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oad city of light a broad view of the city of light a view of the city of light a broad view of the city of COMPILED BY ALLISON RODDE

St. Martin’s Marek

Destination Paris: A Broad View of the City of Light Book Design © 2010 by Allison Rodde All copyrights belong to their rightful owners. Published by A llison Rodde for GR.601, Ty pe Systems, taught by Lian Ng Summer, 2010 at Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA Printed on Epson 3800 Santa Clara, CA, USA Bound at J’s Trade Bindery Services, Inc. San Francisco, CA, USA

Fonts used: Univers, Versailles, Egyptienne F, Garamond, Caslon OpenFace and Cezanne Book data: 162 pages. Designed using Adobe Creative Suite, version CS5.


City of Light The Marais travel

la langue officielle paris


highligh ts la Learning about Paris


This travel book highlights a few topics of interest for visiting the beautiful city of Paris, France: Culture, Food and the Arts. For more detailed information, please visit us at our website: Additionally, appendices follow this book providing detailed information on travel essentials, food, accommodations, sights, museums, shopping, entertainment and nightlife. These pamphlets can be carried separately or together as a set.


PARIS France

Learning about Paris

city of lights

Table of Contents Introduction: About this Book 7


The City of Light: Learning about Paris 11 C U L T U R A L E S S E N T I A L S 13

About the City 15 The City of Light 19 The Myths & "Get Overs" 27 The Language 43 Etiquette 69 Neighborhoods 72


The Food: What and Where to Eat 99 F O O D A N D D R I N K 101

The Meals 103 The Menu 107 Parisian Drinks 115 Food Shops and Markets 121


The Arts: Art and Architecture 127 A R T I S T I C H E R I TA G E 128

Art and Architecture 131 Roman, Gothic and the Renaissance 135 Baroque, Academie Royale and Rococo 137 Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Orientalism 139 Realism and Classicism 143 Modernity, Impressionism & Post Impressionism 145 Post Impressionists, Bohemia and Art Nouveau 147 Cubism, Fauvism, Dadaism and Surrealism 149 Map 143 Index 157 Bibliography 161


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Cultural Essentials


R O M S T U D E N T S who obsess over Derrida’s Of Grammatology

to tourists who wonder why the French don’t pronounce half the consonants in each word, everyone enjoys the city where,

by decree of law, buildings don’t exceed six stories, pour que tout le monde ait du soleil (so that all have sunshine). Though Parisians may English you (speak in English when you speak in French), and your feet may feel like numb petrified stubs de bois by the end of each day, this city pulls through for those who let themselves indulge in the sensory snapshots around every corner—the aroma of a boulangerie, the gleam of bronze balconies, the buzz of a good 2 Euro bottle of red, the jolt of the new fave metro line 14. For all its hyped-up snobbery (and yes, the waiters are judging you), Paris is open to those willing to wander. The truth is, this city will charm and bitchslap you with equal gusto, but don’t get too le tired—by your third or fourth sincere attempt at s’il vous plaît, even the waiters soften up. Stick around long enough, and you’ll be able to tell the foux from the foux de fa fa, the Lavazza from the Illy, and the meta hipster bars from the wanna-be meta hipster bars. Et puis, we’ll see who’s judging whom.

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Paris, the capital city of France and of the

lation. A beautiful city in which tourism is

Ile de France region, has 2,125,246 inhabit-

the main industry, Paris is cut by the River

ants occupying a surface area of 10,540

Seine. On the right (northern) bank are

hectares. The Paris metropolitan area ranks

many of the most fashionable streets and

as the fourth most densely populated city

shops, and such landmarks as the Arc de

in the world, with 11,532,400 inhabitants.

Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Louvre, the

North central France, is the commercial,

modern Pompidou Center (Beaubourg) and

financial, and industrial focus of France.

the Sacré Coeur. The left bank houses gov-

It's also a major transportation hub and a

ernmental offices and is the site of much of

cultural and intellectual center of interna-

the city’s intellectual life. It is known for its

tional status.

old Latin Quarter and for such landmarks as

Paris is divided into twenty unequally proportioned districts (arrondissements),

the Sorbonne, the Luxembourg Palace and the Panthéon.

which are set out in the form of a spiral,

The historic core of Paris is the Île de la

with the first arrondissement in the center,

Cité, a small island occupied in part by the

increasing outwards in a clockwise direc-

Palais de Justice and the Cathedral of Notre

tion. The 15th district, being the largest,

Dame de Paris. Rising above the city is the

covers almost 10% of the total surface area,

Eiffel Tower.

with the 2nd district occupying only 1%. Approximately 310,000 foreigners live in Paris, accounting for 14% of the total popu-

age:  2259 years old in 2009 p o p u l at i o n : c . 2 . 2 m i l l i o n l a nudr baarne aa: r 8e a6:. 922782 3s qs. q k. mk .m . most visited sight: centre p ( o n l y b e c a u s e t h e y pkeere cp e cn ot a ug n et ) o r e v o l u t i o n s : 4 , t o d at e p ne ru cmebnetra goef os ft rai nk ensu ap le ri nyceoamr :e 3s 6p kings named louis: 18 (+ 1 lo e s t i m at e d “ r o m a n t i c e n c o u n t e r s :n4u,m9b5e9r, 4o 7f 6f i l m s w i t h t h e e i f f e l t


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Facts and Figures

most visited sight: centre pompidou



years old in

p o p u l at i o n : c .




number of strikes per year: 365, at l e a s t

kings named louis: 18 (+1 louis-philippe)


f annual income spent on wine: eas t t i mlae t ead s“ t e n t p eor nd a yw n5reo9 m, 4a7n6t i c e n c o u n t e r s ” : 4 i, 9

65, : 15 uis-philippe) s ”l apnedr a rd eaay: 8 6 . 9 2 8 s q . k m . ower: 65 and counting


number of films with the eiffel tower: 65 and counting

r e vo l u t i o n s :

( o n ly


t o d at e

because they keep count) urban area: 2723 sq. km.


La V

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The City of Light PARIS HAS MANY NICKNAMES, BUT ITS MOST FAMOUS IS "LA VILLE-LUMIÈRE" ("THE CITY OF LIGHT"). A name it owes first to its fame as a center of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment, and later to its early adoption of street lighting. This appellation may make sense today, but it certainly didn’t in the past. In fact, for centuries, the lack of lighting in Paris was a real curse. Paris was a very dangerous city, where it was not prudent to go for a walk, especially at night.


REIGN OF GRANDEUR Alive today with the play of water and light, the Place de la Concorde once witnessed the bloodiest excesse s o f t h e R e i g n o f Te r r o r. F o r n e a r l y 200 years, its focal point has been a


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3 , 3 0 0 y e a r- o l d E g y p t i a n o b e l i s k .

Règne deGrandure


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Le Splendide Seine

In the 13th century, under Philip the Fair, Paris had a sum total of 3 lights. During the respective reigns of Louis XII, Francois I and Henri II (15th and 16th centuries), a rule was extended requiring that each household place a candle in a streetfacing window to compensate for this problem. It was all in vain as this law was never enforced. The immense feeling of insecurity persisted, as Paris remained in a state of quasi non existent lighting. In 1662, at certain intersections, light carriers were available to accompany passerby home with torches or oil lanterns, for a small fee. A few years later, lanterns were raised over the streets, but it was not until 1892 that an extensive network of gas lighting was finally set up throughout Paris.

THE SPLENDID SEINE The River Seine enters Paris at t h e c i t y ' s s o u t h e a s t c o r n e r. F a r t h e r d o w n r i v e r, t h e m o d e r n B e a u g r e n elle buildings give way to Pont M i r a v e a u a n d t h e E i f f e l To w e r.


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Cité des Sciences

CITY OF SCIENCE The immense geodesic dome called the Géode dominate the nighttime profile of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, northeast of the city cent e r. T h e G é o d e b o a s t s a 1 , 0 0 0 - s q u a r e foot Imax screen.

O P U L E N T S Q UA R E Centered around a column erected by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at the battle of Austerlitz, fashiona b l e P l a c e Ve n d o m e n o w s e e m s m o r e like a monument to luxury than an actual conquest.

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TO GET OVER There are plenty of stereotypes about the French: Parisians are rude, it's really expensive to visit, it's not safe. Don't be fooled by these myths and urban legends. And yes, there are some myths that are indeed true. The truth is far more interesting. Here is some myth busting a la France with this list of top myths about France and the French people. While learning these fast facts, prepare yourself to "get over it" before you get there!


