Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Rhythm of the Week

There’s a certain rhythm to the week in Paris and it’s better to know what might be open when than to be caught short.  For smaller shops, you may have to ask specifically as to their opening and closing schedules.  Some shops and restaurants post their hours on the door but these are not always strictly observed.   And unfortunately, it’s been my experience that Web sites are not completely reliable on this matter.

Open air and covered markets are typically open at least twice a week, usually from around 8:00 a.m. to around 2 p.m. but the schedules vary by quartier and town.    A handful of quartiers also have afternoon and evening markets.  Consult the complete list here: http://www.paris.fr/portail/marches_parisiens/Portal.lut?page_id=5675&document_type_id=5&document_id=10926&portlet_id=12148

Mondays:  Many smaller food shops are closed, including butchers, greengrocers, and bakeries.   Restaurants that are open on the weekend are also often closed on Mondays.   Beware: many supermarkets restock on Monday mornings; if your cupboard is bare, you might think about shopping after 2 p.m.

Monday is also not a very good day for museums.   Among those closed are all museums run by the City of Paris (such as Musée Carnavalet, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Catacombes), the Musée d’Orsay, and Versailles.

Tuesdays:   Don’t try to go to the Louvre on Tuesdays; it’s closed as are the Centre Pompidou and the Cluny.

Wednesdays:  No school today for kids attending école maternelle ( ages 3-6) and école élémentaire (ages 6-11).  Older kids go to school half day.   Book your doctor’s and dentist’s appointments in advance to avoid the crush, and sign up early in the year for extracurricular activities like dance, sports, and art.   Wednesday is a great day to take little ones to cultural events; many museums have special workshops on Wednesday afternoons for them.

And while we’re on the subject of kids, one savvy mom recently pointed out to me that playgrounds can be crowded and crazy between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the week; better to go play between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. when daylight permits.

New movies come out on Wednesdays as does Pariscope, the guide to all cultural events available at the news kiosk for just 40 centimes.   Today’s issue of Le Figaro includes Figaroscope, a similar guide to cultural events but with feature articles.

Fridays:  Think twice before doing your grocery shopping on Friday afternoon; it can be a zoo.

Saturdays:   Since Saturday is the one day pretty much everything is open and most people are off work, it is an incredibly busy retail day.   If you need to go shopping or run errands, do so early in the day.  There is no such thing as a quick run to the store on a Saturday afternoon.  Expect long lines for cash registers and often a lot of cranky people.

Many Parisian restaurants are closed on weekends so if you want to go out to dinner on Saturday night, make reservations.  In fact, making a reservation is pretty much always a good idea in Paris.

Sundays:  For the most part, Sunday is still considered a day of rest in France.  Most shops are closed all day.   Food shops, such as bakeries, fishmongers, butchers, and the like, are often open on Sunday mornings until around 1 in the afternoon.  A limited number of small supermarkets are now also open on Sunday mornings.  

One notable exception to Sunday closures is the Marais.  Once primarily a Jewish quarter, the area has changed its character but remains a lively place on Sundays.

In the weeks before Christmas and the first week of the annual sales in February and July,  other retailers, including those selling clothes, electronics, and gift items, are allowed to open their stores on Sundays.

Finally, the first Sunday of the month is always free museum Sunday.   Go early to avoid the crowds.   Click here  for the list of  participating museums.  Note:  The list changes with the season with more museums open for free on Sundays during the winter months.

Let’s Go to the Movies

Paris is a movie lover’s paradise:  lots and lots of cinemas, playing everything from big budget American blockbusters to small art house films from around the world.   And if your French is a bit shaky, you can still enjoy films in VO (version originale) whether that be English or some other language with subtitles in French.   Unfortunately, most American animated movies for kids are shown in VF (version française) or only shown in VO in the evenings.

