Paris Journals

Paris: Les Copines d'Abord

Best of IgoUgo

A May 2002 trip to Paris by Truly Malin

Le Flic on rollerblades? Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Back when I was young and broke, I spent seven months living in Paris. Now I was going back for a long weekend with friends. How could I possibly top the experience of living like a "real" Parisian? (The answer: Move to a better neighborhood!)

Paris: Les Copines d'Abord

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Le Flic on rollerblades? Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
I was 19 and nervous on the chilly January morning I arrived in Paris with no apartment, no job, and a handful of traveler's checks that would never outlast my six month visa. I met Philippe the following month. He stepped right out of the pages of a romance novel: a dark, handsome actor with a penchant for candlelit cafes and bold dramatic gestures. Walking me home one night after a date, he swept me into an alcove and declared (in French, naturally!) "Now you will remember my kiss every time you walk down this street". A week later, I caught Philippe trying to acquire another American souvenir at a nightclub bar. The romance was over. Paris was real, not some fairytale setting for an adolesc...Read More

Le Marais Dining

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Eating out in Le Marais"

Le Marais Dining Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Le Marais is a culinary melting pot, where Lebanese takeout joints rub shoulders with upscale tea houses. Some favorite local eateries: Crépes Suzette Crépes Suzette isn’t a particularly creative name, but there is nothing run-of-the mill about this cozy, smoky creperie on rue des Francs Bourgeois, which we visited on a miserable, rainy afternoon. Inside, a primarily local clientele was lingering in snug nooks over oversized mugs of tea (outrageously priced at 4 euros, I’ll have you know!) We soon felt like part of the family, or at least the family sitting next to us, due to the small room, tight quarters, and 4 year old boy who insisted on visiting with us.Select fr...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 25, 2003

Le Marais Dining
3rd / 4th Arrondissements
Paris, France

Mariage Freres

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Tea for Two at Mariage Freres"

Quote:
Karen Blixen, eat your heart out. Lunch at the elegant, colonial Mariage Fréres is a lot more fun than daydreaming your way through Out of Africa, plus there’s more white linen and the food beats movie popcorn hands down.Jen and I were three steps in the door when we knew we had stumbled upon something so impossibly precious that we simply didn’t own the appropriate outfits to do it justice. Directly inside the entranceway was the shop, walls stacked to the ceilings with tins of tea in wooden cubbies. Beyond the shop was the timeless (actually circa 1854) salon du the, gloriously bright and welcoming on a rainy day. Everything was light: light wood, light white walls, light food, airy pa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 25, 2003

Mariage Freres
30 r du Bourg-Tibourg, 4eme
Paris, France
01 42 72 28 11

Le Petit Yvan

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Le Petit Yvan Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
"Take us somewhere fabulous!" begged Nicole. "Take us somewhere French!" insisted Wendy. "Take us somewhere with a great wine list!" drawled Barbara. "Take us somewhere that vegetarians can eat!" whined that picky Truly Malin. So Anne-Sophie, who always knows just where to go, took us to Le Petit Yvan. This little brother of the more elegant Yvan, next door, hasn’t decided what he wants to be when he grows up: restaurant or nightclub. Somehow he manages to be both, like the waiters, who double as DJs. They crank out a mix of upbeat French standards, world music sounds, and the occasional American ‘80s chestnut while the raucous clientele eats, talks, and occasionally dances in the aisles. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 25, 2003

Le Petit Yvan
1 bis, rue Jean Mermoz
Paris, France
01 42 89 49 65

404 Restaurant Familial

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

404 Restaurant Familial Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Why, oh why, can’t I find a place like 404 back home? I feel like I’m giving away a state secret just by writing about it. Why? 1. Because it’s gorgeous. 404 will transport you to Morocco. The lighting is lovely and subtle. Wooden carvings cover the windows, and rich fabrics and colors adorn every surface. Request a reservation in the loft for the full effect – like dining on an elephant’s back! You’ll climb a tiny, ancient staircase with candlelight flickering from an iron lantern perched on each step. The loft holds just two low tables, with piles of cushions to sit on and enormous etched silver plates to eat off. On the bar below, Taittinger chilled in a bucket with floa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 25, 2003

404 Restaurant Familial
tous les jours de 12 h à 15 h et de 19 h à 1 h
Paris, France 75003
01 42 74 57 81

Barrio Latino

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "I Love Soca! (Barrio Latino)"

Quote:
Ah, to be nineteen and carefree in Paris again… In those days, I was determined to experience it all: the museums, the culture, the food – and of course, the nightlife. In retrospect I realize I went clubbing primarily to meet French boys, a hobby I have completely lost interest in since returning to the States and marrying an American. Yet each night after dinner my friends and I batted about notions of going out dancing, or even just out for a drink, and decided on another glass of wine at home instead. But on our last night in Paris, Nicole, newly married and pregnant (but not showing yet), was determined to see and be seen while her cute little dress still fit! So our motley crew piled into Anne-...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 25, 2003

Barrio Latino
46-48, Rue Du Faubourg St-Antoine
Paris, France 75011
+33 1 55 78 84 75

Marais is French for Swamp

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Can you imagine a neighborhood in Boston or London called "The Swamp" becoming a trendy hangout? Unlikely – but nothing is predictable in Le Marais, where fur-draped society ladies shop alongside leather-clad biker boys, and cars scramble to park alongside narrow sidewalks built back when a traffic jam meant that a wagon’s wheel was stuck between two cobblestones. The Marais has been on a roller-coaster ride of development and decay for over a thousand years. A millennium ago, the only living creatures in the Marais were frogs, insects, and the birds that preyed upon them. By the 1200s, the swamp had been drained, and farms built up in its place. Modest homesteads were joined by convents thr...Read More

Renting an Apartment in the Marais

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Our lush courtyard Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Our home away from home was on the Rue des Rosiers, an ancient and narrow street that cuts a twisting course down the length of the Marais. It was home to some of the most charming of ethnic eateries, the most cozy of ‘salons de the’, and of course our rented apartment, which lay behind a ten-foot high blue-painted courtyard door, as timeless as the Marais itself and as heavy as a castle gate. Each time we turned the key and heaved open the door to the courtyard within, we could hear envious sighs in the street behind us. It wasn’t just the tourists who wistfully watched us make our entrances and exits. Indeed the very Parisians seemed to acknowledge with wistful exhalations of smoke from their Gau...Read More
Quote:
I was a vegan when I moved to Paris in 1988. I expected to be treated like a leper amongst these cheese and dairy-loving people, but instead, they welcomed me into their brie-eating arms, and over time, wore me down until I was an enthusiastic consumer of camembert who knew ten uses for crème fraiche and ordered salads with a ‘crottin de chevre’ perched on top.Some of the dairy delights still hardening my arteries today include:1. A slice of a baguette that you have just carried home from the local bakery, topped with a smear of fresh salted butter. There is simply nothing tastier, particularly if the counterperson wrapped a little twist of packing paper around the baguette (to make i...Read More

"Le Shopping" claims another victim

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Better than Candy Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
If you’ve read any of my other journals, you know that I am not a natural-born shopper. I walk right by window displays, ignore sale signs, and still own (and worse yet, wear!) clothing I bought 20 years ago. My friends have spent the better part of a decade trying to turn me into a proper Girl with a capital G, a process which includes coaching me on lipstick application, blow-drying my hair straight, and of course indulging in that all-American pastime which the French like to call "Le Shopping". "Le shopping" was one of many skirmishes in the border dispute between "American English" and its venerable opponent, the French language. As you know, the kids love to grab un hamburgeur at "MacDo...Read More