Author: Diana

What to Do in Paris: 101 Ideas for Museums, Food, Day Trips, Festivals, and More

What to do in Paris: The Absolute Must-Dos 1. Sit along the banks of the Seine as the sun sets — ideally in June, but if you get lucky with the weather, you can do this literally all year round. And ideally you’ll get to do this several nights in a row — which means you can try out a bunch of different spots. My favorite include: the Right Bank right below the Sully-Morland métro stop, the southern bank of the Ile Saint-Louis, the stretch of the Left Bank between the Sully and the Jardin des plantes, in the Jardin Tino Rossi. If you’re there in August, look for the Paris Plages. 2. Well, you probably have to go up the Eiffel Tower; it’s required. 3. Even better, though, watch the Eiffel Tower put on its nightly sparkle show from the steps in front of Sacre-Coeur, up in Montmartre. Obviously you’ll want to go late; follow it with dinner at La Boite aux Lettres, on rue Gabrielle. The show lasts five minutes, and starts every …

lighthouse - best audible books 2021

7 Basically Perfect Audible Books for 2021 and Beyond

These are my picks best Audible books (for 2021). If you pick the right one, there’s something incredibly special about the right audiobook — I don’t think books are generally improved by their film adaptations, but I do think some are even better in their audiobook format. To the Lighthouse is one of the 20th century’s perfect books — but the way Nicole Kidman reads those dense, twisty sentences helps crack it open in a way that’s impossible on the page. I have 70 books in my Audible library, and most I didn’t finish. Some were boring. With others — like with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and two Neil Gaiman books — I ended up buying the print version because I couldn’t follow the plot. These, though, are all wonderful, and if you’re looking for something to listen to next, look here first. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah I can’t even say what an incredible experience listening to this book was. I’ve read lots of books by TV comedians and those were fine and entertaining …

The 7 Best 2021 Wall Art Calendars on Etsy

There may be 20,000+ search results — but I’m pretty confident that among these six picks is the single best wall art calendar on Etsy. I turned to Etsy when my usual calendar-providing suspects — Paper Source, Rifle Paper — came up empty. Some requirements for my new calendar: I wanted a wall calendar, not a desk calendar, and ideally, I wanted something bound (either with, like, staples or ring-binding) — not the sort of thing where you have to use a fancy binder clip to put it on your wall. I also avoided printable calendars (I make one(!!) but just didn’t want anything DIY for this), and I skipped single-page, full-year-on-one-sheet calendars, I didn’t go through all 22,000 results(!!!!!) in my search for the best wall art calendar on Etsy, but I did find a half-dozen I loved. These obviously reflect my general interests — National Parks, trees, travel, etc. — but you can find literally anything you want, including: a virus calendar, a pastry calendar, a “2021 Nude Art Calendar.” 1. Architecture Calendar …

7 Perfectly Minimalist Earrings From My Favorite French Jewelry Maker

Minimalist jewelry is so tricky if you’re looking for something sleek ‘n’ chic but not utterly without interest. Paris-based designer Raphaël Schaltegger walks that line expertly with his Goutte de Terre brand, which mixes super-smooth Limoges porcelain with gold and other organic details. These are the best minimalist earrings on Etsy, as far as I can tell. Schaltegger has a gallery and shop in the 11th but also sells his work online, which is all to the good. The prices are reasonable enough — my favorite piece below, the Seine earrings, are about $50 — and utilitarian enough that they could withstand the transition from day to night, classroom to office, or whatever big move might be on your agenda. If you like these but they’re not quite right, check out their Instagram, which has new pieces not yet online. Affiliate links below.  1. Kisale Earrings BUY IT HERE:  “Kisale” earrings, $50 That’s a very particular green, but if it works for you, it looks great with gold. 2. Seine Earrings BUY IT HERE:  “Seine” earrings, $50 …

yabla review

An Honest Yabla Review (2021)

My Yabla review: I love Yabla. I’ve used Yabla for three years, after I discovered it while looking for a way to practice my oral comprehension of French. I can read reasonably well, and speak at least competently enough to express my less-complicated thoughts, but I am hopeless at understanding people when they speak French. Enter, Yabla. (Note: This Yabla review focuses on Yabla French, though I imagine it’s more or less the same for each of the languages Yabla offers.) So What Is Yabla? Yabla is a language-learning system that uses a selection of game-like programs to increase oral comprehension, vocabulary, and written ability. My favorite — the one I use 99.9% of the time — is Scribe. The concept is simple: Every week, Yabla publishes a bunch of new videos — a mix of news reports, music videos, cartoon segments, and original material made by Yabla itself. (The original material is excellent — especially the videos by Lionel (Lionel the First, though Lionel the Second is also great, something other Yabla French users will …