Movie tickets, however, aren’t cheap.    Full price tickets go for about 10€ with supplemental fees for 3-D movies.  Dinner, a movie, and a babysitter will definitely cost you.  But there are a couple of deals to know about:

  • The first show of the day is almost always a deal with tickets in the 5 to 6€ range.
  • While in the U.S., kids have to be under 12 to get a reduced price ticket, most movie chains offer reduced price tickets to those under the age of 18.  The MK2 chain offers further reductions for those under 10.
  • Look into buying a card for 5 showings rather than single tickets.  For example, the UGC chain offers a card good for 5 showings during the week at about 30€, and another offering 5 showings any time at around 40€.  If you’re with a group, you can buy one of these cards and use all the showings in one fell swoop.  (But check the details:  the MK2 card can be used by 1 to 3 people only.)  These cards have an expiration date so make sure you have the time to use it before buying it.
  • If you’re a serious movie buff, consider a monthly subscription.  The UGC chain offers UGC Illimité, all the movies you can see for 19,80€ per month (35€ for the card for two).  This card is honored as well as by the MK2 chain as well as a host of independent theaters.
  • Several times a year, movie tickets are reduced to 3.50€ for a three-day period.

For what’s showing this week, consult:

CityVox (in French)

Cine Cinéma (in French)

English Language Cinema listings

For more on the Paris film scene, you may enjoy these articles:

Independent Movie Houses in Paris (Gridskipper)

Paris Cinema (Secrets of Paris)

Cinemas & Movie Theaters: All Our Local Tips (Spotted by Locals)

Everything You Need to Know About Home Baking In Paris

So you’ve arrived in Paris with your mom’s famous pound cake recipe or your best friend’s secret formula for chocolate chip cookies, and the first time out, it’s a flop.  The cake sags, your cookies run, the taste is off.  What the heck?!   You’ve learned the hard way that the flour, the butter, the eggs are all just a little bit different here and it’s wreaking havoc with your time-honored favorites.

David Lebovitz, former pastry chef at Berkeley’s famous Chez Panisse, cookbook author extraordinaire, and Paris blogger to the rescue!  David’s blog is chockful of great recipes and funny tales about being an American in Paris and he’s also got great tips for understanding French ingredients and what to look for when you’re trying to recreate your North American baked goods on French soil.

David’s work is copyrighted so I can’t reproduce it here but follow these links and be sure to bookmark them when you get there.  Hands down, he’s got the clearest advice on flours, sugars, and other essentials plus tips on where to find both the best quality ingredients in Paris and those everyday items (like buttermilk or molasses) that may not be on the shelves in your local supermarket.

Ingredients for American Baking in Paris (France)

French Sugars

More on French flours and French butters from Practically Edible, a Web-based food encyclopedia.

Rules of the Road

One could dedicate an entire Web site to driving in France but let’s start with the basic rules of the road. In future posts, we’ll cover obtaining a French drivers’ license and more road signs.

Respect Speed Limits

Autoroute: 130 km/h in dry weather; 110 km/h when it’s raining
Major divided highways: 110 km/h in dry weather; 90 km/h when it’s raining
Other roads: 90 km/h in dry weather; 80 km/h when it’s raining
Within city limits: 50 km/h
In central business districts: 30 km/h

Note: The speed limit on the Périphérique (the ring road around the city of Paris) is always 80 km /h.

Be aware that city speed limits begin at the town or city sign (not always where the first 50 km/h sign is situated), usually denoted by a white name panel with a red border, and the limit ends where the name panel has a diagonal black bar through it.

Fixed speeding cameras are usually preceded by a warning sign advising motorists that that there is a speeding camera ahead.

Radar traps are frequent in France. It is entirely possible to receive a citation through the mail because of a violation caught remotely on camera. In France, anyone caught traveling at more than 25km/h above the speed limit can have their license confiscated on the spot.

From left to right: speed limits on autoroute, radar camera ahead, speed limit, end of speed limit

Priorité à Droite

Unless otherwise marked, cars entering a roadway from the right have priority over the traffic already on the road or in the circle.   That is, the driver entering from the right does not have to stop; rather, other drivers are required to slow down and yield the joining vehicle.   Be alert for traffic entering from the right particularly while navigating large intersections and places in Paris.    In the countryside and in small villages, you will encounter situations where countryside lanes entering major routes have the priority over the main roadway.  Proper roundabouts will be marked with a sign “cedez le passage” which means entering traffic yields to the traffic in the circle.   Bottom line:  be alert to the traffic around you.

Buckle Up

French laws require mandatory use of seatbelts for both front and rear seat occupants. A driver is subject to receive penalty if he/she or the front or rear seat passengers are not buckled with a seatbelt while the car is in motion.

