Rooksana Hossenally

Correspondent

  • Paris, France, Europe

Rooksana Hossenally is a correspondent who lives in Paris and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. She is also a freelance writer for The New York Times and British Airways Highlife Magazine. Her adventures have led her on a 40-hour train journey across India, up a mountainside with a punctured tire in Oman and waking up at a local’s house in the middle of Monument Valley, but when she isn’t off exploring the world, she’s scouring Paris for the best it has to offer. Her work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Dazed, AMagazine.com.au, The Huffington Post and MSNTravel, among other publications.

  • On April 9, 2013
  • On April 9, 2013
  • On April 9, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally is now following Dan Heching
  • On April 9, 2013
  • On April 9, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally is now following Istanbul
  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best day trips near Paris?

    There are flowers everywhere for those who choose to see them”, said Claude Monet (1840-1926); however, in the summer, when flowers are in full bloom, you don’t have to be a philosopher or an impressionist to decipher the flowers of your mind. Instead, you can hop on a train to Giverny, the garden that inspired the French impressionist artist for over 20 years.

    Never before had a painter shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. His work became two-fold; engraved in nature and on canvas. After the Japanese bridge series, he would devote himself to the giant works that you can see today at Paris' Orangerie museum (Jardin des Tuileries, metro Concorde lines 1, 8 and 12). Always looking for mist and transparency, Monet would dedicate himself less to flowers than to reflections in water, a lonely and very personal inverted world.

    Monet and his family arrived in Giverny in 1883, which was when the orchard that we see today was planted. Monet's garden comprises two main parts: the Clos Normand at the front of the house and a Japanese-inspired water garden on the other side of the road.

    The Clos Normand is a work of art in itself. About two and a half acres in size, Monet's creation is a play on perspective, symmetry and colour. You will find various varieties of flora (lily pads, bamboo, tamaris, weeping willows, climbing rose, holly hocks and carob trees...). The artist combined the simplest of flowers (daisies and poppies for example) with the rarest varieties, layering them, teaming flowers of varying heights to give the garden shape, relief and volume, providing a spectacular show of nature that is different according to the season. The central alley is covered by iron arches covered in winding climbing roses. Monet's aim was to escape the linear, organised, constrained and highly controlled styles of gardens that were in fashion at the time.

    Ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the adjoining piece of land to the Clos Normand, which lay on the other side of the railway. A small brook, the Ru, flowed across it. Monet had the first small pond dug, which was enlarged later on to its present day size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and organic lines. Inspired by the Japanese gardens in the prints Monet loved to collect, this is where you will find the famous Japanese bridge. Covered with wisterias, which Monet planted himself, there are also several other smaller bridges adorned with weeping willows, a bamboo wood and the famous nympheas, most commonly known as water lilies, which bloom throughout the summer.

    After Claude Monet's death in 1926, his son Michel, inherited the property and Monet's step-daughter Blanche, ran it. After the Second World War the house and garden fell into serious disrepair, forcing Michel Monet to donate the property to the Beaux-Arts Academy in 1966. Restoring the property to its former glory took almost 10 years and it has been a favourite day-trip from Paris since it opened to the public in 1980.

    Getting to Giverny: hop on the train at St Lazare (which Monet also painted) to Vernon, which is on the main Paris / Rouen / Havre line. The journey takes 45 minutes. Once at Vernon, catch the 240 bus to Giverny (three miles away), which leaves 15 minutes after the train arrives.

    Extra information about the visit:
    To prevent people from treading on the plants, the inner alleys are closed to the public. To get to the water garden you must take an underground passage (in Monet's time it was necessary to cross the railway and the road). From the Japanese bridge you can explore all the hidden recesses of the water garden. Taking pictures is permitted in the garden, but only from the walkways. Picnics are forbidden. Pets are not admitted. Allow two hours for the visit. Open from 1 April; 9.30am to 6.00pm daily.

  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What new museum exhibits are in Paris?

    The wealth of museums, galleries and other types of art institutions in Paris means you are never short of exhibitions to see. Here are some key shows not to miss in the coming months.

    MUSEUMS
    Fondation Cartier
    Ron Mueck – April16th until September 29th (pictured)
    Hyperrealist sculptures by the extremely talented living Australian artist.

    Musée d’Art Moderne (MAM)
    Keith Haring, the Political Line – April 19th until August 18th.
    Retrospective of one of Andy Warhol’s protégés, who developed into a leading street artist and social activist. Keith Haring (1958-1990).

