(Paris) — It’s a river, so nothing ever gets old. The scenery floats by. And the light changes by the hour. Instead of taking a nap, start around dusk, when the grey Paris skies turn pink and the lights come up. Get down on the water, it’s almost your very own Paris.
(Paris) — Right on the north tip of Ile Saint-Louis are four restaurants all together. And to me, the Cafe St Regis is about as perfect of an incarnation of a classic brasseries. Subway tile, cool lights, snoof waiters, beer and big windows to watch Paris go by. This is so perfect, it looks like Keith McNally made it. I’m sure they get a lot of tourists, but don’t act like one and they treat you right. Here’s what all the cranks on Trip Advisor say. Tartare, please. View Larger Map
Here’s a great great blog I subscribe to called HiP Paris blog. And there’s a great post on The Best Places To People Watch in Paris. Check it out.
(Paris) — I remember during my first backpacking trips in France in college and every town we’d pull up to had a glorious building right in the middle of town. My buddies and I would remark: “Man, that Hotel de Ville chain has some really fancy hotels…and they’re all over!” Took us a while to figure out that every town has one…a City Hall. Paris has one of the best, a perfect square for events, protests, beheadings, and spectacles going year ’round. Just don’t ask if they have any rooms.
(Paris) — One of Paris’ booming neighborhoods is the Canal Saint-Martin. You can’t miss it on the map, it’s the big gash right over there on the right. Go for a mid-day stroll, up and down the foot bridges. I was there in November, but I hear it’s jammed with sunbathers and walkers during the summer. Stop for lunch at the Hotel du Nord, extra cool little boutique hotel and restaurant. Some great small shops and cafes. Or pack a lunch, sit and watch the scruffy world go. Here’s a great article in Conde Nast Traveler. Last visited: November 2011
(Paris) — You can go in the day and watch all the walkers, kids and dogs. But I like to sneak into the Jardin des Tuileries at night and walk wide-eyed and watch the silhouettes that change every 50 meters and bring statues to life. Hardly anybody else around but some runners and the occasional dog that scares the heck out of you when he comes up to you out of nowhere.
(Paris) — My Francophile friend Rex turned me onto this great little hip place on Rue Christine, just blocks south of the Seine. Small, casual, affordable. Cool fork. Cool spoon. And some awesome bottles of wine-smoked sea salt on the tables. Simply named Le Christine. Very nice and patient service. Check out this amazing smoked salt, Sel de Chateau.
(Paris) — Most Paris hotel rooms are teeny, most noisy. But my buddy Rex turned me onto Relais Christine. On the Left Bank, but not in it, it is on a quiet street just blocks south of the Seine, the perfect central location to explore the city. Rue Christine extremely quiet, with several great restaurants, on the street — embarrassingly, so, as I hate to ever say “let’s just eat here.” But they are great. The staff is extremely gracious. Great cellar breakfast room. Huge king bed and soundproof windows that, almost like a sitcom, I opened up once and there was a jackhammer below that I didn’t even know was there. Open: jackhammer. Close: Quiet. Comical. Lots of Americans as guests,which is often a turnoff
(Paris) — In a great location amidst all the glitz of the 8th, Pershing Hall stands out. A beautiful old building, it has been jazzed up with a hip new interior, including one of Paris’ first “living walls”….a vertical garden that dominates the lobby, brings cool fresh air and serves as a dramatic backdrop for the round the clock activities. The bar is also really cool groove spot. Check out the photos on their website (where I got the pics below) to get a real feel for how cool this place is. It’s expensive, but the rooms a sleek and modern and spacious. Pershing Hall website View Larger Map