January 15, 2001 |
It was a cold but radiant weekend here, the nicest so far this winter. The boulevards of the Right Bank were mobbed with people enticed by post-New Year's sales. So why did hundreds choose to spend a glorious afternoon indoors, sunk in the same red velvet seats at the Olympia music hall where audiences have listened to the likes of Liza Minnelli and Jacques Brel? The improbable answer is what for Americans is kid stuff: a national spelling championship.
July 13, 1989 |
Two hundred years ago this Friday, a mob of Parisians that included wine merchants, cabinet makers, a brewer, a laundress and an 8-year-old boy sparked the French Revolution by storming the Bastille Prison. Today, the site is marked for eternity by a plaque above La Divine pizzeria in the Place de la Bastille: "Seized by the people on July 14, 1789, and demolished the same year."
June 20, 1997 |
For six grueling weeks, Marisol Touraine crisscrossed working-class neighborhoods by the railroad tracks, farm hamlets and village markets, tramping in her black pumps, rain or shine, across a 60-mile stretch of central France in quest of votes.
May 19, 2000 |
Friday, 10 p.m., Place d'Italie. Francis Thomas, a.k.a. "Fanta Boy," is here with his wheels on, ready to roll. All week, the lanky, unmarried immigrant from Cameroon has waited for this moment. It's what he daydreams about while working as a security guard: the wind in his face, the pavement under his feet, the thrill of streaking downhill at 30 mph. "Once you've tasted the Friday night ride, you become impatient for Friday to roll around again," says Thomas, 25. "You can't live without it."
January 24, 1987 |
There have been times when French singers such as Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf and, more recently, Yves Montand and Juliette Greco caught the emotions of listeners throughout the world. But times and tastes have changed. Few foreigners now listen to or even know anything about the latest singers of France.
June 28, 1996 |
The warning came straight from President Jacques Chirac's office, and Paul Bocuse, the 71-year-old grand chef of Lyons, was not about to argue. "We are under orders from the palace," Bocuse said Thursday as his kitchen prepared a regional specialty, quenelles of fish in a crayfish sauce, for the seven leaders of the world's wealthiest countries. "Lighter meals, with less salt and fewer courses. Everything simple." Bocuse shrugged, adding impishly: "But we always do everything simply."
November 29, 1991 |
This is the busiest season for a coterie of specialty stores that have sprung up in the world's capital of haute cuisine--stores bringing Parisians such American classics as pancake mix, microwave popcorn and macaroni and cheese. The shops, bearing kitschy Americana names such as "The Real McCoy" and "Thanksgiving," have challenged sticky import regulations and nightmarish shipping logistics to build a clientele of nostalgic expatriate Americans and open-minded French gourmands.
April 22, 2000 |
McDonald's in France has faced the ire of ransacking peasants and the scorn of a president known for relishing calves' heads more than cheeseburgers. This week, the attacks on the U.S. fast-food giant crossed a threshold when a bombing killed one of its employees. Denis Hennequin, president and CEO of McDonald's France, begged his countrymen Friday to stop thinking of his chain as anything other than restaurants staffed by industrious employees.
July 17, 1990 |
As the last rider struggled up the steep grade to the finish line, the disappointment of the large crowd and, indeed, France itself, seemed to roll up the mountain with him. "He has lost the yellow jersey! Ronan Pensec has lost the yellow jersey!" a cacophony of broadcasters announced from loudspeakers and hundreds of hand-held radios that lined the route. Pensec, his weathered face pale as snow, dropped to the ground and slumped against the base of the winner's platform.
June 14, 1990 |
The unexpected victory of an Islamic fundamentalist party in Algerian elections sent shock waves Wednesday throughout a political establishment in France that still has strong cultural and emotional ties to the former French colony.