Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Stories of line 7, Metro de Paris

A It having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. Tonite I will talk about line 7 of the Metro de Paris.

This line has 18,6 kms, took 70 years to do all stations and is completely underground. It criss cross Paris from north east to south east with 38 stations, the first station was done in 1910 from porte de la villette to Opéra. It has two directional segments at Maison Blanche  and Louis Blanc for line 7bis.

We take our ride at Gare de l’est, emblematic because when I first came to know what is today is my wife, we met here on her way to her home then in Meaux. It was first named Gare de le’Est-Verdun; where it is richly ornated with Verdun and Strasbourg,  main parvis at Rue du 8 mai 1945.  See the nice Couvent des Récollets a convent turn troop station, then hospital ,built in the 17-18C, you enter a courtyard where rue de paradis, then rue de la Fidelité, and out by rue du Dé 148 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin. My favorite here is the L’Atmosphere now, at 49 rue des Sampaix,. You come more into central Paris at Pyramides, opened in 1916, after the victory of Napoleon over the mamelouks at Mourad Bey in 1798. The nice Eglise Saint-Roch at 296 rue Saint-Honoré, done in 1655  by Louis XIV and Anne of Austria who put the first stone.It is the parrish of artists where Le Notre, Corneille, and Diderot were enterred. See the wonderful Théatre du Palais Royal where Moliére play from 1662 to 1673, the theater wanted by Richelieu, it has a magnificent stairs done in 1880, at 38 rue de Montpensier. Try a drink or meal at Le Bistrot Saint Honoré next to the marché or market at 10 rue Gomboust.

Moving over the river to Pont-Neuf, opened in 1926 at the foot of the old Samaritaine. It is a like a small museum inside the station. Right at the oldest bridge in Paris done in 1607. But even before in 1578 this site was whre Henri III was in mourning and cry here so the bridge was call the bridge of cries. The bridge eventually became the first bridge without houses on it in Paris. You see the equestrian statue of Henri IV done in 1604 in Italy the statue sank in the mediterranean, rescue, did not arrive in Paris that on 1614 while Henri IV was no longer living. It was destroyed during the French revolution, and brought back in metal by Louis XVIII, during the renovation in 2004 they found 7 cedar boxes in the horses shoes! ,It is at place Pont-Neuf. You,also, see the square du Vert-Galant, name after the lover Henri IV, now it offers a romantic view over the Louvre and the hotel de la monnaie. Another wonderful plaza is Place Dauphine, done in 1584 by Henri III, , in 1601 Henri IV continues the work and name as it is today in honor of the dauphine Louis XIII he in turn gives away the land to the parliament president and 32 houses are built identical in white stone and brick, today if you are careful you can see the two remaining houses angles at the point. Try a drink at Cafe du Pont Neuf,14 quai du Louvre, Kong the wonderful views over paris resto at 1 rue du Pont Neuf, my favorite Au Vieux Comptoir, 17 rue des Lavandiéres, very good ambiance and friendly. And dont forget to take a boat ride with the Bateaux-Vedettes du Pont Neuf at the embarcadere or harbor of square du Vert-Galant.

We arrive at Pont Marie, open in 1926, a bridge to link the rive droite with the ile de Saint Louis;in 1614 and finish in 1635. The place goes back to Louis IX convent of carmelites in 1234!!! It passes later on to the Celestins in 1352!!!. You can see here the Hotel de Sens, home since 1528 to the Cardinal Antoine Duprat, that reunites the council of Sens, in Burgundy. the comdenation of the heresy of Luther and the home of the repuditation of the queen margot.  today its a wonderful library dedicated to the decorative arts. 1 rue du Figuier. The wonderful church of Saint Gervais-Saint Protais, 6C with mirrors of the 15C, it has the oldest organ in Paris dating from 1628, pl Saint-Gervais. You wandered thru and by Ile Saint Louis, it will take pages to describe it, just to tell you its magical. You can see the world and have a glass at Brasserie du Pont Louis-Philippe, 66 quai de l’Hotel de Ville, The memorial of the Shoah, with its wall of names, with 76000 jews who were deported to concenttration camps, at 17 rue Geoffrey l’Asnier. A Tradition to have an ice cream Berthillon , all begain in 1954 at Maison Berthillon, 31 rue Saint Louis-en-l’ile, and the great chocolates at La Charlotte de l’Isle, 24 rue Saint Louis-en-l’ile.

We moved on to Jussieu, an University neighborhood. station opened in 1931. First it was called Jussieu-Halle-aux-Vins, the wine market close during Napoleon it just remained Jussieu. Wine because since 1622 it came to Paris by here from all parts of France. It became an university area as today from 1957 with the tour Zamansky that was finally demolished in 2000. The Jussieu were three brothers, one left for South America,and two others created the gardens of the Jardin des Plantes! this venerable institution is a fun place for all , jardin des plantes, from an idea of Louis XIII in 1633 , open to public since 1640!!! and the naturalhistory museum or Musée National d’histoire since 1793. The parc ecologiques the labyrinthe there since 1640,just wonderful entrance by 57 rue Cuvier, 2 ue Buffon, and 36 rue Geoffrey Saint HIlaire (my favorite entrance), place Valhubert. The unique Institut du Monde Arabe, the history and education of Islam at 1 rue des Fossés-Saint Bernard. Have a glass at the Le Relais Jussieu, 37 rue Linné

Moving right alone to Place Monge,  opened in 1930, the enlargement of line 10. see the magnificent les Arénes de Lutéce, end of 1C AD at a time in Roman period the city was called Lutéce,you reach them byt 49 rue Monge, rue des arénes, or square Capitan.  You can walk the colorful but very touristic in my opinion rue Mouffetard, at the place de la contrescarpe, done in 1852, at No 6 two bulls from 18C shows the vestiges of a meat store, at No 1, frm the middle ages is the cabaret de la pomme de Pin, at No 122 de la rue Mouffetard, the Bonne Source reminds the presence of an old well from the times of Henri IV. At No 134 you see the arabesque vegetables and animals from dating of 17C. When at No 53 the house was demolished they found 3351 pieces of gold done with the image of Louis XV!!! Have a glass at Le Bistrot du Marché, 75bis rue Monge.  you wont go wrong for a good beer and ambiance at the  Le Requin Chagrin, 10 rue Mouffetard. See the Théatre de la Vieille Grille, a wonderful cafe theater with grocery store and wine store at the same time, just lovely at 9 rue Larrey .

