Friday, March 28, 2014

Librairie Gourmande

Métro: Sentier ( Line 3)
Address: 92/96 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris
Hours: Monday through Saturday 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

First, I apologize for the picture. I was such in a hurry to enter this bookshop that I neglected to take a good picture of its frontage. Why? Because it is not just any bookshop, it is one dedicated to cookbooks! Yep, 2 levels of only cookbooks. There is also a section of books in English. I've seen books there that I did not even know existed. Books on everything you can salivate on. It's huge!You swear you're only going to look but fail miserably and buy a couple of books. I do not know any other place like this!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Parc des Chanteraines

RER B: Gare de Gennevilliers
Address: 46, avenue Georges Pompidou, 92390 Villeneuve-la-Garenne
Hours, Map and Brochure:  Click Here
Cost: Free

It's Spring!Well, it's not official but Nature does not lie. Flowers are blooming and the temperatures are rising.  And it seems like everyone had the same idea as me this week: heading out to the park. I love Paris but sometimes it feels like even parks are guarded like a museum. You always have a guard blowing his whistle at a kid who wants to play ball or bike. Most parks in Paris are very restricted as far as what you can do and when you're a kid in the park, the last thing you want to worry about is the manicured alleys and flower beds. To top it all, it's so crowded. And that is for this reason that I like Parc de Chanteraines just a few miles outside of Paris. Right off the RER station, it's only a few steps to the entrance.

It's a people's park. You will see mostly locals: families with small children, elderly couples on a walk, friends enjoying a picnic.  It's a huge park: 80 hectares. It took me 3 hours just to walk 2/3 of it. If you like playing soccer: there's plenty of space. It's also doted with playgrounds for the kids and a farm to amaze the younger ones- all free of cost. Or you can invest in a ticket for the circus or the puppet theater.

How about a train ride to get you to your gardening class? But if you prefer walking, there's plenty of hiking trails in the shade. For the more patient ones: you can fish in one of the many lakes. And for the champions: a poney club! The least you can say is that they have it covered. They have everything you can dream of for a nice day out in the park.  Did I mention the waterbase?

 All I can say is that it was a nice relaxing day in the park. I got my exercise, I even socialized with some friendly locals. I want to go back and make my way to the flower garden that I missed because I was too lazy to walk an additional hour to reach it. Anyway, I really liked it. It's more carefree and casual than parks in Paris (no worry, I still love the Paris green spaces too but they have no water shoot-did I not talk about that? so much to do be continued...)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Porte Saint Denis

Métro: Strasbourg-Saint-Denis ( Line 4, 8 or 9)
Address: Porte Saint Denis, 75010 Paris
Location: Corner of Bd Saint Denis and Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis
Cost: Free

I have to say that I grew up in Paris and I had no clue this was there. I was walking around looking for a restaurant that I've read about when suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw this gigantic door. For a second, I forgot where I was and thought that I must have walked to Rome!

Porte Saint-Denis is a triumphal arch built in 1672 by the architect François Blondel to the glory of Louis XIV. It was inspired by the arch of Titus. It represents the king leading his troops to victory in the Rhine and the region of Franche-Comté.

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