The 12th arrondissement lies east of Place de la Bastille and south of Place de la Nation. Though this primarily working-class quarter is not prominently featured on most tourist maps, it has a rich history. These moonlit roofs evoke Le Chateau de Reuilly, the Merovingian palace of King Dagobert completed nearby in 629.
From the upper right: Art Deco building along La Promenade PlantĂŠe. Barb on La Promenade. Flea market action at MarchĂŠ Aligre.
Get away from it all in this excellent location.
The site oldest settlement in Paris is on the river at Bercy – Neolithic fishermen lived there around 1200BC and left several dugout canoes called pirogues (see below at Village de Bercy). The Merovingian King Dagobert built Chateau de Reuilly in 629 in more-or-less the location of present-day Parc de Reuilly and the rue de Reuilly follows the alignment of the ancient road used to access this chateau. Features we know about include: ·
Parc de Bercy – large park on the river which includes le Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy and la Musée de la Cinématèque Française (extensive film library). On the east side of the park is Le Village de Bercy, which is basically an urban-renewal project which adapted rows of small wine warehouses from the late 1800’s into boutiques, restaurants and a cinema. Several pirogues (boats made from hollowed logs) and pottery, etc., dating from 1200 BC were found here in the 90's when the project was under construction. The relics, souvenirs of what the museum claims to be one of the oldest boat landing sites in the world, are on view at Le Musée Carnavalet in the Marais. This is commemorated in the Village - the street immediately east is named rue des Pirogues de Bercy!
La Promenade Plantée (also known as La Coulée Verte) is an old railroad right-of-way converted to a heavily-planted pedestrian way linking Bastille east almost to the Bois de Vincennes. A great spot to view a new (to most Americans) Parisian sight – joggers! The eastern end of the promenade is built on raised railroad viaducts and forms le Viaduc des Arts, a site for several blocks of boutiques for crafts and Surcouf, the biggest high-tech store in Paris. In fact, the adjacent Rue Montgallet and a little bit of rue de Charenton are the high-tech center of Paris.
Marché Aligre is a large farmer’s market at Place d’Aligre at the intersection of rue d’Aligre and rue Beccaria, just north of rue de Charenton and west of Boulevard Diderot. There’s an enclosed market and a street market and a couple of times a week, a flea market with a lot of astounding stuff. I got a couple of short scarves for 3€ each.
None of these places attract many tourists; at least, not Americans, and that’s one of the best features of all!
Above: Figures at Parc de Bercy representing cities or countries, a few of the the 21 sculptures of Rachid Khimoune's "Children of the World" installation, created in 2001 to honor children's rights. Below: Lunch at a congenial restaurant in the 12th, Mémère au Piano, a name that roughly translates “Grandma at Her Stove”.
This Roman cauliflower at Marché Aligre looks like it’s from outer space.
Seeing the Sights It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been to Paris, you can’t help yourself doing some sightseeing. We made the rounds of most of the free museums and a few which weren’t, plus visiting some of the obligatory monuments historiques. Not that you can avoid, them, anyway, since they’re everywhere!
Tour Eiffel by night, from Le Batobus.
Notre Dame from Le Batobus.
Above Jim Morrisonâ€™s grave in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Roaming the Gardens If there were ever a place famous for its gardens, this is it, and there were plenty of warn autumn days to enjoy them.
Albert Kahn Museum, Boulogne
Taking on Sustenance You don’t have to go far to find something to eat or drink. We usually missed sitting picturesquely around a café at l’heure bleue, the cocktail hour, because we were already home and having our happy hour chez nous. Paris is famous for markets – flea markets, street markets, the corner store – and a boulangerie for a good bread is never far away. We visited the flea markets for fun at first; then, later in the month, for warm clothes.
First some refreshments.....
...... then some shopping
We were in Paris a month and doing lots of things, but we could only sample a fraction of what this city has to offer. We had oodles of fun though, seeing the sights, enjoying the food, hanging out with our friends; and, if there’s a lot of things we didn’t get around to, I guess that means we’ll just have to go back!
From the upper right: - Street dancing with gypsy band to raise awareness of positive aspects of their culture and arts. - Bouquinistes along the Seine. - Still life in the apartment. - Jogging on La Coulée Verte - Parc de Bercy - Barb at a café. - Along the Seine.
From the upper right: -
Rainy day at the Petit Palais. The crowds in Montmartre Buildings in the 12th View from Quai dâ€™Orsay Museum Lapin Agile, renowned hotspot of yore Sidewalk dining in Place Duphine
Published on Jul 13, 2013