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BellaOnline's French Culture Editor

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Book Review
The novel, historical fiction set in 1930’s Paris, is delivered by 12 year old Hugo who lives within the train station walls and spends his days winding the clocks and pouring through his journal in an attempt to mend a robot that may carry his father’s last words.

France’s Most Picturesque Cities
A list of my favorite places in France with advice on what to do and where to stay once you get there.

From France with Love – Gift Ideas
A list of my favorite gifts from France and where you can find them.

Christmas in Paris
December is a wander through the chalets of a Marche de Noel and a peek into the department store windows on Boulevard Haussmann. Here are the ways we get in the Christmas spirit.

The Story Behind Julia Child’s French Cookbook
Julia Child’s autobiographical book, My Life in France, focuses on the food that she loved enough to devote her life to sharing. It follows her arrival in France, to becoming a fledgling chef and the long road to producing her first cookbook.

Where Paris meets Marrakech - At the Hammam
The Mosquee de Paris’ hammam lies just outside one of the oldest gardens in Paris, le Jardin des Plantes. You can spend the afternoon in a heat-induced trance which includes exfoliation, massage, and dessert for less than 50 euros, though some may find the experience too authentic.

Les Journees du Patrimoine
During the space of a weekend in September the public is invited to share in France’s patrimonial richness for les Journees du Patrimoine. Given an open sesame to access secret gardens and hotels particuliers in Paris, I opted to visit the Palais d l’Elysee and Palais Royal.

Fete de Ganesh
To honor the elephant-headed god Ganesh, devotees chant and dance in the streets carrying flags, wearing totems of fruit and feather, and balancing candles atop heads. Shopkeepers prepare alters and swathe the parade route in garlands of flowers.

Buttons at the Bismark
Glimpse into the diverse collection of buttons on exhibit at the Mona Bismarck Foundation. If you’ve amassed jars of buttons and aren’t quite sure what to do with them, get inspiration from Lisa Kokin’s recycled button sculptures and tapestries.

Lucien Freud at the Pompidou
Lucien Frued aimed for rawness rather than painting glossy artistic nudes. In the canvases on exhibit this summer at the Centre Pompidou his subjects resemble marbled meat in tones of grey and cream administered in sweeping brush strokes.

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