C’est le retour de la chasse au trésor !

Samedi prochain, c’est la chasse au trésor à Paris. Un moyen ludique de découvrir un des arrondissements de la capitale (ou même plusieurs si vous êtes motivés !)

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Que faire ce week-end à Paris ? Quelques suggestions.

Ce week-end, c’est le 11ème salon de la culture et des jeux mathématiques à Saint Sulpice ! D’anciens instruments scientifiques à de la dentelle au fuseau, il y a de quoi se divertir et s’instruire !

Mais aussi, ce week-end c’est l’occasion de (re)découvrir l’entrepôt MacDonald, le plus grand bâtiment de Paris, avant sa rénovation. Expos, visites du quartier, projections… sont au rendez-vous pour cette manifestation initiée par le Pavillon de l’Arsenal.

Ca ne vous convient pas ? Vous voulez plus de verdure en ce printemps hésitant ? Et bien, pourquoi alors ne pas allez profiter des journées portes ouvertes de l’Ecole du Breuil ? Visitez ses jardins et admirez les démonstrations et les expositions présentées à cette occasion.

Sur ce, bon week-end ! Et on croise les doigts pour la météo…

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Bubbles in the Grand Palais

during the special Nuit des musées exhibition!

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Walking along the Seine

I think it was mentioned in an earlier metlinks but the banks of the river Seine will be seeing some changes until 2012. In the mean time, strolling along under blue skies is lovely. Some seem to fall head over heels in romance and scar the poor trees along the banks…

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Metlinks OTW : oops!

Oops, seems we forgot to take care of the metlinks this week…
Might be the lovely weather in Paris at the moment?
Me and Seurann celebrated by having a picnic on Sunday :D

Here is a quirky video about the quiet near Roissy due to lack of planes in the beginning of the week.

Also, the ice cream cart at the Luxembourg garden entrance (the one near the RER station) are back for the summer! :D I really like their ice cream and have a very soft spot for their “fraise feuille de menthe” (strawberry and mint leaf).


Metlinks OTW : 16.04.10

Ah the chaos of flight cancellations, no thanks to the spread of the plumes of volcanic ashes from Iceland. I hope not many of you are affected by this incident.

  • When the flights are back running as usual, and you’re packing but wondering what to bring, check out this Paris packing guide by Badaude. Actually strike that. Just read her blog. It’s too cool for words.
  • I don’t know about you but I’ve been hankering for chouquettes. And the best recipe that I’ve tried so far comes from Chocolate and Zucchini.
  • An exhibition of photography by Willy Ronis opens today at Monnaie de Paris and will run until 22 August. For more information check out this PDF document.
  • Speaking of photography, think you take great shots of Paris and fancy a chance at winning the new monthly Parisian Salon photo contest? Here’s the details. Get snapping!
  • As You Like It, or The Tempest? Sam Mendes and Kevin Spacey have brought Shakespeare to Paris as part of the international tour of the plays. Already critically acclaimed in other cities, it’s still not too late to get tickets to watch these plays.
  • However, if Shakespeare’s not your thing, but looking for something more French to do, let’s discover the Paris of Adèle Blanc-Sec by walking tour (download the PDF of the walking tour linked from the page).
  • If you’re looking for something more energetic, and inspired by the city marathon last week, Sport Passion Organisation is hosting 10km Planet Jogging run at Bois du Boulogne on 25 April.
  • In celebration of World Earth Day, a special free documentary screening will be taking place at Pavillon du Lac (Parc de Bercy) on Thursday 22 April at 6pm, entitled The Titanic Syndrome.
  • It’s the Indian season at Musée du Quai Branly. Get yourself over there and learn all that you can about specific Indian tribe (Adivasis), their culture, their arts and in a bonus, there are contemporary Indian arts exhibition too.
  • Last but not least, woooo, more pedestrianised stretch along the Seine! Goodbye motorways, hello greener space.

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Metlinks OTW : 08.04.10

I am not sure about you but I’ve probably overstuffed myself with Easter chocolate. So no more chocolate for now. Maybe until next week or so. And here is this week’s edition of metlinks. :)

Fun and Socials

  • Woohoo, there’s a Venetian Carnival in town this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday from 2.30pm to 6pm at Bastille. Expect a colourful affair!
  • Liven up your Sunday with music and dance, food and drink, and be merry – Meredith Mullins reported her experience.
  • La Foire du Trône is back at Pelouse de Reuilly (adjacent to Bois du Vincennes) for a few weeks of fun and entertainment before we hit the summer.

Foodie’s Corner

Exhibitions

  • A new exhibition opens next Wednesday at the Grande Galerie d’Évolution entitled Dans l’ombre des dinosaures. It runs for 10 months, so plenty of time to catch up on these cool giants that once roamed the earth.
  • Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly have a new exhibition “Follow Rose, Visit Paris” at the BnF Richelieu, running until Sunday 11 July. The photos are by no means conventional, but intriguing.

