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Thursday, August 03, 2006

A YOUNG WOMAN'S GUIDE TO PARIS

I came, I saw, I conquered. But what did I like best? The question comes up often, and luckily I’ve been keeping notes. Sure, the tourist sights are typically beautiful, but it was the small hidden streets I liked best, the quaint cafes and small boutiques. If you want to know about the Louvre or Notre Dame, buy a Guide Book, but if you want to know what perked the interest of this fanciful young woman, keep reading…

how blue


THE CAFES

Heurtrier
An upstairs café to a trendy bakery with nice meals, tasty breads and pastries. Fun to sit upstairs with a coffee and people watch through the window.
2 rue de la Verrerie
Metro: Hotel de Ville
angel in the window

Café de Flore
Okay, you’ll definitely find this in any guide book, but it’s worth stopping for the excellent, and elegant, coffee or Kir.
“This afternoon I’m upstairs at the Flore, near the window; I can see the wet street, the plane tree swaying in the sharp wind; there are a lot of people, and downstairs there’s a great hubbub.” –Simone de Beauvoire
172 Boulevard St.Germain
Metro: St.Germain des Pres

Café Psycho
A comfortable café just off the Jardin de Luxembourg. Great for reading, writing, and tasty drinks.
13 rue de Medicis

Café Martini
Just off La Place des Vosges, this cozy little café is often full and serves some excellent thick hot chocolate.
11 rue du Pas de la Mule

THE BARS

La Perle
A funky old bar in the Marais filled with great energy and young hipsters.
78, Rue Vieille du Temple

La Fourmi
A cheap student bar with a great ambiance in Montmartre.
74 rue des Martyrs
Metro: Pigalle

La Belle Hortense
A small literary café/bar with a nice selection of wine. Open in the evenings. Very cozy back room with books lining the walls.
21, rue vielle du Temple
Metro: Hotel de Ville or St.Paul

Caveau de la Huchette
A tourist attraction, but also a great place to go for live jazz and blues and some fascinating swing dancing. Entry from 9-13 euros, drinks around 6 euros.
www.caveaudelahuchette.com
5, rue de la Huchette
Metro: St.Michel

Le Petit Journal
Another tiny jazz bar. Go for dinner and live music, but check who’s playing ahead of time.
www.petitjournalsaintmichel.com
71 boulevard St.Michel

Taverne de Cluny
The drinks here are a huge rip off, but some evenings there’s great live music and the drinks pay for themselves.
51, rue de la Harpe

THE RESTAURANTS

Le Procope
An old artist hangout, this large restaurant carries a certain glow, is always warm and welcoming, and has some great seafood. Reasonable prices.
13, rue de l’Ancienne Comedie
Metro: Odeon

Les Philosophes
I was drawn into this place by the name, and came back for the simple food, Perrier cocktail, and the ultra modern bathrooms. Great crème brulee.
28, rue Vieille-du-Temple
Metro: Hotel de Ville or St.Paul
lunch at les philosophes

Kong
Remember the Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw goes to Paris? Well this is the trendy restaurant where she meets her lover’s ex. Placed on top of Kenzo, the top floor has a great view. Food is so-so, but cocktails are quite good.
1 rue Pont Neuf
Metro: Chatelet

Polidor
Traditional French food in an authentic setting. Great big wood tables and tasty eats. Arrive early as it fills up fast.
41, rue Monsieur-Le-Prince
Le Polidor

Creperie Josselin
On a street covered in creperies, this one seemed to be the most authentic. Full of French people and great crepes, order the one they light on fire…
67, rue de Montparnasse

Krishna Bhavan
A great Indian vegetarian restaurant full of Indians. Amazing prices and great food. Placed on a street of great, cheap Indian restaurants. Take your pick, although this one was my favourite.
24 rue Cail
Metro: Gare du Nord

