Paris Journals

Offseason Paris

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A December 2001 trip to Paris by KJP

Armageddon (Internet Cafe) Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Paris is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It's home to beautiful public monuments, stunning architecture, incredible food, quaint neighborhoods, and a treasure trove of world class museums and art galleries. It has all of these things and more, and yet it can still be surprisingly affordable.

Offseason Paris

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Overview

Paris, France Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
You actually expect me to write about the highlights and best things to see and do in Paris in 200 words or less? Better make it quick then...Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, Musée du Louvre, Musée Picasso, Jardin de Luxembourg, Montmartre, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Notre Dame, rue Cler market, Le Cimetière Perè Lachaise, Place des Vosges, Place de la Concorde, the cafes, the food and wine...and uh, you get the picture. Another highlight of my visit to Paris was a day trip to Auvers-sur-Oise, a small rural community about 22 miles northwest of Paris where Vincent van Gogh spent his final days. ...Read More

Grand Hotel Francais

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Hotel | "Hotel Grand Francais"

Grand Hotel Francais Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Hotel Grand Francais is a nice three-star hotel with about forty rooms, located just a few blocks from the Place de la Nation in the 11th arrondissement on the right bank. Both the public areas and the rooms are immaculately clean. The lobby is tastefully decorated with light-colored tile floors and tan leather furniture. My single room was small (typical for a European hotel) but very clean and comfortably decorated. There was no closet in the room, just a small armoire to store clothes, a desk, chair, and bed. The bathroom had a sink, shower, and WC; no bathtub or bidet. The room had a television with CNN International and BBCWorld channels; good for those who like to keep tabs...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Grand Hotel Francais
223 Boulevard Votaire
Paris, France 75011
33 (0) 143712757

Café & Co.

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Restaurant | "Café & Co."

Café & Co. Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
*** U P D A T E *** -- We returned to this location in February, 2003 to find that this restaurant is now closed. We stumbled across this tiny little cafe after seeing the Musée National Picasso. We wound our way from the museum down rue du Parc Royal, rue Payenne, and rue des Francs Bourgeois past all of the shops to the Place des Vosges. Silvia, who has been to Paris many times but still doesn't know her way around, insisted that there was a restaurant somewhere in or near the square called Camille, but everyone we asked, even shopowners in the Place des Vosges, had never heard of it. A...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Café & Co.
9 rue de Birague
Paris, France

Café du Marché

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Restaurant

Café du Marché Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Café du Marché, located in the heart of the marché rue Cler, is frequented by Parisians and tourists alike. With an attractive lemon yellow interior, mosaic tile flooring, a hip-looking bar, and pleasant outdoor seating that overlooks one of the most vibrant street markets in Paris, this French bistro in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower has alot to offer. Our first full day in Paris began here, and Café du Marché quickly became our morning meeting spot. Since the hotel where my two friends Silvia and Susana were staying was just a block or two away, we decided that this would be a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Café du Marché
38 rue Cler, 7th
Paris, France
01 47 05 51 27

Brasserie du Perè Lachaise

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Restaurant

Brasserie du Perè Lachaise Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
After arriving at my hotel in mid afternoon, I decided to check out Le Cimetière du Perè Lachaise while there was still daylight. It was just a short metro ride from my hotel, and uncertain how much was left in my gas tank after the long flight, it seemed like a logical choice. After a brisk walk through the cemetary in fading daylight, I headed out onto Boulevard de Ménilmontant. I almost headed down the metro steps, but the restaurant across the street caught my eye. It was getting dark, but at 5:45 or so it was still pretty early. I made a dash across the rush hour traffic to take a look at ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Brasserie du Perè Lachaise
67 Boulevard de Ménilmontant
Paris, France
(+33) 01 40 21 13 35

La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais

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Restaurant

Quote:
Facing the Seine near Notre Dame, this 5th arrondissement dining establishment is the sister restaurant to the Paris institution Tour d'Argent, which is across the street. La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais features terrific French comfort food, and they even have their own private label wine. As their name suggests, rotisserie dishes are their specialty. Another specialty of the house is cassoulet with leg of lamb. The vertical gas rotisserie, unlike any I've ever seen, is visible in the dining room along the back wall adjacent to the kitchen. It adds a homey atmosphere and exudes tempting aromas. My friend Silvia, who has been to Paris many times, selected La Rôtisserie du Beauj...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 25, 2002

La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais
19 quai de la Tournelle
Paris, France
(+33) 01 43 54 17 47

Musee d'Orsay

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Attraction | "Musée d'Orsay"

Musee d'Orsay Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Musée d'Orsay was once a building that housed one of the main railway stations in Paris. It was narrowly saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s and now is the home of French art dating from 1848-1914. The collection basically picks up where the Musée du Louvre leaves off. The bulk of the collection is comprised of impressionism, works comprised of dabs of color often painted en plein air (in the open) rather than in the studio, quickly executed to capture the light of the moment. It's hard to believe that the main gallery once served a completely different purpose (rail passengers once embarked and disembarked here), because this is simply a beautiful space. Early 19th c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2002

Musee d'Orsay
62, Rue De Lille
Paris, France 75343
+33 (1) 4049-4994

Musee National Picasso Paris

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Attraction | "Musée National Picasso"