Other Events

  • Interested in quirky yet stylish furniture? Check out this Eiffel Tower-inspired chair by Caroline Corbeau.
  • Hey, a café where you can design and sew your own clothes, or get some classes if you’re a new to the world of sewing? Sweat Shop is the place to go.
  • The Paris Marathon takes place this weekend. Go on, go out and cheer the runners this Sunday!

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Spotted on Boulevard Saint Germain

Lovely doggy bag, isn’t it? I guess I’ll never understand fashion…


Metlinks OTW : 03.04.10

With a blink of an eye, it is now a few days into April and all the Easter temptations didn’t make it easy for me to resist buying a gazillion and one chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, and the very cute chocolate ducks!

  • Talking of Easter chocolates, there are chocolate hunts taking place on Sunday 4 April and Monday 5 April, organised by Le Centre des Monuments Nationaux. In Paris, head for the Conciergerie and/or the tower of the Notre Dame Cathedrale.
  • Alternatively head over to Bercy Village for their Easter chocolate tasting event on the same days (Sunday and Monday) from 2pm to 6pm.
  • Do you consider these items as things you shouldn’t leave France without? I admit to fleur de sel being top of my list, along with caramel au beurre salé.
  • Tour Paris interactively. Go on, give it a go.
  • Our favourite sommelier Olivier Magny was featured in the New York Times – Going Underground in a Private Paris.
  • Confused over the practice of la bise in Paris? Sion recounts her experience in two parts as part of the instalments of Faux Pas Fridays. Here’s part one and part two.
  • Thanks to Adam of Invisible Paris, I am setting my alarm clock for 4am Project, on Sunday 4 April (04h @ 04/04). Unfortunately I’m currently not in Paris, so there won’t be any photo of the Eiffel Tower. ;)
  • Were you at the Opera metro station a couple of weekends ago and wondered why there were people knitting on some rather comfy sofa? Here’s a photo catch-up of the event.
  • The Paris Comedy Festival finishes this weekend. Did you manage to catch any good stand-ups? It’s still not too late to catch this evening or tomorrow’s show!
  • A rather interesting take on differences between reactions to affairs between French and American. What say you?


Metlinks OTW : 26.03.10

Here are this week’s random bits and pieces. Bon appétit !

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Metlinks OTW : 19.03.10

Weather seems forebodding in Paris now, temps have climbed and the sky is cloudy… This looks like it’ll soon poor down over us…

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Metlinks OTW : 12.03.10

While the South-West of France, as well as Corsica, have seen a sudden drop in temperatures as well as impressive amounts of snow, Paris is doing ok with normal weather…


(Ok, this is not from Paris but from where I am at the moment: picture taken on Monday morning in Montpellier…)

  • Join in the macaron debate. I’d just like to say that PH and La Durée have never been the sole purveyors of macarons in Paris. A number of bakeries, local or from other chains, sell them as well.
  • Another temporary restaurant? Fancy new eatery in the Palais de Tokyo
  • Free museums in Paris? Here is a helpful list
  • Go on Google to follow the results of Sunday’s elections… Impressive I think.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Rétrospectives exhibition at the Petit Palais started yesterday. Seems like it’s going to have a lot of success, beware of the queues!
  • At the Musée d’Orsay, Crime et châtiments will start next week. Beware that some of the items might hurt visitors’ “sensitivity”…
  • Ok, just one other exhibition: Du Greco à Dalí at the Musée Jacquemart-André
  • I keep meaning to do a series of posts about day trips from Paris… Well, here’s one about Chartres!
  • IKEA furniture in the métro? Is that a joke? Check it out for yourselves
  • More strikes for RER B


Kitchen Chinese (and public reading today!)


Kitchen Chinese is the debut novel by Ann Mah, an author and a journalist from California who’s currently residing in Paris. It recounts the story of Isabelle, a Chinese-American who moved to Beijing in an attempt to turn her life around. Outwardly Chinese but brought up in non-Asian environment, her adventure brought her to unexpected places, new experiences, awkward interactions (especially when compounded with expectation for fluency in the local language) and cuisine discovery but ultimately, love can also be found in a foreign land.

The novel is detailed and descriptive while successfully remain light-hearted and humorous at the same time. Like a feast, it is infused with just about everything that gives you a perfect insight into the life of an expat in a culture that perhaps belongs more to his/her ancestors.

We caught up with Ann to discuss about the book and to get to know her better.