Matsuya
The best Japanese restaurant I could find it Paris. I always felt comfortable and relaxed eating here alone, and loved getting a Shake Don menu for under 10 euros. Great service and pitchers of wine.
39, rue Galande
Metro: Cluny de la Sorbonne

Cojean
A chain of trendy café-style food to eat in or take out. Healthy and yummy, and always a nice set-up inside.
15, Boulevard Haussman (one of many)

Yeliz
Home of my acclaimed Turkish family, this small fast-food Turkish restaurant is cheap and good. You can pay around 6 euros for some great lamb and couscous and sit in the comfortable tables in the back. Don’t be fooled by the fast-food front, this place is actually a great restaurant and the people are astoundly kind and generous. Tell them you know Gill, the blond Canadian, and you will receive great service. I ate here every Sunday for a year, and practically cried saying goodbye to this beautiful family.
41, rue de Clignancourt
Metro: Anvers
yeliz and i

THE STORES

Colette
The place to see and be seen. Great books, music, accessories and clothing. Fun and funky, and full of the trendiest Parisians. Water bar downstairs.
213 rue St.Honore

Aimecube
Adorable little store filled with original creations by small-time Parisian designers. Small gallery downstairs.
7, rue Vauvilliers
Metro: Chatelet

Comme des Garcons
Just go to look, it’s a fashion playground.
54 rue du faubourg-saint-honore
Comme des Garcons

Muji
Simple gadgets, clothing, house-ware and accessories by this modern Japanese brand. Reasonalbe, practical and fun.
27, rue St.Sulpice (One of many)

Shakespeare & Company
I love this place for many reasons. I love it because it has English books, beds to read on, and because it’s open until midnight.
37 rue de la Bucherie
Metro: St.Michel or Cluny de la Sorbonne
(Other great English bookstores include the Red Wheelbarrow, Village Voice, and W.H Smith)

Fauchon
Expensive French food goodies, great for looking around, and best lemon tarts ever.
26 place de la Madeleine
Metro: Madeleine

Pierre Hermes
Orgasmic pastries…try the macaroons to make your life worth living.
185 rue de Vaugirard
or 72 rue Bonaparte
choose your weapon

Bon Marche Epicerie
Foodie heaven.
Metro: Sevres-Babylone

THE MARKETS

sunday market

Belleville Market
Tuesday-Friday
Metro: Belleville and Melimontant

Place d’Aligre Market
Tuesday-Sunday, 7am-1.30pm
Metro: Bastille

Place Monge Market
Close to rue Mouffetard
Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

Flea Market
The biggest market in Paris with a giant antique section as well as hundreds of stands selling souvenirs, jewelery, shoes, Dior rip-offs and other Parisian wonders. Beware of pick pockets and hold your bag close to you. Stop for a crepe or lunch in one of the restaurants in the antique section.
Saturday-Sunday 9:30am-7pm
Metro:Porte de Clignancourt


THE PARKS

Parc des Buttes Chaumont
A savage beauty of a park.
Rue Botzaris
Metro Botzaris and Buttes Chaumont
freedom

Parc Javel-Citroen
A beautiful park with everything to offer and more. Pay around 10 euros to take the hot air balloon up into the sky and get a 360 degree view of Paris.
Metro/train: Javel-Citroen
hot air balloon
jardin des fontaines

Bois de Boulogne
A giant forest that runs across the top border of Paris. The best place to go on a sunny day.
bois de boulogne

OTHER

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sing along with the actors on stage, who sing and dance in heavy French accents and fake an orgy. Good times all around. Saturdays at 10pm, 8 euros.
The Studio Galande
42, rue Galande
Metro: Cluny de la Sorbonne

Rue de la Lappe
A street for night owls, full of bars and clubs. Stop in Bollywood for some Indian dance music or discover some of the best happy hours in Paris.

