Paris Journals

Paris Belongs to Us

A June 2004 trip to Paris by recordnerd

Quote: To express a fervent ardor for the French capital has become expected for many, especially Americans. Indeed, I've tried to find another favorite, weary of the clichés and knowing I've yet other places to explore, to learn about. Still, Paris lingers, each visit more akin to a homecoming.

Le Mondrian

Restaurant

Quote:
It's difficult to not feel out of place on the trendy bd St-Germain, with specialty shops and hip bistros jostling each other for space, all with terminally cool patrons. When feeling overwhelmed, I duck into Le Mondrian, whose interior is neither as sophisticated nor as stylish as the others surrounding, which also means less crowded. This is not a place where they know my name, but like in any good café, I'm allowed to linger over my salad for an hour or so, gathering up the courage to re-tackle the Parisian night.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2005

Le Mondrian
148, bd St-Germain
Paris, France
01 46 33 98 35

Paul

Restaurant

Quote:
This branch of a local up-market chain combines their bakery/sandwich shop with a quaint café. Its location across from the city hall on the very busy rue de Rivoli makes it a very convenient stop for those have yet to find homes of their own. The great thing about this is that, as contrary as it may be to French café culture, you can take away select goods. And perhaps there'll be a knowing smile or two, but the employees are generally friendly and won't roll their eyes at you for taking your hot chocolate, à emporter, in a paper cup.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2005

Paul
89-91 rue St. Antoine
Paris, France

Promenade Plantée

Attraction

Quote:
An ingenious use for an old railway, the Promenade Plantée sits atop the Viaduc des Arts in the 12th arrondissement, running the length of av Daumesnil from the Opéra Bastille until the Jardin de Reuilly. On fine spring day, it can be a great respite from (fellow) tourists (at least those who are yet to be in-the-know) and offers an elevated view into daily Parisian life.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2005

Promenade Plantée
Avenue Daumesnil
Paris, France 75012

Parc de Belleville (Le)

Attraction | "Parc de Belleville"

Quote:
In a working-class neighborhood a little far off from the main tourist activity, the highest park in all of Paris provides yet another rest from the hustle and bustle of city life. For those with a liking for the airborne, the Maison des Vents features birds and kites and anything else that might be found in the sky. And for everyone else, clear days from its terraced layout offer you great views, while its green lawns invite you to kick back and remember why you love Paris so much.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2005

Parc de Belleville (Le)
Rue des Couronnes
Paris, France 75020

Quote:
You've got to see it to believe it. A beautiful glass-and-steel building by Jean Nouvel, it sometimes seems invisible, with shifting panes and a cedar tree planted right in the middle of it all. Looking out into the garden, it's truly like being in an urban jungle. The museum itself aims to "support and foster awareness of contemporary art" by hosting rotating installations featuring the latest from artists such as Sarah Sze, Daido Moriyama, and Paul Virilio. Go on a Thursday night for a "nomad evening" and catch up on the trends of the moment.

http://www.fondation.cartier.fr/

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2005

Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain
261, boulevard Raspail
Paris, France 75014
+33 1 42 18 56 51

Madeleine Gély

Attraction

Quote:
Yep, that's right. Whether you live in Seattle or Sao Paolo, this is the place to acquire your protective gear. I bought a lovely pink-trimmed parasol for a cousin's birthday here, so indeed, there's an umbrella to suit everyone, from the plain to the extremely fancy. The shop owner includes instructions on care for your pricey Parisian purchase.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2005

Madeleine Gély
218, bd St-Germain, 7e
Paris, France

Quote:
Should you find yourself in town on one of those characteristic gray days and fancy a step back in time, duck into one of the glass-roofed arcades. These 19th-century passageways allow for relatively easy access to and from the Grands Boulevards to the Palais Royal, offering some lovely pit stops on the way. Passage Brady (46, rue du Faubourg-St-Denis/43, rue du Faubourg-St-Martin, 10e): You get a bit of India. Passage de Choiseul (40, rue des Petits Champs/23, rue St-Augustin, 2e): This is the childhood home of Céline. Passage du Grand-Cerf (10, rue Dussoubs/145, rue St-Denis, 2e): There are design shops here. Passage de Panoramas (10, rue St-Marc/11, bd Montmartre...Read More

Getting around

Story/Tip

Quote:
The capital is all about the art of the flâneur--that is, the pedestrian. If the weather allows it, walking is a great way to see the city and stay fit at the same time. If you prefer a little more convenience, public transport is your next best option. A carnet of 10 tickets is available for around E11, but if you plan on riding the bus or Metro extensively, take advantage of the Carte Orange, valid either for a week or month (starting on a Monday or the beginning of the month) for however many zones you want (zones 1 and 2 usually does it for central Paris, with a trip to Versailles). As long as your French is passable, you can obtain this pass at any RATP (public transport) outlet...Read More

Village St-Paul

Story/Tip

Quote:
This might be the place to find your portable slice of Paris, if you find the outlying fleamarkets to be to situated too far. In the 4e arrondissement, the Village St-Paul is spread among interlinked cobbled courtyards between the rue Saint-Antoine and the Seine, by the Lycée Charlemagne. Thursdays through Mondays from 11am to 7pm, dealers tout their wares, which run the gamut from furniture to artwork. It's so charming that you might not be able to resist paying for a little token, or at the very least, taking a picture for posterity.
Quote:
Each summer from late June to August, the Jardin des Tuileries plays hosts to a fair, complete with everything one might expect from it: games, rides (check out the bungee swing "Ejection"), and yes, cotton candy. The requisite Ferris wheel costs a pretty penny (€5), but it is worth it for the nighttime views of Paris and its illuminated monuments. It is open until midnight.