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Paris is really, really expensive E X P L A N AT I O N : Of course, in any city of the world, the sky is the limit

when it comes to what you can pay for. On the contrary, compared to most other major tourist destinations in the world, it is very possible to get by quite cheaply in Paris. Admission costs for museums and attractions are extremely reasonable, public transportation is a downright bargain and many restaurants feature attractively priced set menus. The main staples of life in Paris are plentiful and cheap: baguettes, wine, cheese, fruit and patisserie desserts. Where expenses can add up is having lots of drinks in cafĂŠs and bars. But since the cafĂŠ culture is one of the great pleasures of being in Paris, our advice is to pay the price and really enjoy it!

2 myth


Paris is not safe E X P L A N AT I O N : In general, European cities are safer than North

American ones, since guns, gangs, personal property/bank robberies and drugs are not as common. The most common hazard in Paris, particularly for tourists, is pick-pockets, who particularly operate in highly populated tourist areas. Parisian pick-pocketers are very skilled and usually you would never even know if you were ripped off until much later. They search for easy opportunities to snatch a purse, wallet or cell phone. Simply don’t provide these opportunities or make it easy to be a target, and you will be just fine.



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You can’t wear jeans in Paris E X P L A N AT I O N : We’re puzzled by where this myth originates,

possibly because Paris is considered the fashion capital of the world. In fact, jeans are worn everywhere in Paris, by everyone, even Galeries Lafayette sales staff! While there are frequent sightings of funky and high fashion, Paris, on the whole, is a casual city. However, Parisians are never sloppy and always look put together no matter what they wear. Parisians are not known for wearing exercise-type wear out on the street, or short shorts, unless they are worn as a fashion item. These items worn will flag you as a tourist, especially if non-stylish, exercise-type white running shoes are worn with them.



It is unsafe to take the metro, especially at night E X P L A N AT I O N : The Paris metro system is filled with tourists and Pari-

sians at all hours of the day and night and is considered safe. Likewise with buses and night buses. Something to be aware of: some people try to bypass buying a metro ticket so they may squeeze up against you and come through the turnstile with you. Don’t be alarmed, they are not trying to rob you. Usually people will ask you if you mind if they do it. But unless you speak French, most likely, you will not know what they are asking!

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5 myth


Parisians are unfriendly and rude E X P L A N A T I O N : This myth couldn’t be farther from the truth, since the

majority of Parisians are kind, helpful and friendly. Upon first meeting, Parisians can appear to be less casual and more reserved by North American standards, however, this does not translate to unfriendliness. Be aware that often what you put out is what you get back, so if Parisians are approached in the right way from the beginning, chances of a more pleasant interaction increase. An attempt to speak the language goes a long way with Parisians. Always begin a conversation with ‘bonjour’, especially when entering a store. Asking immediately, ‘do you speak English?’ riles many Parisians and will start you off on the wrong foot. Think about it, if foreigners are constantly asking if you speak their language in a country where English is the official language, then how would that make you feel? Use your best school French and have fun with it; Parisians love to correct and help people with their admittedly difficult language!

6 myth


Paris operates the same as most other modern cities catering to large numbers of foreigners and tourists E X P L A N AT I O N : Yes and no. On one hand, generally there is compe-

tent service, however, there are often long lineups and service can be slow to downright not good. Keep in mind that Parisians still pay for groceries, pharmacy and restaurant tabs with personal checks. The bottom line: Parisians are more concerned with lifestyle than with the pursuit of commerce. Let that be your guide. Relax, have fun with this cultural difference and enjoy the less stressful pace of life.

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The food is weird/bad E X P L A N AT I O N : As is the case everywhere in the world, you can get

weird, strange or bad food in Paris. Generally speaking though, the food, ingredients, cooking techniques and presentation are of a much higher caliber in France, considered the culinary capital of the world. "Bad food" can translate to "you ordered the wrong thing" and probably a dish that the North American palette is not used to such as tripe, for example. Establishments almost exclusively catering to large tourist groups may not be your best dining bets. Talk to locals and ask where they recommend to eat. Or, observe the plates of patrons at cafĂŠs/restaurants and ask them what the food is like. Portions may not be as large as in other countries, however, generally, the French have more than one course, eat slower and the food is of much better quality (farm-grown, less chemicals and preservatives etc.). Eating and drinking in Paris is a divine culinary experience.

8 myth


Paris is just like it is back home E X P L A N AT I O N : It’s not, and why should it be? For some reason,

visitors to Paris are particularly intolerant about differences such as laissez-faire service, less than pristine, modern washrooms, and the fact that another language is spoken (in other words, not their language). When people visit any other country, they expect and accept that differences exist, but for some reason, perhaps due to its leading reputation in so many areas, these things are not tolerated in Paris. You are on another continent, in another country, where another language is spoken and where the culture and customs are different.

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A GENTLE GIANT A gossamer tracery of iron when seen from a distance, t h e E i f f e l To w e r i s a c o l o s s u s at close range.

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Yes, these "myths" are true; prepare yourself to "get over it" before you get there!


There is very little to no


There is


If an

air-conditioning in France.

dog merde (poop) all over the streets of Paris.

elevator exists in a building, it is likely to be small

as in "can’t turn around in it," or barely able to fit two people comfortably in it. Hotel rooms generally are much smaller than you would expect. Walls may be paper-thin or even the floors and ceiling may not match and may be crooked!


There are very

few free public washrooms in Paris in

the style that we are used to. In Paris, each washroom will be different and many public washrooms, including those in cafés, can range from really good to crappy. There still exist many ‘Turkishstyle’ squatters in Parisian cafés and restaurants.

5: Second-hand smoke

was a big part of your culinary/bar/

café-sitting experience until the full anti-smoking laws came into play in January 2008.

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Expect your

French to be corrected by Parisians, no

matter how good it is. This can also be a very fun thing, as Parisians love to correct but also love to speak English and learn new phrases and terms.


It can be very

difficult to get a taxi on a Friday or Satur-

day night, or on holiday nights, when it is raining or in highly populated areas. Plan accordingly if you are out after the metro closes, or be prepared to stay out until 5:30 or 6 the next morning when the metro re-opens.


When a

store or café announces that it is closing , it’s

closing, period. So expect to be shooed out immediately and unceremoniously. Don’t take this personally, just get out and come back another day.

9: Service

as you probably know it is not the same in Paris.

The "customer is number one and is always right" rules don’t follow in Paris so don’t expect to be gushed and fawned over in service situations.


Carnivore-loving Paris is not a good place for vegetarians . Often, if there are vegetarian choices, they are

cooked in animal fat, so it’s best to ask this question. Salads and assiettes in Paris are great and offer wonderful vegetarian choices. Non-meat eaters can also enjoy the diverse ethnic cuisine in Paris, offering an array of vegetarian choices.


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la langue officielle

O F 8 8 % O F T H E P O P U L AT I O N

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nch is the official language of France

and the French have been very proud of it. Par example, Cardinal Richelieu started L'Académie française (The French Academy) in 1635 and the establishment's efforts to preserve the language's integrity continues to this day. Nevertheless, choice words like cool (cool) and telephone (téléphone) have crept in and most people in larger cities­—especially the student population—speak at least some English. Knowing elementary French can't hurt, particularly in smaller town, but don't be surprised if a native interrupts halfway through your butchered "Comment ça va?" to ask if you wouldn't prefer conversing in your own words.

A Quick Guide to Fr

nch Pronunciation

Perhaps the most difficult challenge that you need to face if you want to learn French is the pronunciation part. A lot of people say that the is one of the most beautiful languages in the world,


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but it is also the second most difficult to learn. Here’s a quick guide on what you need to learn about French pronunciation: ¢ The French language also has a 26-letter alphabet just like the English alphabet. ¢ There are combination of consonants which are pronounced differently, just like "ch" which is pronounced like the ’sh’ in the word shadow. The "qu" consonant combination is pronounced like the "qu" in the word quick. When you see the letter â, the word is pronounced like "ea" in heart. É is pronounced like the "ay" in the word day although the accent is a bit sharper. These little intricacies in the pronunciation of the words is what makes the French language a bit more difficult to learn.


un guide rapide de la pronunciation franç

French beautiful is one of the most

languagesin the world,

it's also the second


difficult to learn.

