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A Very Brief Report of My Recent Trip to Paris

A Very Brief Report of My Recent Trip to Paris

Old Apr 16th, 2015, 04:57 PM
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A Very Brief Report of My Recent Trip to Paris

I've been back for awhile now and as with most trips you don't do most of the things you put on your list. The day we planned to go to the races at St. Cloud it rained all day so scratch that for another time. The highlight of this trip was our Sunday afternoon/evening spent at La Chope des Puces out at Clingnancourt. We've been a few times before but this time we had so much fun.

We go to listen to Ninine Garcia, a great and well known guitarist of gypsy jazz and modern jazz as well. This time we stood as usual at the bar near the front to see and hear the music. My husband surprised me and asked if Ninine would allow us to take his picture with us. He was very nice and accomodated us. And then the fun began, the music was great the people standing around were friendly and after a few beers adopted us and started buying us beers and in broken english and our broken french we established that they were gypsies with the real gypsy heart and that "fun and friends were everything in life". At that point we wholeheartedly agreed and began with the group selfies that one can only take after several beers. With friendly au revoirs all around we left the bar and managed to make it back to the metro and safely back to our apartment in the marais with a great memory of Paris. I don't know if I can top this one.

We stayed at an apartment that we had stayed in before on rue d'ormesson diagonal to Place du Marche Ste. Catherine. We rented from vacationinparis.com which allows you the convenience of receiving the key at home before you travel. It's a very comfortable apartment in a great location in the 4th.

The weather was typical Paris March weather; one day cold and damp, the next sunny and beautiful. My husband developed a fairly bad cold during the course of the trip, which did mean more hanging out at the apartment, but only when it was really cold and rainy. We didn't eat out as often, but we also don't do much of that. We tend to buy cheese, wine, a baguette and some pate to munch on. On our first day there, a Saturday we stocked up for the apartment and then sat out front at "La Tartine" on rue de rivoli and enjoyed a charcuterie and fromage platter and an icy cold beer. It was so nice to just sit back, relax and people watch. We did notice that all of the women, except for me, sat with their backs to the street and the men the opposite looking out over the sidewalk, as did I.

I had three photo exhibits that I wanted to see and got to two, which was fine. The first being "Paris Magnum" at the Hotel de Ville. It was ok but didn't compare to the small but really cleverly presented exhibit at the CROUS Cultural Center on the left bank. It was the last day and the entry was 1 euro. The title, "Deja Stars" the photographer, Marcel Thomas, considered to the the first french paparazzi, an amateur. Glad we didn't miss it.

I always try to bring back something interesting for family. This trip I wanted to get an apron from Dehillerin, the kitchen supply store, for my daughter and while there picked up two small Eiffel Tower cookie cutters; one for me one for my granddaughter. I already used mine and iced the cookies in the colors of the French flag. I was impressed with them.

While in that area which is over by St. Eustache we stopped in to listen to an organ audition that had been announced and was open to the public. It was actually interesting. You were told that you couldn't make a single sound and of course all cell phones off. You sat facing a draped off area and the different organists auditioning to be the official St. Eustache organist were being judged in a "blind" fashion. Meaning of course that the judges didn't know who they were listening to and scoring. We left after about 20 minutes, but the following day I read that they had a tie and chose two organists to share the post. The retiring organist had held that position for 52 years, so it was a big thing for the church and organ fans, of which there were many in attendance.

Every morning we had our petit dejeuner at Au Bouquet de St. Paul on rue Ste. Antoine. Friendly service and good coffee. At breakfast I go for a grand creme and my husband a double espresso. They brought you a tartine and a croissant as well as fresh squeezed OJ. If staying in that neighborhood I would recommend it.

We did a lot of walking just all over the place. I finally got up to the street in Belleville of graffiti, Rue Dénoyez. It was fun to look at but I think I prefer the "found" piece of graffiti art that feels like a discovery. I take their photos and add them to my collection. I especially love to spot "M. Chat". I found three new ones this trip to add to the ones I found on my trip to Lisbon.

I traipsed in and out of souvenir and gift shops to find items with the girl's name Elodie or Eva on them. My granddaughter's names which are not on anything in the U.S. I always find something new and different on each trip. They get a kick out of it.

Favorite neighborhood patisserie this trip, Miss Manon on rue Ste. Antoine. We've been there on other Paris trips. It kind of depends on where we are staying to purchase the eclair or macaron. One of my favorite places Andre Cleret in the 1st is no longer there! They had the nicest pastries and sandwiches. The owners were also very nice and old school seeming. Now it's some modern looking place and kind of reminded me of a Panera, but smaller. Too bad, but everything changes.

So, it was basically a trip to relax and wander and listen to music and drink wine and eat cheese and drink beer and eat charcuterie plates. It was way too short, 5 nights and a cold got in the way. That sounds like a good excuse to plan another trip. This time I'd like to go in the early fall. I love the weather then, it's milder and the trees still have some foliage. Hopefully, we'll be back.
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 06:38 PM
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Very nice little report! you have given me some great ideas for our trip. Thank you
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 07:13 PM
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Thanks Ronda. I never tire of Paris. This was our 13th trip together.
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 07:13 PM
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...to Paris that is.
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Old Apr 18th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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Here's some pictures that go with this very brief trip report.

https://travelswithme52.shutterfly.com/
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Old Apr 18th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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great pics opaldog - thanks for posting them and your all too short report.

that evening in the jazz club sounds wonderful - the sort of unplanned event that memories are made of.
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Old Apr 18th, 2015, 09:26 AM
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I was so struck by your photo of "Duluc Detective" - I assume you know the Cara Black mystery series set in Paris?

