Paris 2008 Archives

July 7, 2008

Croissant Run 2008

Well, remember my NTOTHDD (No Trip on the Horizon Depressive Disorder)?

It seems that we will be getting to Europe this year, for at least a short visit!


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July 22, 2008

Five Days to Go To-Do List


Just for the record, planning for two almost back-to-back trips is insane.

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July 26, 2008

Paris Plans


I think this will be our seventh trip to Paris. Still haven't nearly covered everything of interest, and there's so much to revisit. Since the charm of just sitting in a cafe, drinking a glass of rose and people watching is so seductive, why rush?

I still speak little french beyond menu french and basic tourist-speak, but I'm much more relaxed now about sounding like a two year old with developmental delays. Thank goodness Larry has more of an ear for language than I do.

We'll be staying in this cute apartment in the southern part of the 14th. Many years ago we stayed in this area, and enjoyed it. It's a real neighborhood, not as charming or glamorous as other districts, but very genuinely Paris in a different way. It's a bit of a schlep, but we're fine with that. There's the rue Daguerre market nearby, neighborhood restaurants, easy bus and metro connections.

A basic list for our six days:

Walking walking, walking
As many markets as we can get to
A candelight concert at Sainte Chapelle
Batignolles neighborhood (organic market Saturday)
Saint Denis--Cathedral the town museum
Musee Marmotan
Butte-aux-Cailles park and neighborhood
evening picnic at the Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air on the Seine
stroll the Marais for a day, pop into the Carnavalet and the photography museum
An exhibit about cities at the Pomediou
Visit the Chateau de Vincennes, with the rebuilding finally completed.

July 29, 2008

Beautiful New Jersey(You Were Expecting Amsterdam?)

Review--Kim's Hotel, North Brunswick, NJ.

We called the hospitable owner of the hotel after an unexpected 5-hour delay stranded us in lovely Newark. We enjoyed running to the gate to find that our flight to Amsterdam had departed ten minutes previously. (three hours late).

The proprieters graciously picked us up from the airport. Accommodations were charming, and the hotel's young, attractive staff provided a delightful diversion and Australian snacks. We particularly appreciated the offer of a beverage of our choice. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom well equipped, and our son slept well on the sofa. He found the early wakeup call was very effective, a small dog launching herself on him.

Breakfast was outstanding, and particularly commented upon by our son, who remarked that his mother never puts out such a spread. In lovely baskets, even.

Entertainment was further provided by the young staff in the morning, and then our hostess took us on a tour of the local houses of higher education in a convertable. A ride to the airport was included in the price.

August 1, 2008


We easily got to Schipol early this morning, catching the bus around the corner and then the quick train from Centraal station. Dan met up with his group to head off on their bike adventure, and then Larry and I got on the train to Paris. It was particularly interesting seeing the Dutch countryside after all those Rembrandt etchings yesterday. The landscape is so strongly centered on sky, grass and sea, punctuated by occasional buildings. Even hundreds of years later, you can see the essence of what he was seeing.

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August 2, 2008

Batignolles, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Montmarte


It's been many years since we've been in the 17th and 18th arrondissements. I wanted to check out the Batignolles area for a future rental, after reading of its pleasant atmosphere. We took the number 68 bus up to Porte de Clichy, and then walked over to rue de Batignolles. The organic market was open, in spite of empty spaces left by vacationing stallholders and the steady drizzle. Nice looking cheeses, meat, produce and baked goods.

We wandered down rue de Batignolles. It has all the good signs of a neighborhood--competing boulangeries and patisseries, a hardware store, people parked at cafe tables with cafe cups and actually talking with each other, parents with strollers, a square that in better weather looks like an attractive place to hang out with drinks or dinner at a cafe.

For purely scientific purposes, we shared a pain au chocolate from a bakery. It was a hardship.


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August 3, 2008

Le Marais---History, Falafel, Photography

Le Marais is one of our favorite areas of Paris. It can get overpopulated on a warm evening and louder than I like, but there are still plenty of slow, secret spaces where you can only hear your own footsteps.

We had a late beginning this morning. First, we overslept. Those who know me well know I consider sleeping past six a guilty sin. Fine, this is supposed to be a vacation after all. Larry went running, and explored the Park Montsouris. We did some grocery shopping at the rue Alesia corner, getting a gorgeous roast chicken, sauteed potatoes, and salad greens for dinner. We finally got ourselves out the door and on the #38 bus to the Marais.

We followed a walk from the book Paris Walks, and wound through the Marais. I finally got a photo of Guimard'a 1913 Art Nouveau synagogue, designed to look like an open Torah. It had started spitting rain, and so instead of getting falafel and eating on our favorite park bench, we braved the back room at L'As du Falafel. Tasty as always, but a Special is now 7 euros. Still, a bargain for a Paris lunch since it feels like prices have really climbed this year. And finally, they've finished the repaving on rue des Rosiers. The falafel places and Jewish delis are still competing with the new boutiques.



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August 5, 2008

Dead Guys

What day is it? Monday? We started off in a cafe with the guidebooks, Metro and bus map, and some coffee. I had wanted to go out to St Denis, right outside Paris to see the Basiliuca and the Museum. We figured we'd stop off at Opera on the way, since we've never been inside the Opera Garnier.

After taking our lives in our hands to cross the street, we walked around the outside for a bit. It's like a huge, over-the-top wedding cake. And inside, even more so. Gilt on top of mirrors on top of marble on top of polished wood on top of red velvet. And just for the hell of it, more gilt.


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August 6, 2008

Guimard, Monet, and Vivaldi


I've always wanted to go see Hector Guimard's buildings in the 16th, since I'm only familiar with the synagogue in the Marais and of course his Art Nouveau metro entrances, those pale green swirls and medallions. After some juggling bus and metro maps, we realised that there's a bus from Alesia that runs through the 14th, 15th and 16th. It made for a great ride, letting us see many different residential areas. We got off, and walked over to see Guimard's Castel Beringer, built between 1895-8. Very cool building, in a pretty neighborhood (except for the unnattractive modern building right across the street). Fantastic layers of different brickwork, iron, seahorse details, and even leaded glass wondows. The best view is the side, into the courtyard where you can see how he played with angles and materials. I've read that he even designed the interiors, and man, what I wouldn't give to see inside one of those apartments.

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Last Day


Today was intensely hot and humid, the first really sticky day of this trip. I was having a hard time shaking off the lethargy, and I think insisted on stopping for coffee or drinks three times before one pm. We began at the Musee de Monde Arabe. I love the outside of the building, with geometric steel overlays in the window panels that move as the sun hits them. You begin the visit up on the 7th floor, and work your way down to the fourth. There are examples of ancient pottery, and then small collections of metalwork, glass, ceramics, tile, textiles, calligraphy, etc. I must admit, I was disappointed a lot by the museum. I've seen much better exhibits of Arab artwork and artifacts elsewhere, in New York, Istanbul, Spain, and Israel. Larry enjoyed the small collection of old scientific instruments, like astrolabes.

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August 7, 2008

Back Home

I was vindicated early this morning in insisting on taking a shared shuttle to CDG instead of the bus or RER. At exactly 5:30 am, the heavens opened up in a huge thunderburst, and torrential downpours. Water ran down the streets, and it would have been hellish dragging suitcases to the Metro. Our poor driver wans't faring much better, straining to see street names in pitch dark and pouring rain to pick up other passengers.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Destination Anywhere in the Paris 2008 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Paris 2007 with the Boys is the previous category.

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