Why Learn Fr


In fact, you don’t even need to

have Paris as a stop to your travel itinerary. French is a language which is spoken by more than 70 million people in the world including those who are from the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Canada and Belgium. So bring out that phrase book and start to learn French now!

çaise un guide rapide de la pronunciation

ah A

B bay

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say C


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E euh F eff

D day H ash G zhay




I ee J zhee K kah

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L ell

N en M em Q co

O oh

P pay

merci beaucoup

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W doob-leh-vay

Y ee-grek

Z zed

X eeks

R err S ess

U oo V vay

tay T

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english sound

french examples

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Désolé(e) day-zo-lay

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Je voudrais

zher voodray

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Excusez-moi ek-skew-zay-mwa

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Au Revoir

oh rer-vwahr

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Mademoiselle mad-mwa-zel


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C'est bien

"say byang"

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Etiquette and

Blending In

It’s a good rule of thumb in Paris

(and anywhere, really) to avoid fitting the stereotype of the tourist. The more of an effort that you make to blend in, the better your Parisian experience will be. For dress, what may look perfectly innocuous in your hometown might mark you out instantly in Paris. The French are known for their conservative stylishness: go for restrained sneakers or closed-toe shoes, solid-color pants or jeans and plain T-shirts or button-down shirts, rather than Teva sandals, baggy pants, or cutoffs. Parisians rarely wear shorts, even in warm weather. Trying to blend in is also great excuse to shop for French clothes. If you’re traveling in January or August, be sure to take advantage of massive sales (les soldes)—prices are often slashed as much as 75%.


Greetings And Salutations


customer service in Paris is more brusque than in the US and the UK, the French consider polite greetings to be essential. Say “Bonjour, madame/monsieur” when entering an establish-ment and “bonne journée, au revoir” when leaving. If you bump into someone on the street or the metro, it is polite to say “pardon”. The proper way to answer the telephone is


Most restaurants open at noon for lunch and

then close for some portion of the afternoon before re-opening afternoon. Small businesses, as well as banks and post offices, close for “lunch,” which often lasts for two or three hours.



Even if your French is near-perfect, wait-

ers and salespeople who detect the slightest accent will often respond in English (thereby Englishing you). This can be frustrating, especially if you came to Paris to practice your French, or if


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for dinner, while some bistros and most cafes remain open all


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“âllo,” but people greet each other that way in person.

the Parisian in question speaks poor English. If your language skills are good, continue to speak in French. More often than not, they will both respect and appreciate your fortitude, and speak to you, in turn, in French.


Pocket Change

Cashiers and tellers will often

ask, “Avez-vous de la monnaie?” (Do you have change?) as they would rather not break your €20 note for a pack of gum. If you don’t, say “Non, désolée,” and suffer the nasty look.


Parisians are polite, especially to older

people. In Paris, the difference between getting good and bad


service is often the difference between a little politesse and disregard. Tone and facial expressions are important. Maintain composure and act like you mean business; speak softly and politely (do employ the standard “monsieur/madame” and “s’il vous plaît” ) to Parisians in official positions, especially if they are older than you.

Public Restrooms

The streetside public re-

strooms (pissoirs) in Paris are worth the .30 Euro they require.


These magic machines are self-cleaning after each use, so you’re guaranteed a clean restroom. Toilets in train stations, major metro stops, and public gardens are tended to by gardiens and generally cost .40 Euro. Most cafes reserve restrooms for their clients only.


There is no assumption in Paris that “the

customer is always right,” and complaining to managers about


poor service is rarely worth your while. Your best bet is to take your business elsewhere. When engaged in any official process (i.e., opening a bank account, purchasing insurance, etc.), don’t fret if you get shuffled from one desk to another. Patiently explain your situation as many times as necessary, and you’ll probably get the service you need.


Service is usually included in meal prices in

restaurants and cafes, and in drink prices at bars; look for service compris on the menu, or just ask. If service is not included, tip 15-20%. If you’re exceptionally pleased with the service at a cafe, bistro, restaurant, or bar, leave a pourboire of a euro or two. Tip your hairdresser well; do not tip taxis more than 15% of the metered charge.


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Neighborhoods THE SEINE RIVER (“SEN”) FLOWS FROM EAST TO WEST, SPLITTING THE CITY INTO TWO SECTIONS: RIVE GAUCHE (LEFT BANK) TO THE SOUTH AND RIVE DROITE (RIGHT BANK) TO THE NORTH. Two islands in the Seine, Île de la Cité and neighboring Île St-Louis, are situated in the geographical center of the city. Central Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements (districts) that spiral clockwise outward from the center of the city, like the shell of an escargot. Each arrondissement is referred to by its number (e.g. the third, the sixteenth). In French, “third” is said troisième (TRWAZ-yem) and abbreviated “3ème”; “sixteenth” is seizième (SEZ-yem) and abbreviated “16ème.” The same goes for every arrondissement except the first, which is said premier (PREM-yay) and abbreviated 1er.



ARC DE TRIOMPHE DE L'ÉTOILE T h e A r c d e Tr i o m p h e r e s i d e s i n t h e h e a r t o f P l a c e d e l ' É t o i l e . T h e m o n u m e n t s u rmounts the hill of Chaillot at the center of a s t a r- s h a p e d c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f 1 2 r a d i a t i n g avenues. A vintage snapshot can be found


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deeper in this section.

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Île De La Cité And Île St-Louis

ÎLE DE LA CITÉ IS SITUATED IN THE VERY CENTER OF THE Île de France, the geographical region surrounding Paris. From the 6th century, when Clovis crowned himself king of the Franks, until Charles V abandoned it in favor of the Louvre in the 14th century, the island was the seat of the monarchy. Construction of the Notre Dame began here in 1163, and the presence of the cathedral, as well as the SteChapelle and the Conciergerie , ens-ured that the island would remain a center of Parisian religious, political, and cultural life—and, now, a major center of tourism. All distances in France are measured from kilomètre zéro, a circular sundial in front of Notre Dame. Île St-Louis had less illustrious beginnings. Originally two small islands—the Île aux Vâches (Cow Island) and the Île de Notre Dame— the Île St-Louis was considered suitable for duels, cows, and little else throughout the Middle Ages. In 1267, the area was renamed for Louis IX after he departed for the Crusades. The two islands merged in the 17th century under the direction of architect Louis Le Vau, and Île St-Louis became a residential district. The island still retains a certain remoteness from the rest of Paris; older residents say “Je vais à Paris” (I’m going to Paris) when leaving by one of the four bridges linking Île St-Louis and the mainland. All in all, the island looks remarkably similar to its 17th-century self, retaining history and genteel tranquility. While tourists might clog the streets on weekends, St-Louis is nonetheless a haven of boutiques, specialty food shops, and art galleries that make for a pleasant wander around.

W O R L D ’ S FA I R Wo r k i s u n d e r w a y i n 1 9 3 7 f o r the International Exposition and the demolition of the old Tr o c a d e r o P a l a c e


CAUTION Although the 1 er is one of the safest regions of Paris above ground, the area’s metro stops (Châtelet and Les Halles) are dangerous and best avoided at night.



Châtelet-Les Halles CHÂTELET-LES HALLES (CHAT-LAY-LAYS-AL) IS HOME TO much of Paris’ royal history. Its most famous sight, the Louvre, chambers and dining rooms of the ancien régime palace house the world’s finest art. The surrounding Jardin des Tuileries was redesigned in 1660 by Louis XIV’s favored architect, André Le Nôtre, but the Sun King’s prized grounds now play host both to strolling tourists and two other reputable art museums, the Orangerie and Jeu de Paume. Meanwhile, a different kind of royalty dominates Châtelet-Les Halles: Chanel, Cartier, and the Ritz hold court here in the imposing place Vendôme. Less glamorous souvenir shops crowd rue du Rivoli and Les Halles, while elegant boutiques line rue St-Honoré, also home to the Comédie Française, where one of France’s most talented troupes preserve the tradition of Molière. Farther west, jazz clubs rule the night on rue des Lombards.


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was home to French kings for four centuries, but today, the bed-



3 4

THE MARAIS IS PARIS' COMEBACK KID. WITH A NAME THAT literally translates to “swamp,” its origins are easy enough to discern—in short, it was all bog. Starting in the 13th century, the area began to find its bearings when monks drained the land to provide building space for the Right Bank. With Henri IV’s construction of the glorious Place des Vosges at the beginning of the 17th century, the area became the city’s center of fashionable living; hôtels particuliers built by leading architects and sculptors abounded, as did luxury and scandal. During the Revolution, former royal haunts gave way to slums and tenements, and the majority of the hôtels fell into ruin or disrepair. The Jewish population, a presence in the Marais since the 12th century, grew with influxes of immigrants from Russia and North Africa but suffered tragic losses during the Holocaust. In the 1960s, the Marais was once again revived when it was declared a historic neighborhood. Since then, more than thirty years of gentrification, renovation, and fabulousization has restored the Marais to its pre-Revolutionary glory.


