Sunday, January 13, 2013

Home-made paris guide, markets

The web site of the city of Paris is a very, very useful tool for discovering special events, information about tourist sites et cetera.

One useful thing in it is the map of the street market
If you click on each market icon it brings you to the page with the information about the day of the week and the hours in which it is open.
(you can also read this ready-made blog post with more details on the same subject)
I find markets are one of the best ways to get to know a city, and this is particularly true for Paris. They are quite different from each other, often reflecting the life and people of the neighborhood they are found in.When I was looking for an apartment when I first arrived in Paris the street market was the first place I would visit while exploring a new neighborhood.

I guess I should add some pictures, as beautiful ones can be taken at markets.... that could be a good idea to feed a tumblr blog...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Home made Paris guide, restaurants

for the restaurants, it depends a bit on your budget....

Here is a map I made:

Parisian type, there is chez Prosper at Nation, a real bistro, no reservations taken, quick service, reliable staples from steak frites, anduillette, tartare, duck and huge salads.

Then there is Le Tambour, a leftover of the days when Les Halles was a bustling market that did business mainly at night, and so the restaurants nearby would be open all night. If I remember correctly the kitchen is open until 2 am after that you can order cold cuts and bread (and meet real interesting people...), until 6, then it's breakfast. Open all night from the old days, but completely different ambiance is the famous but a bit more fancy (they have oysters) Pied de Cochon just around the corner. Read Giovanni's room, by James Baldwin. Or "the Belly of paris" by Emile Zola.

Then near Odeon there is Polidor, a tall big lady with huge breasts used to be maitre there. This is the old parisian working class, cafeteria style, long tables, very good food, not expencive, they don't take credit cards.

Not too far from there (near the cafe Flore of st Germain), well, a 15 min walk at least, is Le Petit St Bernard, we call it the beuf bourgugnon place, bc it's one of their specialties. Also cheap and reliable like the one above, with lots of character, oh, and tables outside, on the same street very beautiful restaurants with art nouveau decorations etc. this is the heart of the intellectual st germain neighborhood (read Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir). Also nearby the national assembly, they say that the laws of the country are decided in these restaurants.

On the fancier side, in the bobo neighborhood of Faidherbe Chaligny, there is the classic Bistro Paul Bert (need to reserve there), I think I've had the best wine there ever, a bottle of Margaux that was to die for suggested by the waiter. Next to it they have their fish restaurant, much more expensive, so I have not tried it yet, but apparently very good.

A bit more expensive than the first set above but younger and a bit more experimental compared to the third, and very good, is L'Ebachoir (also in the same neighborhood). It's part of a wave of young restaurant owners opening up new restaurants in paris.

Finally, the classics:

Le Grand Colbert
2 Rue Vivienne
75002 Paris, France
01 42 86 87 88

and the Cloiserie des Lilas, where Hemingway used to hang out (you have to read a movable feast), but at the time it was much cheaper I think, they have at least two options, restaurant (never been, too fancy) and brasserie, still expensive but not excessively.

La Closerie des Lilas
171 Boulevard du Montparnasse
75006 Paris, France
01 40 51 34 50

but when in paris you should probably also try cous cous, there are a few places on my list (chez Omar on rue de Bretagne or Clair de Lune near rue Montorgeuil).
ha ! a recent discovery, but not too cheap, depending how hungry you are, is le verre volé, near the canal st Martin, very nice wine selection, friendly staff...

anyway, as you can see the list in paris is long, there should be enough choices to keep you away from the many tourist traps,
asian food can also be very good, especially in belleville or in the 13th, and african food ! (near canal de l'ourq and boulevard jaurés, need to add it to my map) !

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thursday, November 20, 2008

De vs Du, De la, Des - French Prepositions and Articles

De vs Du, De la, Des - French Prepositions and Articles

I recently read a book I enjoyed called The Elegance of the Hedgehog, (in french) and the lovely concierge there made me want to improve my french grammar. So today I have to send off a grant proposal, thankfully most of it can be written in english, but they do ask for a 5000 character abstract in french, and that's where the apple fell, as they say. My french grammar still needs work. One of the things I have a hard time with is the use of "de" and "des". Found this web site, that is very clear, but these rules are too long to remember. I've decided that for now I'll jus remember the use in the negative (always "de").....

I am getting a better hang of the accents, until now I have been depending on the spell checker, but I've recently realized that if I put them in myself (using a french keyboard) it actually goes faster. i still get a bunch worng, but it's improving.

Anyway, I have pulled an all nighter for this grant. Had not happened in years. But now I'm all woozy .... just waiting for my colleague to correct the abstract and then I'm off to dreamland.