Atypical things to do in Paris

Jul 6th, 2006, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Get a massage at the hammam of the Grande Mosquee de Paris.

Visit the two other Parisian cemeteries in Montmartre and Montparnasse.

Check out the new Cinematheque at the former American Center in the Bercy quartier.

LarryJG62 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 03:00 AM
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If you're fashion-minded, check out this exhibit:
BTilke is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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In the red light district, go to Madame Arthur's for an interesting drag show that includes a prix fixe dinner. Sometimes there is audience participation. Excellent time.

Also, taking in a gypsy jazz guitar performance can be entertaining. It is swing music and a very enjoyable experience. Local artists such as Dorado Schmitt, Samson Schmitt, Tchavolo Schmitt and even the famous Birelli Lagrene can be seen in small clubs or larger venues, depending on tour and festival schedules. There are usually local weekly guides that list the clubs and who is playing. You may even see some American jazz artists playing.
rodsuar is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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St. Chapelle (the medieval church across from Notre Dame, near the Palais de Justice) has wonderful concerts--have your concierge check the performance schedule or just read the posters on the fence outside the church. It's a special experience to sit in this exquisite, intimate church in the twilight of the evening and hear Mozart or wonderful chamber music.

A suggestion for a day trip outside Paris: drive or take the train to AUVERS SUR OISE (Auvers on the Oise River) where Van Gogh spent his last three months and painted some of his most famous canvases (i.e. the crows over the wheatfields, Dr. Gachet, etc.) You can walk through the whole town, see Vincent and Theo Van Gogh's graves in the local cemetery and see where many of his paintings were produced. They have an image of the painting posted so that you can compare Van Gogh's version with what you see today. Start with a visit to the inn/restaurant where Van Gogh lived in the attic--they have a good visitor center there and a good film to orient you. The restaurant still serves meals! Call ahead to the center if you want to arrange a guided tour--highly recommended to enhance your visit; we had a wonderful art historian who spoke several languages.

In Auvers, there is also a very interesting Musee de Absinthe that tells the history of this intoxicating beverage that became a scourge of 18th and 19th century society. Interestingly, it was the French wine industry that helped stamp out absinthe, which was much more popular at the time. Happy travels!
JanDelaware is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Paris Plage, but that's only in the summer (when they close streets and bring in a beach!).
suze is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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I like to have lunch and a few beers in a working class brasserie, in a safe area off the beaten track.

Call me demented, but I enjoy a few beers and pigs feet, a lot more than lunch at the Ritz.

I do it alone - my wife doesn't have my aquired taste.


guaranteed is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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My daughter and I did a day cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu. It was a blast! And you take home what you created.
Danna is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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I didn't see the sewer museum. Sorry if I missed it. We spent a whole day at Invalides/Army museum if you haven't been there. Big 2nd for Jacquemart-Andre museum if you haven't been there. Huge favorite.
connette is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 04:13 AM
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Toucan2 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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pjsparlor is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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We are in our fifties, and LOVE Paris--I can recommend the Segway tours through Fat Tire. We had been there six times in the last nine years, and I learned so much more during the Segway tour. Plus, it's a hoot to have Japanese tourists snapping your photo!

Also, rent an apartment, and separate from your spouse/SO and walk the city on your own. Definitely check out the hardware section of BHV--it's where I buy stuff to bring back.

A few more goodies: there is an art gallery on top of the Grand Arch la Defence, and a giant 'thumb' statue near it--great photo opportunity. In nice weather, some Parisian young men (good eye candy) can be found on the bridge to the east of Notre Dame--rollerblading through a 'cup' obstacle course. While you're there, view Notre Dame from the BACK--much more impressive than the front. Occasionally there are musicians on the back bridge near ND--older people, and great music.
moondoggie is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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I've been on a couple of bateaux mouches rides at night and noticed on alopng the Left Bank...people salsa dancing...bit of investigation found this:

Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air
Quai Bernard

It's not as much a museum as a bunch of contemporary art sculptures all in one area (a square on the banks of the Seine). It's not much of an attraction, but for fans of contemporary art it may be interesting. In any case it's free and always open!

On the Town
From spring through early fall, every evening when it gets dark the concrete amphitheaters along the edge of the water below the sculpture museum become informal dance floors, with locals doing tango, salsa, or swing (a hat is passed to donate for the sound system). It's fun to watch or participate.

Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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On the Quai Saint Bernard, it is not salsa dancing -- it is outdoor tango.
kerouac is online now  
Jul 10th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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It's little things like this that makes Paris so special...

Another atypical (sort of) thing to do is to go see a movie. There are some nice older venues around (there is another post on this forum about these).
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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Visit the Museum of French Monuments, which has replicas that you can touch. It's not well known, although it has a special affinity for the blind and for children.

What about the Bois de Boulogne and the Batgatelle?
Underhill is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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Wow, Thanks for some great suggestions here. Certainly enough ideas so my husband can't give me any, Been there done that, complaints. He just hasn't fallen completely under the spell of Paris yet but I have eternal hope Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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Not sure if this has been hit yet, but we always take a day & go out to St. Germain-en-Laye & hang out at the park & wander. It is right on the RER line.
SAnParis is offline  
Aug 16th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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I'm not sure when you are going or what is "atypical" for you, but be sure to check out: for something new every day to see in Paris. He also has a photo and caption about the new museum here:

Hope that helps!
parismec is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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ripit is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 04:23 AM
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Bookmarking! 12 Days till Paris!!!

monicapileggi is offline  

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