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PARIS - JULY 2014

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34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Situated a block from the Canal St.-Martin in the 10th arrondissement, Du Pain et des Idées is your favorite corner bakery—only better. The owner, Christophe Vasseur, was named best boulanger in Paris in 2008, and for good reason....
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3-5 Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris, France
While wandering the back streets of the fabric district in Monmartre, I came across a delightful notions shops full of every kind of button imaginable. The neighborhood around the base of the Sacré Coeur has many more interesting vintage, sewing...
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2 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
This beautiful courtyard, modern art installations, hundreds of Corinthian columned walkways and perfectly placed fountains and gardens, make the Palais Royal a photographer's playground. Personally, I can never get enough of the reflection...
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Île Saint-Louis, 75004 Paris, France
Just east of the magnificent buttresses of the Cathédrale Notre Dame, across the Pont Saint-Louis, lies an island sanctuary in the middle of this chic, bustling city: Île Saint-Louis. The one-way streets are narrow, with views of the Seine River...
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24 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France
Here at the très chic Boulangerie Fauchon, on the Place de la Madeleine in the heart of Paris, the loaves can look almost too good to eat. In French, the idiomatic equivalent for 'window-shopping' is "leche-vitrine," which literally means...
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25 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France
Most locals point to Breizh Café in the Marais for the city's best crêpes but my loyalties lie with Chez Imogène, a tiny, no-frills restaurant in the 11th arrondissement. Traditional buckwheat galettes and sweet dessert crêpes take pride of place...
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Rue de la Colombe, 75004 Paris, France
My first day in Paris, I was giddy with excitement and lack of sleep. So in the early morning quiet, I stole out of my flat on I'le Saint Louis to explore the empty streets and alleys of I'le de la Cite. With a sense of awe and wonder I meandered...
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53 Quai des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France
If you've ever walked along the banks of the river Seine, you've probably seen long green boxes and their vendors plying souvenirs, postcards and a variety of other knick-knacks. But did you know that these Bouquinistes - all 240+ of them - are...
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134 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, France
Tasting the city's best baguettes is one thing, but wouldn't it also be great to learn how to make them? Award-winning baker Benjamin Turquier, shown, runs the bakery 134 RdT and placed in the top 10 in this year's annual Best Baguette in Paris...
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52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris, France
A boon to taco-starved expats when it opened five years ago, this taqueria-meets-cocktail lounge has been consistently good since day one. Tuck into tacos, tostadas and deliciously chunky guacamole in the narrow taqueria, then head past the...
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Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
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Pont des Arts, 75006 Paris, France
Strolling over the Pont des Arts, in spite of the tourists, and the cliché, bereted accordian player busquing for a Euro... even with the lovers buying locks to place on the fencing, and the nasal wail of the Bateaux Mouches loudspeakers floating...
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75001 Paris, France
Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, contrary to it's name. (Literally, it translates to New Bridge. Neuf in modern French means nine, but in older French it also means new. Nouveau is the translation for new today). During the day, my...
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1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
In the 14th district of Paris are the Catacombs, also known as the underground ossuary (or l'Ossuaire Municipal) where 6 million skeletons are stacked in an orderly fashion and date back several centuries ago. This was done because Paris...
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6 Rue Victor Cousin, 75005 Paris, France
Context Travel offers history, architecture and culinary tours in various European cities. I went on the " foodie" tour that began on a beautiful fall Paris morning in the toney neighborhood of St. Germain- de- Pres by meeting our friendly English...
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261 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris, France
Little needs to be said about Paris's peerless art scene and the iconic museums that greet throngs of visitors each day but we hear very little about spaces like the non profit Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art nestled in the 1'4th...
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6 Rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris, France
Passages were designed in the 19th century to give Parisians protection from muddy streets and horse-drawn vehicles. Some 20 of these covered walkways remain today, including the Passage Verdeau; they are an excellent way to journey back into...
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111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
Walking on Blvd Beaumarchais, you can find some real Parisian gems. One of them is Merci, a well known chic, ethnic concept store, hidden at the back of a courtyard in number 111 of the Boulevard. At the entrance to the store, there is an old red...
