July 25, 2014
The summer is one of the best times to go out and explore the city in all its splendor. Unfortunately, some of the city’s best places for strolling often happen to be packed with Parisians and tourists alike. Here is a specific stroll to enjoy les beaux jours d’été without the crowds… And with some delicious delicacies to keep you fueled along the way!
There are lots of excellent food shops and markets in Paris, in addition to gorgeous parks. This stroll is perfect for the warmer months because it bypasses the summer closure of many of those great gastronomic shops, while evading the larger crowds camped out in the famous green spaces around the city. You’ll also work off any of the surplus calories along the way, or at least some of them. This walk through the 12th arrondissement is ideal for a picnic lunch or, if done in reverse, finishing the day with a glass of wine around the market.
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February 15, 2013
Whenever I return to Paris, it always takes me a few days to get settled and realize that I am actually here. A while ago, Tory wrote a post on how she knows she’s in Paris, which inspired me to think about the signs that tell me I’ve arrived.
Everyone has their own Paris; a few special haunts and pleasures that always make returning to Paris feel like a wonderful indulgence. I’ll bet most regular visitors have certain things they always do and see as soon as they hit the ground. I arrived here a few days ago and like clockwork, these seven habits kicked in.
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August 4, 2010
Flâner has always been one of my favorite French verbs. The dictionary definition reads “se promener sans but précis” (to walk without a precise goal). Since aimless wandering is basically my raison d’etre in Paris, I appreciate that the French have a word dedicated to the act.
But here’s the kicker: they don’t have just one word for it. My thesaurus indicates that flâner has twelve synonyms. TWELVE synonyms, all of which convey the idea of slowly walking for the sake of walking. I’m the first to admit that walking rules—in fact, I do it quite often—but twelve synonyms? Surely the French have crossed the line into excess.
But no, my friends, no! Spend some time in Paris and you will quickly understand how many different types of strolling there are—I would argue that twelve is, in fact, a vast understatement. In addition to flâner, we have déambuler (to stroll), errer (to march here and there, at random), se promener (to walk oneself… as if you were your own French bulldog), vagabonder… you get the idea.
And in addition to the twelve official ways of walking, I’ve developed a few of my own “walks” that don’t yet seem to have formal labels:
The backwards walk. This comes in handy when I need to head east, but the Eiffel Tower is doing its sparkling thing, so rather than turn my back on it, I just walk backwards until it’s done, trying my best not to stumble off a bridge.
The “I’m not lost” walk. Naturally, I do this one when I’m lost. The key is to walk really slowly so you appear to be flâner–ing (just taking it all in… nothing to see here), but really you are retracing your steps, or turning in circles, or wondering if that’s the same Franprix you passed twenty minutes ago. It’s ok; wherever you’re going, you’ll get there eventually, and in the meantime, you’re lost in Paris. How romantic!
The walk of NO shame. The sun is up, and yet, having hopped from bar to bar, I have not yet gone home for the night, and my outfit now seems highly inappropriate. Rather than running for cover, I simply stroll through whatever open-air market I come to, eying the produce like the savvy early-morning shopper I am pretending to be. (Then I buy a baguette and eat it in bed before I fall asleep for the rest of the morning). Continue Reading »
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