Censier-Daubenton, is the next station that from 2010 is under a research green, as the first in the world to be dotted with diodes for lighting. THe station opened in 1930. You see the interesting church Saint Médard, there once a chapel ,destroyed in 1561 during the war of religions, the church took its look from 1784, and during the French revolution here it was done the first sermon under the new constitution ; see it at 141 rue Mouffetard. Come to see the Mosquée de Paris or Paris mosque, began in 1922, its construction rend tribute to the muslim fallen during the WWI conflict; during WWII it helps refuge many jews seeking shelter.see at 2bis place du puits de l’Ermite. Also the synagogue de la rue Vauquelin, at No 10 its the symbol temple of science, at No 15 its the library Siegmund Freud at No 9 the rabbinal school done in 1881, see it all at 9 rue Vauquelin. Have a glass at the Le Comptoir des Arts, 100 rue Monge. see the unique Lépée de bois, 100 rue mouffetard, one of the last halls in Paris showing essai arts.  For old history have a glass at Le Verre à Pied, since 1914 at 118bis rue Mouffetard. The wonderful Café Léa, 5 rue Claude Bernard, the meeting place in the area and great brunch on Sundays.

We go now to the Les Gobelins, open in 1930 at the corner of arrondissement of Paris 5 and 13. The inmense Manufacture et Galerie des Gobelins, the tapestries of France! Created by Colbert from 1662, today they do it to cover the government buildings of France,see it at 42 avenue des Gobelins. See the unique Chateau de la Reine-Blanche, at 4 rue Gustave Geffroy, built in the 16C leyend has it that here took place the dance or val des Ardents where Charles VI lost his mind for ever. Have a drink at Cafe Canon des Gobelins, 25 avenue des Gobelins. L’Etchegorry is my favorite basque restaurant in Paris, at 41 rue Croulebarbe; before the place was rented to Victor Hugo, and it later was frequented by Chateaubriand, the cabaret de la mere Gregoire.

Until next time, have a good March,cheers

February 29, 2012

Paris and the Oscar, we won

Well France is in a party mood as The Artist won the Oscar, and now  Jean Dujardin  is all over. This is more remarkable because of a silent movie type. Unbelievable that in these days, a silent movie can win the Oscar, when you consider all the high-tech gadgets around us.

It tells us that there is a genuine desire to go back to gentler times, more humane, and less robotics, for that I welcome the winner as an example for the future. The movie gathered five Oscars all together and a magnificent show of force, persevarance, and great artistic movie making. The Artist will be an icon for years to come.

Just to show some of the areas of Paris that are a favorite hangout of Jean Dujardin according to the Le Figaro.  As a child he spent 10 years in my neighborhood or close by town of Plaisir, where there is now a huge shopping center area, here, he ,also took the first course of impro stand alone comedy at age 16, and frequented the Castle or Château de Plaisir, 282, rue de la Bretechelle, tél.:+33  01 30 54 63 14. the shopping I am talking about is at

He,also enjoy in Paris the Jardin des Plantes at 57 rue Cuvier, and webpage .  He did his debut in 1996 with the Bande du Carré Blanc at the theater-cafe at Le Carré blanc, 44 rue Fontaine ; it closed and now it is rename the  Nous C Nous. His favorite hotel in town was the Park Hyatt Vendome , at 5 rue de la paix, webpage

He enjoy do the jogging in the morning by the quais of the Seine, and enter the church early morning to avoid crowds such as the Cathedral de Notre Dame. He loves to go to the movies at UGC Lyon-Bastille, 12 rue de Lyon, webpage  He enjoys eating at Dérriere ,69 rue de Gravilliers, webpage

All his professional endeavors are celebrated at Le Bastille, 8 pl de la Bastille, from the time of  his success with OSS117 (seen last nite by the family on TV) . Another where a shot from OSS117 was done with a blanquette dish is the Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes ,106, rue de la Folie Méricourt, tel +33 01 43 57 33 78.  One of my favorite places for theater plays is also one of his favorites places in Paris, Théatre Edouard VII, 10 pl Edouard VII, webpage

And on something extra, one of my all time favorite places in Paris since my arrival in the city back in 2003 to live permanently, is L’Alcazar, 62, rue Mazarine, now is the center of the popular TV show in France Top Chef. webpage

And, last but not least, in my new area of Vannes, Morbihan, Bretagne, we have a one star Michelin restaurant just crowned after only 10 months open!!! LA Gourmandiére, talk about good, and one reason for me to try it. Here is the webpage in case someone wants to beat me to it.

February 28, 2012

Stories of Line 6, Metro de Paris

A It having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. Tonite I will talk about line 6 of the Metro de Paris.

This line open in 1900 to  1906. It is 13,6 kms long with 6,1 kms above ground, with pneumatic equipement since 1974, and one of the nicest lines in the Paris metro.  We begin our ride at Trocadero, this is when Chaillot was still a village and a palace of Spanish mudejar style was built inspired b the Giralda of Seville;it was replaced b todays Palais de Chaillot in 1937, and it was here that the Declaration of Human Rights was signed on December 10 1948, and on 1985 the plaza was named the Parvis des Droits de l’Homme. The first attraction is the palais de Chaillot,where many museums such as the musée de l’Homme, Marine, Architecture, Monuments Français, école de chaillot, institut Français,and the Théatre national de chaillot. all at 17 pl du Trocadero. You can be seen at the Esplanade du Trocadero with a great view of the Eiffel tower, and the Jardins du Trocadero all the way to the river Seine. There is a nice museum Cineaqua,2 avenue des nations Unis, the drinks at Cafe Carlu, 1 pl du trocadero and cafe le Malakoff, 6 pl du trocadero.

You now stop at one of my favorite Parisien places, Passy, in the old village of Passy annexed to Paris in 1860. The station was opened in 1903, with a viaduc done in 1903-1906 to connect with Bir-hakeim. Here you have Maison de Radio France with a crown of 500 meters in circumference and 70 meters high, with more than 60 studios, all at 116 avenue du Président Kennedy. This is walkable Paris at its best, take rue des Eaux to come to Rue Raynouard, building falling into the Seine, at No 47 the Maison Balzac, also live there Maupassant and where stayed Benjamin Franklin, narrow streets like rue Berton where Balzac loves to walk too, see the Théatre du Ranelagh and a bit further the carrefour de la Muette,where a castle once stood and now my favorite restaurant old train station Muette, La Gare. If you want to see a wonderful view of the Tour Eiffel, take the metro between Passy and Bir-Harkeim and come by the bridge. Have a drink at Cafe Passy, 2 rue de Passy, do some shopping here is sublime, have a sip and history at the Musée du Vin, 5 square Charles Dickens, see Musée Clemenceau, 8 rue Benjamin Franklin.

