December 8, 2005 2:25 AM | By Adam Roberts | 30 Comments

Paris in ONE WEEK

It boggles the mind to think that one week from today--at this very moment--I will be on a plane to Paris. This is probably the most spontaneous, independent trip I've ever taken. I wish I had time to plan more, to research everything, but this is also my last week of school for the semester. I hand everything in Tuesday and leave Wednesday. Stress! Stress! Stress!

Today I purchased Adam Gopnik's "From Paris to the Moon" which I plan to read in the next seven days. I also bought Hemingway's "A Movable Feast" and the Michelin Green Guide to Paris. Does anyone have any other books they recommend or ways to prepare before departure? I think I need to buy plug adaptors.

Also: I had a few e-mails from people living in Paris who want to meet me. That might be lots of fun---I'm just ignorant right now as to where I'll be, how I'll be reachable, what I'll be doing each day. My suggestion is this: if you live in Paris and you'd like to meet me, even if you e-mailed me about it, just leave a comment below. I'll send all Parisian responders a mass e-mail and maybe we can work out amongst ourselves a place and a time for us to all get together. Then you can teach me everything you know about Paris and I can teach you everything I know about America by choreographing you all in "America" from West Side Story. Bring your maracas.

30 Comments

Where do I begin....
First of all I want to be a Jett or maybe Maria. I've got 2 and a half sets of maracas.

Second I have hesitated in letting you know that I would like to meet you when you are here - didn't want to sound like a weird stalker - didn't want to make you feel pulled in many directions. To make sure that I am "safe", you can check with Clotilde, David L., Meg, etc.! Anyway I would really love to meet you - perhaps I can help organize a group meet?

Being an American, and living here in Paris and having read many of the "American in Paris" books; for a trip such as yours, I wouldn't make Adam Gopnik's book a priority. Michelin's Green Guide is good and I got/get a lot out of Savoir Flair by Polly Platt. Among all the stuff for how to enjoy Paris as a tourist, there are walking tours laid out for many different tastes and time frames, and a good general knowledge of how things work here.

Everybody does Paris in their own way, but walking and getting lost with no particular agenda is by far the best way to experience this beautiful city.

And I am happy to help you with anything else you might need while you are here. I figure for all the enjoyment I get out of your blog, I owe you!!!

À bientôt!
Alisa

Get the Paris Zagats.

When I was in Paris last summer, we ate at Chez Catherine, which was totally delicious and really fun. It didn't feel like a traditional Parisian restaurant, but the food was great. I got the recommendation from Clotilde's website, and it was just lovely. Have a great time!

Gopnik edited a book called "Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology." It may be worth looking into for the trip.

I recommend what alisa says: "walking and getting lost with no particular agenda is by far the best way to experience this beautiful city." My first time in Paris, that was how I experienced things I doubt I would have found on the Champs-Elysees. Trying to find the cheap tourist hotel and encountering the Chinatown of Paris where they were playing Mahjong and yelling in an odd mix of French and Chinese. Or walking back from the bistro and encountering North African street woman of ancient years with what looked like tribal tattoos up both her forearms. Ahh... that is the Paris of my first visit.

I hope you find those kind of memories on your visit.

I havent been to Paris for twenty years, but one afternoon we walked to the tip of the Isle de la cite where it meets islede st. louis. at the tip there is a very small memorial to the victims of the holocaust. it is down a flight of stairs and i thought it was incredible. then cross over the river, take in the picasso museum, and have lunch a jo goldenbergs deli. a great afternoon adventure.

Ok, I'll be a voice of reason and vouch for Alisa that she isnt crazy or a stalker. She's fiesty and loveable but not crazy.. even though she kind of just pimped herself out. Just kidding Alisa! In any case, Mr. Lebovitz will tell you that Alisa and I can be very entertaining. I mean she's American, and I'm Canadian. This fact alone provides hours of comedy.
Hope to see you in Paris!

