Do Overs and Other Lists

So, the Paris trip is wrapped. Here’s a list of points for blogging:

  • Navigating Paris in the 21st century (Metro) and in the 19th (arrondissement).
  • Buying metro tickets (3-day x 3 versus 5-day, 3-day, individual rides).
  • A one-destination day (or getting lost on the way home).
  • Learning the Neighborhood.
  • Personal faux pas. (French for French-speaking service personnel).
  • 600 Steps to the Sacre Coeur (and choosing 300 for the partial view).
  • Favorite iconic shots: Sacre Coeur, Eiffel Tower, room with a view.
  • Lunch cruise or the Batobus.
  • Galleries Lafayette, the fashion show is free and so is the beverage.
  • Galleries Lafayette Starbucks, levels, buildings, WC and book views.
  • All roads lead from Hard Rock Café.
  • The Bastille under construction (Marais by accident)
  • Buying airline tickets: an airport to match hotel location.
  • Hotel village near CDG and the black and pink bus routes.
  • Managing the Louvre.
  • Choosing other museums (Paris Pass?)
  • The Trocadero.
  • Bites and brews near Notre Dame.
  • Shakespeare and Company, the Cat.
  • Scenic Paris bus routes – not for hot days.
  • Souvenirs or not.
  • iOS on not seeing.
  • Best of strangers – Starbucks (metro), 50 liter Stella Happy Hours (mom with a view); our little convenience store, hotel clerk, English speaking wait staff (Gorilla),
  • Thank you a good word in complex rebooking and return.
  • Packing and carrying – downsize, launder, metro to the airport.
  • WhatsApp alternative to Social Media and International Sim Card.
  • Age versus Youth; Wealth versus Economy Class.
  • Colored Pencils and Folders, magazines and books (choosing the pastimes)/
  • Sidewalk cafes, happy hour, smokers.
  • Shoes, feet, socks, — sidewalks, steps, bike paths.
  • Those ubiquitous bicycles. Plus motorbikes,
  • Umbrellas and hats. Plus sunscreen.
  • Personal space – economy class, hotel (room, bed, shower), subway.




What you don’t get in Paris

Meriendas (that’s Spain) and high tea (that’s England). One might find both in Paris, but the experience will have been imported.

There is a list of rules that might be of interest.

Here’s one of my favorites, primarily because of the sense of humor the writer uses:

11. Don’t Ask for a Bread Plate

French bread is magnifique, but there are a few points of etiquette to keep in mind when partaking in le pain in France. The first thing that surprises most foreigners is that bread plates aren’t provided at restaurants. Rather than making room for a piece on your entree plate, it is perfectly acceptable to keep your bread on the table beside it. Yup, crumbs and all, right on the tablecloth. You may also be surprised that butter is not usually provided as a bread spread either, except perhaps at breakfast time. Rather than filling on bread before your meal arrives (tempting as that basket may be), it’s best to wait and consume it alongside your meal. Break off little bite-sized pieces to place in your mouth as you eat. Don’t slice off slabs with a knife or munch on a big knob of bread, barbarian-style. Bread is sacred in France, so don’t be an oaf with your loaf.

10.  Greet the shopkeeper!

8th Arrondissement: Foyer de la Madeleine (8 euro lunches)

After having checked the Wikipedia entry for the 8th Arrondissement, I was most interested in the Madeleine church,

  • first, because it looks nothing like the other cathedrals,
  • second, because it was the site of Chopin’s funeral service which was delayed by a political dispute involving whether women could sing in the choir (Mozart’s Requiem), and
  • third, because one of the most affordable lunches in Paris is served here during weekday lunch hours.

And, yes, there are other things to do in the 8th, the busiest place in Paris, with 5-star hotels and business interests, plus the iconic Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe and four or five small museums.


Eating Cheap in Paris

Love the variety at this TripAdvisor forum:

And then a price for cheap:

La Pointe du Grouin. At this restaurant situated next to Chez Casimir, one can get a full lunch with exemplary ingredients for under 10 Euros. It is loud and they love their 90’s grunge rock, but as long as that doesn’t bother you, then look no further for a great deal.

8 Rue de Belzunce, 75010; No telephone


Free! concert in a beautiful building.

book cover Wondered whether I was pleased with this purchase (I was really looking for the writer notebook with the Paris maps), but when I opened it and started reading, I really liked the snappy writing style and some details that go missing with the more sanitized guidebooks. One new detail for me (and going back over the 1st and 2nd arrondissements) is the opportunity for another free outing, this one at St-Eustache, with its 8,000-pipe organ and free recitals Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

So, thanks Vesna Neskow for your great writing. An odd thing while learning the arrondissements is to open this book which divides Paris into seven tourist areas, with no overt attention to the arrondissements. The addresses to the suggested tourist spots mention it in passing: St-Eustache (rue du Jour, 1st,,


Day 1, C25K without electronics

w1d155minLove the C25K running program. It gets one 5K ready in about six weeks. I have done it three or four times and then relapsed with life. This time, I will try to only run on asphalt (no concrete) and leave out the electronics, except for keeping time. Today, I moved over the concrete portions, walking briskly for five minutes and then more briskly for a minute.

Repeat until 30 minutes, unless you change your mind mid-stream which I did. Once I hit the asphalt, I went with the jog for one minute; rest for a minute and a half. Repeat until 30 minutes or the end of the trail.

Great cardio exercise.

I’d like to keep my knees and my hips and my feet intact for as long as they are needed. As well, I don’t need to be jogging Paris, but I do plan to walk it and need to build up to 10 miles a day.

Several flights of stairs need to be built into this routine. The thought of seeing Paris from a vista view after walking up to it is daunting: the Notre Dame towers are 400 steps and the Sacred Coeur (in the 18th) is 300 steps. Another blogger (on TripAdvisor) mentioned a workaround for Pere Lachaise Cemetery, the famous cemetery in the 20th where Jim Morrison and other famous ex-pats and other household names are buried, that allows for a downhill instead of an uphill walk.

I know this writer is correct, because in that firs trip so many  years ago, we did the stop that’s named after the cemetery and we were exhausted!

The workaround?

If you get off at the “Gambetta” stop you will be at the back entrance to the cemetery. The difference is that your tour will be a relaxing downhill walk instead of a strenuous UPhill walk.


7th Arrondissement: Napolean’s tomb, Musee Rodin, American University, American Library, Eiffel Tower. Boom.

7th Arrondissement: Napoléon’s tomb, Musée Rodin, American University, American Library, Eiffel Tower.  Boom.

7th arrondissement

Trip planning is really fun with the Google map feature. Here’s the short URL for this solo day trip, probably on a Monday. Walking from the hotel in the 15 to Napoléon’s tomb and then to the Musée Rodin, stopping at the American University bookstore (as able), Eiffel Tower (via American Library in Paris) and ending at Le Cordon Bleu (Julia child’s alma mater).  Less than 10 miles walking tour.


6th Arrondissement: the Steins, Saint-Sulpice Cathedral, Luxembourg Gardens

This is the mysterious place where Gertrude Stein  held her salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus and where her brother and sister-in-law held theirs a couple of blocks away, at 58 Rue Madame. Nearby is the Jardine de Luxembourg and the Saint Sulpice Cathedral. This might be a solo day, with starting off and stopping off points at Shakespeare and Company.


I saved this map in a rose tint, because of the 36 Rue Saint-Sulpice address, something that  is sort of underground Paris.