Tag: ParisView All Tags
Paris / Buildings / Architecture / → All Tags
Paris needs another big monument. Having the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre's pyramid and la Grande Arche (need we go on) is simply not enough. Enter the new skyscraper in the La Defense district, whose design was recently chosen from ten proposals.
This new building will look taller than the Eiffel Tower (in fact it's 24 meters shorter, but that's counting the Eiffel's antennas) and will feature a few odd curves and twists to make it stand out from the average skyscraper. Architect Thom Mayne describes it like this:
There's a fluidity, a sensuousness, a softness to the form as it reaches to the skySounds good enough to eat. It's also striving to be environmentally sound (thumbs up to that), with its own wind farm on top to heat and cool it for almost half the year, and a "movable double skin" to insulate cleverly against heat from sunlight. You won't be able to see the finished product until 2012, but we know you'll be waiting for it.
[Photo: dezeen via Gridskipper]
· Curving Skyscraper to Soar Over Paris [MSN]
· Paris Skyscraper to Rival Tower [BBC]
Disneyland / Disney / Paris / → All Tags
It seems that Euro Disney in Paris is putting recent sex scandals behind them and moving full steam ahead to celebrating their fifteenth birthday. What's more, they're stretching the birthday celebration out to a full 363 days, with special offers and entertainment running from today until November 8 next year: that's one heck of a birthday party, and kind of cheating on the marketing side, we think.
During the birthday fun, Crush's Coaster (courtesy of Finding Nemo) and Cars Race Rally attractions will open up, and Extra Magic Hours will allow visitors staying in the on-site hotels to get access to some parts of Disneyland for an extra two hours. And the final and tackiest addition will be Candlelabration (it doesn't really flow off our tongues, but maybe for the French it will) with birthday singing, dancing and candles to celebrate the big 1-5 in front of Cinderella's castle. Just wait to see what catastrophes await us for Disneyland Paris's 20th birthday in just under five years.
· Mickey Doesn't Love Minnie [Jaunted]
Paris / Japan / Tourists / → All Tags
The sad fact of Japanese working life is they're lucky to string together a week's holiday every few years, so when the good people of Japan get the chance to travel, they want it to be good (and photographically memorable). Many Japanese dream of romantic holidays in Paris but have their dreams shattered when it doesn't quite meet their high expectations.
And that's why Paris syndrome exists. At the moment, about a dozen Japanese a year are struck by this psychological reaction to their less-than-perfect experiences in Paris. Some of the problems arise because:
People using public transport all look stern, and handbag snatchers increase the ill feeling.The worst cases of psychological scarring have included a pair of women who thought their rooms were bugged, and another who was certain she was being attacked by microwaves. All this when some French are making a big effort to make friends with foreigners. Of course the best way to avoid this syndrome is simply to stay home, or at least to travel with lower expectations. So anyone headed to Paris soon: the Eiffel Tower's only 2 storeys high and genuine croissants taste terrible. Now you're well prepared.
· Paris Leaves Japanese Tourists Ill [The Australian]
· Makin' French Mates [Jaunted]
France / Paris / Culture / → All Tags
A culturally-sensitive way to travel is, of course, to meet and mingle with the locals. But say you're traveling through France and you want to meet real French people: should you just walk up to local people in a Parisian supermarket and tell them you want to be friends?
Of course not, and that's why someone came up with the idea of Meeting the French. This website can set you up with a host (matching your age and interests, naturally) who will invite you into their home for a meal. Your side of the deal is to choose the menu (ranging in prices), foot the bill in exchange for the hospitality, and the agency delivers the food to the happy (English-speaking) hosts. You can preview some of the available hosts, one of whom has the admirable goal of wanting "to demonstrate that french people are not so haughty and unbearable." Next time you're dropping through Paris, test out the haughtiness level yourself.
· Meeting the French [Official Site]
· Makin' German Mates [Jaunted]
Disneyland / Sex / Paris / Disney Video / → All Tags
Disneyland's gone all erotic, again. Last month it was employees in Hong Kong Disneyland who were fired for frolicking naked in the changerooms, after the boss saw them on the security video. Now the Disneyland Paris employees have had to take it one step further: they've filmed themselves, in costume, simulating sex acts.
