svētdiena, 2011. gada 10. jūlijs

My Paris city guide - en anglaise.

Project Inside Out in Centre Pompidou.

Hi! In this weekly post I have decided to share my inspirations about Paris. Probably it will be a bit chaotic, but that's because you shouldn't be too logical or rational in Paris, it is better to enjoy the moment and don't try to be a traditional tourist, who lives the schedules of museums.

- Cafe de Flore. Breakfast in this cafe which is located in the 6th quarter on boulevard St Germain was fabulous. It is quite possible that coffee and croissants tasted just the same as everywhere else, but the atmosphere is invaluable. A proper bourgeois place where booking a table is impossible as everyone is invited. While I was eating my omelet, Cafe de Flore was visited by quite a couple - a lady and a gentleman around 60, the woman pale, with a perfectly drawn mole on the right cheek, a turban with a large jewel on the head. Oh, I wish you had witnessed  how elegantly she drank her morning coffee ... Address:  172 Boulevard Saint Germain.

- Place Vendome.  Possibly, my most beloved place in Paris, which I visited around midnight when people have parted and traffic has died down. It is an indescribable feeling as the square is so large and royal. Hotel Ritz is located in house nr.15 so a lot of tourists tend to wait here to spot a celebrity. Address: 1st quarter.

- Colette. A super stylish concept store in the center of Paris where one can buy books, little trinkets, CDs, clothes. The locals say that is has become too crowded with tourists, but I believe it is worth a visit. My purchase - a YSL colouring book worth 5 EUR. Address: 213 rue Saint Honore.

- Ralph Lauren restaurant. A very posh restaurant in the 6th quarter where an old friend took me. The interior is decorated in Lauren style - very luxurious but homey. As the restaurant tends to be full, it is advisable to book in advance, and if possible dine out in the garden. Prices are starting from 20 EUR, but the portion sizes are humungous. Address: 173 Boulevard Saint Germain.

- Centre Pompidou. I devoted 5 hours to visit this museum of modern art. I have always wanted to use the escalators that you can see from outside and when I got to the 5th floor the view was spectacular - almost all of Paris in front of my eyes. I chose to see the permanent exhibition and I especially enjoyed Ola Billgren, Vakrio Adami, Robert Delaunay, Piet Mondrian, Francis Picabia, and the works of Henri Matisse. This little movie jumped out:

- Project Inside out. I took part in this project and received a massive poster with my portrait in return. The artist and creative author has intended for everyone who has received the poster to then place in a spot that is dear to them. So now I have brought it to Latvia and it is located on the ceiling of my workshop. Address: next to Centre Pompidou indefinitely.

- Rue Rivoli. If you want to shop and shop cheap this is the place to go to as it offers all high street brands - Gap, H&M, Zara etc. The biggest sales are twice a year - in January and July.

- Rue du Bac. A wonderful street to enjoy a walk or shopping in children's boutiques. Petit Pan - a typical modern French style clothes and toy store was recently opened in 95 rue du Bac. And don't forget to look into Le Bon Marche a luxurious shopping center on rue de Bac, and this time skip the clothes and visit the food section! Address: 7th quarter.

- Laduree. Once again returning to my beloved macaron, I would like to inform that the company changed their concept a couple of months ago and has expanded its merchandise from selling just sweets to different accessories which have been decorated with all things Paris and macaron - admittedly, quite expensive (e.g. a key chain for 23 EUR or a small scarf for 40 EUR), but anyone can look!

- A city for kids. Paris is a very family and child friendly city. It offers a lot of leisure activities and playgrounds just perfect for the little ones. Even the gardens have temporary play zones during summer times. It is definitely worth to visit Cite des Sciences et da l'Industrie  (an interactive museum of science and technologies), Jardin du Luxemburg and, of course, Disneyland.

- Rue Gravillers. The Chinese quarter of Paris. It holds a large amount of Chinese wholesale stores with names like China - France, Paris import - export and others. If you want to have your hair done by some Chinese guy, there is just a hairdresser's at the beginning of the street.

- Palais d'Tokyo. If you take the underground en route to 16th quarter and jump off at the stop Iena you shall arrive at the museum of modern art Palais d'Tokyo. The heaven of modern artists and skaters. Full of hipsters and very stylish ladies. The museum art and book shop owner Andre also holds a club Le Baron, where entry is granted only to those who know the owner or one of the guests of the club (located round 8th and 16th quarter).

- Librairie bourdon destrem. A classical bookstore, a must see place for postcard lovers. Different than those you will find in the touristy locations. Address: 56 rue de la Pompe.

- Avenue d'Eylau. A street in the 16th quarter. Go and you shall not regret it because the view is spectacular! (I shall not disclose just what kind so you get the surprise as well.)

- Suggested by Alessandro Sartori . My friend the designer suggested to visit these two shops  - L'Eclaireur Rue des Rosiers and Merci 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais - very "fancy".

- Bicycle. Rent one and off you go wherever you wish to! I would advice to rent the city bicycle as you will pay for the hours + and there is parking all over town. A pleasurable route by the river to the Arc of Triumph, then cross the fields of Elysees and cycle through Rue Saint Honore or Avenue Montagne.

- Marē.  A very lively quarter with a lot of little stores and cafes which are open on Sundays as well. Main street - Rue des Rosiers. You will find a lot of Jewish eateries so try a felafel - tasty!

P.S. Before I left, Lianna, a good friend of mine who has lived in Paris for a few years, gave me a tour guide around the 16th quarter. An hour later I was exhilarated as the two A4 pages covered with instructions 'go there', 'look right there', as well as historic news and advice on best cafes made me smile through the rest of the day. Lianna kindly gave me permission to post her email address here: If you would like a tour around the 16th, let her know!

1 komentārs:

  1. Kā Parīzē dzīvojošā no savas puses gribēju piebilst, ka iepirkšanās Rue de Rivoli lētā gala brendiem tomēr, manuprāt, ir pārāk drūzmaina, gluži kā Champs.
    Es ieteiktu doties uz La defensa vai Les Halles, lielāka izvēla, atsevišķās stundās mazāk cilvēku, mazāk tūristu.
    Dārgāka iepirkšanās gan pie Operas ir vislabākā.

    Par Inside Out projektu man pašai pirmā dzirdēšana. Paldies par informāciju :)