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Paris: The So-Called "Offbeat"

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Jun 12th, 2016, 04:34 AM
  #1
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Paris: The So-Called "Offbeat"

Yesterday we spontaneously decided to ditch Dijon in favor of Paris for three nights next month.

We'll train from Zurich and have already secured opera tickets at the Bastille ("Aida" again but what can you do?).

What to do? This time, Mr. Excitement wants to visit the Miraculous Medal shrine (it's personal, believe me) and as much as I'd like to go I think we'll skip the Louvre and the mob scene (I wish you could go in about 9 PM and be alone but anyway). And also, this time, I'm determined to actually get to Sacre Coeur.

Wandering the Tuilleries perhaps? I assume that canal that was drained has now been refilled. I always wanted to do that crazy Metro tour that goes to abandoned, or whatever they are, stations but perhaps that was a fantasy.

Not really into cemeteries.

Perhaps I am simply musing for my own enjoyment this morning but if anything "unusual" that you enjoyed in Paris comes to mind I'm interested.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 05:04 AM
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How about a visit to "Grand Train"? It's open Wednesday through Sunday until October 16th.

http://tinyurl.com/grandtrain
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Jun 12th, 2016, 05:27 AM
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the miraculous shrine is la chapelle de la médaille miracleuse on rue du Bac I suppose ?
http://www.medaille-miraculeuse.fr/c...le-miraculeuse
If so be sure you go there to pray or comune with the people there, the building in itself is uniteresting.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 05:29 AM
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"Hipsters and bobos require organic markets at all times."

Isn't that the truth?

I am delighted you responded because when I wrote the original message above I was thinking I should probably go to the Any Port site and search so thanks for being here and responding.

It looks like the perfect thing. We will be staying near Vendome so what is the best way to find this place? Metro? Bus?
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Jun 12th, 2016, 05:38 AM
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Have you been to Père Lachaise? Not exactly offbeat, but always interesting. And yes, it's a cemetery, so maybe you don't want that. How about the Belleville market and just wandering around Belleville Parc with its spectacular views of Paris, and lunch at one of the spectacular Asian places in the neighborhood. Been out to the Albert-Kahn museum and gardens in Boulogne-Billancourt? Been to all the galleries and music venues in Ménilmontant? Take the métro to Ménilmontant and walk from there through all the ethnic shops and neighborhoods down to the Canal Martin and have a drink or lunch at the scruffy-looking but wonderful Chez Prune. The avenue des Pyramides? (my favorite street in Paris). Saint-Denis? Lunch at La Maison de Fournaise on the Ile des Impressionistes? One of the guingettes? Auvers-sur-Oise?

Sacré-Coeur, btw, is always a let-down for me. OK from the outside, and ocasionally a nice exhibit inside, but the interior is a dreary mess, IMO.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 06:13 AM
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The view from the Sacré Coeur is great.

And last time we had a drink we were next to Michou, a legend there... It was fun because the guy is quite nce and plays along with tourists asking to be photgraphed with him, and he always has a nice word.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 06:16 AM
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Re Grand Train getting there: never mind, I Googled it.

St. Cirq: thanks for all your recs as they really do seem promising (and thanks also for the mention of Sacre Coeur which I would hate to reach and think, "Why the hell...?").

Whathello: I am starting to think the view may be the best part about it.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 07:47 AM
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The Shrine is next door to Bon Marche.

Let Mr Excitement spend all the time he wants. There is plenty for you to do!
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Jun 12th, 2016, 08:25 AM
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Oh, I will undoubtedly go inside along with him since I find these places interesting if for no other reason than historical purposes. I enjoyed the Anglican shrine at Walsingham, the church hosting the Infant of Prague (which was rather remarkably low key IMO) as well as our two visits to Lourdes and then there are all of those "lorettos" scattered about.

Now, if somehow Mr Excitement starts talking about having some sort of conversation with Catherine Laboure I am going to have to re-think this.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 08:30 AM
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Some people consider the Grande Epicerie next to the chapel to be a shrine.

Meanwhile the chapel of Saint Vincent de Paul is only a block away from the médaille miraculeuse and it would be a mortal sin to go to one without going to the other.

http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com...g-saints-paris

In other suggestions: I quite like the canal boat ride on a sunny day. http://www.canauxrama.com/en/

Some people find it boring, especially after going through the 3rd or 4th lock (locks require a bit of patience), but I think it is a charming trip. Going from Bastille to La Villette also allows you to discover totally different parts of Paris that most visitors never see.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 08:39 AM
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Regarding the Albert-Kahn Museum & Gardens, on a recent visit the Japanese Garden & Village were closed for renovation, still worthwhile but something of a disappointment in that regard. If you decide to go you might call ahead to find out what's happening as it appears to be an ongoing "reorganization" of the whole place.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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You might also want to walk the Promenade Plantée, and maybe check out some of the shops below it. Every time we've gone though, it's been locked off for some reason!
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Jun 12th, 2016, 10:51 AM
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Rats, just lost what I was posting. to continue...

We took the boat tour up the Canal St Martin from Bastille [the same one mentioned by Kerouac?] and liked that a lot; beforehand we had a quick lunch in a nice cafe nearby where it was the Madame's birthday and the patrons were bringing her little presents, which was charming.

We also liked Sacre Coeur perhaps because DH had been there with a school trip when he was 14 but not since despite numerous visits to Paris, or perhaps because there was a choir singing and perhaps because of the wonderful cheese shop we found walking down to the main street below. Afterwards we had lunch near a french family where the children were eating exactly the same things as their parents and the father had an instrument case with him; later on we spotted him busking on the metro.

So even more plebeian activities in Paris can have their attractions.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 11:43 AM
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I would like to thank each and every one of you for posting these recommendations because they all seem worthwhile. I have nothing against some of the more "well-known" attractions and I still believe there is a reason, and usually a good one, why people flock to certain places.

But our three-night stay needs to be very relaxed and not filled with any sort of compulsion and even though you supposedly can never get enough of places like that largest palace in Europe and its contents, actually you can.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 12:11 PM
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Kerouac, Thanks for the Grand Train photos. My dad would have loved it.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 12:31 PM
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On my last visit, I really enjoyed the Musee des Arts Forains, the museum of carnival arts. It features a private collection of wonderful vintage carnival attractions in the old wine warehouses in Bercy. By reservation only for guided tours.

http://www.arts-forains.com/index_anglais.php
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Jun 12th, 2016, 12:58 PM
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I love that place, but for a very short visit I don't think that I would want to make any reservations ahead of time. So many things can change (and I am not even talking about strikes).

I have never understood advance reservations for the Eiffel Tower which only ensure that there will be plenty of tourists even on a foul and foggy day because they paid for it ahead of time and lost their gamble.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 02:29 PM
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I hope you reconsider the Louvre. The magnificent building holds some of the most notable masters of the world. Unforgettable!
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Jun 12th, 2016, 02:47 PM
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Thank you, but I doubt I will reconsider the Louvre. I am, as I perhaps failed to point out, very familiar with its contents. I simply wish to do other things besides visit the Louvre, given the usual mass of visitors, on this short stay in Paris.
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Jun 12th, 2016, 03:56 PM
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Join with others recommending the canal tour .
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