Paris Travel Notes (July 1999)

Paris was the first foreign city that I encountered that I felt I could actually live in. Even as a callow youth of 21, in 1982, I knew enough to schedule two full weeks out of my graduation-summer world tour for Paris, living in a bare room in an empty dorm of the Cite Universitaire for thirty-two francs per night. I have been back several times since, with partner and then with tots. The kids, though, did not remember anything of Paris, and in trying to plan a French vacation during school vacation, it seemed sensible to concentrate on a city large enough to absorb its tourists with little effort.

This is an account of fifteen days spent in Paris in the summer of 1999. It is meant mostly as a record of our own memories and reflects our own peculiar priorities, but others might find it amusing or even useful. Except for one brief foray on foot into the Bois de Vincennes, we did not leave the Paris municipal boundaries. Our children were six (A) and four (Z) respectively at the time. For ease of text transmission in different formats, I have left all accents off French words; hopefully, this will not confuse anyone.

Books consulted for this trip include the Rough Guide to Paris (1999 edition), the Cadogan Guide to Paris (1997 edition, by the incomparable Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls), the Eyewitness Guide to Paris (mostly for the kids, as it has nice pictures), the Guide Routard for Paris (1998-99 edition, in French, of course), and the Food Lover's Guide to Paris (by Patricia Wells, fourth edition, 1999).

The text totals about 22,000 words, split up into days. Notes were taken on site with an upgraded Newton 2000 and portable keyboard; minimal HTML conversion was done by hand. There are no pictures.

Here's the beginning.

Here are the individual day links.

July 2: arrival, Butte-aux-Cailles, Notre-Dame, Stravinsky fountain.

July 3: Eiffel Tower, Thoumieux, Champs de Mars, the Marais.

July 4: Louvre, 1st arrondissement, Palais Royal, rue Tolbiac.

July 5: Jardin des Plantes, Grande Gallerie de l'Evolution, Quartier Latin, Montparnasse, Parc de Choisy, Baracane.

July 6: Bastille, Marche d'Aligre, Promenade Plantee, avenue Daumesnil, 11th arrondissement, Astier, 17th arrondissement, Musee Jacquemart-Andre, rue Poncelet market, Alleosse.

July 7: Bassin de la Villette, Canal de l'Ourcq, Parc de la Villette, Cafe de la Musique, Musee de la Musique, Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, Stohrer.

July 8: Tuileries, Orangerie, Monet exhibition, rue Royale, Meteor line, parc de Bercy, L'Oulette, Bibliotheque Nationale, rue Tolbiac.

July 9: rue Auguste-Blanqui market, Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur, Goutte d'Or, Stalingrad, Bassin de la Villette, Rendez-Vous des Quais, the Marais, Musee Picasso, rue St-Antoine, Butte-aux-Cailles.

July 10: Chateau de la Reine Blanche, rue Mouffetard market, Arenes de Lutece, boulevard Saint-Germain, Hotel de Ville, Ambassade d'Auvergne, the Marais, Parc Andre-Citroen.

July 11: Musee d'Orsay, Odeon, Bouillon Racine, Jardin de Luxembourg, Belleville, Lao-Siam.

July 12: Notre-Dame, Ste-Chapelle, Bastille, rue Charonne, Le Zygotissoire, Louvre.

July 13: Jussieu, Pont de l'Alma, Musee d'Art Moderne, rue Cherche-Midi, Le Nemrod, Au Bon Marche, Poilane, street party in Place de la Bastille.

July 14: rue Daumesnil, Musee des Arts Africains et Oceaniens, Porte Doree, Bois de Vincennes, Parc Floral de Paris.

July 15: Centre George Pompidou, Robert Delaunay exhibition, Astier, the Marais, Musee Carnavalet, Bastille, the 13th arrondissement, Cite Floreale, Butte-aux-Cailles.

July 16: 19th arrondissement, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Place de Rhin et Danube, Le Restaurant d'Eric Frechon, EOLE RER, Printemps, Galerie Lafayette, La Defense, La Grande Arche.

July 17: Departure.