The Marais


Once-palatial mansions have become exquisite museums, and the tiny twisting streets have been adopted by hip bars, avant-garde galleries, and some of the city’s most unique boutiques. Rue des Rosiers, in the heart of the 4 ème, is still the center of the city’s Jewish population, though the steady influx of cutting-edge clothing stores threatens its existence. Superb kosher delicatessens neighbor Middle Eastern and Eastern European restaurants, and on Sundays, when much of the city is closed, the Marais remains lively. The Marais is also unquestionably the center of gay Paris, with its hub around the intersection of rue Ste-Croix de la Brettonerie and rue Vieille du Temple. Though recently heavy tourism has encroached upon the Marais’s eclectic personality, the district retains its signature charm: an accessible, fun, and friendly mix of old and new, queer and straight, cheap and chic, classic and fresh, hip and historic.

CAUTION Rive Gauche (Left Bank).  The “gauche” in Rive Gauche once signified a lower-class lifestyle, the kind flaunted by the impoverished students who lived there. Today, the Left Bank’s appeal is ensured by its inexpensive cafes and bars, great shopping and sights, and timeless literary caché.


NAMED FOR THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE 5 ÈME’S PRESTIGIOUS high schools and universities prior to 1798, the Latin Quarter (le quartier latin) is always buzzing with energy. The 5 ème has been in the intellectual thick of things since the founding of the Sorbonne in 1263, and its hot-blooded student population has played a role in uprisings from the Revolution to the riots of May‘68. In the 6 ème, cafes on boulevard St-Germain were the stomping grounds of bigwigs like Hemingway, Sartre, Picasso, and Camus during the early 20th century.



Latin Quarter & St Germain

Truth be told, the Latin Quarter has lost some of its rebellious vigor. of the old cobblestones, used by protesting students as projectiles in the old days—commodification of areas like boulevard St-Michel (now teeming with chain stores and hordes of camera-toting tourists) may have watered down the area’s spirit. Nonetheless, the bars are some of the best in Paris, as are the bookshops. The Latin Quarter is also the beating heart of that quintessential Parisian passion: art house cinema. The area’s final claim to fame is its streetside past times; place de la Contrescarpe and rue Mouffetard, both in the 5 ème, are superb for people-watching, and the Mouff has one of the liveliest street markets in Paris. As for food, you’ll probably have to drop some cash if you want more than a crêpe, and the area’s accommodations aren’t any more financially forgiving. However, if money is no object, there is terrific boutique shopping west and south of Église St-Germain-des-prés.


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While the reasons aren’t easy to pin down—some cite the replacement

7 6


BETWEEN THE GRASS OF THE CHAMP DE MARS AND THE FASHionable side streets surrounding rue de Sèvres, the 7 ème offers the most touristy and the most intimate sights in Paris. The area became Paris' most elegant residential district in the 18th century, although many of its stunning residences have been converted to foreign embassies, especially near the Musée Rodin. Though the 1889 completion of the Eiffel Tower at the river’s edge sparked outrage, it has secured Invalides’ reputation as a Parisian landmark. Meanwhile, the National Assembly and the Hôtel National des Invalides add historical substance and traditional French character to this part of the Left Bank.




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N OT R E DA M E The backside of Notre Dame showcases the famous flying buttresses extending out toward the Seine.




THE CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES AREA IS PAST ITS PRIME. ITS BOULEVARDS are still lined with the vast mansions, expensive shops, and grandiose monuments that keep the tourists coming, but there’s little sense of sophistication, progress, or style. The Champs-Élysées itself was The City of Light

synonymous with fashion in the 19th century, but now it houses charmless establishments ranging from cheap to exorbitant. Much of the neighborhood is occupied by office buildings and car dealerships; these areas are comatose after dark. Only the Champs itself throbs late into the night, thanks to flashy nightclubs, cinemas, and droves of tourists. A stroll along avenue Montaigne, rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, or around


the Madeleine will give a taste of what life in Paris is like for those with

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money to burn. While low prices usually mean low quality here—particularly for accommodations—there are a few good restaurants and museums. The northern part of the neighborhood, near the Parc Mon-


ceau, is a lovely, quiet area for walking.






THE 9 ÈME IS AN EXAMPLE OF PARIS' CULTURAL EXTREMES. The lower 9 ème gleams with the magnificent Palais Garnier and the haute couture in Paris’ world-famous department stores, the Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps. The upper 9 ème, near the northern border with the 18 ème, offers a striking contrast: porn shops, X-rated cinemas, and prostitution define the neon-lit Pigalle neighborhood. Separating these two sectors is a residential neighborhood—the 9 ème’s geographical center. The area known as Étienne-Marcel has fabulously inexpensive clothing and great sales in more expensive stores. The Opéra Comique, which is now the Théâtre Musicale, is between bd. des Italiens and rue de Richelieu.




CAUTION The 10 ème is far from most tourist sights, and certain areas may be unsafe at night; be extra cautious around the bd. St-Martin and parts of rue du Faubourg St-Denis at any time of day. Use caution west of pl. de la République along rue du Château d’Eau.

REVOLUTIONARY FERVOR ONCE GRIPPED PLACE DE La République, but Haussmann doused their moxie with some clever urban planning (see Haussmannia). Since then, the 10 ème has quieted down.


The City of Light

Canal St-Martin & Surrounds

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The area has striking juxtapositions—regal statues scrawled with graffiti line sunny, peaceful squares. Most travelers only visit the 10 ème for the Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, but parts of it are well worth exploring. Good, cheap restaurants abound, and the blossoming area


near Canal St-Martin makes for pleasant wandering.

10 11 12

AS ITS NAME ATTESTS, THE BASTILLE (BAH-STEEL) area is most famous for hosting the Revolution’s kick-off at the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789. Hundreds of years later, the French still storm this neighborhood nightly in search of the latest cocktail, culinary innovation, and up-and-coming artist. Five Metro lines converge at République and three at Bastille, making the Bastille district a transport hub and mammoth center of action—the hangout of the young and fun (and frequently drunk). The 1989 opening of the glassy Opéra Bastille on the bicentennial of the Revolution was supposed to breathe new cultural life into the area, but the party atmosphere has yet to give way to galleries and string quartets. Today, with numerous bars along rue de Lappe, manifold original dining options on rue de la Roquette and rue J.P. Timbaud, and young designer boutiques, the Bastille is a great area for unwinding after a day at the museums. North of the Bastille on rue Oberkampf and rue Ménilmontant, eclectic neighborhood bars provide the perfect end to a pub crawl. Budget accommodations also proliferate in the area. Place de la Nation, farther south, was the setting for Louis XIV’s wedding in 1660 and the site of revolutionary fervor in 1830 and 1848. Today, this part of the Bastille district borrows youthful momentum from the neighboring 4 ème and 11 ème arr-ondissements. Its northwestern fringes are funky—the Viaduc des Arts, rue de la Roquette, and rue du Faubourg St-Antoine are lined with galleries and stores—and its core is working class, with a large immigrant population. Finally, for a taste of nature head to the 12 ème, which borders the beautiful and expansive Bois de Vincennes—or, try the pretty Yitzhak Rabin Garden in the quirky Parc Bercy.

CAUTION While the area is generally safe during the day, place de la République and bd. Voltaire are best avoided after sunset. Always be careful around Gare de Lyon, especially at night, and near the sleazy nightlife found at av. du Maine’s northern end.

11ÈME, 12ÈME




UNTIL THE 20TH CENTURY, THE 13 ÈME REMAINED ONE OF Paris' poorest arrondissements, with conditions so terrible that Victor Hugo set Les Misérables there. Thankfully, the last two centuries have brought numerous changes to the 13 ème. In 1910, the Bièvre The City of Light

dormitories for over 20,000 University of Paris VII students and the


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close the neighborhood’s tanneries and paper factories. Construc-


was filled in, and environmentalists eventually won a campaign to tion begun in 1996 on Mitterrand’s ultra-modern Bibliothèque de France, ushering in a new wave of development aimed to transform the 13 ème’s quais into Paris' largest cultural center. Associated with the ZAC (Zone d’Aménagement Conce-rté), recent projects include MK2 entertainment complex. Several immigrant communities make for a thriving Chinatown. Rising over the Seine, the Pont de Bercy connects the proletariat 13 ème to the youthful 12 ème.



