Category Archives: Paris history

Vespasiennes: Does a Roman Emperor Deserve This?

Our home offices are in two adjacent rooms. While exploring one of my favourite Paris websites, Paris en Images, I called to Philippa, “What’s a Vespasienne?” and was instantly told, “A public urinal.” There had to be a blog in … Continue reading

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Designer of the invisible

When you arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, one of the first things you will see is the work of a man who died on September 10 of this year: Adrian Frutiger, type designer. You won’t give it a … Continue reading

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A city built on air

A few years ago, we found this postcard in a street market, showing a sinkhole in the Place Saint-Augustin. What on earth (or under the earth) had happened during the storm of June 15, 1914? We found one account in … Continue reading

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They Sell Onions, Don’t They?

On a recent trip to London, we visited the Slightly Foxed Book Shop on Gloucester Road. We recommend it highly. One of the treasures Philippa acquired there was They Eat Horses Don’t They? The Truth About the French by Piu … Continue reading

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Learning to see: Emily Carr in France

She arrived in Paris with her trunks, her sister Alice, and a malevolent grey parrot called Rebecca. She had purchased Rebecca in Liverpool, where the ship from Canada had docked, and brought the disagreeable bird the rest of the way by … Continue reading

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American clubs and Canadian fists

“We went to the American Club.” The words sound simple enough. But if you want to identify the address in question, complications arise. It depends on who is talking and when. Paris is positively littered with sites that are or … Continue reading

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A Sardine Is Not Just a Sardine

I have always liked tinned sardines. When I was a young boy, I found they were the perfect food to take on a hike to Red Hill Creek, King’s Forest, or Albion Falls. Just insert the key, roll back the … Continue reading

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