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Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France
Wheeled out just over a year ago, Le Camion Qui Fume* is responsible for pioneering the food truck movement in Paris. In a city where burgers of all forms and quality have largely become ubiquitous, it was going to take something special to make...
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Sorbonne, Paris, France
Crossed the Pont de L' Archeveche bridge near Norte Dame in Paris and saw all these love locks. Most of them were fairly run of the mill master locks but saw some very antique locks and shaped like a giant fish.
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32-34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
Located in the Marais, L'As Du Falafel likes to boast about its connection to rocker Lenny Kravitz. Specifically that he has endorsed the falafel sandwich here. You don't need me to tell you this. Just go here: it's posted all over the walls. The...
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99 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Paris, France
Cannot get enough of these old typers. This one was in one of the flea markets in Paris. Wonder what prose was written on this baby?!
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Annecy, France
While it would probably take well over a lifetime to visit all of France's picturesque and welcoming villages, there is, in my opinion, a simple solution to this "problem", if there ever was one. It's called Annecy. And it's wonderful. Sights in...
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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...
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35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
At the summit of Montmartre, the highest point in the city, you'll find the Basilica de Sacré-Cœur. Contrasting with the Gothic churches like Notre-Dame, the Romano-Byzantine architecture is both beautiful inside and out. While...
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7 Rue Drevet, 75018 Paris, France
Within the 18th arrondissement in Paris France, high atop the city, resides the wonderfully beautiful, hilly neighborhood of Montmartre. This diverse and eclectic section of the city can be a bit busy with tourists, but the views of Paris and the...
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Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
When in Paris, of course you must visit the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, and L'Orangerie to see the classics and impressionist masters of Europe. But a trip to France’s capital should not be complete without a stop at the inside out Pompidou modern art...
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6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
For a first-time visitor to Notre Dame, investing in the audio guide is essential to immerse in and understand this overwhelmingly significant Paris icon. There's a lot to see and absorb—history, architecture, artifacts,...
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102 Rue de Provence, 75009 Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower decks and Sacre Coeur Montmartre overlook Paris, but they are so crowded. One has to fight for a picture of the gray rooftops and spires of the Parisian skyline. The rooftop cafe at the Printemps department store in Paris has all...
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37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Located at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, a stone’s throw from the Seine and draped in the shadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France’s national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is...
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75001 Paris, France
From mid-July to mid-August, the banks of the Seine river in Paris begin to resemble the south as 6,000 tons of sand is hauled in for Paris Plage, the capital's makeshift tropical getaway that spans 3 kilometers. Now in its twelfth year, 'Paris...
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St Paul de Vence, France
This is such a quaint little village, I loved exploring it yesterday. Saint Paul de Vence up on the hill.
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1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
Small enough to get around without being overwhelmed, the Musée d'Orsay is a favorite stop in Paris not just for its size but for its collection of impressionist, postimpressionist, and art nouveau art. Perfectly set in the center of the...
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75001 Paris, France
Stand on the the quais beneath the Pont Neuf bridge—the city's oldest crossing of the Seine—and look up. Staring down at you are mascarons, stone faces that resemble gargoyles, but without bodies. No two of these grotesque visages are the same....
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40 Rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009 Paris, France
Near Montmartre this carousel has been enjoyed for generations. The ticket taker to me was an important part of the scene and I seemed to catch him and the carousel at just the right moment.
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Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nothing is a more powerful symbol of the City of Light than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris Exposition, it's one of the world's most-visited monuments, with nearly 7 million people ascending the 1,062-foot...
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Place du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France
The Place du Tertre was made famous by Amelie Poulain a fictional film character who delighted millions about a decade ago. Her home was the neighborhood of Montmartre in Paris. An art market held on the Place du Tertre attracts folks to the area...
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Honfleur, France
No trip to France's Normandy coast is complete without a visit to the charming port of Honfleur. Here you will find Impressionist art, tasty cuisine, and warm hospitality.
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1 Quai Lamennais, 35000 Rennes, France
At first glance, Rennes’ cobblestoned streets and half-timbered homes evoke medieval France. But in the last decade, Brittany’s beautifully preserved capital has evolved into a contemporary cultural center with a packed festival calendar. To...
