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Impressing and Surprising a Paris "Expert"

Impressing and Surprising a Paris "Expert"

Mar 21st, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Impressing and Surprising a Paris "Expert"

I'm headed to Paris in a few weeks. My travel partner lived in Paris 15 years ago (has been back several times) and is a total foodie.

While I'm busy creating a list of my personal must-dos (I've never been to Paris), I'd like to come up with a few things that my partner has not done or seen.

Obviously, thousands of restaurants, shops, and a few sights have opened and closed in that time. This is a request for a hodge podge of new/unusual/timely things to do.

If you were to name Paris's top new additions in the last 2-3 years what would you include? A few categories:

Public Spot:

Hopefully this question makes sense and is a little fun to answer. Should it matter, we will be in Paris the third week of April.

I feel I should mention that my partner is a musician as well...it would be fun to wander a music store (instruments) or record shop.
Fraggle is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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artlover is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Hi F,

Musee Quay Branley

Has your TC been to "Le Train Bleu"?

ira is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Ok, this isn't "new", but it certainly qualifies as "unusual" and not something every tourist sees. In fact, it's easy to miss.
It's the public restroom at the Place de la Madeline.
This is not just any old public restroom but one built by the famous "Porcher" ceramic manufacturer in 1905. It harkens back to a much more refined era. It's underground and filled with dark wood paneling, stained glass, beautiful tiles and individual "cabins", each with their own washbasin. Definitely different and unique.
You can see pictures of it on my travelogue:

Afterward you can walk over to the Laduree pastry shop and buy the fabulous, famous "macaron" cookies.
Kristina is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Fraggle, do a little research on the couple of areas of Paris that have (or are) undergoing a regeneration... I believe that the Oberkampf and Canal St Martin areas would qualify, as would the whole new development around Bercy, including a new footbridge between there and Bibliotheque.

Maybe there are some new jazz or music venues that have opened up in the past few years...?

New museum on the Seine, Quai Branley...
Travelnut is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Another option is the newly renovated and reopened Orangerie. It is a fabulous museum.
AGM_Cape_Cod is online now  
Mar 24th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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Go to Bercy Village, the redone area of old wine warehouses now shops and cafes. It's a wonderful example of successful revitalization. And the gardens next door are pretty neat too. Not to mention the very modern new line of the Metro to get there.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 24th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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Many beautiful photos. Thank you for the memories.

I especially like the composition of the first one, Obelisque and Tour Eiffel. It is a classic. I got out my map of Paris so I will know where to stand and take my own photo of these two monuments together.

hopscotch is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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typos at the end.

Enough on this topic. Merci.
Cestlavie is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 01:28 AM
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The most unusually located new club in Paris is the Showcase (www.showcase.fr), which is located INSIDE the Pont Alexandre III (that's the big golden bridge with the statues). Click on the video virtual tour on the website and you will see that Paris is still full of surprises.
kerouac is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:22 AM
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FRAGGLE - If your travel partner is a total foodie this may surprise and delight him/her. I tried to book but it was full so maybe you'll have better luck.

In the 6th book a table for lunch or dinner at Restaurant B.E.P. of the E`cole Ferrandi. They may have moved but my address is 11 Jean Ferrandi. Tel: 01 49 54 29 33 or 01 49 54 28 00.
Metro: St. Placide.