Move on to nearby Bir-Hakeim, that open in 1906 under the name Grenelle while taken the current name in 1949. Here you see the magnificent Tour Eiffel, enough said. the Pont Bir-Hakeim many times walk over and drive over, is wonderful, it was here that the LE Dernier Tango à Paris was filmed, the bridge was rebuilt in 1905, and was name in 1848 after the battle of Bir-Hakeim,by quai de Grenelle. The mysterious Ile aux Cygnes host since 1889 a replica of the Statue of Liberty, take the stairs at the level of the bridge.The legendary Jules Verne at the tower is world renown and the new brasserie is also very good. We move away to another area ,Edgar Quinet, open from 1906, in the Montparnasse area, where you can see the famous Cimetiere de Montparnasse with final resting of Samuel Beckett,Charles Baudelaire, etc. at 3 blvd Edgar Quinet.Try a nice meal and drink at La Cerisaie, 70 blvd Edgar Quinet.  Move over to Corvisart, open in 1906, after the personal doctor of Napoleon Ier ,in the village of Gentilly ,annexed of Paris in 1860. Here you see the pool or piscine de la Butte-aux-Cailles, done in 1924,and one of the oldest in Paris. You come around the working class villas or Villes Ouvrieres like petite Russie, petite Alsace taking rue  Bobillot the rue Simonet to reach the main area street at rue des Cinq Diamants, take north to the rue de la Butte-aux-Cailles, take a break at Square Brassai then continue to passage sigaud, rue Daviel, etc.  you have beautiful house gardens around rue de Tolbiac, rue de moulins-des-prés rue henri pape, rue dieulafoy, just lovely.  Have a coffee break at Havana Cafe, 70bis blvd Auguste Blanqui. Chez Paul, 22 rue de la Butte-aux-Cailles.

We have arrive at that other gare, Bercy, also annexed to Paris in 1860; the station opened in 1909. the viaduc of the metro with a lenght of 171 meters was done with metallic tablet in 41 arcades, the station Bercy is attached to line 14 when it opened in 1998.  The wonderful palais omnisports de Bercy, open in 1984, with a room of 55k sq meters and up to 17k seated seats for concerts events etc. The parc de Bercy, with 14 hectares is one of the biggest in Paris right next to Bercy Village. The wonderful parc passarelle simone de Beauvoir linking the parc de Bercy with the Bibliothéque Nationale. Have a glass at Le Bercy, 118 rue  Bercy. LE 51, at the wonderful Cinémathéque at 51 rue de Bercy equally good.

Enjoy it and cheers to all!!!

February 27, 2012

Stories of line 5, Metro de Paris

After having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. Tonite I will talk about line 5 of the Metro de Paris.

It was the first north south axis of Paris well before line 4. Linking Seine Saint Denis with place d’Italie, the viaduc d’Austerlitz was built between 1903-1904 but it was the viaduc du Quai de la Rapée that took the most work built between 1903-1906. It took the line 2 Sud in 1907, and enlarge to the gare du NOrd, in 1942 it becames too long so it was divided to line 6, and on 1985 the new stop at Bobigny is done.

First we take flight at Porte de Pantin, my old stopping point into Paris ,I used to come by car from Meaux and parked by the church there then took the metro into Paris proper from 1990!  The station only openned in 1942!!! Here is the famous Parc de la Villette, 55 hectares of unique places and acts, in an old slaugherhouse last done so in 1977,you can entereed at 211 avenue Jean Jaurés; see the Grande Halle, the main slaughterhouse  where today great expo are held. See the Fontaine aux lions de Nubie, done in 1811 ; the cows used to refresh themselves here and today its the people who does in front of the Grande Halles, the magnificent Cité des sciences et de l’universe, activities for all at 30 avenue Corentin Cariou, You go on to la Geode with a screen of 1000 meters to see films at 180° at 26 avenue Corentin Cariou, ; move on to the cité de la musique, all kinds of music at 221 avenue jean Jaurés , and see the Musée de la musique inside the Cité. You should have a glass at Cafe de la Musique inside the Cité, or go to a concert at the famous Zenith, and the wonderful nightclub le Cabaret Sauvage at  One of my favorites eateries is Le Boeuf Couronné at 188 avenue Jean Jaurés.

We moved on to Ourq, yes the famous canal de l’Ourq built in the 19C and finish n 1821! for more than 110 kms, the metro station was opened in 1947. See the Canal by the Bassin de la Villette,21 quai de la Loire,  that takes you all the way to Meaux (the town of my wife). See the unique protestant church of Saint Serge de Radogéne ,built in 1861 , that in 1924 became a Russian orthodox church at 93 rue de Crimée.  the old night L’Escale at 133 avenue Jean Jaurés is tops. Continue our trip to Jaurés, open in 1903 named rue d’Allemagne ,when the war was declared in 1914 it was change to a young mane Jean Jaurés that was just assassinated by a student, his newspaper L’humanité founded in 1904, so the station took his name.  See here the Rotonde de Ledoux, one of several built to charge the tax to enter merchandise into paris from 1784, see it at place de la bataille de stalingrad. Bassin de la Villette, done to link the canal de l’Ourq to Canal Saint Martin in 1808, see it by quai de Seine and quai de la Loire.  see the historic place of charcoal mariners at Au Rendez-vous de la marine, 14 quai de la Loire.

We go now to the ever popular Gare du Nord, building started in 1842 and was finally done in 1965!!!;  The trains were going since 1846, it was the first railroad network in France. From 1994, it houses the Eurostar coming from England, the metro was opened in 1907.  See the magnificent hospital of Hôpital Lariboissiére done in 1846 to stop the sickness of the time cholera, at 2 rue Ambroise, then move on to La Goutte d’Or et Barbés-Rochechouart, a wonderful district of La Goutte d’Or, get a glass at the Brasserie Terminus Nord inside the hotel at 23 rue de Dunkerque, plenty of ethnic restos in the area. You move over to Oberkampf, named after a tanner from Bavaria, Germany  and created the fabrication of bricks imprinted in copper from 1759,he was French citizen since 1770.It later moved to Jouy-en-Josas near Versailles and the building still there I can vouch for it. Plenty of used items and flea market stores at Rue du Marché-Popincourt where there is a market today. See the unmistable Cafe Bataclan at 50 blvd de Voltaire  done from 1864 ,  We reach the next train station too at Gare d’Austerlitz, name after a famous battle of Dec 2 1805 by Napoleon Ier. It is an open above ground station, behind the great glass enclosure of the train station, a work of art of 50 meters to raise the station over the river Seine, . IT was first call Gare d’Orleans, and renamed in 1930 the Gare d’Orléans-Austerlitz. It was the heading station of the old line Compagnie Paris-Orleans (PO) that with 6 companies form the today SNCF from 1938.In 1985, it simply became the Gare d’Austerlitz.  See here the galerie de Paleontologie et d’anatomie comparée du jardin des plantes, done from 1898, ,this gallery of stone and metal is 80 meters long, see at 57 rue Cuvier. The wonderful Viaduc d’Austerlitz link the station with the metro, so big that when paris was besieged it was use to built zeppelins/ the viaduc was built from 1903-1904. Have a glass at Austerlitz Cafe, 4 blvd de l’hôpital, have a look at the unique Cité de la Mode et du Design, building from 1907, the museum done in 2011 to showcase French fashion.