Butte-Ave-Cailles & Chinatown

NAMED AFTER THE FAMOUS GREEK MOUNTAIN OF LORE (Mount Parnasse), Paris' 14 ème revels in its bohemian reputation. During the 1920s, the quartier became a haven for the “Lost Generation,” intellectuals and political exiles trying to process life after WWI. Famed Montparnasse residents F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Man Ray, and Henry Miller conversed the night away in popular cafes like Le Select and Le Dôme. These legendary artists no longer roam the Montparnasse neighborhood (mostly because they’re dead), but the area’s affordability continues to attract artists (who are still alive) and students.

14ÈME, 15ÈME


Montparnasse Unlike its neighbor to the east, the 15 ème has never been a legendary area. The modern Parc André Citroën attracts families from all over Paris on weekends, but aside from the park, the 15 ème has no tourist sights to speak of, and its atmosphere is often crowded, busy, and—around Gare Montparnasse—very industrial (a.k.a. ugly). As a result, the 15 ème is one of Paris' least touristic areas, and streetwise travelers can benefit from low room rates and affordable restaurants. Locals have their pick among the many shops on rue du Commerce, the cafes at the corner of rue de la Convention and rue de Vaugirard, and the specialty shops along av. Émile Zola.

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Passy & Auteuil WHEN NOTRE DAME WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN THE 12th century, this now-elegant suburb was little more than some tiny woodland villages. With the architectural revolution of Haussmann, however, the area was transformed. The villages of Auteuil to the south, Passy in the east, and northernmost Chaillot banded together, joining the


city to form what is now the 16 ème. Today, the manicured, tree-lined

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streets of this elegant quartier provide a peaceful respite from the mobbed sidewalks of the nearby 8 ème. The 16 ème offers ideal views of the Eiffel Tower, framed by Art Nouveau and art deco architecture. The upper 16 ème is populated with mansions and townhouses, while


the lower half of the arrondissement is modest and commercial.






THE 17 ÈME IS A DIVERSE DISTRICT WHERE BOURGEOIS turns working class and back again within a block. The arrondissement's eastern and southern parts share the bordering 8 ème and 16 ème's aristocratic bearing, while the quarter's western edge resembles the more tawdry 18 ème and Pigalle. Removed from central Paris' suffocating crowds, the 17 ème resonates with authentic French charm. Unlike the industrial briskness characterizing other arrondissements, a vibrant joie de vivre permeates its streets. Thanks in large part to its multicultural population, the 17 ème offers a fabulous variety of restaurants spanning the price spectrum. Parents and young children stroll through the tree-lined Village Batignolles, while hip clientele frequent upscale bars at night.

CAUTION Especially at night, be careful at the border of the 17 ème and the 18 ème near pl. de Clichy, in the emptier northwestern corner of the 19 ème, along rue David d’Angiers, bd. Indochine, av. Corentin Cariou, and by the Portes in the 19 ème.


LIKE MONTPARNASSE AND THE LATIN QUARTER, MONTMARTRE glows with the lustre of its bohemian past. Named “Mount of the Martyr” for St. Denis, who was beheaded there by the Romans in AD 260, the hill was for centuries a rural village covered with vineyards, wheat fields, windmills, and gypsum mines. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city’s rebellious artistic energies centered here. During the Belle Époque, its picturesque beauty and low rents attracted bohemians like painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and composer Erik Satie as well as performer and impresario Aristide Bruant. Toulouse-Lautrec, in particular, immortalized Montmartre by painting its disreputable The City of Light

nightspots like the infamous Bal du Moulin Rouge. Filled with cabarets like Le Chat Noir and proto-Dada artist groups like Les Incohérents and Les Hydropathes, the butte (ridge) became the Parisian center of free love, intoxicated fun, and liberated fumisme: the satirical jabbing of social and political norms. A generation later, just before WWI smashed its spotlights and destroyed its crops, the butte welcomed ec-


centric innovators Apollinaire, Modigliani, Picasso, and Utrillo.

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Today, artsy Montmartre best embodies the stereotyped Parisian dream: nostalgic history on rue Lepic, pseudo-artistic schmaltz lingering in place du Tertre, and a dab of provocative sleaze from boulevard de Clichy. The quartier transcends its metropolis, however, with functional vineyards, an official arboretum in its cemetery, and a panorama of the city from the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur.


CAUTION Pl. Pigalle, bd. Barbès, and bd. de Rochechoart are notorious for prostitution and drugs, both of which become apparent at an early hour. The area is heavily policed, but travelers (particularly young women and those traveling alone) should still exercise caution. At night, Abesse is safer than Anvers, Pigalle, and Barbès-Rochechoart.


Buttes Chaumont


THE 19 ÈME AND THE 20 ÈME, BOTH PRIMARILY WORKING CLASS, have recently flourished as centers of Parisian bohemia. Between the romantic Parc des Buttes Chaumont and the famed Cimetière du Père Lachaise, a slew of performance spaces, artsy cafes, and provocative galleries have joined the neighborhood’s ethnic eateries, markets, and shops. Historically lacking the artistic patronage that brought Montmartre fame, today the 19 ème battles for cultural recognition; its modern Cité de la Musique and Cité de la Science encourage creative exploration through concerts and interactive museums. Home to Asian, Greek, Jewish, North African, and Russian communities, the 19 ème and 20 ème arrondissements include Paris' most dynamic neighborhoods.

CAUTION Be careful at night in the more empty northwestern corner of the 19 ème arrondissement and on rue David d’Angers, bd. Indochine, avenue Corentin Cariou, rue de Belleville, and by the “Portes” into the area.

18 19




Belleville and Père Lachaise THE 20 ÈME’S POPULATION SWELLED IN THE MID-19TH century, when Hausmann’s architectural reforms drove working-class Parisians from the central city. Thousands migrated east to Belleville (the northern part of the 20 ème ), Charonne (the southeastern), and Ménilmontant (the southern). By the late Second Republic, the 20 ème had become a “red” arron-dissement, characterized as proletarian and radical. Some of the heaviest fighting during the Commune suppression took place in its streets. Caught between the Versaillais troops to fortified the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and the Cimetière du Père Lachaise but soon ran out of ammunition. On May 28, 1871, the Communards abandoned their last barricade and surrendered (see Life and Times). Following the government’s retributive massacres, the surviving workers adopted the fairly isolated 20 ème as their home. Today, the arro-ndissement is still working-class, with busy residential areas and markets catering to locals rather than visitors.


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The City of Light

the west and the Prussian lines outside the city walls, the Commune



Banlieues PARISIAN BANLIEUES (SUBURBS) HAVE GAINED ATTENTION AS sites of poverty and racism, though in fact they run the socioeconomic gamut. The nearest suburbs, the proche-banlieues, are accessible by metro and bus and include the VallĂŠe de Chevreuse towns to the south; St-Cloud, Neuilly, and Boulogne to the west; St-MandĂŠ and Vincennes to the east; and Pantin, Aubervilliers and La Courneuve to the north. Farther afield and home to some striking sights, the grandes banlieues (Chantilly, St-Germain-en-Laye, and Versailles ) can be reached by RER. The banlieues also host exciting cultural productions. Every summer brings the Banlieue Jazz and Blues festivals.





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Food And Drink


B R I E F H I S T O R Y   In the 16th century, Catherine de Médicis,

disgusted with bland and dull French dishes, imported master chefs from her native Florence to spice things up. They

taught the French to appreciate the finer aspects of sauces and seasonings, a culinary development elaborated upon by the great 19th-century chef Antoine Carême, acknowledged as the father of haute cuisine, the elegantly prepared foods now thought of as typically “French.” French cooking is universally renowned and downright delicious. The preparation and consumption of food are integral to French daily life; while world-famous chefs and their three-star restaurants are a valued Parisian institution, you don’t have to pay their prices for excellent cuisine, either classic or adventurous. Bistros provide a more informal, and often less expensive option. Even more casual are brasseries, often crowded and convivial, best for large groups and high spirits. The least expensive option is usually a crêperie, a restaurant specializing in thin Breton pancakes filled with meats, vegetables, cheeses, chocolates, or fruits, where you can often eat for less than you would pay at McDonalds. The offerings of specialty food shops, including boulangeries (bakeries), pâtisseries (pastry shops), and traiteurs (prepared food shops), make delicious, inexpensive picnic supplies and cheap meals on the go. A number of North African and Middle Eastern restaurants serve affordable dishes. At nouveaux bistros, French, Mediterranean, Asian, and Spanish flavors converge in a setting that is usually modern and artsy. Eating and drinking can easily be the most memorable part of any visit to Paris. Bon appetit!!