Miles Turner author of Pauper's Paris writes:
"This just has to be the best-kept culinary secret of Paris, according to our friend, Gloria Girton. It's actually the training scool run by the Paris Chamber of Commerce. Thus, the menu is always changing. The table are most attractively set, and we wish that all Paris waiters and waitresses were as nice as the ones training here.
The menu is a pre-fix, and it's a feast. For instance, fish in a sauce of cream, shrimps and mussels: or the best roast beef in France, sliced very thin and served with a marchand de vin sauce and very delicate roasted potatoes.
Other main courses looked equally inviting. After that, you are offered a choice of seasonal salad or an exquisite cheese tray, and then the desert - four courses in all. Crepes Suzette were prepared at the table with great elan, but there were also fresh strawberried, pastries, fresh fruit in eau de vie.
Open from 12.30 to 2.30pm, the B.E.P. seats 40-50 and is open weekends and during student vacations.
tod is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:43 AM
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Thanks for the post Fraggle we will be in Paris for the first time soon..arrive Good Friday.
Have a great time!
RosieinOz is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:51 AM
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You can find a comprehensive review of Bercy Village here :
And I strongly recommend that you visit the Museum of Fairground arts located at Bercy Village.
Anneparis is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Les Ombres, the restaurant on top of the Musée du Quai Branly, is certainly new and certainly surprising. It makes for a very nice lunch experience.
Truffaut is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Anneparis, although I've been to the Bercy Village quite a bit and that's why I suggested it above, I don't have a clue about the Fairground arts museum, nor have I seen it. Is that new? Is it next to the theatres or somewhere else?
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 26th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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It is at the far end, away from the cinema... and one street over in the direction of Bercy Expo. It is not on the pedestrian way.
kerouac is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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bookmarking - thanks for all the great ideas!
Chelsea212 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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merrittm is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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I'll leave the trendy bars, clubs etc. to others (you can read about them in the Nouvel Observateur magazine or places like that, if you really want to brush up on them). Paris Voice is an English-language magazine and might have some of that. Do you know French? If so, there are prlbably quite a few websites where you could find out that type of thing.

In any case, I am an amateur musiciain, I play the piano, and have studied music in Paris and do frequent some music stores there, so I'll comment on that. First, regular music stores for instruments, such as pianos, are nothing any different than anywhere else. Besides, the top pianos aren't French nowadays.

I do usually stop into some sheet music store as music that is only published in France will be cheaper there, and you often have more choice of French composers, in any case. I mainly know the piano literature, though, so it really makes a difference and you haven't even named your partner's instrument. Not a good sign in terms of your music interest... But it makes it more difficult to suggest things as some stores are better at one type of instrument than others, and stores that specialize in pianos usually don't sell other types of instruments (like woodwinds), for example. Stores that specialize in electronic instruments, like guitars/amps, etc., for rock or techno groups aren't going to be selling French horns.

Record stores are record stores, but the big names can be fun if your partner is not a classical musician, you haven't even said which, I suppose. Just go to the Virgin Records or FNAC on the Champs-Elysees, that should do it (or any branch). AS for classical music CDs, no reason at all to go to a record store in Paris for that, it is international and they will cost more there.

There are some special sites one might want to visit for music reasons, but as I said, I mainly know interests to pianists. Your partner probably would know them or have an agenda anyway, if that were really important to him/her (I really this post is intentionally mysterious on these scores, not sure why). Ditto for the stores as a place to look for music, the partner wouldn't need advice from someone who didn't know their particular instrument or even period of music they wanted to play or did the most -- or whether they wanted music for solo instrument, duets, trios, or orchestral scores.

Okay, here are a couple suggestions about the music thing, although obviously, one could always go to a good concert at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees or some place, but that is best left to the person who is the musician to decide what and where they want to go. I know many types of concerts some people might like would not be anything I would care to go to for various reasons, or would not be of the quality or repertoire I would want.

Some unusual thing would be to visit Paris Accordeon in the 14th arrondisement on rue Daguerre, a store dedicated to all things accordion, that's very French. http://www.parisaccordeon.com/

It's an interesting area to walk around, anyway, on rue Daguerre which is a market street, and nearby Montparnasse.

Secondly, I would put the Paris Music Museum (Cite de la Musique complex) on my list of top must-sees in Paris, and that wasn't there 15 years ago (but isn't new in the last 2-3). I think it is one of the best music museums in Europe. It's out near Villette. It does have an excellent bookshop, actually, which includes various musical items of interest (most of the books are in French). They also have concerts out there at times, but I think the music museum and bookshop are the main draws

If your partner is a pianist and you want suggestions for good music stores, let me know.
Christina is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Oh I'm so embarassed; last I checked here I didn't see any replies and I thought I had asked a dumb question! Thank you for coming through for me! I will now digest all your suggestions and will be back (in a moment!) with questions.
Fraggle is offline  

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