We arrive at the end ,Place d’Italie, it was named because here ended the Roman road from Lyon. And until the 19c the barrier that was tax free after you enter Paris you paid. The station was opened in 1906. see the Temple Antoiniste, several streets ends here and here is the antoniste movement hq,  see at 34 rue Vergniaud, ; the great shopping center ,centre commercial Italie 2 is unique in inner Paris, at 30 avenue Italie. See the wonderful Butte aux Cailles,see the wooden houses at 10 rue Daviel and towards rue du Moulin des Prés, passage Boiton, and rue Barrault. The piscine butte aux cailles, done in 1924; its the oldest pool in Paris. temp kept at 28°C constant.  See the unique puits artésian de la place Paul Verlaine, pure water from a well 582 meters deep, built from 1863, and to the service of Parisien since 1904; today a plaque tells you the story, at place Paul Verlaine. Here you come to the Supermarché Tang Fréres, 48 avenue d’Ivry, for all your Asiatic needs. Even a Chinese McDonalds at 1 avenue de Choisy. and a Church at Eglise Notre Dame de  Chine,  at 27 avenue de Choisy. Get a taste of a master at Boulangerie-pâtisserie Laurent Duchêne , 2 rue Wurtz. My favorite here is Les Cailloux, 58 rue des Cinq Diamants,

Enjoy the 5éme.

February 26, 2012

A walking ride to my two new loves ,Auray and Vannes.

Now that my family is with me, first weekend, it went nice and cozy. Not easy to have all together with my job ,and still waiting for our house to close in Versailles. In the meantime, we wonder again to our favorite towns, Auray ,where I now have an apartment, and Vannes where I work and is the center of government for my new department ,Morbihan No 56.

First, we set out last night to eat after arrival, and took them to our favorite place, Creperie St Sauveur at St Goustan in Auray. The place was packed with locals,but we had our table as usual, and as usual great friendly service and great meal. We set out to walk its cobblestone steep streets, and visit the two symbols of this district, the chapelle Notre-Dame de Lourdes and the Eglise de St Sauveur now closed.

Today, we drop off our boys in the cineville cinema for them to watch Chronicle movie, and we set out to Vannes, walking Le Port area and its cobblestone streets and the wonderful wooden houses, we then pick up the boys and went to eat at our favorite there the pub pizzeria CatWay by Le Port area.  We did enter the museum of Le Cohue, historical place here, now the Beaux Arts of fine arts museum more info in French here

If want to read more see the Vannes city webpage in English

We then came back home to have some hot coffee ,watch tv, play video games, and be ready for the week of work and school. The rest will do their travels with local public transport, done before,and now one more time. My travel now will depend on the job requirements,and the closing sale of our house. Until our next encounter in the blogging world, and hopefully the rest of the family and friends can see the entries. Cheers


February 18, 2012

Stories of line 4, Metro de Paris

After having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. Tonite I will talk about line 4 of the Paris metro.

It links the north and the south of Paris, the line was progressively built starting in 1908 and not all station connected until 1910. Not before complaint from the scholars at the Institut de France of the noise, and the line diverted to chatelet and ile de la cité. the line was enlarged in 1977 with the station Les Halles ,dug 30 meters deep to accommodate the RER train line. It is expected to be enlarge again this year with the extention to mairie de montrouge.

I pick to begin the porte de Clignancourt, ,this village was ,also, annexed to Paris in 1860. It belongs to the abbey Saint Denis and eventually abbey of Montmartre,the flea market came to be by the walls of the old fortified walls of Thiers. You have a small cementary St Ouen at 69 ave Michelet where lies Alphonse Allais and Suzanne Valadon. then we move on to the flea market, its huge, the marché aux puces de Saint Ouen; it is really a flea market amongst a flea market counting about 16 different venues. Easy on to porte de clignancourt.  The fame resto Le Picolo 58 rue jules vallés is very nice to drink a small glass of white wine or picolo since 1919! My favorites markets marché malik,marché Biron,Marché Vernaison,,and marché Dauphine.  We go inside Paris to Etienne Marcel, line open in 1908 named after the prevost of merchants: You can see the vertiges of the middle ages at the Arbre à liége, 10 rue Tiquetonne. See the wonderful tour de Jean-Sans-Peur ,duke of Burgundy that remains of the hotel de bourgogne, at 20 rue Etienne Marcel. See another Passage du Bourg-l’abbé open from 1827, see at 120 rue Saint Denis. And insist to go to the passage Grand-Cerf at 145 rue Saint Denis, 113 meters long with 12metershigh full of elegant boutiques, and it was here that the carriages coming from the east of France had its terminal. Grand is the Patisserie stôhrer with the best baba rhum in Paris since 1730! the pastry maker to the king of Poland for which the famous cake was invented.

Moving on to Les Halles, the belly of Paris, the food market of the city since Philippe Auguste times!!!In 1851 Napoleon III ask Baltard to dothem in metal, finally the market moves to Rungis, and here it becomes the Forum des Halles ,again renovated and enlarge today. See the wonderful eglise or church of Saint Eustache built from 1532 to 1667AD, and the patron saint of the hunters,and after having an encounter with the deer Louis XIV had his first communion here.2 impasse saint eustache ,nearby the nice fountaine des innocents at the corner of rue saint denis and rue berger,, serve as model for the famous Wallace fountains. Have a drink at the Le Saint Eustache, 14 rue de montmartre, ,and of course the Forum des Halles for its many stores,  see at

You come now to the center, Cité ,the line was open first, then the station open in 1910.It was with republique the first station dotted with elevators! in 1911; the frozen of the seine to -25c wa needed  so we can pass the stones here very sturdy, work was slow, and the stairs needed to bileveled them 13 meters! An architectural marvel underground. You have the magnificient Cathedrale de Notre Dame, built bet the 12-14C, beautiful decoration and a front portal showing the hell entrance to the left and the heaven entrance to the right. There is a rosace of 10 meters in diameter under the galeries des rois, and do not miss the Trésor or treasure room. Parvis de Notre Dame,pl Jean Paul II as it is now call. Here is the point zero of distances in France done from 1924. The marvelous Sainte Chapelle, tohost the relics of Christ, a must to see at 4 blvd du Palais. The Conciergerie, old palace of the Cité, the wonderful tour de horloge, the first public clock in France,inside the biggest gothic room in Europe! not to mention last living place of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. See the wonderful palais de justice,the old section of the royal palace of the cité, built around the year 1000AD It has 4 hectares in land, 24 kms of hallways,7000 doors, and 3150 windows ! See it all at blvd du palais. Not to missed the side streets such as 10 rue Chanoinesse, two lovers met here Heloise and Abélard in the house of uncle Fubert. and at 1 rue des Ursins see the pastiche of medieval houses done in 1960. Have a glass and see the world go by at Brasserie Les Deux Palais, 3 blvd du Palais, take a look at the librarie Shakespeare and Co.37 rue de la Bucherie. A wonderful old section of Paris even if heavily touristic.