    Musée d’Orsay
    The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst – until June 9th.
    Named after a satirical short story by Edgar Allan Poe, the exhibition traces artistic creation from the 1760s onwards, when artists exploited the shadows, excesses and irrational elements that lurked behind the apparent triumph of enlightened Reason.

    Château de Versailles
    Giuseppe Penone – 11 June until 30 October.
    The artist, a major figure within the Italian movement, arte povera, lives and works in Italy. The chateau will host a show of his spectacular tree sculptures which will combine vegetable and mineral to reveal the essence of both.

    GALLERIES
    La Maison Rouge
    Under the Influence, art and psychotropic drugs – until May 19th.
    Exploring the impact certain drugs can have on creativity.

    Polka Galerie
    Jean-Marie Périer, Rock’n’Roll – until May 4th.
    Portraits of various celebrities and influential figures by the living French photographer.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What new museum exhibits are in Paris?

    The wealth of museums, galleries and other types of art institutions in Paris means you are never short of exhibitions to see. Here are some key shows not to miss in the coming months.

    MUSEUMS
    Fondation Cartier
    Ron Mueck – April16th until September 29th (pictured)
    Hyperrealist sculptures by the extremely talented living Australian artist.

    Musée d’Art Moderne (MAM)
    Keith Haring, the Political Line – April 19th until August 18th.
    Retrospective of one of Andy Warhol’s protégés, who developed into a leading street artist and social activist. Keith Haring (1958-1990).

    Musée d’Orsay
    The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst – until June 9th.
    Named after a satirical short story by Edgar Allan Poe, the exhibition traces artistic creation from the 1760s onwards, when artists exploited the shadows, excesses and irrational elements that lurked behind the apparent triumph of enlightened Reason.

    Château de Versailles
    Giuseppe Penone – 11 June until 30 October.
    The artist, a major figure within the Italian movement, arte povera, lives and works in Italy. The chateau will host a show of his spectacular tree sculptures which will combine vegetable and mineral to reveal the essence of both.

    GALLERIES
    La Maison Rouge
    Under the Influence, art and psychotropic drugs – until May 19th.
    Exploring the impact certain drugs can have on creativity.

    Polka Galerie
    Jean-Marie Périer, Rock’n’Roll – until May 4th.
    Portraits of various celebrities and influential figures by the living French photographer.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best art galleries in Paris?

    As well as being the city of love, light, fashion and haute-cuisine, Paris is also the city of art. The art gallery scene used to be based in Saint-Germain at the time of Sartre and de Beauvoir, but it has since moved to the Marais and a small fraction is also being channelled further out into the 20th arrondissement.

    For the best contemporary art Paris has to offer outside of museums and other institutions, head to the city's more prised art galleries, which are in the Marais. Galerie Perrotin (76 rue de Turenne, Paris 75003) and Yvon Lambert (108 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 75003) are not to miss. 

    Both extremely respected gallerists for their flair, talent and passion, Emmanuel Perrotin represents big names like Takashi Murakami and Maurizio Cattelan, while Yvon Lambert works with the likes of Shilpa Gupta and Mario Testino. 

    Another gallery not to miss is Polka Galerie (12 rue Saint-Gilles, Paris 75003) for its fantastic choice of photography. The gallery shows work by some of the world's best photographers, like Marc Riboud, David Bailey and Jean-Marie Périer (work pictured).
  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    Where is the best nightlife in Paris?

    As Forbes Travel Guide Editor, Hayley Bosh, says in her answer to the question, while Americans or Brits are getting ready to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, after a prolonged 'apéro', the Parisians will only just be sitting down to dinner.

    Nightlife in Paris isn't quite on par with the clubbing scene of New York or London, but it does have a few places to check out for those who want to spend a night dancing till the early hours of the morning.

    People who go out more to be seen than for the music, tend to venture to the upmarket but very commercial VIP Room (188 bis rue de Rivoli, Paris 75001). Otherwise, quality upmarket clubs riding on the speakeasy trend is where Parisians flock to on a Friday night. Places to try include Le Baron (6 avenue Marceau, Paris 75008), le Pompon (39 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris) and the Ballroom at the Beef Club (rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris). And of course, there is the David Lynch-designed Silencio (142 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris) - if you can get in, that is.

    Following the speakeasy trend, the very latest events to take the city by storm are the electronic music nights (and days) at Wanderlust (Docks en Seine, quai d'Austerlitz). But while Wanderlust gets top marks for location and concept, most regulars will agree that the staff and bouncers are rude, the drinks are overpriced and the food is nothing to write home about.