12 Excellent French Makers on Etsy

Looking for the best French gifts on Etsy? Voilà. While I’ve been an Etsy shopkeeper for forever, I’ve only recently become more of an Etsy shopper, and I’ve bought more excellent stuff on Etsy this year than anywhere else. (Like: vintage maps of Europe, an Animal Crossing-themed print for a friend, and a vinyl Bruce Springsteen sticker, because for 2021 I decided to be the sort of person who cares a lot about stickers.) A couple quick things, as we begin our search for the best French gifts on Etsy (noting: no vintage, no clothing, as those are separate searches!!). As someone who ships from France to the U.S. literally all the time, it’s actually very straightforward and fast: Look for shipment via service called Colissimo, which is the national post carrier’s shipping plan. From Paris to the U.S. it can take as few as four days, though usually it’s closer to seven. And there shouldn’t be customs charges for any of these products (as they’re under the price that would incur them.) Keep an …

The 21 Most Beautiful Paris Apartment Interiors on Instagram

These are the 21 most beautiful Paris apartment interiors on Instagram — which, all things being equal, is a pretty good place to look for them. Note: These get increasingly more fantastical as we go on, so while we start with this lovely, regular-person space — with the nice cat sleeping on the nice rattan chair — we definitely do conclude with, for example, the Hotel de Soubise (the construction of which was partially funded by an affair with Louis XIV) and additional castle-like spaces. The good thing about Paris apartments that not everyone knows is that (thank you, Communist Party) rents are kept down pretty assiduously by law — so while Paris rents are expensive by French standards, they are a fraction of what they’d be in, say, San Francisco or London. Dream big! Best Cozy Corner in History (@m.art.ion) Can you even? Those plants, that cat, all that rattan? Best Giant Gilded Mirror in the Service of Holiday Cheer (@jackiekaiellis) Fact: A gilded mirror is worth having all year round, but possibly especially …

I Sort of Dated an Emily in Paris-style Gabriel, and Actually, It Was Pretty Terrible

I didn’t meet Francois in my building, like Emily met Gabriel, her not-single chef: I met Francois, my not-single restaurateur, in an even cuter way: His parents sold me a vintage desk lamp at a garage sale. The desk lamp was adorable, and his parents, equally so. Along with the lamp, they gave me a card for their son’s restaurant, which happened to be a 10-minute walk from my apartment. “Stop by!” they said, in their perfect English. “Talk to Francois!” I did. He looked not like Lucas Bravo but like Eddie Redmayne, which for me, was a win. I told him to thank his parents for the lamp. He gave me a basket of something like cheese biscuits(?). He told me to let him know if I had any problems with the lamp — so when it stopped working a week later, I emailed him. This time, instead of meeting at the restaurant, we met at the apartment above his restaurant. I looked for any signs of a partner — he was just moving …

What It’s Like to Travel to Paris Right Now (October 2020)

Wondering what it’s like to travel to Paris right now? I would say: not great. Last week, I traveled from New Jersey to Paris. I either had to come back or give up my residency visa, which expired the day after I arrived — believe me, I wanted to stay where I was. Here, then, is how I made it to France: Step #1: The groundwork I called around to clinics near me — some would only offer tests to those who believed they’d been exposed to someone with covid. Most, though, could only offer a hazy timeframe of “2-4 days” for the results, which wouldn’t work. The good news, I guess, was that these tests were all free — but since I didn’t want to (a) miss my flight or (b) show up in France after my visa expired, I couldn’t take the risk. It took a couple weeks of sifting around the internet — I have no idea why this wasn’t easier to find — I saw a recommendation for Excell on, of …

How Can I Decorate My Home Like a Parisian?

If you’ve ever wondered: How can I decorate my home like a Parisian? I have good news: It’s easier than it looks. It’s true that Paris apartments often have beautiful bones — it’s a small city, with much century-old housing stock (though plenty of new as well). In general, though, it’s not that hard to find a beautiful apartment with beautiful moldings and parquet floors. That said, a Parisian apartment can be procured the old-fashioned American way: by buying it. Parquet floors can be laid by hand. Oil portraits can be purchased on Etsy or Selency. A grand, antique mirror is only as far as 1st Dibs. Generally, I think that there’s a native way of styling apartment that’s unique to wherever you are — a Brooklyn apartment wants to be a Brooklyn apartment while a Miami apartment wants to be a Miami apartment, and ditto in San Antonio or Seattle: All of these places have different amounts of sunlight, sun intensity, color temperature, and local vintage stock. In that sense, I’d say that if you’re …