We come now to Saint Michel , he is shown facing the devil or satan in the fountain statue at the crossing of place saint michel quai grands augustins, quai et blvd Saint MIchel; the station open in 1910. Of course see the fountain built in 1860; see the wonderful library ,one of my favorites Gibert Jeune at the pl saint michel and the other at 26-34 blvd saint michel. Have a drink at the Le rive Gauche, in the plaza or Saint severin at   see since 1957 great musicals at Théatre de la Huchette at 23 rue de la Huchette  Move over to Odéon, station open in 1910. the site of the théatre français in 1779 and takes the current name in 1797, you can see in the station, at the platform direction porte de clignacourt a bust of Danton, marking the site where he live during the French revolution. A nice building here full of fish decor is Fish La Boissonnerie, at 69 rue de Seine. The wonderful court de Rohan by the rue du Jardinet or the cour du Commerce Saint-André, Rohan for Rouen the building of the bishop of Rouen,here Henri II had stayed his favorite Diane de Poitiers, and find a tower of the time of Philippe Auguste. Going over to the cour du Commerce Saint André, see houses from the 18C at No 9 lived M Guillotin the inventor of the deadly headless machine, go in by blvd Saint Germain. a nice old walking tour is to take on rue Séguier, git-le-coeur and rue suger, narrow street and low hanging houses as like time has not change them at all. The frightful Musée Dupuytren, 15 rue de l’Ecole de Médécine, done in 1835 at the old convent of cordeliers the pathological examples of medicine and pieces of corps in jars!!! moving right along see the Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine at 12 rue de l’Ecole de la Médécine. Do not missed the Odéon Théatre de l’Europe at pl de l’Odéon and see the holes of bullets from WWII during the liberation of Paris. See the erotic gestures in front of you in the rive gauche de Paris: at Théatre érotique Chochotte, 34 rue Saint andré-des-arts. Have a glass at Le Danton, 103 blvd Saint Germain, Café de l’Odéon, and my favorite the Le Comptoir du Relais,  carrefour de l’odéon. Do not missed the chocolates of Georges Larnicol for a taste of Bretagne in Quimper at 132 blvd Saint GErmain.
We arrive at Saint-Germain-des-Prés,  from 555AD St GErmain built the first abbey here.The relics of king Childebert the son of  Clovis are kept here.See the wonderful Pont des Arts, the first bridge in Paris done in iron from 1801. See the wonderful library La Hune, 170 blvd st germain, L’ecume des pages at 174 blvd saint germain its one of the most respected in Paris the reference of librarians. The fame and prestigious Institut de France, 23 quai Conti, done from 1663 by Le Vau, see the spectacular dome of Quatre Nations, and like me that went in and had meeting at the famous salon Victor Hugo, where he gave lectures. many famous here and by me very touristic price are the Café de Flore,Les Deux Magots,and Chez LIpp, I rather sip a coffee at Emporio Caffé, 149 blvd Saint Germain. Moving on to another oldie at Saint Sulpice , built the church from 1211AD and the famous Da Vinci code was done here, the station open in 1910.  There is a nice theater here, Théatre du Vieux Colombier from 1913 at 21 rue du vieux colombier, it is an annex of the Comédie Française; have a nice pizza and drink at Pizza Chic, 13 rue de Méziéres or enjoy a drink at Café Saint Sulpice at 127 rue de Rennes.
We arrive at my meeting place and entry point into Paris today, Montparnasse-Bienvenue station.  The mont parnasse was a small hill, the station was first call Maine on line 5, then add the name of Bienvenue in 1933 to that of the train station it is today montparnasse. You have the museum of the post office here, 34 blvd du Vaugirard, and the better musée Bourdelle at 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle a disciple of Rodin. See high up the train station the jardin de l’Atlantique done in 1995 in the form of a great cruise ship. Go up to another look of Paris from above, the Tour Montparnasse done in 1973 with 59 floors and 25 elevators, the one from ground floor to the 56 platform can do in 38 seconds! The Cafe Montparnasse at pl 18 juin 1940 is great for a drink, the Pizza Pino, and the Le Plom du Cantal at 3 rue de la Gaité is wonderful.  Move on to Vavin,  station open in 1910. See La Coupole an old burnwood depot turn into Brasserie in 1927,and the rest is history. Le Select at 99 bvld Montparnasse, La Rotonde, 105 bd montparnasse, and Cubana Cafe for Cuban food,and Hacienda del Sol for Mexican food the real one in Paris.
We continue on to Raspail ,line open in 1906. here you have the fondation Cartier at 261 blvd Raspail, and the equally famous cementary of Montparnasse there since 1924 with great names such as Sartre,de Bouvoir,Gainsbourg,Baudelaire, Kessel, etc entry 3 blvd Edgar Quinet. See the wonderful La Closerie des Lilas at 171 blvd du montparnasse. We arrive at Denfert-Rochereau, it marked the distance between the via superior (today rue st jacques) and  it via inferior (as the barrier to hell), name after a resistance fighter n the war of 1870 at the Belfort where the lion symbol represent the heroisme shown there. The station is one of the first ones tohave mechanical stairs.  See the Villa Adrienne English style by 19 ave du General Leclerc, Villa Hallé, like been in the country, by rue hallé. See the Lion of Belfort statue, a reproduction to the one found in the citadelle at Belfort done by Bartholdi in 1879 (same as he who did the statue of liberty for NYC) see at pl denfert-rochereau. A souvenir of the barrier of hell is the Pavillons Ledoux, here we pay to get into the city,and today is the entrance to the catacombes, to do a bone resting place since the 18C with 130 steps down Paris, about 6 million dead are here,by 1 avenue d Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy. Finally see the Observatoire founded by Colbert in 1167AD and today the heart of French astronomy research at 77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau. I have stop for a cafe and drink at Café le Paris Orléans at 129 ave du gen leclerc.
Hope you enjoy the trip.

February 16, 2012

Encore Paris, never enough of Paris….

Well Paris has just been name the world’s best university town !!lol!!! And here is the webpage to prove it ::)

I knew it had a good student numbers, sometimes restricted by the hours and the public transport system, and sometimes by noise laws going back to Lutétia; but it is lively,and this report proves it.

Good timing because I just came back to lovely Paris, another day of meetings but enough time to wander around my beautiful city. All along the Champs-Elysées, and Grand Palais, the Théatre du Rond Point with its panorama architectural building, just great, webpage ,and the wonderful Church St Joseph, the center of American Catholics in France at ave Hoche, then the beautiful magnificent parc Monceau , this is the page from the city of Paris mayor’s office, in French, usually more info than the English version, and you can translated online; , the Porte maillot, and the several train stations passed on my way to the city from the TGV Atlantique window.