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MEALS Le petit déjeuner (breakfast) is usually light, consisting of bread, croissants, or brioches (buttery breads) with jam and butter, plus an espresso with hot milk or cream (café au lait or the more trendy café crème) or a hot chocolate (chocolat chaud, often served in a bowl). Le déjeuner (lunch) is served between noon and 2:30pm, although some cafes and restaurants in tourist areas stay open throughout the day. Restaurants are most crowded from 1­– 3pm, when much of Paris takes a lengthy lunch break. During lunch, some shops, businesses, and government offices close; linger over a 2hr. lunch a few times and you’ll be hooked too. Le dîner (dinner) begins quite late. Most restaurants start at 7pm, but business really picks up around 8–9pm. Showing up at opening will make you feel like an awkward loser who punctually arrives before all other guests at a party held by an acquaintance and then must talk to the host with whom he has nothing in common. A complete French dinner includes an apéritif, an entrée (appetizer), a plat (main course), salad, cheese, dessert, fruit, café, and a digestif (after-dinner drink, typically a cognac or other brandy). However, the large majority of French diners content themselves with a three-course meal or less. Most Parisians drink wine with dinner.

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LisseBonsoir The Menu

Most restaurants offer un menu à prix fixe (fixed-price meal) that is less expensive than ordering à la carte (when you pick individual items out). Lunch menus are often cheaper than dinner menus—if there is a pricier restaurant that you particularly want to try, consider going for lunch. A menu will usually include an appetizer (entrée), a main course (plat), cheese (fromage), or dessert—or a choice of two or three of these opt-ions. Some also include wine or coffee. For lighter fare, try a brasserie, which has a fuller menu than a cafe but is more casual than a restaurant. H O W T O O R D E R Greet your server politely by looking him or her in the

eye and saying, “Bonjour.” In the evening, bring out your smoothest “Bonsoir.” Starting your dining experience without a friendly greeting is considered impolite; the French are very polite to waiters, and visitors would do well to follow their lead. Without being obnoxious, try your best to speak French; the waiter will speak English—it’s Paris— but he’ll also appreciate the gesture. It is uncommon for French diners to split dishes or to take home any unfinished food. At the meal’s end the bill will rarely come without your requesting it, so simply say “L’addition, s’il vous plaît” when you are ready to pay.

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QUICHE LORRAINE with bacon and leek


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BEUCHELLE Creamed Kidneys and Sweetbreads


Ice cubes (glaçons) won’t come with your drink; you’ll have to ask for them if you can’t live without them. To order a (usually free) jug of tap water for the table, ask for “une carafe d’eau.” It is common to drink


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The Food

a sweet alcoholic apéritif before a nice meal; popular options include kir, a blend of white wine and cassis (black currant liqueur); kir royale (with champagne instead of wine); pastis, a licorice liqueur; suze, made from fermented gentiane (a sweet-smelling mountain flower that yields a wickedly bitter brew); picon-bière, beer mixed with a sweet liqueur; and the classic martini. During the meal, the only socially acceptable drinks are water and wine. Soda, beer, juice, and all other potable liquids that are not water or wine are forbidden under pentaly of shunning; if a restaurant offers these with your meal, it’s a good sign that you’re chowing down at a tourist trap. Finish the meal with an espresso (un café), which comes in lethal little cups with blocks of sugar. Café au lait and café crème are generally considered breakfast drinks, so if you prefer your afternoon coffee with milk, try a noisette, which is espresso with just a dash of milk. When boisson compris is written on the menu, you will receive a free drink (most often wine) with the meal.



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The Ins & Outs of Wine IN FRANCE WINE IS NOT A LUXURY; IT IS A NECESSITY. THE FIRST FRENCH CITIZEN TO ORBIT THE EARTH BROUGHT ALONG THE INDISPENSABLE BEVERAGE WITH HIM. Wines from all over France can be purchased in supermarkets, specialty stores, and restaurants. The Loire Valley of France produces a number of whites, with the major vineyards at Angers, Chinon, Saumur, Anjou, Tours, and Sancerre. Cognac, farther south on the Atlantic coast, is famous for the double-distilled spirit of the same name. Centered on the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers, the classic Bordeaux region produces red and white Pomerol, Graves, and sweet Sauternes. The spirit armagnac, similar to cognac, comes from Gascony, while Jurançon wines come from vineyards higher up the slopes of the Pyrénées. Southern wines include those of Languedoc and Roussillon on the coast and Limoux and Gaillac inland. The vineyards of Provence on the coast near Toulon are recognized for their rosés. The Côtes du Rhône from Valence to Lyon in the Rhône Valley are home to some of the most celebrated wines produced in France, including Beaujolais. Burgundy is especially renowned for its reds, from the wines of Chablis and the Côte d’Or in the north to the Mâconnais in the south. The white wines produced in Alsace tend to be much spicier and more pungent than others. Many areas of France produce sparkling wines, but the only one that can legally be called champagne is distilled in the Champagne region of the country.

Selecting Wine THERE ARE WINES FOR EVERY OCCASION AND EVERY TYPE OF MEAL, WITH PAIRINGS DICTATED BY DRACONIAN RULES. These rules, however, are not as hard and fast as they once were, so don’t worry too much about them—go with your gut. White wines are lighter, drier, and fruitier. They go well with fish, chicken, and salads and many of the white dessert wines, like Barsac, Sauternes, or Coteaux du Layon, are great with fruit. Red wines tend to be heavier, more


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fragrant, and considerably older, but can overwhelm foods with gentler tastes. Red meat and red wine is a fine and common combination. Rosés are an excellent compromise between the two extremes and are becoming more popular, particularly during lunch. When confused about which wine to choose, just ask. Most waiters in restaurants and employees in wine shops will be more than happy to recommend their favorites to you. Or, fall back on the vin de maison (house wine), served in pitchers at reduced prices.

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SHOPS MARKETS W H E R E T O B U Y   A charcuterie is the French version of a delicatessen,

and a boucherie has meat and poultry. A crémerie sells dairy products, and the corner fromagerie may stock over 100 kinds of cheese. Bou-

langeries will supply you with your daily bread—they’re best visited in the early morning or right before mealtimes, when the baguettes are steaming hot. Pâtisseries sell pastries, and confiseries sell candy; both often have ice cream as well. You can buy your produce at a primeur, and prepared foods at a traiteur. Épiceries (grocery stores) have staples, wine and produce. A marché, an open-air market, is the best place to buy fresh produce, fish, and meat. You can grab any simple food items, cigarettes, and lotto tickets at a corner alimentation (convenience store).   Supermarchés (supermarkets) are, of course, cheaper but lack some of the class, enjoyment, and selection of specialty shops. Do capitalize on the one-stop shopping at the Monoprix and Prisunics that litter the city. They carry men’s and women’s clothing, have photocopiers, phone cards, and a supermarket.

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LIFE'S NECESSITIES The cornerstones of every Parisian neighborhood are its bakeries, confectioners and custom butcher shops.

M A R K E T S   In the 5th century, ancient Lutèce held the first market on

Île de la Cité. More than a millennium and a half later, markets exude conviviality and neighborliness in every arrondissement, despite the ongoing growth of the supermarché. Most are open two to six days per week (always on Sunday). The freshest products are often sold by noon when many stalls start to close. Quality and price can vary significantly from one stall to the next, making it a good idea to stroll through the entire market before buying.

S A L O N S D E T H É   Parisian salons de thé (tea rooms) fall into three

categories: stately salons that give off that tycoon-in-a-tux-witha-mustache vibe, Seattle-style joints for pseudo-intellectuals, and cafes that simply want to signal that they also serve tea. For salon de thé culture at its best, enjoy delicate sandwiches and pastries at Sunday brunch—but be sure to reserve ahead, as lines often stretch out the door at the larger salons.