    Visitors looking for more of an edge to their night might find what they are looking for at the following clubs: Batofar, Bus Palladium, Machine du Moulin Rouge, Nouveau Casino, Social Club, Rex Club, Flèche d'Or, Bizzart, Bellevilloise, Glaz'Art, Showcase, Point FMR and La Gaîté Lyrique. For party-goers who are a little older, it's worth keeping in mind that the crowd found at most clubs and gig venues in Paris tends to be quite young (usually under 30 years old) and although no one will make you feel like you don't belong, you might feel a little out of place.

    If rubbing shoulders with Paris' most snooty fashion crowd of bloggers and budding fashion designers isn't your scene, and you don't have the get-up for a big night out, see what concerts are on at Paris' best venues. To find out what's on when, try the Digitick (in English and French) or Lylo ('Les Yeux et les Oreilles' - in French only) listings websites.

  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best day trips near Paris?

    There are flowers everywhere for those who choose to see them”, said Claude Monet (1840-1926); however, in the summer, when flowers are in full bloom, you don’t have to be a philosopher or an impressionist to decipher the flowers of your mind. Instead, you can hop on a train to Giverny, the garden that inspired the French impressionist artist for over 20 years.

    Never before had a painter shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. His work became two-fold; engraved in nature and on canvas. After the Japanese bridge series, he would devote himself to the giant works that you can see today at Paris' Orangerie museum (Jardin des Tuileries, metro Concorde lines 1, 8 and 12). Always looking for mist and transparency, Monet would dedicate himself less to flowers than to reflections in water, a lonely and very personal inverted world.

    Monet and his family arrived in Giverny in 1883, which was when the orchard that we see today was planted. Monet's garden comprises two main parts: the Clos Normand at the front of the house and a Japanese-inspired water garden on the other side of the road.

    The Clos Normand is a work of art in itself. About two and a half acres in size, Monet's creation is a play on perspective, symmetry and colour. You will find various varieties of flora (lily pads, bamboo, tamaris, weeping willows, climbing rose, holly hocks and carob trees...). The artist combined the simplest of flowers (daisies and poppies for example) with the rarest varieties, layering them, teaming flowers of varying heights to give the garden shape, relief and volume, providing a spectacular show of nature that is different according to the season. The central alley is covered by iron arches covered in winding climbing roses. Monet's aim was to escape the linear, organised, constrained and highly controlled styles of gardens that were in fashion at the time.

    Ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the adjoining piece of land to the Clos Normand, which lay on the other side of the railway. A small brook, the Ru, flowed across it. Monet had the first small pond dug, which was enlarged later on to its present day size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and organic lines. Inspired by the Japanese gardens in the prints Monet loved to collect, this is where you will find the famous Japanese bridge. Covered with wisterias, which Monet planted himself, there are also several other smaller bridges adorned with weeping willows, a bamboo wood and the famous nympheas, most commonly known as water lilies, which bloom throughout the summer.

    After Claude Monet's death in 1926, his son Michel, inherited the property and Monet's step-daughter Blanche, ran it. After the Second World War the house and garden fell into serious disrepair, forcing Michel Monet to donate the property to the Beaux-Arts Academy in 1966. Restoring the property to its former glory too almost 10 years; it has been a favourite day-trip from Paris since it opened to the public in 1980.

    Getting to Giverny: hop on the train at St Lazare (which Monet also painted) to Vernon, which is on the main Paris / Rouen / Havre line. The journey takes 45 minutes. Once at Vernon, catch the 240 bus to Giverny (three miles away), which leaves 15 minutes after the train arrives.

    Extra information about the visit:
    To prevent people from treading on the plants, the inner alleys are closed to the public. To get to the water garden you must take an underground passage (in Monet's time it was necessary to cross the railway and the road). From the Japanese bridge you can explore all the hidden recesses of the water garden. Taking pictures is permitted in the garden, but only from the walkways. Picnics are forbidden. Pets are not admitted. Allow two hours for the visit. Open from 1 April; 9.30am to 6.00pm daily.

  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best day trips near Paris?

    There are flowers everywhere for those who choose to see them”, said Claude Monet (1840-1926); however, in the summer, when flowers are in full bloom, you don’t have to be a philosopher or an impressionist to decipher the flowers of your mind. Instead, you can hop on a train to Giverny, the garden that inspired the French impressionist artist for over 20 years.

    Never before had a painter shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. His work became two-fold; engraved in nature and on canvas. After the Japanese bridge series, he would devote himself to the giant works that you can see today at Paris' Orangerie museum (Jardin des Tuileries, metro Concorde lines 1, 8 and 12). Always looking for mist and transparency, Monet would dedicate himself less to flowers than to reflections in water, a lonely and very personal inverted world.