Passage Brady
A passageway full of great Pakistanian Indian restaurants. I recommend Bhai Bhai Sweets, 77 Passage Brady.
Metro: Strasbourg St.Denis

Place des Vosges
Oldest square in Paris. Great for people watching over a giant café crème. Located in the Marais.
place des vosges
monsieur bouge

Palais de Tokyo
I have so much love for this place it hurts. As a modern art museum it is pure fun and originality, and also provides great gift shops and an even better restaurant. I am in love with the entire male staff.
13 avenue du Président Wilso
Metro: Iena
Palais de Tokyo
asian girls in art

Maison Europeene de la Photographie
Great photography museum.
5, rue de Fourcy
Metro: St.Paul

12 Comments:

Anonymous mr-bobun said...

Tu ne t'es pas aventurée en
dehors des pièges à touristes
fortunés ? Le vrai Paris est
ailleurs. En dehors des
arrondissements centraux qui
ne sont là que pour délivrer
(et facturer) les clichés aux
gens de passage...

2:18 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Unfortunately I didn't keep notes on all of the small streets I passed through. The places listed are for people passing through Paris who want a little taste of the Parisian scene. Ailleurs is discovered when walking for hours, which I did a lot of, but I'll leave that up to my readers to discover on their own...

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Josie said...

Oh wow. Thanks so much Gillian for sharing pieces of your memories and "treasures" in details. You went above and beyond. I'll definitely note these places when I'm in the city of romance. I, too, appreciate the small qaint cafes, streets off the beaten path (by tourists) and just indulge in all my senses.

Look forward to reading about your next adventures wherever you go. You have so much beauty in you and I'm so glad that you're sharing this with the world.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Mickey said...

WOW! What an amazing list. This is way more than I had expected. It's fabulous for me as I'm only in Paris for a few days and was hoping to experience a few things out of the ordinary.

I fully understand that you much experience the true Parisian lifestyle by exploring on your own, but having this little bit of insight will help me on my way. I'm so excited. Thank you, Thank you.

Good Luck to you in the future in all that you do. I don't doubt you will go far.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, oh, oh...how lovely...!!!! i'm sitting in a somewhat-quaint cafe in phoenix and swooning and sighing and wishing myself to all these places. i'll use your handy guide when i'm there in the spring. i love reading your blog but it leaves an aching sort of bittersweet taste because it always makes me miss it far too much, and long for it far beyond what's healthy. that's how well you place us in par-ee.

<3
kira

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, oh, oh...how lovely...!!!! i'm sitting in a somewhat-quaint cafe in phoenix and swooning and sighing and wishing myself to all these places. i'll use your handy guide when i'm there in the spring. i love reading your blog but it leaves an aching sort of bittersweet taste because it always makes me miss it far too much, and long for it far beyond what's healthy. that's how well you place us in par-ee.

<3
kira

4:59 PM  
Blogger Raj said...

What an amazing list! I wish I had it when I was in Paris in November!Damn...haha maybe next time.
I just want to say that I have really enjoyed reading about your time in Paris. Your writing is gorgeous and I am excited to hear about your new adventures wherever they may be.

Good luck!

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lover... it's been too long. i'm glad your coming home soon to my open arms. Leaving is always bitter sweet but I'm proud of you, you've really opened yourself up to experience... even if its not always good. I look forward to wandering the streets of Paris with you again some day... creating some new memories. A bientot mon amour
x aimes

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Enticed by the Apple said...

G: Loved the list. Can't wait for the next act in your play!!! Toronto, here she comes....

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Trudy C. said...

Mr-bobun, Vous etes un connard.
G: Gracious as always. You go , Girl.

8:12 PM  
Blogger eurobrat said...

MERCI BEAUCOUP! I so wish you were in Paris later this month. Oh well, perhaps we can meet up in Toronto.

Bisous.

9:50 PM  
Blogger maitresse said...

isn't it funny, we've been friends all this time and I didn't know you went to creperie josslin, too... nico and I can be found there most sunday evenings. but I guess that's when you're with your turkish fam...

miss you already. come visit often so we can add more spots to your list.
xx L

12:20 AM  

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