Keep the Kids Safe

Children under 10 are not allowed to travel in the front seat. In the rear they must use a proper restraint system appropriate to their weight, either a car seat or a booster seat as appropriate. Drivers failing to comply are subject to being cited.

Motorcyclists: Wear a Helmet

Wear a safety helmet while driving a motorcycle. Motorcyclists not wearing approved safety helmets are subject to both fines and impoundment of the vehicle at the scene. is subject to be fined.

Don’t Use Your Mobile Phone While Driving

It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving in France. Drivers caught using a handled device such as cell phone or PDA are subject to a fine. French law says that “the driver must be able to do any emergency operation at all time with his two hands.”

Don’t Drink and Drive

France has strict drunk driving laws. Driving while intoxicated — whether by alcohol, drugs, hallucinogens, sedatives or other controlled substances — is a serious violation.  The limit for alcohol is 0.50 g/ liter of blood. Drivers shown to be intoxicated by a blood alcohol or other test can be fined, a fine, have their vehicle impounded at the scene, their driving license subject to immediate suspension, and face possible jail time for 24 hours.

Carry a Warning Triangle and Vest

Drivers in France are required to have a warning triangle and a reflective vest in their cars at all times; in fact the vest should be in the car rather than in the trunk so keep it in your glove box or under a seat. The idea is that if your car breaks down, you should put on the vest before exiting your vehicle. This is a relatively recent requirement and police may be conducting random checks to ensure that you have the proper safety equipment with you.

Respect Red Lights

There is no “right on red” in France. Drivers who run red lights at intersections controlled by traffic lights are subject to citation.

Carry a Valid Drivers’ License

Carry your driving license and registration card at all times. Drivers found not to be carrying their driver’s license, registration and insurance cards while operating a car or motorcycle will be ticketed. The French police regularly set up checkpoints to screen drivers for their license and registration documents.

In Case of Breakdown, Accident or Emergency

If you are involved in or witness to an accident, keep calm and move your car to a safe place out of the way of the traffic and turn off the engine. Keep yourself safe.

The key numbers to remember are:

Police — dial 17
Fire — dial 18
Ambulance — dial 15

If you do not have a working cell phone, bear in mind that expressways and main highways have roadside emergency telephones every 2 kilometers.

If there are any injuries, inform authorities of the exact location of the accident, the number of injured persons, and the extent of their injuries. The first responders will then give you instructions. Until the first responders (including ambulances) arrive, give first aid to the best of your ability. Do not leave the scene of the accident until police officers arrive.

Vocabulary

Aire de repos: rest stop
Allumez vos feux: Turn on your lights
Attention au feu:  Beware of traffic signal
Attention travaux:  Beware roadwork
Autre directions: Other directions
Barrière de dégel: Trucks not allowed
Chaussée déformée:  Bumpy road
Cédez le passage: Give priority to the other road
Centre ville:  Town center
Chambres d’hôtes:   Bed and Breakfast
Col:  Mountain passes
Fermé:  Closed
Gendarmerie:  Police station
Gîte:  Simple bed and breakfast
Gratuit:  Free of charge
Gravillons:  Loose chippings
Haute tension:  High voltage power line
Hors gabarit:  Road, bridge, or tunnel closed to vehicles exceeding certain dimensions
Interdit aux Piétons: No pedestrians
Nids de poules:  Potholes
Ouvert: Open
Péage:  Toll road
Rappel:  Remember
Route barrée:  Road closed
Sens unique: One-way
Serrez à droite:  Keep to the right
Sortie:  Exit
Suivre:  Follow
Sur: On
Toutes directions:  All directions
Verglas: Ice
Vitesse adaptée sécurité:  Adapt your speed for safety
Voie unique: One-lane road
Voitures: Cars

French Frozen

by Ann Mah

Today’s post is republished with permission from the blog of Ann Mah, an author and journalist based in Paris. She has written for Conde Nast Traveler, the International Herald Tribune and many other publications. Publishers Weekly called her recently published first novel, Kitchen Chinese, ” a great start for a writer of much promise.”

It’s taken me over a year, but I think I’ve finally cottoned onto the French secret to eating well at home. Is it shopping at the farmer’s market every day? Making the daily rounds of butcher, baker, and green grocer? Lovingly slaving over a hot stove, preparing delicious and nutritious meals every night? Ha — who has time for that? No, the secret, mes amis, is Picard.

