Paris around Place Maubert

Our little corner of Paris around Place Maubert was a study in contrasts. At one end of our street was the Notre Dame, the Seine and the luxe apartments on Ille St Louis – the very heart of Paris.

Ille St Louis Apartments

If you live here on Ille St Louis you either inherited it or you came into a lot of money. A wonderful place to live.

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An unsurpassed feast for the eyes, but a beast on the wallet

Let’s get a few very obvious observations about Paris out of the way. Paris is a wonderful city for walking, for being a flaneur or a boulevardier, if you prefer. Geographically, downtown’s twenty arrondisements are quite compact, and if you’re feeling energetic, you could walk right across the city.

Men's Shoes

Gents, if you generally spend between $750 and $2,000 on a pair of shoes, this is your store. On Blvd St. Germain in the 6th.

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2012 – a great year for Van Gogh

The fascination with Vincent Van Gogh carries on through 2012. Near the top of my pile of books to read is a new Vincent biography, Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. You might ask yourself why we need a new bio, especially one that weighs in at 976 pages.

Looking forward to starting in on Van Gogh: A Life.

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Banksy’s buddies Space Invade and Pac-Man Paris

If you’ve seen the mock-doc Exit Through the Gift Shop, then you know about the street artists Banksy, Shepard Fairey and the narrator, film maker, turned artist, Thierry Guetta, aka Mr Brainwash.

Allegedly, Thierry’s brother (at the end of this doc, you’re not sure what to believe) who is known as Invader, is the creator of the little mosaics of Space Invaders and Pac Man that have invaded cities around the world.

Loving Paris

This one was the closest to our apartment. Nice message!

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Champagne on the Eiffel Tower

Many of my friends have been to Paris, but when I ask them, did you go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, inevitably the answer is no. I’m always amazed, but really shouldn’t be. After all, this was my 4th trip to Paris, but first time up the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower evening

The colours of the tower change with the light. Like many things, it looks best closest to dawn or dusk.

Why don’t people go up? It seems like such a cliché. The lines are always miles long. There are too many other things to do in Paris.

Well friends, here’s my advice – unless you’re deathly afraid of heights, go. It’s worth it in every way. Read the rest of this entry »


Pont Alexandre III – the most spectacular bridge in Paris

One of the true joys of Paris are the bridges over the Seine. Within the city, there are 37 of them, including three pedestrian-only bridges.

Of course, some are fairly utilitarian and wouldn’t rate a second glance no matter where they were, but then there are those only Paris could offer.

Pont Alexandre III

A view from the water taxi. Well worth it, if only just to go under all the bridges.

By far, the most elaborate over-the-top concoction is the Pont Alexandre III which connects the Grand Palais (site of Anish Kapoor’s Leviathan show) and the Petit Palais on the right bank with the Hôtel des Invalides on the left bank. Read the rest of this entry »


Ralph Lauren brings his Ferraris and Benzes to the Musée d’Arts Decoratif

Art Of Auto Type

Beautiful typography over the entrance way.

As if the Louvre wasn’t big enough on its own, within the building there’s another completely separate museum, the Musée d’Arts Decoratif. The entrance is right off Rue Rivoli, and really, it’s not to be missed. They always have at least one interesting show that’s worth seeing. It must be tough being a museum director in Paris – put on something less than spectacular and you’ll be totally ignored – there’s just too much competition. Read the rest of this entry »


Musée d’Orsay for Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Manet and incredible lunch

We’d been to the Musée d’Orsay on previous trips to Paris and when it was time for lunch or a snack we always headed up to the restaurant / cafeteria on the 5th floor, not necessarily for the food, but for the stunning room behind the giant train station clocks. It’s a room like no other. I didn’t have a shot of this room – closed for renos – so I found this one from VP. You can see all of VP’s travel shots here.

Musée d'Orsay cafeteria

Not bad for a cafeteria! Wait till you see the other restaurant.

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Oscar Wilde, Jorge Luis Borges both slept at L’Hôtel in Paris

Paris has always been a magnet for expatriates. Artists, musicians, writers, bohemians… all have been drawn to Paris for its appreciation and embrace of fine arts, its beauty, food, wine, women, and liberal approach to life.

Rue Des Beaux Arts Sunset

Rue Des Beaux Arts at sunset from Rue de Seine. L'Hôtel is at the far end.

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Would we find the next Van Gogh in Paris’s Belleville?

When most people think of Paris, they picture the arrondisements closest to the Seine, the single-digit, high-rent, beautified haute couture picture-postcard City of Light. But, there are many sides to Paris, and the Belleville neighbourhood around the 19th and 20th arrondisements stands in messy, defiant contrast to the soignée side of Paris.

Belleville Zoo

Welcome to the Belleville Zoo. Massive graffiti covered a big wall bordering an open lot. Jimi wants to know if you're experienced.

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