A great companion read to "A Moveable Feast" is Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer." I can't think of a more starkly contrasting study of an expatriate artist's life in Paris. Have a wonderful time, a bientot!

I'll third Alisa's suggestion of just walking and getting "lost". I spent a month in Paris and that's all I ever did. It was wonderful because I saw daily life as a Parisian, rather than being shoved by testy tourists all clamoring to get to the next site on their maps.

My only suggestion would be to always take a daily break at a cafe, enjoy an expresso (or another drink that tickles your fancy) and people watch-it seems to the be the local "sport" in Paris.

You like duck. Go to La Cote Sud Ouest (Louis Blanc metro). You'll thank me. Oh, and Montorgueil, too.

I've got some friends that would probably love to show you around, if you need more contacts.

Have a blast!

Especially since you love food so much, pick up anything of the late American writer M.F.K. Fisher. A native of California, she and her husband traveled and lived extensively in France during the thirties and forties and her descriptions of meals in out of the way bistros are beautiful and amazing.

Long time lurker, first time poster... ;-)

My best meal in Paris (and this includes my very indulgent Michelin 3 star meal) was at a place I can only remember as "the duck restaurant." It's relatively near the Opera, and serves nothin' but duck. The French fries are fried in duck fat and are amazing. The duck breast is incredible. Even my husband loved it, and he's not into duck. I think it's in the 15th Arr, and it's really inexpensive, too! If someone knows the actual name of it, please list it here.

Enjoy. I'll look forwawrd to your report.

this..im sure you already know- but the barefoot in paris cookbook has a great section on "visiting paris" which includes her favorite shops and markets. I wish I had read it before I visited Paris last thanksgiving....have fun and good luck with the metro!

Someone suggested I buy Marco Polo tea at Mariage Freres when I went to Paris last summer, so I did, and it was delicious (especially for black tea lovers). I went to the tea shop in the Marais, where there were lots of tourists shopping, but that was OK with me. I think the MF tea room would be a fine place to eat a pastry and drink a cup of tea this time of year, but if it's too pricey ("let them eat cake!") just buy some loose tea to bring home. Then when you finish drinking it you'll have the tin to remind you of your trip. Have fun!

The Timeout:Paris magazine has current information on activities/restaurants. "Food Lovers Guide to Paris" is a decent intro book but could use an update. Be prepared to alter plans on any given day due to strikes.

I second the idea of skipping "Paris to the Moon" (read it after). Bring Savoir Flair by Polly Platt or read it before you go.

Take the metro, buy a carnet (10 tickets) and don't wear yourself out walking too much the first few days (said from experience).

I love the Falafal Especial at L'As du Fallafel, 34 Rue des Rosiers if you find yourself in the Marais area.

Put me on the "Lives-in-Paris" mass email list. I'd love to catch up with you when you are here.

Bring your umbrella.

I might be in Paris at that time too- visiting from Lyon. Can I be on the list?

How exciting for you! I lived in Paris for quite a while, and it is the most wonderful city...Since you're going around Christmas time, you'll have to take a walk near the Galeries Layfayette--they do amazing lights and window displays for the children at Christmas time.

As for reading, you should take all of the suggested books, for sure, but I found that "Me Talk Pretty One Day" was the perfect thing to be reading as a foreigner in a new place.

As for eating, I have a cute gay friend who used to be personal chef to Sade and Chakka Khan, who just opened up a restaurant in Paris. If you're looking for something newer and hipper (and probably cheaper) than places you've heard about, you should check it out (Eric is an AMAZING chef). The place is called "La Puce", at 17 rue ernest renan 93400 St Ouen 01.40.12.63.75. Closes Sundays. St. Ouen is just outside the peripherique of Paris, but it's on line 13 of the metro, and isn't too far from Montmartre, if you happen to get touristy in that area.

Hope you have an amazing time! Enjoy Paris!