The city was damp humid gray but nice,no rain,not cold a wonderful time to walk. I had my llunch at company HQ by Porte Maillot,and went back to ave Friedland for meetings before heading back home. Just my house in Versailles is sold pending the closing paperwork, and I will be on a business trip to exotic Cuba next Sunday. So until next week be good, rock, enjoy life, and be happy dont worry life is not crappy. Cheers

February 15, 2012

Stories of line 3, metro de Paris

After having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. Today I will talk about line 3 of the metro de Paris.

It goes from Pont de Levallois-Bécon (Levallois-Perret) to Galliani(Bagnolet); ironic its not the third line bu the fifth line of the metro de Paris. It open by sections from October 19 1904, and it later added a side line call the ligne 3bis by Gambetta. It was the first line to have steel rails in use still today.  It also, has one of the phantom stations in Paris at HAXO,built in 1921 but never open to the public.

We skip and hop to Wagram, one of the historic moments of Napoleon Ier in 1809. It has picturesques streets such as that of rue Fortuny, after a Spanish painter ,see No 8, 22 ,and 35 for architecture marvels.  Also go to 134 avenue de Villiers for the example of the stairs in pins architecture. This is the area where I shop for the house, for my father’s Spanish groceries at Cap Hispania, 23 rue Jouffroy D’Abbans, wonders of Spain. Have a glass and chat at Le Central, 65 rue Prony or a nice drink and meal at Brasserie Royal Villiers, 4 pl de Champerret. Move on over to nearby Malesherbes, he was the defender of the king during the process of the convention of 1792, and cause him to be guillotine as well; full name Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes. Here see the imposing Hôtel Gaillard (the Banque de France) building built between 1878-1884 modeled after the Chateau de Blois in the Loire, it is at 1 pl du Général Catroux.  At this plaza, place du Général Catroux biult in 1862 and named in 1977 after the general that sided with Charles de Gaulle, you will find the statues of Alexandre Dumas, father and Sarah Bernhardt. Nearby find the musée Jean-Jacques Henner, the alsacien painter that is house in the shop of painter Dubufe at 43 avenue de Villiers.  Here have a meal and glass at Dôme de Villiers, 4 ave de Villiers.  Moving in to known quarters at Havre-Caumartin, name after the city of Le Havre and the merchant Caumartin who help clean up Paris from 1774-1784. You will see the nice church of eglise Saint Louis d’Antin,  it was before the chapel of the convent of capucins now the lycee Concordet (high school by gare st lazare). it is at 63 rue de Caumartin. You have the works of arts such as the L’Heure pour tous d’Arman, many clocks mounted on each other to create a tower at the parvis de la gare st lazare. Nearby you have the famous dept store Galeries Lafayette, and Au Printemps. One of my favorites in the city to eat and drink is the Le Clos Bourguignon, 39 rue Caumartin. You ,also, now have a nice cafe at le Deli-cieux on top of the store au Printemps on the 9th floor. We arrive at my old working area of Paris, metro Opéra, the building was done by Charles Garnier by order of Napoleon III.  Therefore known at the Opéra Garnier, a jewel done in 1874.  On top of it you have the best honey of Paris ,where you can buy them at nearby fancy Fauchon pl de la Madeleine. Nearby you have the Opéra Comique built by order of Louis XIV burned in 1838, rebuilt from 1840, where George Bizet works 5 rue Favart. The unique musée de la Parfumerie Fragonard at 9 rue Scribe is another interesting place to visit.  You have an interesting stockmarket type drinking establishement at Footsie’s rue Daunou, as well as Cafe du Cadran.

We move on to the real stockmarket of old at Bourse,   The palais Brongniart, built from 1808, with a glass dome of 25 meters high, it now host every year the famous le revue du vins de France wine tasting event in may, 28 pl de la Bourse. Nearby the church Basilique Notre Dame des Victoires an old augustin convent where it was the chapel open with Louis XIII in 1629AD; it was the last bastion of the Protestant huguenots that left after the French revolution; it was the site of the National Lottery of France, then stockmarket of the directoire, and back to the religious cult in 1802 to this day. it is a high rite of pelegrinage today and one of its attendant was St Theresa de Lisieux. You ,also, have the Galeries Vivienne et Colbert near ,built from 1823 and 1826 respectively. One of the classic of Paris is here Brasserie Gallopin, from 1876; great eatery at 40 rue Notre Dame des Victoires; another is the Le Truskel, 12 rue Feydau, high lieu of rock and roll to early hours of the morning, and Le Social Club,142 rue de Montmartre, where Clemenceau publish the I accuse of Emile Zola, now a high temple of electro rock music.

We move on to Réaumur-Sébastopol, previous name of Rue Saint Denis was renamed in  1907. You see the architecture of the building at 51 rue Réaumur, the old store of Felix Potin today the HQ of Monoprix. You can see the Passage de la Trinité after an old orphanage ,go in by 21 rue de palestro or 164 rue Saint Denis. The house or maison of Nicolas Flamel it is said to be built from 1407 and consider today as the oldest in Paris, see at 51 rue de Montmorency.  We move quickly to Arts et Métiers, where one of the oldest wooden escalators are still in use. See the wonderful Musée des Arts et Métiers inside the old abbey of Saint Martin des Champs, closed after the French revolution ,over 8000 objects awaits your curiosity inside,at 60 rue Réaumur.  Have a drink at the Le Royal Beaubourg, 105 rue Beaubourg, and have some nice shopping at the Marché des Enfants Rouges by 39 rue Bretagne;,name after an old orphanage that was there and house the kids in red sheets.

You now come to my neck of the woods at night, République, the station has five correspondance stations, tops together with Chatelet. it is at the same spot of the old porte du Temple on the old ramparts of Charles V, then it was named Place du Château d’Eau, the first fountain was put there in 1811; after it was the site of radical and socialists to come to celebrate the Republic here, and on 1878 the Paris council decided to name it Republique, the statue on the center measures 10 meters with a pedestal of 15,5 meters, all was done on July 14 1883. Most manifestations or strikes in Paris takes this as central stage today.  At is see the passage Vendôme it is 57 meters long and built in 1827, linking the streets blvd du Temple to the convent des Filles Saint Sauveur, right at the plaza or by 16-18 rue Béranger. Many places around here, Casa de Campo at Temple is nice ::) you have the théatre le Temple concert hall since 1792!!! at 18 rue du Faubourg du Temple, the café théatre de la République, 23 pl de la République, Théatre Dejazet, built in 1851 ,41 blvd du Temple, and the nightclub Le Gibus since 1967 at 18 rue du Faubourg du Temple. The classic here is Chez Jenny, alsacien decor from 1930 ,great food at 39 blvd du Temple,and Favela Chic, Brazilians moves and menu at 18 rue du Faubourg du Temple.

