Destination: France

What’s That Smell?

What’s That Smell? iStockPhoto

Paul Lynch explores the intersection of travel and the nose

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France Returns Frescoes to Egypt

Big news in the antiquities world: The French government has returned five disputed frescoes to the Egyptian government. The painted stone fragments had been held by the Louvre for the past few years, and the Egyptians—claiming that the Louvre’s curators bought them knowing they were stolen goods—had cut off all formal ties and cooperation on archaeological digs with the museum as a result. I suspect that the British Museum, among others, hopes this move won’t become a precedent-setter.

Finding the Zagat of the Napoleonic Era

World Hum contributor Tony Perrottet has a great read in this week’s New York Times Travel section—he heads to Paris on the trail of Alexandre-Balthazar-Laurent Grimod de la Reynière, a legendary gourmand who financed his immersion in early 19th-century Parisian dining by writing a series of proto-guidebooks, the “Almanachs des Gourmands.” It’s exactly the kind of historical tidbit I love stumbling across, though it’s not recommended for readers on an empty stomach.

‘Ivory Coast = France = Japan’

That equation comes from a James Fallows post in the Atlantic, and he’s talking about language habits.

That is: in France and Japan, the deep-down assumption is that the language is pure and difficult, that foreigners can’t really learn it, and that one’s attitude toward their attempts is either French hauteur or the elaborately over-polite and therefore inevitably patronizing Japanese response to even a word or two in their language. “Nihongo jouzu! Your Japanese is so good!” 

Fall Foliage Around the World

Central Park, New York Photo of Central Park, New York City, by joiseyshowaa via Flickr (Creative Commons)

From Osaka to Chicago, seven photos of turning leaves around the shrinking planet

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Travel Song of the Day: ‘Paris’ By Yael Naim

Interview With Nicholas Kristof: Traveling and Tweeting Under ‘Half the Sky’

Nicholas Kristof Photo by Fred R. Conrad

David Frey asks the author about his dream vacation, Twitter, travel to hellholes and the trip that changed his life

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Behind the Eiffel Tower’s Beauty Regimen

As the120th birthday celebrations for the Paris landmark continue, EuroCheapo’s Theadora Brack shares “some riveting facts” (har) about the tower’s maintenance regimen.

From Bhutan to France: Gross National Happiness

On the intersection of place, politics and culture

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Travel Song of the Day: ‘Amsterdam’ by Jacques Brel

Julia Child, French Cuisine and the Empirical Method

There’s an interesting nugget in this New York Times story about the French cooking community’s views on Julia Child. One cookbook author, after calling Julia Child’s recipes “academic and bourgeois,” grudgingly admits that Child’s methodical American approach—she spent years carefully testing her recipes—has its advantages. “The French think that they are natural-born cooks; they prepare a dish off the top of their heads, without testing it,” she told the Times. “In France, we rush over explanations.” (Via The Book Bench)

Reviving Brand America

Reviving Brand America REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Exploring Europe, exploring travel as a political act

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Travel Movie Watch: ‘A Moveable Feast’

Hemingway’s classic Paris memoir looks to be getting the book-to-big-screen treatment: The author’s granddaughter, actress Mariel Hemingway, has acquired the film and TV rights and is moving ahead with the project. There are no details yet, but plenty of intriguing questions. For instance, how might the movie handle the editing controversies of the book’s two dueling print editions? And who will play Hemingway, not to mention the cast of literary all-stars—Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and more—that surrounded him in Paris?

As always when a favorite book is being adapted, I’m nervous and skeptical. But I’m also very, very curious to see how this one plays out. (Via EW’s News Briefs Blog)

European Flesh and the American Prude

European Flesh and the American Prude Alexandra Beier/Reuters

Exploring Europe, exploring travel as a political act

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‘A User’s Guide to Understanding Parisians’

Among the tips from longtime Paris residents Pauline Harris and Simon Kuper: Know their codes. “When Parisians are rude to visitors,” they write, “it is often because they think the visitor has been rude. This city has an old-fashioned etiquette, and unlucky tourists trample it with both white-sneakered feet.”