Paris can be a tourist haven

Every major city can be a tourist town.  We travel to cities and want to take in the sights.  I mean how many people who live in NYC have actually been to the Empire State Building?  It might be great for the economy but I do try extremely hard to stick to the spots that make me feel like I live there. That means eating at interesting places, walking endlessly, seeing the art museums and galleries and doing the things that I would do in NYC but happen to be in another city.  Yet sometimes, I stumble.

We went to see the Vienne Secession at L’Atelier des Lumières.  It is a new digital art center in Paris located in the 11th Arrondissement.  This first installation is a 30-minute immersion (there are 30-minute entrances all day long) of the history of over 3000 pictures from Klimt to Schiele to Hundertwasser essentially educating the viewers of Austrian artists. 

I have mixed feelings about these installations.  On one hand, I like that people are rethinking interacting with art, and no doubt this is for the Instagram audience and it embraces the masses.  Standing in a room of these many people experiencing this immersive installation feels pedestrian.  Yet more people now know of these amazing artists and that is positive. When you leave the exhibit you can barely move to get through the gift shop so maybe that is good?  I wrote about the coming of these experiences in May as there are certainly more to come in cities around the globe.  

We then began to walk and walk and walk and walk.  I believe we put in over 8.5 miles.  Where we wanted to eat, we couldn’t get in for two hours, so we ended up at Pizza di Loretta.  It was good, not great but they had tables, Coke zeros (a fave of ours in Europe) and high rating on Foursquare (9.2).  We had two types of pizza and just took a breath.

After we walked over to A L’Etoile d’Or.  The first time we went to this candy shop was over a decade ago.  The woman who runs this place has done an incredible job of curating candies from around the globe.  What is most amazing is how much this neighborhood has changed.  When we first came here, the neighborhood was quite gritty and didn’t feel very safe.  Now all the streets are filled with shops, trees, and restaurants.  A totally different place.

We went back to our place for a little rest before heading out again for dinner.  Dinner was at L’Ami Jean, another oldie.  I believe the last time we went there was 15 years ago, and we should have stuck with that.  The food is decent (a steak for two and no fries which is really unacceptable) but everyone is there is American.  The tables are packed together against a banquette so essentially communal eating.  The conversations that took place around us were just not what I wanted to hear.  I wouldn’t want to hear them in NYC and I certainly don’t need to hear them in Paris.  Note to self, never return to L’Ami Jean.  Yikes!

This view is pretty amazing on the way back as we walked through the streets hearing people cheer for France in the World Cup.

We walked past an elegant restaurant that could have easily been on the Upper East Side where many go nightly to have dinner instead of cooking at home.  We had a few drinks and some cheese to close out the evening.  There were peace and quiet with an incredible view and the intoxicating floral smell from the trees across the way was so good that we could have bottled it.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I agree.Sometimes exhibits do that to me. Went to the Bowie exhibit yesterday. I was astounding but crazy crowded and I felt both inspired and anxiously bored by the crowds simultaneously.btw–I downloaded this app Move when I was in LA taking a hike up Topanga and needed to calculate distance to find my way. Never turns off and is cool now and again to see how far/calories/steps/time each segment of your day is. Timeline breaks it down by stops, by bike riding, etc. On as average day in NY I walk between 6-8 miles.

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s impressive. I am using the Google health app

  2. JLM

    .That last picture is a work of art. So well composed in both the foreground and background.Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. Julie Lerner

    I stumbled upon this lovely candy store in the 5th last summer: Yes on too many New Yorkers and yes super easy to walk miles and not even notice. Thankfully, because New Yorkers in Paris gotta eat!