Slow down by Gambetta,  after Leon Gambetta who was a great politician and came to proclaim the Republique at the Hotel de Ville in 1870. AT November 11 1920 his heart is at the Panthéon. You see the nice fountaine de la place gambetta, have a drink at Bar du Metro, 10 pl Gambetta, do some shopping for fine foods at La Campagne à Paris, 210 rue des Pyrénées, get another shot of wine at Chez Betty, 14 ave du Pére Lachaise ,and see drama from the 20C at Théatre de la colline,15 rue Malte Brun. Further on at Galliani, you find the terminal of the inter European Eurolines bus company.


February 14, 2012

Stories of line 2, Metro de Paris

After having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. Today, I will talk about line 2; open december 13, 1900. It has four above ground stations, for more than 2 kms. These are Barbés-Rochechouart, La chapelle,Stalingrad, and Jaurés. It has ,also, the biggest metro tragedy when in 1903 more than 80 persons died after a fire in one of the rails lines.

First let get on to Porte Dauphine,,name after marie antoinette,yes the one queen;where she was young stayed at the chateau de la muette (yes that area of Paris,castle now gone),the line open in december 13,1900. The best here is the omnipresent bois de boulogne done b Philippe le Bel in 1301AD. Here you have the Persian pavillion of the Universal Expo of 1889 by 11 rue des Sablons. Nearby is the nice Jardin Shakespeare in which you find the fine restaurant Pré Catalan at route de la reine marguerite. You ,also can have a drink at one of my favorites cafe Victor Hugo at 4 pl Victor Hugo. Go on to Ternes, a deform way of writing Villa Externa or external village controlled by the bishop of paris in the middle ages, later it became known as Estern and then Ternes facing the villa episcopa, by 1860 this area was annexed to Paris. The original FNAC store is here ,great architecture from 1912,see it at 28 avenue Niel. You see the nice Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski, by 12 rue Daru or the area of Little Russia (many immigrants after the Russian revolution of 1917 came here). Move over to Monceau, it was the outside limits on the west of Paris then in 1300AD, called Mousseaux;the area developed by the Duke of Chartres, it is one of the prized areas of Paris, later the Rothschild family came in as well as the heirs of chocolate Menier.It open as metro in october 7 1902. The magnificent parc Monceau is here, with a rotonda of 16 columns that came from the walls of the fermiers généraux, main entrance by blvd de Courcelles. At 25 rue de Chazelles, the statue of liberty was done,now proudly standing in New York city harbor. There is an interesting museum in Musée Nissim de Camondo,  of decorative arts, see it at 63 rue de monceau.  Have a drink at Dôme de Villiers at 4 ave de Villiers.

Coming in to Porte de Clichy,  here you go to one of my favorites at Cercle Clichy Montmartre, 84 rue de Clichy, brasserie from 1947,where you can play poker and pool/billiards. Close by is the cimetiére montmartre at 23 rue de Damrémont, to see Truffaut,Dalida,Offenbach,Nijinski amongst others resting there. The bistro de Dames, 18 rue de dames is very nice mediteranean cuisine.  Going to Blanche,  for the whites of the gypsy clay stones on the quarries of Montmartre. You see the unique church Chapelle Sainte Rita, the patron saint of prostitutes at 65 blvd de Clichy. Also the exotique musée de l’Erotisme at 72 blvd de Clichy,and who would come and not see the Moulin Rouge cabaret at least once. My visit here is to try the other branch of O’Sullivan pub at 92 blvd de clichy. Move over to Stalingrad,  name after the fame battle of WWII in Russia, it open as metro in 1903. Here better go over to the canals and the cinemas MK2 at 14 quai de la Seine, or have a drink at Cote Canal, 5 quai de la Seine.  Quickly move on to Belleville,  where the name has a street and an avenue of same name. In 1860 it was attached to Paris, going up by rue de Belleville you reach one of the highest point in Paris at 128 meters high. You see the Eoliennes de Belleville with a superb view of the city at the top of parc de Belleville going up by the rue Piat. At the regard saint Martin you still can collect potable water, you go by the rue des cascades; take a look at the cimetiére de Belleville at the angle of rue de belleville and rue du télégraphe. Here at 40 rue du Télégraphe you will see a plaque telling you are at Paris highest point. Here is great for spices, at Maison Safraoui, 31 blvd de la Villette, ro la Caire Belleville at 63 rue de belleville,and have a glass of wine at the Chapeau Melon, 92 rue Rébeval.

Continue to Menilmontant,  from the word mesnil or small farm and mauvais temps or mesnil montant from the unduling bends on the roads here. Also came to be part of Paris in 1860.  For me here is the Musée Edith Piaf, 5 rue crespin du gast, of the great French singer, the head for antillean specialties from the Caribbean at boutique et resto chez max, 16 blvd de belleville.  And we reach the end Pére Lachaise , for me that is ,named after François d’Aix de la Chase, confessor to Louis XIV built in 1803, it is a city within a city really. Need a book to walk all of it. In ironic here was installed the first mechanical stair in 1909 to carry quicker ….The cimetiére du Pére-Lachaise is 44 hectares and many famous rest here. 16 rue du repos is main entrance. A nice Indian spices store here is Le bateau de Safran,9 villa Riberolle. Villa Riberolle an old impasse road of Paris  really nice to walk by try the main house at 35 rue de Bagnolet.

Well given you the main stations I think of this line of the Metro de Paris.


February 13, 2012

Stories of line 1, metro de Paris

After having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. The first line was done and started on July 19 1900 to be exact on 3 wagons from Porte Maillot to Porte de Vincennes. This line is almost all underground;  except at  Bastille stop, in 1934 it was extended to Chateau de Vincennes, and by 1937 to Neuilly-sur-Seine. Very soon this line will be automated without driver that is computer controlled.

