A January 2003 trip
to Paris by metrogirl
Quote: Rue Cler has been a pedestrian-only thoroughfare since 1984, which lends a intimate village feel to this treasured neighborhood. The "hard facts" you can read in most any travel book, but there is more to rue Cler than toursits usually see.
Rue Cler has been a pedestrian only thoroughfare since 1984, which adds to the village feel of this treasured neighborhood. These facts you can read in any travel book, but there is more to rue Cler to the discerning eye.
When I made rue Cler my neighborhood years ago, it was after a long day of study and researching for my architectural thesis. I was really tired and discouraged on one particular winter evening as I exited the École Militaire Metro and trudged up avenue de la Motte Picquet. As I turned left on to rue Cler to get back to the hotel, what I saw surprised me. The streetscape was bursting with energy and beauty. There was a young woman seated in the middle of the rue playing Mozart on her cello, right next to a fishmonger arranging and singing the praises of his colorful fresh-catch-of-the-day while competing and blending with the melodies of an accordionist further up the rue. Children were playing, some Japanese tourists were snapping pictures, locals were hurrying in and out of the shops to gather an evening meal wishing each other bon soir and bon appetite, the floral shops were doing a brisk business judging by the many bouquet-totting individuals I spotted.
All of this was enhanced by the gourmet aromatherapy from the assortment of cafés and bistros on or near the rue. I looked around for a movie-camera setup or director. There was not one in sight, just plain Paris-village-folks going about their nightly routine, but the combination of comfort and energy to me seemed like a healing balm that day and every day since. So rue Cler may be busier now, especially during the high season of travel, but it still feels like home after a long day of wandering my beautiful Paris.
The individual places I highlight here are my personal picks, some of what I love about enchanting rue Cler. If you go, you willfind your own favorites!
The Eiffel Tower, Napoleon Tomb, Musée de la Armee & Musée Rodin are just short walks from rue Cler, & very pleasant strolls if I may add. And there are plenty of benches & gardens in nearby parks where you can enjoy picnic assembled from the markets and shops on rue Cler.
A leisurly pleasant stroll, bien sur!
Hotel | "Hotel La Serre"
The cost is 65-80 euros during the low season for a single room, and 110 euros during the high season, with peteit dejuneur €6 extra. The elevator goes to all seven levels. Most rooms have a street-side view, which I love because you can people watch and observe all the daily activities below while you’re resting from sightseeing.
It can be a bit noisy for light sleepers because the market opens early, but I enjoyed just lying in bed and listening to the song of the fruit-sellers singing the praises of their most wonderful strawberries. The rooms on the other side are very quiet, and some of them have a view of the Eiffel Tower, which is quite romantic at night.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 16, 2004
24, bis rue Cler
Paris, France 75007
01 47 05 52 33
This boulangerie is well known among the village locals for their scrumptiously rich almond croissants. They are a delicious sticky, crunchy way to get your morning sugar rush. Go early as they are immensely popular & sell out fast.
During my visits in the warm months, I also found the outdoor cafe tables a great place to get an afternoon cafe and work on my watercolor sketches while my laundry was spinning clean in the Laverie (Laundromat) across the rue.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 11, 2004
North West Corner of rue Cler & rue Grenelle
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 16, 2004
10 rue Champs de Mars
Attraction | "Librarie Cler"
This store is chock-full of periodicals, magazines, and newspapers, mostly in French, but they do carry a few English language editions of the NY Times and Time Magazine.
I have purchased many of the French magazines at my local Chicago Borders for years like the beautifully photographed editions of Côté E`st, Côté Sud, Côté Ouest and Elle Décor. It is great to get the current copy at the regular price as US bookstores add a "import charge and the editions they carry are a 2 or 3 behind.
They have racks and racks reasonably priced post and greeting cards. They also stock my favorite Clairefontaine notebook that comes ruled and in graph paper. I like the graph paper filled books for architectural sketches, and the rules for notes and journals. They are light and slim and easy to pack in your pocket or backpack. They have the notebooks in all sizes, from pocket-sized to the large at 21 X 29 cm and are available in a rainbow of attractive colors.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 18, 2004
57, rue Cler
Attraction | "Boucherie Chevaline to Tarte Julie to Greek Resto"
The exterior décor of this tiny storefront is embellished with a lush glass mosaic that makes it stand out from its plainer sister shops on rue Cler. The exuberant text embedded in the stylized art of the glass mosaic advertises clearly defines the purpose of the merchant but does not shout. The message is stated in a nearly subliminal manner, but the art is too proud of itself as it is signed by the artist.
When in the guise of Tarte Julie, this WAS a favorite stop for a quick dinner. A slice of quiche and a slice of tarte tatin for desert were all I needed to compliment the green salad for a satisfying meal.
Today this store with the handsome façade is a 21st century Greek restaurant, but this elegant old storefront is still speaks of a more graceful and artistic era.
On my next trip, I will try the Greek food!
Boucherie Chevaline, Tarte Julie, Greek Resto
28, rue Cler