Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris

Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris
Relax with a glass of wine at Cafe Marly overlooking the pyramid entrance to the Louvre.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unique Dining in Paris: We'll Have A Gay Old Time

Aux Trois Petits Cochons ("The Three Little Pigs") is a lively, friendly and gay (in every sense of the word) bistro in the Montorgueil quarter. Excellent blanquette de veau (veal stew). Info: 2nd/Métro Etienne Marcel. 31 rue Tiquetonne. Tel. 01/ Open daily. No lunch. Moderate.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Impressionist Art in Paris: The Marmottan Museum

Want to see Impressionist art in Paris? If you have the chance, head to a jewel of a museum. It’s a little out of the way, but worth the trip. The Musée Marmottan-Claude Monet is named after Paul Marmottan, who donated his beautiful home to house his collection of historic furnishings. In 1966, when Monet’s son died in an automobile accident, the museum received over 130 works by the artist, including Impression-Sunrise, from which the Impressionist movement is said to have gotten its name. In addition to the well-known water lilies and paintings of his house in Giverny, you’ll also see Renoir’s portrait of Monet. Info: 16th/Métro La Muette. 2 rue Louis-Boilly. Tel. 01/ Open 10am-6pm. Closed Mon. Admission: €8, under 8 free. From the métro stop, walk west on Chaussée de la Muette which turns into avenue du Ranelagh. Turn right onto avenue Raphaël. The museum is on the corner of avenue Raphaël and rue Louis-Boilly. The walk from the métro stop to the museum is a half mile.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tourism and Sex in Amsterdam

A new spin on window-shopping! Prostitution has been regulated and, of course, taxed in Amsterdam since 1984, and even has its own union. Along the narrow streets of the Red-Light District, women and some men wait in windows for their next customer. The storefront rooms have curtains that are closed when “business” is being conducted. You’ll see lots of foreign businessmen and tourists milling around (many very drunk). Be careful at night as the area is a prime pickpocket spot. By the way, don’t even think about taking photos. Your camera will likely be confiscated. (Can you believe that it has a web site?) Info: De Walletjes/De Wallen (Red-Light District). Behind Dam Square between Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal.

From sex clubs to live sex shows (especially the famous Casa Rosso at 106 Oudezijds Achterburgwal), sex is a big part of Amsterdam’s tourist industry. Locals don’t bat an eye at any of this, but you might. If you’re not interested in seeing any of it, stay away from the Red-Light District and the area around it. You can easily visit Amsterdam’s other wonderful sights without encountering any of the sex industry.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Picasso Museum in Paris closed for renovations until 2012

The famous and very popular Musee Picasso in Paris is now closed for renovation until 2012. If you're interested in seeing the works of this artist, ten of Picasso's works are on display at the nearby Pompidou Center.

Friday, October 2, 2009

If it's good enough for Barbra Steisand ... Arzak near San Sebastian, Spain

Recently Barbra Streisand appeared on Oprah and talked about dining in Spain. I received a few emails asking for more information about the restaurant she talked about (she also showed some food photos). The restaurant, which is featured in my Open Road's Best of Spain book is Arzak.

Located in the childhood home of chef Juan Mari Arzak, this celebrated restaurant is on the road (from San Sebastian, Spain) heading to the border with France. Traditional Basque specialties are served, often with a French influence. It’s a dining experience. Reservations are required. Info: 21 Alto de Miracruz. Tel. 943285593. Closed Sun (dinner), Mon, last half of June and Nov. €€€