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The Arts

Artistic Heritage


A Y I N G T H AT the French revere their time spent soaking up

arts and culture is an understatement. Particularly in Paris— where an abundance of venues is concentrated within a

few square miles—it is common to find the French devoting their weekends to exploring the wealth of museums and cultural havens; many of the provincial areas are likewise blessed with impressive monuments to art and architecture. During the past millennium, many of the icons and most prolific minds in philosophy, literature, poetry, theatre, painting, sculpture, architecture, and science can be credited to the French—or, in some cases, expatriates living in France. Encouragement and support for artistic endeavor has been a hallmark of France's kings, emperors, and presidents to this day. Not surprisingly, one can attribute both the people's pride in their heritage, as well as the sheer extent of France's artistic wealth, to a long, colorful and often tumultuous history.

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Much of the French thirst for cultural enrichment and education dates back to the Crusades, when books, artistic influences, mathematics, and philosophical thought were carried back to the Gallic people from distant, advanced civilizations. Though relatively few artifacts remain from earlier eras, art in ancient Gaul may be traced back through the Merovingian period (beginning in the late fifth century), to the Roman Empire (starting in the first century B.C.), the ancient Celts (fifth century B.C.), and even to the Cro-Magnons of Paleolithic times (10,000 to 32,000 years ago).

During the past millennium, many of the icons and most prolific minds in philosophy, literature, poetry, theatre, painting, sculpture, architecture, and science can be credited to the French—or, in some cases, expatriates living in France. Encouragement and support for artistic endeavor has been a hallmark of France's kings, emperors, and presidents to this day. In order to preserve such a rich cultural heritage, and to make it more widely available outside of Paris, a Ministry of Culture was established by the French government in 1959. In this chapter, we


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will discuss France's fascinating history of art and architecture.

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Roman Stones Paris’ first achievements in architecture were the baths, arenas, and roads built by the Romans, which include the partially reconstructed Arènes de Lutèce and the baths preserved in the Musée de Cluny. Though few of the ruins remain intact, this type classical architecture has been a model for many more recent constructions.

Gothic Cathedrals Most Medieval art aimed to instruct 12th- and 13th-century churchgoers on religious themes. As most commoners were illiterate, stained glass and intricate stone facades, like those at Chartres, Ste-Chapelle, and Notre Dame, served as large, pictoral reproductions of the Bible. The churches are stunning examples of Gothic arc-hitecture, characterized by flying buttresses and enormous stained glass windows.

The Renaissance Inspired by the painting, sculpture, and architecture of the Italian Renaissance, 16th-century France imported much of its style from its boot-shaped neighbor to the east. François I had seen this art, which employed revolutionary techniques that transformed their subjects, during his Italian campaigns, and when he inherited France in 1515, he decided that the time had come to put his country, artistically, on the map. The king implored friends in Italy to send him works by Titian and Bronzino. He also imported the artists themselves to create Fontainebleau, the most perfect example of French Renaissance architecture. Leonardo da Vinci appeared soon after, with the Mona Lisa in tow as a gift to the French monarch . Some of the world’s greatest Renaissance art can be seen at the Louvre.

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Baroque Excess   In the 17th century, the Baroque movement swept up from Italy to France, just in time for Louis XIV’s to make everything gold and shiny. The architecture of Versailles benefited greatly from this Italian infusion. The Sun King drew inspiration from the château of Vaux-le-Vicomte , the 1657 accomplishment of the architect-artist-landscaper triumvirate of Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun, and André Le Nôtre. But the Baroque period had room for realism, even as it indulged a monarch’s penchant for gilt—the brothers Le Nain (who worked together on all their canvases) and Georges de La Tour (1593-1652) produced representations of everyday life.

Académie Royale   Baroque exuberance was subdued by the more serious and classical works of painter Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). Poussin believed that reason should be the guiding principle of art and was fortunate enough to promulgate these views with the endorsement of the Académie Royale. Under director Charles Le Brun (1619-90), the traditionalist Academy became the sole arbiter of taste in all matters artistic. It held annual salons— “official” art exhibitions held in vacant halls of the Louvre where the art can still be found—and it set strict, conservative guidelines for artistic technique and subject matter.

Rococo   The playful Rococo style emerged from the early 18th century. Its asymmetrical curves and profusion of ornamentation were far more conducive to Louis XV’s interior design than to architecture itself. Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) captured the secret rendezvous of the aristocracy in his paintings and François Boucher (1703-70) painted landscapes and scenes from courtly life.

Neoclassicism And Revolutionary Art

After the Revolution

wreaked havoc on symbolic strongholds of the aristocracy like Versailles and Notre Dame, the reign of Napoleon I saw the emergence of Neoclassicism, exemplified architecturally by the Église de la Madeleine—a giant imitation of a Greco-Roman temple—and the imposing Arc de Triomphe , both begun in 1806. In painting,

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revolutionaries and is considered by some critics to mark

Romanticism And Orientalism

the onset of modernity. Later, he created giant canvases

century France was ready to settle into respectable,

on classical themes like Oath of the Horatii (1784) which

bourgeois ways after several turbulent years of transition-

exploited the Greek and Roman iconography so admired

ing from Republic to Empire. The paintings of Eugène

by Napoleon (his employer). Following David, and

Delacroix (1798-1863) were a shock to salons of the 1820s

encouraged by the deep pockets of Napoleon, painters

and 1830s. The Massacre at Chios (1824) and The Death of

created large, dramatic pictures, often of the emperor as

Sardanapalus (1827) both display an extraordinary sense

Romantic hero and god, all rolled into one petit package.

of color and a penchant for melodrama. Delacroix went

After Napoleon’s fall, few artists painted nationalistic

on to do a series of “Moroccan” paintings. He shared this

tableaux. One exception was Théodore Géricault (1791-

Orientalist tendency with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

1824), whose Raft of the Medusa (1819) hangs magnifi-

(1780-1867), among others. Ingres’ most famous represen-

cently in the Louvre.

tation of the sexual and racial otherness that so fascinated


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thetic; his Death of Marat (1793) was a rallying point for


Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) exemplifies this aesNineteenth-

the Romantic imagination is the captivating reclining nude, La grande odalisque. The subject’s exotic beauty is emphasized through exaggerated features; she would have had to have a few more verterbra than most humans for this stunning portrait to be true to life. Another influential Romantic, Paul Delaroche (1797-1859) created charged narratives on large canvases (The Young Martyr, 1855).

J A C Q U E S - L O U S D AV I D 1793

Death of Marat

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RAFT OF THE MEDUSA Théodore Géricault 1818-1819


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Normandia Marketplace

T H É O D O R E R O U S S E AU Mont-Saint-Michel 1832

Classicism And The Influence Of Haussmann  Aside from a romantically inspired Gothic revival led by the so-called “great restorer” Viollet-le-Duc, Neoclassicism reigned in 19th-century architecture, supported by the strictly classical curriculum of the dominant École des Beaux-Arts. The ultimate expression of 19th-century classicism is Charles Garnier’s Palais Garnier, built 1862-1875. More influential to the face of today’s Paris, however, was the direction of Baron Georges Haussmann. From 1852 to 1870, Haussmann transformed Paris from a medieval city to a modern metropolis. Commissioned by Napoleon III to modernize the city, Haussmann tore long, straight boulevards through the tangled clutter and narrow alleys of old Paris, displacing thousands of poor people and creating a unified network of grand boulevards.

Realism The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the reinvention of painting in France: first, a shift of subject matter to everyday life, and then a radical change in technique. Impressionism found its beginnings in the mid-19th century with Théodore Rousseau (1812-67) and Jean-François Millet (1814-75), leaders of the École de Barbizon, a group of artists who painted nature for its own sake. Landscape paintings capturing a “slice of life” paved the way for Realism. The Realists were led by Gustave Courbet (1819-77), who focused on everyday subjects but portrayed them magnified many times on tremendous canvases.