    Monet and his family arrived in Giverny in 1883, which was when the orchard that we see today was planted. Monet's garden comprises two main parts: the Clos Normand at the front of the house and a Japanese-inspired water garden on the other side of the road.

    The Clos Normand is a work of art in itself. About two and a half acres in size, Monet's creation is a play on perspective, symmetry and colour. You will find various varieties of flora (lily pads, bamboo, tamaris, weeping willows, climbing rose, holly hocks and carob trees...). The artist combined the simplest of flowers (daisies and poppies for example) with the rarest varieties, layering them, teaming flowers of varying heights to give the garden shape, relief and volume, providing a spectacular show of nature that is different according to the season. The central alley is covered by iron arches covered in winding climbing roses. Monet's aim was to escape the linear, organised, constrained and highly controlled styles of gardens that were in fashion at the time.

    Ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the adjoining piece of land to the Clos Normand, which lay on the other side of the railway. A small brook, the Ru, flowed across it. Monet had the first small pond dug, which was enlarged later on to its present day size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and organic lines. Inspired by the Japanese gardens in the prints Monet loved to collect, this is where you will find the famous Japanese bridge. Covered with wisterias, which Monet planted himself, there are also several other smaller bridges adorned with weeping willows, a bamboo wood and the famous nympheas, most commonly known as water lilies, which bloom throughout the summer.

    After Claude Monet's death in 1926, his son Michel, inherited the property and Monet's step-daughter Blanche, ran it. After the Second World War the house and garden fell into serious disrepair, forcing Michel Monet to donate the property to the Beaux-Arts Academy in 1966. Restoring the property to its former glory too almost 10 years; it has been a favourite day-trip from Paris since it opened to the public in 1980.

    Getting to Giverny: hop on the train at St Lazare (which Monet also painted) to Vernon, which is on the main Paris / Rouen / Havre line. The journey takes 45 minutes. Once at Vernon, catch the 240 bus to Giverny (three miles away), which leaves 15 minutes after the train arrives.

    Extra information about the visit:
    To prevent people from treading on the plants, the inner alleys are closed to the public. To get to the water garden you must take an underground passage (in Monet's time it was necessary to cross the railway and the road). From the Japanese bridge you can explore all the hidden recesses of the water garden. Taking pictures is permitted in the garden, but only from the walkways. Picnics are forbidden. Dogs and other pets are not admitted. Allow two hours for the visit. Open from 1 April; 9.30am to 6.00pm daily.

  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are quirky local customs in Paris?

    There aren't really any "quirky local customs" as such in Paris, although there are a few things you can do to fit in better. 

    1) When you enter a shop of any kind, be it a newsagent's or an exclusive boutique, the shop assistant must be greeted with a 'Bonjour!' and upon leaving the shop, do not forget to thank the assistant even if you haven't had any contact with them whatsoever with a 'Merci, aurevoir!'. 

    2) Like in the rest of France, people who meet for the first time (or the nth time) greet one another with a kiss on each cheek. In Paris, it's the traditional two kisses, although the number of kisses does vary throughout the country - for example, in some regions of the south, greetings can go up to four kisses.

    3) Eat bread with anything (even pasta). It's a wonder how Parisians remain so slim when a basket of sliced baguette is served with absolutely every meal; however, if you want to feel like a local, make sure that your pace of baguette-indulging requires you to ask for a refill at least once throughout the one meal.

    4) Expect bad service. Don't take it personally if your waitor hardly looks at you while taking your order or whenever he so much as approaches your table. Don't expect waitors to stop what they are doing to serve you either (especially if they are having a fairly enjoyable conversation with a fellow waitor), and expect to be ignored several times before your waitor takes any notice when you call him over. There is no formal explanation for this sort of behaviour - but it's their way or the highway I'm afraid! That said, there are exceptions to the rule - thankfully.

    5) Leave Paris as soon as you can. The way you know that you are a genuine Parisian, is when you love to hate the city - any excuse becomes good enough to escape. Most Parisians will indeed disappear beyond the suburbs at weekends either to a holiday home or to visit friends and family. Most people tend to leave from Thursday evening to late on Sunday, and the most Parisian of the lot will even push it until Monday morning. 

