- Where the Locals Go
Bonjour city-lovers! Welcome to another Wednesday edition of I Heart My City. Today’s insider guide to Paris, France comes from Lindsey Tramuta, an American expat, writer, photographer, and baker who shares tales about the City of Light on her Lost in Cheeseland blog. Read about Lindsey’s favorite places to eat, drink, dance, and play in Paris, then tell us what you love about the French capital in the comments section below. For more Parisian insights (and mouthwatering photos of cheese, pastries, and other delectable French foods) follow Lindsey on Twitter.
Paris is My City
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is my neighborhood, the 11th arrondissement– an instant view of the way locals live and an introduction to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and bakeries.
When I crave juicy burgers I always go to Drôle d’Endroit Pour Une Rencontre on rue Montorgueil.
To escape the busy city streets I head to one of the capital’s many parks, usually Place des Vosges or Luxembourg Gardens.
If I want to feel like I’m in a different city I go to Montmartre which seems more like a small village, than part of Paris.
For complete quiet, I can hide away in my apartment where I can shut out the sound of bustling cafés, honking and (frequent) yelling on the streets below.
If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the fishmongers on rue Montorgueil, they won’t bite.
If you have to order one thing off the menu from Pain de Sucre it has to be the Tarte au Citron.
La Vaissellerie is my one-stop shop for great kitchen knickknacks.
Locals know to skip Brasserie Lipp and check out the Christian Constant restaurants (especially Les Cocottes and Café Constant) instead.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go for Falafel on rue des Rosiers or my local bakery for savory tarts under 3€.
For a huge splurge I go Le Bon Marché and/or La Grande Epicerie, its gourmet supermarket right next door.
Photo ops in my city include the Eiffel Tower, l’Arc de Triomphe, Ladurée (not joking) and the best vantage points are from Sacré Coeur in Montmartre and the top of the Montparnasse Tower.
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Gerard Depardieu– a lot of talent and passion with a little bit of rebelliousness and bad judgment thrown into the mix.
The most random thing about my city is the hours at which garbage is collected and how expensive the shoes are.
My city has the most eclectic men.
My city has the most insecure fashionable women.
In my city, an active day outdoors involves walking or biking to go eat or drink!.
My city’s best museum is the Musée d’Orsay. Even if you’re not a fan of art you will appreciate the museum’s building, a former railway station.
My favorite jogging/walking route is along the banks of the Seine toward the 7th arrondissement and rounding out at the Champs de Mars.
For a night of dancing, go to L’Alimentation Générale. Or, for live music, check out Nouveau Casino.
Al Taglio is the spot for late-night eats (in the 11th!)
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read “A Nous” in French, distributed for free in metro stations or GoGoParis.com for an insider’s English guide to what’s happening in the city.
You can tell a lot about my city by people-watching
You can tell if someone is from my city if they have a cigarette in one hand, a Diet Coke in the other.
In the spring you should grab a spot and relax on one of the city’s many sun-drenched café terraces.
In the summer you should picnic along the Seine in the evening and watch the sunset (it gets dark between 9-10 p.m.!).
In the fall you should walk through the Buttes Chaumont park.
In the winter you should go ice skating in front of Hôtel de Ville (city hall).
A hidden gem in my city is Chinatown in the 13th arrondissement, often just as overlooked by locals as by visitors.
For a great breakfast joint try Pain et Chocolat.
Don’t miss the outdoor film festival at La Villette park, which takes place every summer for a month. Old and somewhat recent movies are shown on a giant screen, and people come equipped with picnic blankets and snacks for the evening.
Just outside my city, you can visit Chantilly which has gorgeous gardens, a Château, museum, and horse racing.
The best way to see my city is by foot or by bike.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
If my city were a pet it would be a beautiful but prissy cat.
If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live somewhere near the ocean.
The best book about my city is Almost French and Paris, Paris.
When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “La Foule” by Edith Piaf.
If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the motorboats at the Luxembourg Gardens and Le Jardin d’Acclimitation.
Transit strikes during the holidays could only happen in my city.
My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s Paris! Who doesn’t love it?
Tell us what you love about Paris. Leave the details in the comments section below.
Want to see your city on Intelligent Travel? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses (with any photos, videos or links) to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org.
Top photo: Lindsey Tramuta