Musee National Picasso Paris Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Musée National Picasso houses a spectacular collection of works by one of the most influential and recognizable artists of the 20th century. Housed in a beautiful 17th century hotel, the Hôtel Salé, the museum is home to a body of work that spans seventy years, from 1901 to 1971. After Picasso's death in 1973, the collection was given to the French government by his heirs in lieu of inheritance taxes. It's displayed in chronological order, allowing the visitor to see the entire range of Picasso's career. The museum also displays works from Picasso's own personal collection, including pieces by Renoir, Cezanne, Rousseau, Matisse, and Modigliani. The Hôtel Salé is a wonderful buildi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 15, 2002

Musee National Picasso Paris
Hotel Sale 5, Rue De Thorigny
Paris, France 75003
+33 (1) 42 71 25 21

Musée de Montmartre

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Attraction

Musée de Montmartre Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Musée de Montmartre is a little offbeat: part museum of Montmartre history, part art museum. It basically chronicles Montmartre's past, but then shifts gears to focus on those who lived here at 12 rue Cortot. It is relatively small, uncrowded, and makes for an enjoyable change of pace from the typical Parisian museum experience (big, crowded, grandiose). You can see the entire museum in under an hour. The Musée de Montmartre is located in a rickety 17th century house that was once a small apartment building. The studios above the entrance pavilion were occupied at various times by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Emile Bernard, Raoul Dufy, Maurice Utrillo, Suzanne Valadon (Utrillo's ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 19, 2002

Musée de Montmartre
12, rue Cortot
Paris, France 75018
+33 1 46 06 61 11

Marché Rue Cler

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Attraction

Marché Rue Cler Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The marché rue Cler is one of the most vibrant neighborhood markets in Paris. It's a terrific place to observe and participate in an everyday part of French life. Everything from fresh produce, meats, cheese, wine, flowers, and pastries can be had here. There's also a Franprix (small grocery store) post office, book shops, and more. My friends and I met here every morning for coffee at Café du Marche. The boulangerie kitty-corner from Café du Marche at the corner of rue Cler and rue du Mars had simply irresistible pastries, quite a compliment from someone such as myself who can typ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Marché Rue Cler
Rue Cler/Rue De Grenelle To Rue De La Motte)
Paris, France

Marché rue de Buci

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Attraction

Marché rue de Buci Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Unlike the marché rue Cler, which is in all the guidebooks and consequently attracts at least a smattering of tourists scattered among the locals, at the marché rue de Buci you quickly realize that you are off the tourist-beaten path. Somehow there's more of a working class, everyman's feel here. All the better. The usual assortment of wonderfully fresh produce, meat, seafood, cheese, pastries, and the like can be had here. I also discovered that there are some great art galleries on the streets adjacent to the market. As with the marché rue Cler, you'll get more out of the market ex...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Marché rue de Buci
Rue de Buci
Paris, France

Armageddon (Internet Cafe)

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Attraction

Armageddon (Internet Cafe) Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Before leaving for Paris I did a little research on the web, scoping out potential internet cafes where I could stay connected. After I arrived, the people at the front desk of my hotel recommended a place called Armageddon, which was just a couple of blocks away on rue Alexandre Dumas. Most of the internet cafes I'd found before leaving for Paris charged in the 30Fr-50Fr per hour range (roughly $4-$7), so at 15Fr an hour (10Fr minimum per visit), Armageddon turned out to be a raging bargain. There are mostly gamers (teenage kids playing computer games) here. Everytime I stopped by th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Armageddon (Internet Cafe)
11 rue Alexandre Dumas
Paris, France
(+33) 01.40.09.05.21

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

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Attraction | "Cimetière du Perè Lachaise"

Pere Lachaise Cemetery Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Le Cimetière du Perè Lachaise is the most famous cemetery in Paris, and is probably one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. It's the final resting place for a virtual Who's Who of Paris' past: Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Eugene Delacroix, Frederic Chopin, Camille Pissarro, and many others. But perhaps its most famous resident is 60's rock legend Jim Morrison, who died while vacationing in Paris in 1971. I cross Boulevard de Ménilmontant after leaving the subway and walk up the steps of the cemetery entrance. The setting seems perfect: late afternoon on a crisp, sunny December day, the sun bright but low in the sky and starting to give way to a winter night. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 11, 2002

Pere Lachaise Cemetery
16, Rue Du Repos
Paris, France 75020
33 1 55 25 82 10

Searching for Montmartre's Bohemian Past

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Story/Tip

Montmartre, Paris Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
As a kid growing up in the Chicago area, I remember many Sunday family outings to some of the great museums that city has to offer: the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The latter became my favorite. I came to love its incredible collection of French impressionist paintings. Over time, the names became as familiar to me as Maris and Mantle: Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, Pissarro, Sisley. I learned that many of them knew each other, which seemed incredible to me even then. When I was a little older I'd learned that Paris, and more specifically Montmartre, was was the ...Read More
La Tour Eiffel, Paris, France Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
All right, I'm going to admit something right off the bat. I don't like heights. I'm not desperately afraid of them, mind you. I'm not terrified to fly. I'm not afraid to be in tall buildings (I once worked on the 56th floor of a building). Just like any recreational skier, I've been on my share of chair lifts and gondolas without a second thought (well, maybe one or two). I've been on the Texas Cliff Hanger at Six Flags numerous times (now that terrified me, but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to terrify everyone). But as a rule, I just don't like them. Five minutes ago I was warm, comfortable, and happy, sitting in ...Read More