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Sorbonne, Paris, France
The Seine River runs through the city of Paris and is one of the great historic rivers in Europe. It is and always been Paris' heart. I was staying on the Left Bank in the 6th arrondissement. One morning after my breakfast croissant and bowl of...
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Étretat, France
A small village in Normandy. The rocks inspired Monet and continue to inspire the visitors.
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41 Quai Victor Hugo, 94500 Champigny-sur-Marne, France
La Guinguette de l’Île du Martin-Pêcheur: Live music lures guests to a magical island setting on the Marne. 41 Quai Victor Hugo, Champigny-sur-Marne, 33/(0) 1-49-83-03-02, This appeared in the June/July 2014 issue. Read more about Paris's...
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132-140 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen, France
Marché aux Puces de St.-Ouen, aka Clignancourt, is Europe’s largest flea market and the city’s favorite place to find a bargain. Exiting the metro at Porte de Clignancourt, those in the know pass by the counterfeit...
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5 Avenue des Tilleuls, 14340 Cambremer, France
Beyond its rich history, Normandy is perhaps best known for its local specialties - salted caramel, creamy milk, a variety of pungent cheeses and heady cider. One of the best spots in the region for the latter is at Pierre Huet in Cambremer where...
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Champs-Élysées, Paris, France
“People can either be over-the-top romantic about Paris, or they think life is ridiculous here,” saysDavid Lebovitz.“I try to strike a middle ground.” Lebovitz, an American, worked for 13 years in the pastry department at Chez Panisse in Berkeley,...
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4th arrondissement, 75004 Paris, France
Wandering among the Renaissance buildings in the Marais district in Paris, this courtyard in the 15th-c. Hôtel de Sens gave me one of my favorite visual memories of the city--this corner balcony. You just have to love the irreverance of the...
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17 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France
Serendipitous light on a September afternoon--a rainbow arcing over the Eiffel Tower and ending at the gold dome of L'Église des Invalides in central Paris. (Under that dome, emperor worship continues--Napoléon I lies buried in a...
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3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris, France
Step off the beaten path that leads to Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise and head instead to the lesser-known, yet extraordinary Montparnasse Cemetery. Locals bring metro tickets to leave on Serge Gainsbourg’s grave in...
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19 Avenue de Choisy, 94190 Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France
Guinguette Auvergnate: A jolly, accordion-playing owner serves dishes from his native Auvergne region. 19 Avenue de Choisy, Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, 33/(0) 1-43-89-04-64. This appeared in the June/July 2014 issue. Read more about Paris's...
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11 Place du Forum, 13200 Arles, France
Once known as the Cafe Terrace, this is the place captured so colorfully in Van Gogh's painting of Place du Forum in Arles, in September of 1888. Still in operation today and now named Cafe Van Gogh, it's a lovely little spot to have your espresso...
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Belleville, 75020 Paris, France
In the Belleville neighborhood of Paris, this wall that would otherwise be nondescript brick is covered in unlikely art, with the caveat: "beware of words." A bit of artistic 3-D in the 20th arrondissement, by the artist Benjamin Vautier. (To see...
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Père-Lachaise, 75020 Paris, France
Pere Lachaise has got to be the coolest cemetery in the world. Although that claim is subject to personal opinion it is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris and one of it's oldest (Note that I have also visited Lafayette in New Orleans and...
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23 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
Nemo is one of Paris' most famous "pochoiristes" (stencil artist) known for his mischievous silhouetted characters. He originally started painting these wistful, unlikely scenes around his working class neighborhood of Belleville to greet his kids...
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Rue Denoyez, 75020 Paris, France
The rue Denoyez in the 20th arrondisement, just a block from the Belleville metro station is a haven for street art. Photo : Sylvia Sabes The city supports street art here, so the walls are full of graffiti and store fronts serve as graffiti...
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Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
The Centre Pompidou, France's national museum of modern art, led the way for steel and glass buildings in the 1970s. Now the museum leads the way in modern art with its extraordinary collection, currently the world's second largest....