  1. How much of yourself do you identify with Isabelle, the protagonist in Kitchen Chinese?
    The book was inspired by my own experiences as a young Chinese-American woman in China, so Isabelle and I do share some similarities. But, ultimately, I chose to write fiction for two reasons. First, I think it’s difficult for someone in their twenties or thirties to write a memoir, when they don’t have a large breadth of experience behind them. Secondly, writing fiction allowed me to explore different angles outside of my own life — for example, romantic relationships. I was happily married when I lived in Beijing, but Isabelle is single and must navigate the dating scene in a foreign country and language. These experiences give her a greater understanding and acceptance of her cultural identity.
  2. What inspired you to write this novel?
    I lived in Beijing for two years before I started writing Kitchen Chinese. At first it seemed so cliche to think that, as a Chinese American, I would have an epiphany about my cultural roots and want to write about it. But life as an expat made me start thinking about cultural vs ethnic identity and the experience of being a fish out of water. The need to process these thoughts was the seed that gave root to this book.
  3. Who provide you with food inspirations?
    I worked as a restaurant critic and dining editor for a Beijing expat magazine and some of my fondest memories are of eating lunch with my colleagues. They introduced me to “jiachangcai” or homestyle dishes and were an endless source of information. Through them, I also started to learn more about Chinese regional cuisine, which fascinates me still. China is a huge country — about the size of the United States — and each region has its own diverse style of cooking.
  4. How do you view Chinese style dessert (tong sui) from what is norm in western world (pastries, cakes, pies etc)? (A friend once remarked any country east of Turkey doesn’t do good dessert!)
    I’m not a big fan of dessert in any form. And Chinese desserts can be very sweet and sticky, filled with things like red bean or lotus paste that are definitely an acquired taste. However, meals in China usually end with fruit — it’s not unusual to finish a fancy meal with a plate of watermelon and cherry tomatoes (remember, tomatoes are a fruit!) even in the dead of winter!
  5. Which do you prefer and why: eating or cooking? Chinese or French cuisine?
    Eating and cooking are twin passions of mine. But what I love most about them is the sharing. I don’t like eating by myself, nor do I like cooking for myself. But I do love the process of creating something and offering it to others — whether it be food or writing. As for Chinese vs French cuisine — I love them both. It’s like choosing between children!
  6. What is your favourite city and what do you love most about it?
    My husband is a diplomat so we move often. As a result, I’ve had the chance to develop many favorite cities. For now, my favorite is Paris. I’d always dreamed of living here and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. I love the sweeping boulevards, the patina of history, the elegant Hausmannian facades, the passion for fine dining, and the unlimited access to unpasteurized cheese.
  7. Where do you hang out regularly in Paris?
    The market on Boulevard Raspail (not the fancy Sunday marché bio, but the more humble Tuesday/Friday market). The wine section of La Grande Epicerie. A corner of the Luxembourg Gardens, where I like to sun myself and read the newspaper. The American Library in Paris for research and quiet concentration. La Laiterie, a restaurant in the 7th where I love their chalkboard menu, simple fresh food and casual atmosphere. Le Mistral, a cafe in the 20th, for coffee and friendship — my husband has been friends with the owners since he was an exchange student in college.
  8. What’s next?
    I would love to write something set in Paris, perhaps about wine and a female sommelier. At least, the research would be fun!

Ann Mah will be speaking at the American Library (10 rue du Général Camou, 75007 Paris) on Wednesday 10 March 2010 (that’s today!!), at 7.30pm. She also blogs regularly and can be found tweeting at @AnnMahnet.


Metlinks OTW : 05.03.10

Here are some totally random tidbits about stuff going on over here. Have fun exploring!

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Metlinks OTW : 27.02.10

As February draws to an end, I’m getting excited with a feel for spring in the air. The days are also getting longer, and there are signs of budding blooms in small doses. In the mean time, with the French 6 Nations campaign going smoothly, there are lots to look forward to in March.

Weather Notice

  • Despite the arrival of spring, a weather alert is in place for this Sunday 28 February, for a significant storm/tempest in Île-de-France, with strength of up to 120km/h! Be safe.

Events

  • Musée du Quai Branly is hosting a series of Brazilian themed events this week, including workshops of capoeira and barbatuques. Check the listing here, and please note that some has limited places.
  • Chopin made Paris his home for 18 years, and for the bicentenary celebration of the birth of this great composer, a number of events have been organised, including free concerts, exhibition and walking tour of Chopin’s Paris.
  • Children Everyone should be taught all above food and healthy eating. For the curious, heads over to the exhibition of Bon Appétit at Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie – La Villette.

Browse The Web

  • Think you’re having a bad day? Reconsider after you read the snippets from Vie de Merde.
  • If you’re a student working on your thesis, you’re not alone. Things go wrong all the time, and Thèse de Merde is your alternative venting space.
  • English song lyrics translated word by word into French? Check out Pardon My French which will keep you amuse for a bit.

Miscellaneous

  • Finally, a decision is made over the currently closed Paris Zoo. It’s going to be another 4 years before it reopens though…
  • Do you know that 2010 is the year of France-Russia in both countries, and there are tons of events hosted countrywide that put emphasis on Franco-Russian relationship.
  • Are you aware of Hidden Kitchen? It’s currently on my wishlist, but it’s not stopping me from wanting to share it with you either!

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