The stops are Les Sablons, began in 1937; It is here that Louis XVI bring a plant which he brought from Prussia, it was the beginning of what we call potatoes in France or pomme de terre. The best to see here is the jardin d’acclimatation where a zoo was done under Napoleon III,and still is,you can take the petit train or small train at by the parking Vinci in the palais de congres building and the porte maillot to get into the park in grand style. For lively and nice ambiance to eat try the Le Petit Maillot, 269 blvd Pereire. Another great stop is at Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile,  you can actually see the silhouette of the star shape street from top of the Arc de Triomphe at 54 meters high and 284 steps;;;for nice drinks try Le Cristal, 6 avenue de la Grande Armée, or the chain Bistro Romain at the other side of the Arc on C-E. Moving on to Georges V, after the English king done while alive on May 27 1920 for his efforts to help the French in WWI, the only king so name in Paris metro.  Many nice boutiques here, and Hotel Georges V, the building of Louis Vuitton,the Café Georges V,Crazy Horse,Ladurée, Fouquet’s ,Lido just the names;;;We arrive at a nice roundabout station name Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau, where the tiles are done by portuguese master azulejos in exchange for a arch entry of Guimard for the Lisbon metro. Nearby you have the French white house or palais de l’Elysée, 55 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Palais de la decouverte or discovery of sciences museum, ,the wonderful Virgin Megastore (my kids love it!!) Pavillon Ledoyen, ,the nice cafe mini palais inside the Grand Palais. Then we have Concorde, at the old place Louis XV from 1772, the guillotine was installed here in 1792 during a year. Afterward became pl de la revolution and then pl de la concorde. You see wonderful hotel Crillon, USA Embassy,and hotel de la marine, obelisk de Louxor 280 tons of granite put there in 1835: you have the museums Jeu de Paume, and Orangerie,as well as the solar cadran.  We continue towards Tuileries, where from the 13C rooftiles were done here so tuiles in French, the palais des tuileries (destroyed in 1871 razed by city of Paris 1883) and now looking to rebuilt it as it was done in 1579 by order of Catherine des Medicis. Le Notre creates the jardin des tuileries in 1664 with 23 hectares of wonders.One of my favorite parks in the city,worked nearby ::) Dont missed the Le Welcome bar, 210 rue Rivoli or Cafe l’Imperiale, librarie Galignani oldest English bookstore in the continent since 1520!!!, the Angelina cafe. We reach Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre; the palace done by Cardinal Richelieu, and of course the Musée du Louvre, the musée des arts decoratifs at 107 rue de Rivoli by the marsans wing of the Louvre; comedie française since 1786, the colonnes or columns of Buren and spheres of Pol Bury, the gardens of the palais royal from the 17C by 2 pl Colette. shop at the Le Louvre des Antiquaires, Hotel du Louvre done by Napoleon III enjoyment, have a glass or coffee at Cafe Marly, Le Saut du Loup, and if any money left try the le Grand Véfour from 1784, when it opened as the Cafe de Chartres.

Go over to the Louvre-Rivoli stop, just renamed in 1989.a beautiful church , and one of my favorites, St Germain l’Auxerrois from the 12C, here the bell sound when the massacre of St Barthelemy. Try to eat here Le Fumoir, touristic now but still grand at 6 rue de l’Amiral de Coligny. You find here the Poste Centrale or main post office open until midnight by 55 rue Louvre. We are at the mega station Chatelet, one I always ask the visitors to avoid on their first run or try it for fun with plenty of time.  open on August 6 1900 with the  name of Pont-au-change, then in 1926 it became Pont Notre Dame, and from 1934 it is Chatelet. The first station equipped with running walkways at 3kph. The pl du Chatelet, tour St Jacques(the only remains of the old church St Jacques de la Boucherie detroyed after the revolution); see the nearby streets such as Quai de la Mégisserie where the tanners were,and now birds are sold as well as flowers; pl Louis Lépine a nice flower market. Come here for Au Trappiste, 4 rue St Denis, or Brasserie Sarah-Bernhard, théatre de la Ville, and the nice jazz joint Le Duc des Lombards, 42 rue des Lombards; another nice resto is Le Zimmer. We are at the Hôtel de Ville, previously call here pl de la Gréve, where folks looking for work came, where negotiations took place for a job ,so the expression in French ” faire la gréve” is to do a  labor strike. The building of the Hôtel de Ville was burned down in 1871 as well but later rebuilt in 1883. Here De Gaulle proclaimed in 1944, “Paris, Paris outragé, Paris brisé, Paris martyrisé, mais Paris libéré” You ,also find the dept store BHV or Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville done in 1856; still here. Have a drink at le Majesty, 35 rue de Rivoli, shop mariage Frères, and the musée de la poupée or dolls museum at Impasse Berthaud. Behind the Hôtel de Ville check out La Perla tex mex brasserie at 26 François Miron. Now we are at Saint Paul, From the old hotel of Saint Pol, where a preacher prays just to the Orient, here lived Charles V,and Charles VI, it still visible a wall at the angle of rue Saint-PAul, and rue Neuve Saint Pierre. Here you find the super touristic rue des Rosiers the old jewish quarters and the musée d’Art et d’histoire du Judaisme, 71 rue du Temple,and the synagogue at 10 rue Pavée. You find here the wonderful place des Vosges where each sides measure 108 meters with a statue of Louis XIII, melted at the revolution, now name after the department of the Vosges the first in the Republic to pay taxes from 1800. A nice walk go to the pl Saint Catherine, and see around the area wonderful architecture such as Hotel de ‘Angouleme Lamoignan from 1584! built for Diane de France at 24 rue Pavée. Hotel de Béthune-Sully from 1625 at 62 rue Saint Antoine. Hotel de Marle (centre cultural suedoise_swedish cultural center) 11 rue Payenne, Hotel de Beauvais,  same year at 68 rue François Miron.Continue on to rue des Francs-Bourgeois,see no 31; rue Pavée the first pave road in Paris from the 15C, musée de la magie et de la curiosité, magic and curiosity at 11 rue Saint-Paul. I have my favorites here such as Colette at pl des vosges, Au vin des Pyrénées, 25 rue Beautreillis.

We are headed for Bastille, a middle age fortress with 8 towers of 20 meters high built between 1370-1383 under Charles V. Became a prison under Cardinal Richelieu one of its most famous occupant Voltaire. It was this prison in July 14 1789 that the official French revolution began.  You can still see some remnants of it before leaving the metro station on the line 5 direction bobigny. See the huge colonne or column call of July or Juillet marking the Troios Glorieuses revolution of July 1830 with 47 meters high. Port de l’Arsenal,  around here wood was brought into Paris and still see the carpenters and furniture makers at nearby rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine. We reach Nation,  before call Place du Trône in honor of Louis XIV, the guillotine was place here too; from 1880 it is name the place de la Nation in honoring the National Day of Bastille. At the other side on the line 9 the plaza is call Place des Antilles for the many immigrants from the Caribbean dept of Martinique and Guadaloupe. At the center of place de la Nation from 1879 lies the statue of Le Triomphe de la République. You can see two towers call colonnes d’Otroi here since 1788 signifying the barrier to enter Paris and pay taxes, it is at place de Philippe Auguste et Saint Louis.

We are at Chateau de Vincennes, line done in 1934. with 6 exits or sorties. at no 2 you go out to the Chateau de Vincennes. The donjon tower is the highest in Europe at 50 meters at the time ,ramparts of 378 meters by 175 meters. You have here the famous hippodrome de Vincennes, as well as the parc floral. Have a nice pizza at Don Bartolomeo, 22 avenue de paris.

Enjoy line 1 of the Paris metro.

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