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Autolib' : VehicleAs we have previously mentioned in these pages, the city of Paris is readying a car equivalent of the hugely popular bike rental service, Vélib'. The new service, predictably named Autolib', will allow renting small 4-seat electric cars for short trips in the city and environs. The vehicles can be dropped off at the most convenient docking station (not necessarily where they were picked up). Pricing is by the minute (a 20-minute minimum), with the rate beyond one hour increasing to encourage customers to take shorter trips.

Read the rest of: "Autolib' Is Coming. Will Foreigners Be Allowed to Use It?
Le Bristol Expands
Posted by Gromco in Paris + Places on 13/Sep/2009
Le BristolAfter two years of construction, Le Bristol, one of the swankiest hotels of Paris, will open a new wing with 26 rooms, 5 suites and a new restaurant.

This addition represents its first major expansion since the hotel's opening in 1925.

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L'Addition SVPStarting this month, diners in Paris and, more generally, in continental France, will see the sales tax (TVA) on their meals lowered from 19.6% to 5.5%. This Brussels-endorsed measure is supposed to stave off restaurant closings in France which have been become rampant in recent years, and create new employment in the industry. And, obviously, make dining more affordable to both French citizens and tourists.

But things are never quite simple in France: the discount rate doesn't apply to everything and the restaurants are not obligated to lower the final price on every single item on the menu. Read on for details and examples...

Read the rest of: "France Lowers TVA Sales Tax on Restaurant Meals to 5.5%
Planned The Triangle Project
Posted by Hilary M. in Paris on 08/Jan/2009
Projet TriangleThe Parisian skyline is dominated by only several tall structures, notably the Eiffel Tower and the Tour Montparnasse; however, by 2014 the cityscape will welcome a new addition in the fifteenth arrondissement. Dubbed le Project Triangle, or the Triangle Project, the eventual construction by architects Herzog & de Meuron will measure up to 180 meters tall...

Read the rest of: "The Triangle Project
Profile Centre Culturel Suédois
Posted by Hilary M. in Paris + Places on 26/Dec/2008
Centre Culturel SuédoisTucked along the narrow and muted streets of the Marais is a lively hub where citizens drop by to enjoy cultural food and thought-provoking artistic offerings.

However, there are no croissants or impressionists to be found; instead, you'll find doughy cinnamon buns and glossy photographs of Borås, Västergötland in western Sweden. Bienvenue to the Centre Culturel Suédois or the Swedish Cultural Center...

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Renzo Piano (2 buildings)Renzo Piano's name sounds as harmonious and striking as his architectural works. The Italian architect is perhaps best known for his design of the Centre Georges Pompidou, the unmistakable cultural center in the heart of Paris, and thirty years after its construction, Piano uses similar techniques in the new New York Times Building, but to a different end...

Read the rest of: "From Le Marais to Midtown in 30 Years
104: New Modern Art Center
Posted by Gromco in Paris + Places on 10/Nov/2008
104After more than two years of reconstruction, a former funeral parlor in the 19th arrondissement of Paris reopened in its new incarnation as the city's newest modern arts center christened "104" (Centquatre)...

Co-directed by Robert Cantarella and Frédéric Fisbach, the center, at 104 rue d'Aubervilliers was green-lighted by Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë in 2005. More than two years and 100M euros later, Centquatre opened to the public in October.

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Mama Shelter RoomAffordable design and even 'affordable luxury' is not an oxymoron. Well, not exactly, anyway... In fact, it's a trend that's been sweeping the hotel industry in recent years. Using modern construction methods in combination with innovative cost-cutting techniques and choosing slightly off-prime locations, a handful of hoteliers have attempted to reshape the industry by providing low-cost designer hotel experience for the younger, tech-savvy crowd.

Mama Shelter is the latest example of the trend. (De)signed by Philippe Starck, this modern hotel on Rue Bagnolet in the 20th arrondissement of Paris opened just a couple of weeks ago....

Read the rest of: "Mama Shelter Hotel Aims for Affordable Design Experience
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