For example, there are herbs, chopped and frozen into cubes — single herbs like cilantro, dill, or thyme, or herb mixes to toss with salad, or sprinkle on fish. There’s also garlic, onions or shallots, all finely minced.

What is Picard? Simply put, it’s a chain of stores selling frozen food. But not just any frozen food. Alongside the usually icy suspects, like pizzas and readymade meals, are an array of frozen products designed to ease the busy gourmand’s lifestyle.

On my last visit, I counted at least 22 types of vegetable purées. Some of these are ready-to-serve side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, or more adventurous combinations like potato and artichoke, or smashed parsnips and jerusalem artichokes. There are also purees of vegetable — i.e. carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, green beans — with no added oil, fat, or salt (rare in this butter-loving nation) which means you can doctor them any way you wish.

This being France, there are many complicated and buttery sauces to serve with meat or vegetables, things like béarnaise, hollandaise, or beurre blanc, which usually take time and skill to whip up from scratch, are here ready to be defrosted.

My favorite section is called “apéritif,” where you can find all manner of tiny foods to pair with a glass of champagne. There are the usual suspects like pigs-in-a-blanket, or savory mini tarts, or gougères, which are like cheese puffs. But there are also unexpected finds like escargots wrapped in puff pastry, or cuillères apéritives (cocktail spoons) — individual Chinese-shaped spoons filled with things like mango-melon chutney and foie gras, or avocado puree and a shrimp. You simply defrost the spoons before serving, no heating required.

Don’t expect a lot of ambience from your local Picard — the shops are very sterile, with fluorescent lights and frozen food cases and very little else.

Here’s a photo of my shopping from last week’s Picard visit. I purchased: frozen soups (packed with puréed vegetables and not too salty), frozen peas and broccoli (good to have on hand in case I don’t have time to go to the store), a few ready-made meals, which are good for lunch (I’m excited about the braised rabbit in olive sauce), a bag of vegetable tagine (eggplant, courgette and tomato, which I plan to eat with couscous), and a box of oven fries (a little treat).

 And Picard offers so much more! There’s a whole section devoted entirely to desserts, from tarte tatin to molten chocolate cake. Or, the aisles of frozen fish and seafood — it’s the only place I’ve been able to find raw shrimp. Or, the assortment of meats — from chicken breasts to burgers to steak.

I realize this post is starting to sound like an infomercial, so I’m going to stop here. Besides, it’s almost lunchtime and I need to go defrost something.

(Note: I am in no way affiliated with Picard. I just like it.)

Public Transportation in Paris: Getting Started

Updated September 2013

If you’re not used to taking public transportation, it may all seem a little confusing at first:  so many lines, so many acronyms, so many tickets!  But if you start small and then branch out, you’ll gain confidence and in no time, you’ll be switching lines and modes of transport with ease.  Here are a few basics to get you started.

Public transport in Paris consists of four coordinated systems with integrated ticketing. 

Métro:  The  Métro (short for Métropolitain) is the subway system.  It is extensive with 16 lines on traditional underground/above ground trains plus 5 newer tram lines that run exclusively above ground.  Once you are in the Métro system, you can change lines as many times as you need (as long as you don’t exit the system) using only one ticket.  It runs from 5.20 a.m. to 1.20 a.m. daily plus one additional hour on Friday and Saturday nights as well as the eve of certain holidays.

Bus:  Paris also has an extensive bus system that links well with the subway.   Regular bus service is from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Over night, a less extensive set of bus lines called the Noctilien is in service.

RER:  The RER was built to help suburban commuters get quickly from home to work and back again.  There are 5 lines, two of these connect to Paris’s airports.  RER tickets are priced according to distance (longer rides being more extensive) but you can use the RER within zones 1 and 2 just as if it were another line of the Métro.  That is, if you get on the RER A at Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and ride to Chatelet, you can then switch to Métro line 1 without using a new ticket.   If you have to go through a second turnstile to switch to line 1, just use the same ticket you used to get on the RER A.

SNCF/Transilien:  The SNCF is the state railway company.  Its Transilien trains serve commuters in areas where there is no RER.  For example to reach the western suburbs of St. Cloud, Garches, Vaucresson, and Bougival, you take a SNCF train from either La Defense or Gare St. Lazare.