Will never forget my own pleasure in looking up and seeing it!
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Old Apr 18th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for doing a TR, opaldog. You went to such interesting places. And what fun to get adopted by locals. A priceless experience for sure. Having the key ahead of time sounds great. Thanks for the link for the apartment.

BTW, how does one get to the St. Cloud races? DH and I couldn’t find the right bus as everyone sent us in different directions.

Loved your photos!

ps-on your 14th trip, try to see if Petit Verdot is still open on Rue du Cherche Midi!
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Old Apr 18th, 2015, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for posting about Ninine Garcia and an appreciatiion of an historic culture that has flourished in Paris, not much understood normally or appreciated on Fodor's, and very often the subject of ignorance and bigotry.

Ninine's fingers really fly, and the music just flows right out of him. Thought you (and others) might like to see this 1990 video of him playing with his legendary dad, Mondine, in La Chope des Puces.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiilztCFb9I
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Old Apr 18th, 2015, 03:33 PM
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Appreciate all of your replies.
TDudette: I wasn't really sure how we were going to get to St. Cloud. It wasn't really complicated, just not as easy as the other racecourses we've been to.
29Feb: I actually have two of the Cara Black mysteries, but haven't read them. Is Duluc Detective mentioned in them?
annhig: thanks, Chopes de Puces and the people we met will be tough to beat for great experiences.
sandralist: We love Ninine Garcia. He was so friendly and personable and seemed to appreciate our admiration of his music. I didn't post my picture of him with me or our other selfie with our new "friends", but he was more than gracious about it all. The video of him with his father is great. I have seen others similar. We never did get to see Mondine play as the first time we went to Chopes des Puces he had recently passed away.
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Old Apr 18th, 2015, 06:41 PM
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Opaldog, re Duluc/Leduc:

http://parisisinvisible.blogspot.com...he-writes.html

In your stories, Leduc Detectives are based in the Rue du Louvre. This however is also the address of perhaps the most famous real-life agency in the city, the similarly named Deluc Détective. Can you explain the links between the two and how you came to use this name and address?

Leduc Detective is indeed based on the Duluc Detective agency. It happened one day years ago when I was at the bus stop on Rue du Louvre. Across from me on the street was the wonderful neon thirties sign of Duluc and I’d been interviewing female detectives in Paris and thought why not this agency? I crossed the street, met Madame Duluc who inherited this agency from her father who himself had inherited it from his grandfather who’d started in the Suréte. She was very gracious and told me the history, the cases they work on and much more. I used the agency as a template for Leduc Detective; Aimée had a grandfather who'd started the agency and went from there. But when the publisher suggested we use another name for legal reasons I agreed.
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 01:11 AM
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Great report>I love Bouquet St Paul too. We rent a VIP apt. right across the street. When we are to worn out to go far they do a good dinner menu. And have Berthillon ice cream!!
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 02:45 AM
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29FEB: Thanks for that explanation of Duluc Detective. I just loved the sign. Next visit I will go back at night when it is lit up for another photo. We were walking up Rue du Louvre toward Dehillerin for my aprons when I spotted the sign.
Avalon2: Thanks. Au Bouquet de St. Paul was a very welcoming spot every morning. They were friendly from the start. After the first morning we were greeted as regulars. We will have to try them for dinner. I did read the menu board offerings for the day while I sipped on my café creme.
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 03:14 AM
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sandralist (and anyone else interested): Here is a link to a video I posted to youtube of Ninine Garcia and Steeve Lafont the day we visited them.
https://youtu.be/UXoI7V-YM4s
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 03:19 AM
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Avalon2: I forgot to ask, which apartment on VIP do you rent?
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 06:45 AM
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Nice to read! We were in Paris in December and missed not being able to stay in Sylvain's apartment. We stayed in a studio on Ile de St Louis and it was no comparison...
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 01:17 PM
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DebitNM: our trip prior to this one we stayed in a studio on blvd. Richard Lenoir with a birds eye view of the market on Thursday and Sunday. You might like it. It wasn't available this time. However, we enjoyed our rue d'Ormesson apt. as well and it was bigger with a bedroom. Here's the link to the Bastille apartment.
http://www.vrbo.com/443533
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 02:09 PM
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Thanks opaldog!
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 08:28 PM
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Thanks so much for the vicarious visit, opaldog! I am seriously jonesing for a Paris visit and this helped calm the withdrawal pangs.
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Old Apr 20th, 2015, 02:02 AM
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Seamus: I do know that feeling! I already would like to go back, we didn't stay long enough. When I plan a trip to Europe it always comes back to should we go to Paris or someplace new. I try to pair Paris up with other cities just so I can get my Paris fix.
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