Walk down the streets, enjoy...
Walk down the streets, enjoy the gardens, have a coffee, visit the museums: Louvre, D'Orsay, Picasso... Go to Montmartre, Les Marais and Quartier Latin. Visit the cementeries and of course see Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. A beatiful city but full of history and life. I really enjoyed Paris with my friends and I would like to come back one day.
Dusk settles in at the Tuilleries
first of all, stay in a hotel in the 1st arr, near the Louvre and the Tuilleries Gardens. Then be walking back to your place just as the waning sun is casting its last golden pinky rays across the *ciel*...the resulting display of painterly colors behind the Tuilleries ferris wheel...aaaah, can one describe this as *romantic*? I think so...
Attend A Church Service
We were walking on rue Bellechasse and then turned down a few side streets. Unbeknownst to us at the time there is a beautiful church called St. Clotilde on rue St. Dominique.
We opened the door and mass was just beginning. Before we could close it a little neigborhood boy rushed in with his scooter. Apparently he was in a hurry to get there. Not sure where his parents were, but he wanted to attend the mass.
My French is pathetic, to say...
My French is pathetic, to say the least. But it got me through both Geneva and Paris, so I guess the standard advice would be to attempt to speak the language even if you can only manage to squeak out 'Bonjour' or 'Merci.' (I couldnt even manage Je ne parle pas le francais) I found that a little effort went a long, long way, and my feeble attempts put me in good graces (even with the notoriously snobbish Parisians). The only problem is when they start talking back at you in machine-gun French...(but then again, once you've made the initial effort, they'll be glad to oblige you in English).
QUARTIER DENFERT ROCHEREAU
This is my neighborhood. I have lived here off and off for almost two years. I love it. It is named after General Pierre Denfert-Rochereau of the 19th century, who, during the Franco-Prussian war, led the resistance of Belfort against the seige. Prior to the present name, it was, coincidentally, called Place d'Enfer. The place is easily recognizable by the giant Lion of Belfort in the center, a copy of the one in Belfort.
A friend, who has lived in this quartier for many years, told me that it was at one time a working class neighborhood, but now it is being elevated and the rent for a five bedroom apartment in a Hausemann style building goes for about $4000 a month and that's without a doorman.
Though it seems out of the way, it really is not. It is directly out Blvd St. Michele past Jardin du Luxembourg and Porte Royal. You can actually walk there from Notre Dame. I have done it many times. But if you don't feel like walking, take the RER B, or subway lines 4 and 6. You can also get bus #38 or #68. It would be a very lovely place to stay for your time in Paris. It is away from the hordes of tourists in an actual neighborhood. You will be able to mingle peacefully among the Parisians. It is quiet at night and lively during the day. There is a wonderful street called Rue Daguerre with fromageries, wine caves, boucheries, as well as quite a few brasseries, cafés and restaurants. And then of course there is MacDonalds.
When you see the Lion you will know you are there