

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