Tickets

A single Métro ticket costs 1.70 euros.  A packet of ten tickets called a carnet costs 13.30 euros.  A ticket is good for one ride on the bus, one ride on the Métro with an unlimited number of transfers from line to line, and one ride on the RER within zone 1.

Children under the age of 10 may travel on a half price ticket which can be bought individually or by the carnet. Children under the age of 4 do not need a ticket.

RER and Transilien tickets are priced depending upon the distance.  You can also buy these tickets in packets of 10.

Always keep your ticket with you!  Do not throw it out until you completely exit the system.  Although you will see people jumping over and crawling under turnstiles,  don’t try to cheat the system.   Ticket control teams monitor passengers randomly; there are stringent fines if you do not have a ticket and generally you are required to pay on the spot.

Special passes are also available that may be of interest to teens and to visitors.    The Paris Visite Pass can be purchased for a 1, 2, 3, or 5 day period with separate prices based on whether it is for zone 1-3 or zone 1-5 (which includes airports).   It is good for unlimited travel during the time period and so can be quite handy for tourists, especially in inclement weather.

Students under the age of 26 can benefit from buying a Ticket Jeunes Weekend, good for unlimited travel on one day (Saturday, Sunday or a holiday) for just 3.65 euros for zones 1-3.  (Higher tarifs apply to zones 1-5 or 3-5.)  If your teen will be using public transportation frequently, you may want to purchase an Imagine R card good for unlimited travel throughout the school year.   Imagine R cards vary in price by the zones you select but are good for free travel throughout the system on weekends and holidays.

Tickets can be purchased from a booth in subway and RER stations, from station kiosks, and tabacs.  You can also buy single use tickets from bus drivers for 1.90 euros; you may not transfer to another bus with one of these tickets.

If you use public transportation frequently, you may want to consider the convenience of a Navigo pass.  To learn more, see To Navigo or Not.

Transfers

One ticket can be used for unlimited transfers within the Métro system, Métro-RER within zones 1 and 2, and bus to bus within zones 1 and 2.  You can not use the same ticket to transfer from Métro or RER to bus or bus to Métro or RER.

Zones

For fare purposes, the Paris region is divided into five zones.  Virtually every Métro station lies within zones 1 and 2 so you should never have to purchase a special ticket if you are just using the subway.   But if you take the Métro from Paris to a suburban community in zone 3 and then want to take a bus, you would then need to use a separate ticket for the bus.   For more information, consult the zone map.  One odd little quirk to keep in mind:  the Métro station at La Defense is in zone 2; the adjacent RER A station (also La Defense!) is in zone 3.  (Don’t ask why.  It just is.)

Vocabulary

Carnet:  packet of ten tickets

Correspondance:  transfer

Sortie: exit

More information, go to the RATP Web site.  Many portions are in English.

How to Use a French Phone Booth

by A. Letkemann

So there you are out and about on the town when you notice that your cell phone‘s battery has died or you simply forgot to take it along with you. You‘ve agreed to phone someone for a rendezvous or perhaps you need to reach someone while you‘re out.  There‘s no need to wait until you get home to make that call, you could make it from one of the many public phone booths around Paris.

Public telephones in France do not accept coins, so to make a call you‘ll need to get a pre-paid phone card (carte téléphonique), approximately €10 for 50 units or €17 for 120 units, available at major métro stations, post offices, tabacs, news stands, tourism offices and Orange (France Telecom) stores. Once you‘ve obtained the card, just stick it in the slot (a handy little screen walks you through this on many phones) and dial. Most phone booths display the number of the phone so you can receive calls as well. It‘s that simple!

It‘s important to note that you shouldn‘t use the regular carte téléphonique for international calls; you’ll watch your units dissipate rapidly. For overseas calls, purchase an international calling card (télécarte international) from the same locations listed above. Instead of actually sticking the card into the phone, you dial the free number listed on the card and type in the code (usually found under a scratch-off silver panel), then follow the instructions in English to make your call. These can also be used for local calls.

Don’t Get Scammed: Tips for Protecting Yourself and Your Home

In an earlier article, we discussed how to protect yourself from pickpockets.  Today, guest author Sherry Steiner offers tips on how to avoid being a victim of scams, whether at major tourist attractions or in your home.

