Serendipitous Paris: A Random Assortment of Things to Do – Act I Scene I
By Phil Chavanne
Your experience of Paris will necessarily be different from that of any other traveler. Because your expectations are unique, your perception of the French capital will be yours, and yours only. Diversity being the name of the game, I thought you would enjoy being told about a larger variety of unusual places to visit, and singular things to do while in Paris.
In this new series of articles, I will bring to your attention an assortment of such things which you are free to try out then and there. You can also find more data on my Paris guide Paris-Eiffel-Tower-News.com
Like Church Music?
Every Sunday and on non-worked days, the imposing Saint Roch Church hosts organ concerts from 5:30 to 6:00 PM. There is no entry fee, and the thrill is guaranteed for a good 30 minutes. This venue is known for this event, so show up well before 5:30 PM. The Church is located at 2 impasse Saint Eustache, between the “Châtelet-Les Halles” metro station and the Louvre Museum.
Free Couscous for All
The “La Cordonnerie” restaurant offers a nice, free couscous to its patrons every Saturday night at 9:00 pm. A simple principle: order a drink (less than 5 euros), and you get the couscous. At that price, it’s a steal. People know it, they flock to the place, and there is very little room available. The restaurant is located at 142 rue Saint Denis, near the “Etienne Marcel” subway station.
Bagdad Cafe in Paris
There is the arch-famous Bagdad Cafe on Route 66 (I ate there twice, yes!), and there is the much less famous but very lively Bagdad Cafe in Paris. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 9:00 pm the place is taken over by fans of gipsy jazz players (Django Reinhardt style) and French pop singers. Live music and drinks at reasonable prices, what better way to kill an evening? The address is 22 rue au Maire, in the 3rd district, near the “Arts et Metiers” metro station.
A Park Way Too Often Overlooked
Standing in the middle of the forgotten, off-centered 19th district, the Buttes-Chaumont park rolls out its majectic hills and narrow alleys over thousands of acres. Way too often overlooked by tourists and Parisians alike, the park is a haven of silence and peace. Joggers, strollers, families and lovebirds meet at this unique venue which is dominated by a rocky mound on top of which stands a small gazebo which resembles a Greek temple. An awesome place to spend a Sunday morning. The nearest metro stations are “Laumiere” and “Buttes-Chaumont”.
Antique Asia in Paris
The Cernuschi Museum shelters over 12,000 ancient objects of Chinese, Korean and Japanese origins, of which 900 are on permanent display in the beautiful 19th century mansion: from neolithic potteries, to statues and weapons of the 13th century. There is only one other museum in France which can compete with such a wealth of antique Asian art. This museum is worth its weight in gold! To visit it, go to 7 avenue Velasquez, near the “Villiers” metro station. Don’t go on Mondays, the mansion is closed.
Ah! The joys of visiting Paris in an unconventional way! You can imagine that a city which is 2,000 years old and has 1,000+ years of recorded history offers a lot more than can ever be summarized in writing. Facing such an abundance of things to see, which way should one go? My take (and that of my old pal Vincent Ramelli, who was born in Paris and is a die-hard Parisian) is that Paris is better discovered outside the path traced by the millions of visitors. Not to say that the Louvre Museum must not be part of your itinerary, not at all! But I just happen to think that if you include a detour to a less-well-known place such as those recommended in our Paris travel guide Paris-Eiffel-Tower-News.com, your stay in the French capital will become all the more interesting. You will have more local-color anecdotes to tell your friends. And your trip will be even more memorable. SO yes, I recommend that you try out new spots and venues, and I will continue suggesting those in further articles. Cheers!
About the Author: As a noted Paris specialist, Phil Chavanne has given many travelers advices and tips which made a big difference for their stay in Paris. Get the information you need to prepare your next trip to the French capital now.