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Manet’s Modernity

Edouard Manet(1832-83) facil-

itated the transition from the Realism of Courbet to what to shift the focus of his work to color and texture. Manet’s

Impressionism And Post-Impressionism By the late 1860s

Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe was refused by the Salon of 1863

Manet’s new aesthetic had set the stage for Claude Monet

due to its less-than-kosher naked-lunch theme (two suited

(1840-1926), Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), and Pierre-Au-

men and a naked woman are shown picnicking in the

guste Renoir (1841-1919), who began further to explore

forest, in a formation taken from Raimondi’s Judgement

new techniques. They strove to attain a sense of imme-

of Paris ); it was later shown proudly at the Salon des Re-

diacy; colors were used to capture scenes as they were

fusés, along with 7000 other rejected salon works. In the

(a very different agenda than classicism’s emphasis on

equally scandalous Olympia (1862), app-ropriating the

structure and stage-like set-ups) and light became sub-

form of Titian’s Venus of Urbino, Manet boldly re-imag-

ject matter in itself. In 1874, these revolutionary artists

ined the classically idealized female nude. He depicted a

had their first collective exhibition, and one critic snidely

distinctly contemporary Parisian prostitute, wearing only

labeled the group “Impressionists.” The artists them-

a shoe and staring unapologetically at the viewer. This

selves found the label accurate, and their Impressionists’

display of fleshy modernity disconcerted viewers, earned

show became an annual event for the next seven years.

accusations of pornography, and inspired numerous cari-

In the late 1880s, the group inspired Gustave Caillebotte

catures, but eventually won him immortality. Both works

(1848-94), Berthe Morisot (1841-95), and Henri Fantin-

can be seen at the fantastic Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Latour (1836-1904).

we now consider Impressionism; in the 1860s, he began

E D O UA R D M A N E T Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe 1862

The Post-Impressionists, also called Neo-Im-


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pressionists, were for the most part loners. Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) painted landscapes using an early Cubist technique in Aix-en-Provence; Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) took up a solitary residence in Tahiti, where he painted in sensuous color; Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) projected his tortured emotions onto the countryside at Auvers-surOise. Georges Seurat (1859-91), something less of a social outcast, revealed his Pointillist technique at the Salon des Indépendants of 1884. Sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) focused on the energetic, muscular shaping of bronze. Pieces by all of these artists can be found at the Musée d’Orsay.

Bohemia And Art Nouveau

As the 19th century

drew to a close, Bohemia had moved its center to Montmartre, a refuge from the chaos of the modern city below. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) captured the spirit of the Belle Époque in vibrant silkscreen posters that covered Paris, as well as in his paintings of brothels, circuses, and can-can cabarets. The curves of Art Nouveau transformed architecture, furniture, lamps, jewelry, fashion, and even the entrances to the Paris Métropolitain. The World’s Fairs of 1889 and 1900 led to the construction of the Grand and Petit Palais and the Eiffel Tower , which, over a century after its controversial construction, remains France’s most iconic landmark. Meanwhile, Charles Frederick Worth opened Paris’ first house of haute couture, turning fashion into a sort of commodified art form.

PA U L C É Z A N N E 1898-1900

Pyramid of Skulls

Cubism And Fauvism Pablo Picasso, one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, first arrived in Paris from Spain in 1900 and made a reputation for himself


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with collectors like writer Gertrude Stein. Together with fellow painter Georges Braques (1882-1963), Picasso patented Cubism, a radical movement de-emphasizing an object’s form by showing all its sides at once. Many of Picasso’s works can be found at the museum which bears his name . The word “Cubism” was coined by Henri Matisse (1869-1964) as he described one of Braque’s landscapes. Matisse, engaged in a lifelong rivalry with Picasso, chose to squeeze paint from the tube directly onto canvas. This aggressive style earned the name Fauvism (from fauves, or wild animals).

Dadaism Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) put Cubism in motion with his Nude Descending a Staircase (1912). The disillusionment that pervaded Europe after WWI kindled Duchamp’s leadership of the Dada movement. Dadaists’ production of “non-art” was a rejection of artistic conventions. This movement culminated in the exhibition of Duchamp’s La Fontaine (The Fountain, 1917), a urinal that the guerilla artist turned upside-down and signed.

Surrealism Surrealism’s goal was a union of dream and fantasy with the everyday to form “an absolute reality, a surreality,” according to André Breton, leader of the movement. The bowler-hatted men of René Magritte (18981967), the dreamscapes of Joan Miró (1893-1983), the patterns of Max Ernst (1891-1976), and the melting timepieces of Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) all arose from time spent in Paris. Surrealist art can be found at the Centre Pompidou.

PA B L O P I C A S S O Girl with a Mando 1910

MARCEL DUCHAMP Nude Descending Staircase


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S A LVA D O R D A L I T h e Te m p t a t i o n o f S t . A n t h o n y 1946


Now that your armed with the essentials about Paris, you can explore the City of Light with a little knowledge behind you. Explore all of the various food options, see the sights, explore the museums and experience centuries worth of classic art and architecture. The enclosed map will help you on your way. For more information, not included within this book, please visit Frommers. com and for detailed information on visiting Paris for extended periods of time. Look for the appendices, for this book, on travel essentials, food, accommodations, sights, museums, shopping, entertainment and nightlife, coming soon to a retailer near you.


{ AY }


{ D AY }

Academie Royale, 135

Dadaism, 148

Arc de Triumphe, 15,62,78,100,126

David, Jacques-Louis, 138

Arrondissements, 15, 60–85

Dali, Salvador, 152-153

Art, 127, 130-133

Death of Marat,139

Art Nouveau, 146

Dejeuner Sur l'Herbe, 145

Architecture, 127, 130-133, 135, 137, 143, 148

Duchamp, Marcel 150-151

Auteuil, 92

Dinner, 70


Drinks, 114-119 { B AY }

Baguette, 108, 127


Banlieues, 97

Eiffel Tower, 3, 79, 13, 23, 26, 37,60–61, 64

Baroque, 137

Escargot, 110-111

Bastille, 87


Batignolles, 93

Exposition Universelle, 90

Belleville, 96


Butte Ave Cailles, 15


Buttes Chaumont, 95

Food, 98-113



Flying Buttresses, 82-83, 135 { S AY }

Canal St. Martin, 86 Cezanne, Paul, 146-147

French Cooking, 106-113 French language, 42, 45–47, 58

Champs Elysees, 84


Chatelet-Les Halles,78

Gèode, 24

Chinatown, 88

Gericault, Theodore, 140-141

City of Lights, 18-25

Get Over It, 38–41

City of Science,24

Girl with a Mando, 148-149

Classicism, 143

Greetings, 58

Cubism, 148 Culture, 13


{ Z H AY }


Hours, 70

Index I



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Ile De La Cite, 60

Picasso, Pablo, 148-149

Ile St-Louis, 18

Paris Facts, 16-17

Impressionism, 144

Passy, 92

Invalides, 81

Pyramid of Skulls, 146-147


Pere LaChaise, 96 {ELL}

Politeness, 71

Language, The, 42-47

Population, 15, 43

The Latin Quarter, 80

Post-Impressionism, 146

Louvre, The, 72,130-131



Public Restrooms, 71 {EM}

Map 144–145


Manet, Edouard, 144

Quiche, 109

Markets, 120-121


Marais, The, 79


Meals, 102-103

Raft of Medusa, 140-141


Realism, 143

Mont-Saint-Michel, 142

Reign of Grandeur, 139

Monet, Claude, 144

Revolutionary Art,138

Montmartre, 94

Roccoco, 137

Montparnasse, 89

Romanticism, 138

Myths, 26–35






Salons de Thè, 124-125

NeoClassicism, 138

Seine, The, 23

Notre Dame, 83,129

Service, 59

Nude Descending Staircase, 150-151

St. Germain, 80


Surrealism, 148 {OH}

Opera, 85


Opulent Square, 25

Tipping, 59

Orientalism, 138

The Temptation of St. Anthony, 152-153

{ TAY }

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ton, MA: Natur och Kultur Publishers, 2008. G O O D A L E , B R I A N N A , O'Rourke, Sara and Let's Go Publications.

Let's Go: Paris. 16th ed. Cambridge, MA: Let's Go Publications, 2010. <> H A R R I S , J O A N N E , and Warde, Fran. The French Market. New

York, NY: Transworld Publishers, a division of The Random House Group Ltd., 2006. S C H A L L , R E B E C C A . Historic Photos of Paris. Paducah, KY: Turner

Publishing Company, 2007. S C H E L L E R , W I L L I A M G ., Spectacular Paris. New York, NY: Univers

Publishing, 2008 T H E S C O T T O S I S T E R S and Pudlowski, Gilles. France the Beautiful

Cookbook. San Francisco, CA: Collins Publishers, Inc., 1989.

Websites E A S Y E X P AT <> F R O M M E R ' S T R A V E L G U I D E S <> I N S I D E R P A R I S G U I D E S <> S I M P L Y P A R I S <>

St. Martin’s Marek