Tourist Trap Scams

When you’re a tourist or look like one, you’re likely to be a target for scammers.  You can avoid getting scammed if you are alert and are willing to “just say no.”

The ring scam.  Someone will pick up a gold-colored ring that seemingly fell near you and ask if it is yours.  They look inside the ring and declare that it is 24 carat gold (or something similar).   When you answer that it is not your ring, they will either offer to sell it to you “at a good price,” or begin telling you how poor they are and ask for money.  Just say no.  The ring is not real gold.  You don’t have to feel obligated to pay anything for it.

The English trap.  Another very common scam you will hear in tourist attractions is, “Do you speak English?”   When you answer “yes,” they will then tell you how many children they have and that they have no money to feed them.  Once they have your attention, they are pretty tenacious.  Be forewarned, shake your head “no” and keep moving.

The bracelet.  The “demonstration bracelet” is hard to miss at Sacre Coeur.  Young men will accost you and ask if they can weave a bracelet made of yarn on your wrist.  If you answer no, they will sometimes relentlessly pursue you until they receive a yes.  If you agree to the bracelet, they will begin weaving it on you and then when they are finished, they will ask for a sum of money for it.  When you try to take it off, if you choose not to keep it, it is impossible to do so without scissors.  So, either they will agree to cut it off, or demand payment for it.  They are very bold, so beware.

On the metro, women frequently walk around holding babies and asking for money as well.  They are harmless and do not pursue you very intently.

Residential Scams

Paris is home to many savvy cat burglars, groups of thieves who are on the lookout for apartments they can access easily and clean out within a matter of minutes.    Burglars on the prowl may pose as chimney sweepers or other types of workmen to gain access to your apartment and case its contents.   You can protect yourself by:

  • Never buzzing in or holding open the building door to a person you do not know.
  • Never answering the door to someone you do not know or did not expect.
  • Never giving your building door codes to someone you do not know or trust.
  • Never leaving your key under the mat or in a mailbox.
  •  Setting timers on your lights and radios, and drawing your drapes or shutters, when you depart for vacation.

When leaving your apartment, lock your door from the outside, by turning the key until it stops, usually two times, which will lock the bolts at the top and bottom of the door.  It is very difficult for your lock to be picked like this.    Simply shutting the door will not deter an experienced burglar.   It may take as little as 10 seconds to pick a lock that is not double bolted.

That being said, it is very easy to lock yourself out of your apartment by simply shutting the door, so someone else should have a copy of your key.   (Calling a locksmith can run into the thousands of euros.) If you are friendly with your neighbors and find them trustworthy, you can leave  them with an extra key.  Or, give one to your gardienne.  

Many apartment buildings in Paris undergo renovation and cleaning.  If you are in one, particularly with workers on scaffolding right outside your window, keep your shutters closed as often as possible.  It is very easy for them to peek into your windows and see what goodies you have.

Places of Worship

France is nominally a Catholic country so it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll find a parish church somewhere close to where you live. But if your spiritual home is elsewhere or if you’d just like to worship in English, here is a nonexhaustive list of places of worship in Paris and environs where you’ll hear English being spoken; many of these institutions were founded by expatriates. I’ve used information from each institution’s own materials for the descriptions. If you know of other faiths not represented here, please leave a comment.

American Cathedral in Paris
23, avenue George V
75008 Paris
Phone: 01 53 23 84 00

An English speaking Episcopal church

American Church in Paris
65, quai d’Orsay
75007 Paris
Phone: 01 40 62 05 00

An interdenominational and international Christian community

The Bridge International Church 
Phone:  01.39.75.47.02
email: info@thebridgeparis.com
Sunday services are at 11:00 held at the Hotel Novotel, 21 avenue Edouard Belin in  Rueil Malmaison.

