Four National Library of France Sites— 2 Worth Visiting

One of the National Library of France sites: Richelieu Library, Paris (J. Chung)

Sometimes you see a photo on the internet or in a magazine and you decide you HAVE to see that place when you visit the city. This was the case for me and my search to see the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France) when I was in Paris recently. I say “search’ because upon arriving at what I THOUGHT was the library, I soon discovered I was at the wrong location. In fact, it turns out there are four National Library of France sites in Paris!  But my visit wasn’t a total waste. I’ll share two sites worth visiting. Continue reading →

Running In France

You can take a walking tour, river cruise, or bus tour to see France, but how about another way….by running in France? Let me clarify. I am not suggesting you run AROUND France to see the sites. I am suggesting that if you are looking at travelling to France, that you consider adding in a running race in France….5 km, 10km, half-marathon or even a marathon. Before you say, “I can’t even run 1 mile/kilometre”, I should point out that many races have entries for walkers, so it’s not out of the question.
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Remains Of The Bastille: 4 Spots You Likely Overlooked

Remains of the Bastille and mural at the Bastille Metro

When in Paris, one walks a lot and it’s worth doing as there are so many sites to see.  But you can walk down a street and not even realize you’ve passed a historical monument or famous site. I recently discovered that you can see the Bastille fortress—yes, that famous ‘storming of the Bastille’ place—-that made July 14, 1789 famous. I found the remains of the Bastille in the most unlikely places, so if you’re in these four areas, be sure you’re on the lookout for the remnants. You’ll be looking at a little history from 228 years ago. It’s not all rocks, either, particularly at the Bastille Metro where you will see some amazing art (from France’s bicentennial). Continue reading →

“59 Rivoli”—a former squat that provides studios for artists in Paris

59 Rivoli entrance: studios for artists in Paris

When you hear the word, “squatters”, you likely think of people occupying an uninhabited, abandoned building. What you probably would not realize is that there is a “squat” that has become quite famous in the city of Paris. Initially occupied by 3 squatting artists in 1999, six years later the city bought the property at 59 rue de Rivoli,  which is just down the street from the Louvre museum. Since 2009, 59 Rivoli provides studios for artists in Paris—-permanent artists, visiting artists, and performances—-legally. Continue reading →

Paris Dinner Soirée At Jim Haynes

Janice Chung and Jim Haynes

For many years I had heard about some rather unique dinners that take place weekly or monthly in Paris but had never attended one. These social events are often held by expats and they bring together locals, visitors, and other expats over dinner, drinks, and conversation. The perfect opportunity arose when I recently travelled to Paris with my friend, Monica. One of my Paris contacts suggested we meet up with her and her friend at a dinner soirée just south of where we were staying. While I vaguely knew about soirées, the Paris dinner soirée at Jim Haynes has now become one of my favourite experiences in France….EVER! Continue reading →

Where To Charge Your Phone In Paris For Free

One of the places where you can charge your phone in Paris for free--at Gare Saint Lazare (J. Chung)
Dying battery? The sign everyone dreads.
Dying battery? The sign everyone dreads.

Running out of battery power? I could tell you to turn off your smartphone. I could tell you to stop checking your emails. I could tell you to not use Google Maps or any apps that use up power. This is not advice I would follow, so I won’t tell you that. I like using my iPhone to take photos, check the weather, and help me be LESS lost (aka ‘no sense of direction’).  If you need to keep your phone charged during your stay in Paris, there are some easy ways to do so. But more importantly, where can you charge your phone in Paris for free? Continue reading →