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Trip Report Off the beaten track? Picnic spots? Where are the Parisians?

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Lots of people seem to wonder about "secret" places to go away from the swarms of tourists in the center of the city, but most of the suggestions that I have seen are just for places with slightly fewer tourist swarms but not at all off the beaten track -- Père Lachaise? Full of people with cameras. The back side of Montmartre? Just as many tourists as the rest of Montmartre except that some of them are lost. The Buttes Chaumont and the Mouzaïa? Loads of people, and part of that might even be my fault.

Yesterday I knew that I would see loads of people, but I confess that I too get tired of dealing with the tourists from time to time. So I took bus 46 from Gare du Nord to Porte Dorée to dive into different crowds. Metro line 8 or the T3a tramway would have been just as good, but the 46 was more convenient for me even though it was a good long ride all the way to the other side of Paris. I wasn't in a hurry.

The Bois de Vincennes is always popular with 'ordinary' Parisians, the kind who don't feel that they can relax in the prim and proper Parc Monceau or the Luxembourg Gardens. The Bois has few rules and people can pretty much do whatever they want.

Right now the Foire du Trône is in progress until May 23rd. It is the spring fun fair and attracts people who have a lot of children and cannot afford Disneyland Paris or Parc Astérix. It is a lower class event, and I do not say that derogatorily at all. It is a pure carnie atmosphere, and I am sure that there are plenty of upper class New Yorkers who have enjoyed a day at Coney Island or Angelinos who like to go to Santa Monica Pier from time to time. Then again, some people are appalled by such things. In that case, don't go.

I made a report about what I saw yesterday, and here it is: http://tinyurl.com/trone2016

If any of you think this is interesting but won't be in Paris before it ends, there is a similar event during the summer which is just a little bit smaller. It is the Fête des Loges and runs from 24 June to 15 August. It takes place in the forest of Saint Germain-en-Laye and entails a ride to the western end of the RER A, where you will find shuttle buses waiting to take you into the forest. Don't forget to visit the town of Saint Germain-en-Laye if you go there. You can spread out for a delightful picnic on the grounds of the château, which has a magnificent terrace overlooking Paris in the distance with a delightfully tiny Eiffel Tower.

In any case, neither of these fun fairs can be compared in any way to that pathetic little summer event in the Tuileries. That is just a sleazy embarrassment.

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