We've always known, deep down, that Mickey's not really a match for Minnie, or they'd be sharing a house by now. But what you might not be ready to know is that, according to the video made by EuroDisney staff, Mickey's in fact in a gay relationship with a snowman. We're very sorry if you read it here first.
Video from The Sun linked below.
· Mickey, Minnie and Goofy in Orgy [Daily Mail]
· Do you fancy a Donald Duck? [The Sun]
· Disneyland Not Always Good Clean Fun [Jaunted]
animals / Paris / → All Tags
Flying into Charles de Gaulle last week, our thoughts were already turning to Parisian bunnies--like the ones we might see at the Moulin Rouge--when we suddenly saw live ones hopping around next to our runway. Apparently they're a well-documented phenomenon there, and a safety problem: Rabbit droppings attract mice, who in turn attract birds, who present a danger to planes. "Operation Rabbit" (or lapin á la moutarde, in the original French) began to capture them and return them to the countryside. Or so they say.
But unusual encounters were the theme of the day, as we turned a corner and nearly walked right into the waiting hall "home" of the man who inspired the Hanks/Spielberg film The Terminal. A mix-up of refugee applications had Merhan "Alfred" Karimi Nasseri arrive in Paris CDG from Iran in 1988. In the ensuing confusion, courts ruled he arrived legally in the airport, but he wasn't allowed to enter France. With no passport or diplomatic status, he also wasn't allowed to enter another country and stayed in the airport. Since 1999 he's been allowed to leave, but the consensus is that his mental state, after 11 years camped in the airport, doesn't allow it.
While we spend too much of our life trying to get out of airports, but it seems the rabbits and Alfred can't get enough of them. What are we missing? Maybe those hard plastic chairs and that blinding artificial light are better than we think. We guess they really buy into the axiom that the purpose is the journey.
Stranded at the Airport [Snopes.com]
Runway Rabbits Wreak Havoc [USA Today]
Celeb Travel / Paris / Britain / → All Tags
Whether you're so excited you can barely stand it, or avoiding it like the plague, the big day is finally here. The Da Vinci Code hits theatres in wide release today. Now we can stop hearing about all the Da Vinci-themed travel packages out there and Tom Hanks can cut his hair.
You probably already know this bad boy was not filmed on some cheap soundstage in Studio City. Nope, they went all out for this one, filming all over Europe, from Edinburgh to Malta. In that spirit, we offer you our best Da Vinci location picks--yes, these are places you can actually check out yourself. Just look out for albino monks and make sure to bring your own highlighted copy of The Good Book with you for reference.
Where To Hide Out:
Belvoir Castle and Estate
This Leicestershire, England landmark is absolutely breathtaking, and served as the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland for a thousand years. The current Duke's family is now living there in the private quarters, but the public's free to engage in guided tours. They even host guided shooting, fishing, and yes, falconry trips on the grounds. And what does the name Belvoir mean, you ask? Why, "beautiful view", of course.
Where To Slumber in Style:
The Ritz Hotel
Paris' legendary Ritz always lives up to its name; everyone from Cole Porter to Brit Brit has graced their rooms. Decadence seems to be a way of life at The Ritz, guest rooms resemble something out of a 16th century palace and guests can even indulge in cooking classes at the hotel's famed Ritz Escoffier School. Code? What Code?
Where To Meditate:
Step back in time at this Scottish chapel, found in Midlothian. Dating back to 1446, it houses some of the most historic carvings in the world and The Queen Mother herself has popped in for services in the past. Conservation efforts for this historical structure have grown steadily of late (thanks, Tom) and its preservation is admirable.
Trains / Paris / Istanbul / Budapest / Bucharest / Transportation / → All Tags
While train travel via Amtrak is pretty miserable over here, Orient-Express (not just the famed route, but the company) is making a go of fancy train travel abroad. The Times of London recently checked out their Eastern & Oriental Express, which runs from Bangkok, through Malaysia to Singapore in super swanky luxury. Compartments have their own showers and toilets, and the food is freshly prepared at every meal in thai-continental fusion style.