The Bridge is a new international church in the western suburbs of Paris.  It  represents the spectrum of Christianity, and  is open to both the religious and non-religious.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Paris 2nd Ward:(10:00am-1:00pm)
12, rue St. Merri
75004 Paris

Paris-Lilas Ward (9:00am-12:00pm)
Paris Ward (1:00pm-4:00pm)
64, rue de Romainville
75019 Paris

Versailles Ward (9:00am-12:00pm) [English translation available]
St. Quentin Branch (9:30am-12:30pm)
5, Rond Point de l’Alliance
78000 Versailles

Emmanuel International Church
56, rue des Bons Raisins
92500 Rueil-Malmaison
Phone: 01 47 51 29 63

An interdenominational and international Christian congregation

Kehilat Gesher
7, rue Léon Cogniet
75017 Paris

10, rue de Pologne
78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Phone: 01 39 21 97 19

French-Anglophone Jewish congregation combining Liberal and Conservative traditions with locations in Paris and Saint Germain en Laye

St. George’s Anglican Church
7, rue Auguste Vacquerie,
75116 Paris
Phone: 01 47 20 22 51 

An Anglican Church of the Diocese in Europe, which forms part of the Church of England

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church
50, avenue Hoche
75008 Paris
Phone: 01 42 27 28 56

St. Mark’s Versailles
31, rue du Pont Colbert
78000 Versailles
Phone: 01 39 02 79 45

Sunday services in Versailles & Chevry (Gif-sur-Yvette)

St. Michael’s Church
5, rue d’Aguesseau
75008 Paris
Phone: 01 47 42 70 88

An international evangelical Anglican church

St. Peter’s Church Chantilly
Phone: 03 44 58 53 22

The Scots Kirk
17, rue Bayard
75008 Paris
Phone: 01 40 70 09 59

A congregation of the Church of Scotland, the national Church in Scotland, which is Presbyterian in government and belongs to the world-wide family of Reformed churches

Trinity International Church of Paris

Sunday services held at Eglise Reformee de Pentemont-Luxembourg:

58, rue Madame
75006 Paris
Phone: 01 45 08 16 63

This church describes itself as “a unique spiritual community coming from a wide variety of backgrounds: We come from a variety of backgrounds including international business, research and diplomatic arenas. The church includes students, multi-cultural families, newcomers to France and some of us come to improve or keep our English. We represent over 20 nations of the world and many different Christian traditions, yet we find unity in Christ as we follow him together.”

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris
Services and religious education held at Temple de Pentemont:
106, rue de Grenelle
75006 Paris

Trash Collection and Recycling in the City of Paris

by A. Letkemann

Green lid = trash; yellow lid=non glass recyclables

The city of Paris picks up trash daily and recycling twice a week with the schedule differing by arrondissement. In apartment buildings, the gardienne is typically responsible for taking the bins out to the street for pickup by the city crew. Your responsibility is to make sure that you separate trash from recycling and dispose of all your household waste properly.

Never fear. Recycling in Paris is easy and straightforward! There are three different kinds of waste bins, each for a different kind of waste:

Solid green bins are for non-recyclable waste, with the exception of dangerous materials (such as toxic chemicals, needles, and batteries).

Green bins with white lids are for recyclable glass items. Please note that mirrors, porcelain, pyrex and earthenware dishes and flower pots, windowpanes, and light bulbs are strictly prohibited. These items are non-recyclable and should be placed in the solid green bins. Corks and lids should be removed and placed in the solid green and yellow lid bins, respectively.

All other recyclable materials should be put in the green bins with yellow lids: paper, plastic, and metal. Products soiled with food (such as pizza boxes and juice cartons) plastic bags, magazines wrapped in plastic, wallpaper, and diapers are all non-recyclable. Please put these in solid green trash bins.

Dangerous, toxic products such as medications and batteries can also be recycled fairly easily. For medications, needles, and syringes, contact your pharmacy who can either recycle them for you or point you in the right direction, depending on the item. Toxic paints and solvents, mercury, and other chemicals can be taken to waste reception centers (déchetteries) in the 13th, 15th, 18th, and 20th arrondissements, or can be picked up from your home by calling 01 43 61 57 36. Batteries can also be dropped off at the waste reception centers as well as in many supermarkets.

For everything you need to know about recycling, visit the city of Paris Web site by clicking here.

Bulk Trash

The city of Paris offers free curbside pick-up of bulky items such as furniture or electronics equipment. The service is generally offered twice each week with varying times for each area. For pick-up details in your area or to make an appointment on line, visit dechets.paris.fr or call 01 55 74 44 60 for direct information and scheduling.

Note that it is against the law to place oversized items on the curb without preauthorization.