Paris Off The Beaten Path Tips by sourbugger
Paris Off The Beaten Path: 1,829 reviews and 3,502 photos
Nothing can beat the sheer joy of the window display of this shop that has been around for over 100 years.
My rather poor French translates the shop name as "Shop for the destruction of revolting animals". The display consists of rows of rats hung up (perhaps as a warning to other rats). Carefully killed, stuffed and dispalyed the arrangement is changed every so often. Raps in traps, rats dancing, rats with poison, the possibilities would seem endless.
Even when they are shut, they shop display will fascinate the average youngster for a good while.
I notice that the building next door was a small restaurant with it's advertising for the 'Plat de jour' being set up right next to the rat-catchers. Let's hope that the dish of the day is never ratatouille.......with real rat.
AROUZE CHIMIE, 8 rue des Halles, 75001
thanks to www.jodi.ws
In amongst the impressive buildings that line the Seine river in Paris is this unusual little places, that the bateau mouche guides point out.
The building has no particular architectural or historical noteworthy feature - but just looks rather odd, squashed as it is between two larger buildings. It reminded me of a think slice of 'jambon' pushed between two 'doorstops' of bread in 'Le sandwich'.
Art at La Defense
The French seem to have a passionate need to put a piece of art in any open space that they come across.
the business district of La Defense is no exception, with the main concourse between the Esplanade metro station and the Grande Arch proving to be a perfect setting for the deranged outpourings of an array of modern artists.
The Miro of two giant humanoid type figures (well if you have a warped mind , perhaps) is perhaps the most important, but there are plenty of others which may take your fancy. I especially like the group of figures around the Esplanade station, that also has a couple more casting a rather weird eye of you as you enter the Line 1 platform heading towards the centre. I also liked the pond in the same area which affords a great view along the main 'axis' of Paris, through the Arc d'triomphe to the Lourve in the distance.
Nearer the arch you will find a more traditional scuplutre that shows the manning of a the barricades in the real 'defense' of the city in the Franco Prussian war. It is this statue that has given the are it's name when it began to take shape in the 1960's. At least the sixties architecture is stuck out here, rather than along the Champs-elysee as Le Corbusier had envisaged.
This monument appeared in Paris a few months before Diana, Princess of Wales died in the underpass beneath it.
It thus has intermitedly become an unofficial shrine to the couple (see other tips) with candles and flowers regularly being laid upon it.
The flame is actually a gift from the Internation Herald Tribune paper to commemorate 100 years of American-French freindship. This was at a time before the latest gulf war when relations soured significantly and some daft sods changed their 'French fries' to 'Freedom Fries'. The monument is actually a replica of the flame atop of the Statue of Liberty in New York.
If you are a better photographer than me, then the Eiffel tower in the background should provide good material for an arty shot or two.
Who had the most fun ?
The Eiffel tower by itself should keep the little mite quiet, but if that fails then this little alternative may provide a diversion, at least while you queue for tickets to go up the damn thing.
The merry-go-round costs a couple of Euros and is situated opposite the tower on the left bank of the Seine.
Montmatre used to be the home of over 40 windmills, and although the area survived the bulldozing of Haussmann during the second republic, only three windmill remain. None of them work and two are reconstructions anyway.
The prettiest is probably Moulin Radet on Rue Lepic. Rue Lepic is in fact well worth a walk as it twists pleasingly between the top of Montmatre and the Clichy Boulevard.
For many years reduced to just 2 sails only, but recently the 4 sails have been reinstated. The stands over a restaurant which goes by the name of "Moulin de la Galette".
It takes a good picture.
Mcdonalds as a street burger
A couple of apologies for you.
Firstly, for writing about McDonalds - almost a cardinal sin on VT
Secondly, for the photograph, you can turn it through 90 degrees yourself, buggered if can work out how to use these damned photoshop packages.
You will find this mucky-dees opposite the main entrance to the Gare st Lazare. As far as I could find out the place used to be a German bier-keller of some sort before the all creeping tentacles of the American mega-corporation got there.
It's certainly a very unusual building to see in Paris, and very much a "fish out of water"
Montorgueil - modern day
Claude Monet (1840-1926) completed the painting La Rue Montorgueil à Paris. Fête du 30 juin 1878 (The Rue Montorgueil in Paris. Celebration of June 30, 1878). The celebration was actually the end of the World's fair that was held in the city that year.
The painting is one of the highlights of the Musée d'Orsay. The painting is a swirl of the countries colours - red, white and blue. Monet apparantly painted it from a window, so although there is the very 'immediate' reportage feel to it, because it is composed froma high level it also feels strangely detached from the festivities as well.
You can still visit the street, its in the 2nd arrondisment and compare the scenes. Nowadays it is an area well worth visting itself witha good mixture of shops, cafes and a street market.
Louvre metro stop, Paris
When visiting the Louvre, take just a little time to cast a glance around the metro station. Not only is the inside built to resemble areas of the museum with various artefacts on display, but some of the entrances above ground are also a quite mad display of modern art - as they are adorned with hundred of baubles.
In addition you can also enter the main museum directly from the Metro stop, without having to go above ground.
St Denis canal
Just to do something totally different, a few years ago we were staying in the Champayne region and headed into Paris for the day. Parking on the outer reaches of the Metro system around Pantin I left my travel companions and headed into Paris using no more than the Canal System and a rough sense or direction.
First i headed along the L'ourcq canal past some modern architecture and the parc Villette before heading through the more industrial St Denis Canal. Once up the periphique again I then headed through the backstreet ending up (eventually) at St Denis.
The canals certainly provided a very different view of Paris and Paris life, especially among the dodgier sections of the St Denis Canal where cheap hookers turned tricks in cars near the waters edge.
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