It's expensive, though; the four-day journey costs $1, 780 for a one way ticket, assuming you travel with accompanying passenger in a Pullman cabin, the smallest available. Sure, there's afternoon tea, an open-air verandah-style observation car, and a bustling bar car, but it's still quite a bit of scratch.
Besides, if you're really intent on dropping a bundle for train travel, why not do the original Orient Express? For a mere $7, 380 (it includes day trips and two nights in hotels), you'll experience a super-luxe six-day journey between Paris and Istanbul, with stops in Budapest and Bucharest. It's very much in the same vein as the Eastern & Oriental, but there are no private bathrooms on this train, though. For authenticity's sake, perhaps?
It's hard to say when luxury train travel will hit the northeast corridor--the Acela doesn't count--but in the meantime, some extra legroom would be nice. And we wouldn't object to an open-air verandah, either.
[Image via Feuillu/Flickr]
· The Elegance of the Far East [Times of London]
· Rail World [NY Post]
Celeb Travel / Paris / Prague / Models / → All Tags
Disappeared-into-nowhere former superstar Leonardo DiCaprio is taking a little break in Europe with a new lady. After his split with Brazilian bombshell Gisele Bundchen last year, Leo seems to have found himself a new lady--who is a full ten years younger than he is--to cavort with him across Europe. And by cavort, we mean, you know, frolic. In bed.
Leo was spotted with Israeli model Bar Rafael in both Prague and Paris recently. Who knows where the two will surface next? There's nothing like an extravagant European vacation with a hottie 10 years younger than you to get over a former flame. Unless that flame is Gisele. Good luck, Leo.
· DiCaprio Treats Model to European Dates [SFGate]
Paris / Tours / Da Vinci Code / Books / France / → All Tags
As the last remaining humans on earth not to have read the Da Vinci Code, we're hardly qualified to write this post, but as we're not qualified to write any of our posts, we'll continue. Irrespective of the book's quality, we have wondered what all these official Da Vinci Code walking tours are like. Could they be as miserable as they sound? The answer, as Stone Phillips says, may surprise you.
For about $25, Classic Walks runs a two-hour Da Vinci Code tour, which includes a visit to the Tuileries, a peek at the Louvre pyramid--no trip inside, as it would take to much time--and a stop at Saint Sulpice. The tour guide even goes so far as to explain errors in the text--just like the bible--at different spots along the walk. Despite the underlying silliness of the whole affair, for Da Vinci Code fans, it seems to be a satisfying way to spend an afternoon.
Not everyone is happy about the tours. A sign posted by a priest in Saint Sulpice reads:
Contrary to fanciful allegations in a recent best-selling novel, this is not a vestige of pagan temple. No such temple ever existed in this place. It was never called a Rose Line. It does not coincide with the meridian once traced through the middle of Paris.You'd think, as a priest, he'd be more understanding about large groups of people obsessing over the real-life sites mentioned in a book. Maybe he's only got room for one in his life.
[Image via Puce/Flickr]
· Paris by the Book [Times of London]
Art / Museums / Paris / France / → All Tags
An astonishing 15% of all patrons at the Louvre are Americans, and the May 19 opening of that Da Vinci Code movie isn't going to lower that percentage anytime soon. The Louvre will soon be putting Americans on its walls, when it launches an exhibit called "American Artists and the Louvre," with works by Edward Hopper, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt and Thomas Hart Benton.
That's just the beginning of the American invasion. The Louvre is bringing over novelist Toni Morrison for separate programs in the fall, and it's begun a art-exchange program with Atlanta's High Museum that will continue for the next three years. Can we also exchange Tom Hanks for Audrey Tautou?
· Louvre opens rarefied doors to American art exchange [Chicago Tribune]
· Louvre Museum going American [Mercury News]
· Paris: Louvre Loves Americana [Travelpost]
· Exhibitions [Louvre]