Read Adam Gopnik, it's a great book. Get Patricia Wells Food Lovers Guide to Paris.
Have a great trip!

Not sure if you know, but the o.k. sign isn't the same in France as it is here. It's bad. Use the thumbs-up sign instead if you're the kind of person to use hand gestures.
Also, I lived in Southern France for a while (Valence), so if you ever get a chance to go to again, I recommend that region. It is very beautiful and very different world from Paris. Ayez de grandes vacances!

Frommer's Paris on $85 a day (or whatever the budget price is these days) had nice budget-ish recommendations.

Go to the Rue de Rosiers for Falafel at L'As du Falafel, as others have recommended, after visiting the Musee de Picasso. It's not the best selection of the works, but it is the widest, and gave (me, at least) a new appreciation for his versatility. Have the prix fixe lunch at Ma Bourgogne before or after visiting Victor Hugo's house across the square-- the food's (more) expensive, but worth every penny. The salad with the toasted goat cheese discs is the preeminent example of its kind. We loved the Breton crepes and cider at Le Creperie du Clown in the Latin Quarter-- cheesy digs, budget prices, awesome dinner and dessert crepes, with authentic cider in authentic pottery mugs.

I also had a great lunch at Aux Petit Carreaux-- no idea if it's still there, but the duck confit leg was wonderful.

For smaller museums that are a nice change from the mobs, there's a museum of chinese antiquities out in one of the neighborhoods that has some wonderful ceramics-- vases and cups and horse statues, etc., if you're into that kind of thing.

And, finally, though we thoughtlessly went on a Friday, when it's closed, the restaurant at the grand mosque is supposed to have wonderful couscous, moroccan-tea, etc. We tried to go after a long walk "up the block" to the Islamic Institute's museum (on the bank at the far end of the Ile de la Cite? if the Eiffel Tower is to your left)-- and they, too, have a cafe/resto that is supposed to be good, esp. for tagines, and at the time was open only for dinner.

I have a friend who lives in Lyon, but was recently on a trip to Paris with her mother. They went for gelato at a specific shop, but it was closed, walked around the corner and found a place with great sweets and a little stlye; they shape the gelato into a flower. Pretty and yummy.
Here's a link to the picture
http://ginalouise.blogspot.com/2005/11/mom-again-at-amorino-best-glace-ever.html

Adam I wrote you a little article on where I would go to in Paris now- check it out on givemesomefood!

What on earth!!?! How many times do I have to profess undying love for your website. I should just marry the IP by now.

Anyways, yeah, I'm from Paris and I would like to be part of the meet-up. Count me in and sign me up.. But, I really hope you're as funny in real life as you are on page. I'm warning you... you've set the bar rather high.

Well, print out the "My Paris is better than yours" article by Clotilde Dusoulier on her ChocolateandZucchini blog and take it with you. See if you can get your hands on a copy of "Paris in a Basket"-Markets-the food and the people by Nicolle Aimee Meyer & Amanda Pilar Smith and xerox the Market Schedule and Addresses pp338-341 and take it with you. The markets are the best part of Paris and will keep you happy and busy and fed all week..this is a great book!! Please go to Poujauran on the rue Jean-Nicot in the 7eme[closed Sun&Mon]for the best croissants, pain au raisin etc..and dine at Le Florimond, 19 avenue de La Motte-Piquet, in the 7eme..Paupiette de Veau en Cocotte..Superbe! The menu is 33.50euro and a tiny, overlooked jewel of a place!! Bon Voyage!!!

i dony know what a url is?

i dony know what a url is?

hi i don't know what this is about so the best place in t&t is porbably mario's or subway although i've never eaten there but i'd like that some day,but i really need is a pen pal

hi i don't know what this is about so the best place in t&t is porbably mario's or subway although i've never eaten there but i'd like that some day,but i really need is a pen pal

Sign Up for the Amateur Gourmet Email Newsletter:

Follow Me: