When I was younger, 11 years ago, before I begin my travel-like-there-is-no-tomorrow job, Paris is the city that I always want to visit. It’s the most romantic city, as I was told. The history, the architecture, the culture, and especially the language will make you feel like the sweetest donuts top with crusted honey crystals and caramelized sugars.

I need to find out what it is that is better than Dunkin Donuts or what it is that makes my hair stand at the mere sound of the word “Pa-ri” (that’s how the French pronounces it ? No ? ) This post is going to be a little longer than expected, bear with me.

Eiffel Tower or pronounced “Eh-Fhel” Tower. A gigantic steel structure who probably feeling most sick of having to pose for thousands of pictures, every single day.

The ticket counter you see above was not in operation but if you swing around to the other side, there are millions standing in line. Go early, I was there 1 hour before the opening and I could see many with their croissants and coffee in hand, already in queue !!!

Bird was there the whole time, You Jump, I Jump.  It was raining the whole day I was there. Damper.

The amazing thing about this city is it is not as big as you think it is.  The complicated subway/metro map makes the city looks bigger.

Took me less than 30 mins to walk to Champ Elysee from “Eh-Fhel”. Risked my life standing in the middle of the road to take this pic.

Or you can join tens of these people with their cameras at the side of the road trying to find the best view / shot. They took like hundreds of clicks and still not looking very pleased with their pictures. I think a symmetrical central shot is the best. No ?

Had to take a picture of this. It’s a Church or Temple to some of my friends. Why ? Because they have to visit at least one in every city, give a “donation” and walk away comforted and please with themselves. No offense to any religion, its just a metaphor to bring out what I feel best describes the process towards owning a Louis Vuitton Bag.

Continuing my walk to Opera, this bird threatened to give me a hug in its never-washed-in-hundred-years feathers if I don’t give it Eur 1. I relented.

Galeries Lafayette has got be the densest area per square foot in the whole of Pa-Ri. Had my early lunch there. Mark asked me if I finished this all by myself. Yes !! The Gillardeaus, the metallic tasting Belons oysters………oh ! I feel so French 🙂

Its off to the markets of Place D’Aligre.  I love places like this. Food, everyday people, old toys, useless items(the used iron crock pot cost Eur5), antiques. Its all starting to come to me how one can fall in love with Paris.  http://20littlecities.com/ gave a good description of what to do here, check out her blog if you need more information.

Just next to the square is the Marche Couvert Beauvau. Freshly made sausages hanging off the wall, looks yummy.…I must have some !! And of course the eat-too-much-and-your-pee-smells-like-asparagus thingy. Darn, my vocab is kind of limited.

Jacques Genin is famous for his chocolates and caramels. An American lady I met there says she visits this place every other week to have its Éclairs and Mango Passion Caramels.  She looked genuinely excited and pleased with her words. She was right.  They are wonderful!  I came out of the place feeling very happy for myself.  It was like being lost in wonderland for 30 mins with no worries. When I left, I had a smile like the Joker from the movie Batman, even after I realized that I have spent EUR120 on chocolates. Paris, Paris, Paris. 🙂

The famous Du Pain et Des Idees. There is a perpetual queue at this place. I understood why when I stood under the exhaust outlet for 5 mins. Bread never smelt this good.  Good enough to hypnotize me to decide to step in and buy something. 🙂 I bought 2 huge loaves the size of a backpack. What am I going to do with these !!

In the short hours that I was there, I begin to understand the charms of the city. Its about discovering the little niche places that you can tell your friends about. To people watch along the cafes. To take your time to see what’s happening around you, nothing rushed. It’s about the little time you managed to squeeze in with your love ones at places like these. Yes, I know every city has them but Paris has them all, concentrated in the few square kilometers.

City of Love it is 🙂

Why do i sound like a grumpy smurf right at the start? Well….i was alone……. 🙂

Written by urbanarchiver

Curious about things around me, interested in photography, likes to eat, read comics, cut out newspaper articles, me travel a lot, like to crack lousy jokes, likes to be alone, trying to run a mile in 20 mins, hate chill peppers, crazy for fashion, not enough money, has a Leica, like contradictions.

22 comments

  1. I grew up in Paris and you definitly managed to make me miss it! Bravo for the photos, you really managed to grasp the parisian atmosphere… and some of the places you mention are really difficult to find for non-parisians… a extra tip, if you pass by Place d’Aligre again, go to the “Baron Rouge”… a little authentic bar where they serve fresh oysters and wine from the barrel! Really worth it!

    1. Glad that the pictures brought back nice memories for you, where are you living in now ?

      arghh, Fresh oysters !! am sure i get it 50% cheaper at Place D’Aligre than at Lafayette. I will be back in 2 months time and I will pay Baron Rouge a visit 🙂 if you have any other places to recommend, let me know too 🙂

      1. I live in Italy… Just moved from Milan to Florence. But my job is to give advice to people about european cities! Anyway, about the Baron Rouge, I mean that you can have them right there, on a barrel while you’re having your wine and a great parisian conversation… it’s one of my favorite spots in Paris and since you mentioned Place d’Aligre, I though you deserve to learn about the Baron Rouge… http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d782199-Reviews-Le_baron_rouge-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

        Other places… like this, spontaneously, not too far is the “Cafe de l’Industrie” but more expensive and a totally different atosphere… a bit colonial?… But you may still like it if I understood your style… let me know! http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d781972-Reviews-Cafe_de_l_Industrie-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

  2. Fab post! I think you captured the great Paris feel with your photos. I haven’t been to Paris in 15 years. Now I really want to go back soon. 🙂

  3. Hello, achiever,

    Well, you had a grand time taking pics. Love your long story, felt like I took a walk around the city with you, haha… You took the city with you to show to us, huh?! You’ve been working too much, though… ^^

    Next time you go to Paris, bring along someone. Ahaha, enjoy the city of love better, I guess. ^_^
    Cheers! 🙂

    1. I have more pics but i thought it will be an overkill. Visited the shops that sells kitchen equipmet, tried to locate more chocolate shops too. Good that you like my pictures 🙂 and yes, paris is best enjoyed for two. The rain made me felt worse……

  4. oh my god… i love all things french to the core… quite cliched perhaps but i so do. visiting Pa-ri has been a dream. Now I ve a sudden urge to make it happen soon! thanks for the lovely view from your lens!

  5. I went to Paris for the first time last year. Loved it and hope to go back again soon. Fabulous photos, as always! Thank you for sharing! – debbi

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