    6) The ubiquitous "apéro" is basically an excuse to drink without necessarily eating. The custom is originally an apéritif in the form of a glass of something (be it an alcoholic beverage or not) preceding a meal; however, the custom has, it seems, adjusted to fast-living and has transformed itself into a toned-down version of binge-drinking. If you are invited to an apéro, bring a bottle of good red to ensure you fit in - and have something to eat beforehand if you don't want to end up with an early hangover. Sometimes you will be invited to an 'apéro dinatoire', which is basically a few hors d'oeuvres thrown in. Apéros can take place anytime after 4pm, can last well until after the last metro and can be on any day of the week.  
  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    Where is the best nightlife in Paris?

    As Forbes Travel Guide Editor, Hayley Bosh, says in her answer to the question, while Americans or Brits are getting ready to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, after a prolonged 'apéro', the Parisians will only just be sitting down to dinner.

    Nightlife in Paris isn't quite on par with the clubbing scene of New York or London, but it does have a few places to check out for those who want to spend a night dancing till the early hours of the morning.

    People who go out more to be seen than for the music, tend to ventrue to the upmarket but very commercial VIP Room (188 bis rue de Rivoli, Paris 75001). Otherwise, quality upmarket clubs riding on the speakeasy trend is where Parisians flock to on a Friday night. Places to try include Le Baron (6 avenue Marceau, Paris 75008), le Pompon (39 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris) and the Ballroom at the Beef Club (rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris). And of course, there is the David Lynch-designed Silencio (142 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris) - if you can get in, that is.

    Following the speakeasy trend, the very latest events to take the city by storm are the electronic music nights (and days) at Wanderlust (Docks en Seine, quai d'Austerlitz). But while Wanderlust gets top marks for location and concept, most regulars will agree that the staff and bouncers are rude, the drinks are overpriced and the food is nothing to write home about.

    Visitors looking for more of an edge to their night might find what they are looking for at the following clubs: Batofar, Bus Palladium, Machine du Moulin Rouge, Nouveau Casino, Social Club, Rex Club, Flèche d'Or, Bizzart, Bellevilloise, Glaz'Art, Showcase, Point FMR and La Gaîté Lyrique. For party-goers who are a little older, it's worth keeping in mind that the crowd found at most clubs and gig venues in Paris tends to be quite young (usually under 30 years old) and although no one will make you feel like you don't belong, you might feel a little out of place.

    If rubbing shoulders with Paris' most snooty fashion crowd of bloggers and budding fashion designers isn't your scene, and you don't have the get-up for a big night out, see what concerts are on at Paris' best venues. To find out what's on when, try the Digitick (in English and French) or Lylo ('Les Yeux et les Oreilles' - in French only) listings websites.

  • On April 8, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    Where is the best nightlife in Paris?

    As Forbes Travel Guide Editor, Hayley Bosh, says in her answer to the question, while Americans or Brits are getting ready to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, after a prolonger 'apéro', the Parisians are only just sitting down to dinner.

    Nightlife in Paris isn't quite on par with the clubbing scene of New York or London, but it does have a few places to check out for those who want to spend a night dancing till the early hours of the morning.

    People who go out more to be seen than for the music, tend to ventrue to the upmarket but very commercial VIP Room (188 bis rue de Rivoli, Paris 75001). Otherwise, quality upmarket clubs riding on the speakeasy trend is where Parisians flock to on a Friday night. Places to try include Le Baron (6 avenue Marceau, Paris 75008), le Pompon (39 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris) and the Ballroom at the Beef Club (rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris). And of course, there is the David Lynch-designed Silencio (142 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris) - if you can get in, that is.

    Following the speakeasy trend, the very latest events to take the city by storm are the electronic music nights (and days) at Wanderlust (Docks en Seine, quai d'Austerlitz). But while Wanderlust gets top marks for location and concept, most regulars will agree that the staff and bouncers are rude, the drinks are overpriced and the food is nothing to write home about.

    Visitors looking for more of an edge to their night might find what they are looking for at the following clubs: Batofar, Bus Palladium, Machine du Moulin Rouge, Nouveau Casino, Social Club, Rex Club, Flèche d'Or, Bizzart, Bellevilloise, Glaz'Art, Showcase, Point FMR and La Gaîté Lyrique. For party-goers who are a little older, it's worth keeping in mind that the crowd found at most clubs and gig venues in Paris tends to be quite young (usually under 30 years old) and although no one will make you feel like you don't belong, you might feel a little out of place.

    If rubbing shoulders with Paris' most snooty fashion crowd of bloggers and budding fashion designers isn't your scene, and you don't have the get-up for a big night out, see what concerts are on at Paris' best venues. To find out what's on when, try the Digitick (in English and French) or Lylo ('Les Yeux et les Oreilles' - in French only) listings websites.