Very Vert-ual Paris: Taking a Long Green Weekend in the City of Light
Stay in Style and Comfort on Your Next Trip to Paris!
Dear Parler Paris Reader,
I didn’t venture outside Paris. Instead I popped on the sunglasses and headed for the sunniest café along the narrow Marais streets for a leisurely lunch. Serendipitously an old friend sat at a nearby table whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. Before long, during our ‘catching up,’ he told me he had become quite an aficionado of the Vélib public biking system. In fact, he hadn’t much liked Paris until having discovered it on two wheels.
The virtually car-less streets and a willing teacher were a perfect opportunity for this ‘wuss’ to test out the bikes for the first time. You may find that hard to believe, but at this age, fear of hurting anything has set in like rigor mortis.
For residents that hold a French “Carte Bleue,” (bank debit card), or those who hold smart-chip Visa cards and American Express cards, it’s pretty simple to rent a bike. At any Vélib station, you pop in the card to allow a deposit of 150€ be held and pay for the rental while you take possession of the bike. If you hold a “Navigo” card, it’s even simpler — you just wave it like a magic wand over the bike station and out the bike comes — but obtaining the card itself for a short-term visitor is no simple task.
As they say, you never forget how to ride a bike, even after decades of pedestrianism. Luckily I didn’t run into
Volumes have been written on the Vélib, all available online by doing a simple Internet search, so I won’t bore you with the details, but don’t think the system was designed for tourists. It wasn’t. It was designed to revolutionize the way the residents transport themselves around the city, eliminating cars, noise and pollution. It’s all part of the “Greening of Paris”…and it’s worked.
If you can’t rent a Vélib because your credit cards won’t allow it, but wish to take a tour by bike, there are lots of bike rentals and tour companies that offer great rides. One, in fact, is directly across the street from my apartment at number 38 rue de Saintonge, “Paris Bike Tour.” So, now it’s impossible to ignore them anymore!
A Parisian friend suggested an afternoon at the Musée et Jardin Albert Kahn, to which she had never been. For her, traveling to the other side of the city for a stroll in a garden might as well have been like going to the other side of the planet for sushi. It is really just one Métro train ride away — the number 10 from Gare d’Austerlitz to the end of the line, Boulogne Pont de St-Cloud, drops you at the museum’s doorstep in just a few minutes.
Until March 8, 2009, the museum portion of the facility is exhibiting autochromes and old films from its Archives of the Planet, titled “Infinitely India.” The almost 100-year-old images are breathtakingly stunning and for anyone who has visited India may find them as I did, as “au courant” (to-date) as any my daughter took during our travels there last year.
When you leave the museum’s world of India you step immediately into Japan by virtue of the “Village Japonais” — just one of the many gardens in the four hectares of land. This is a perfect time of year to take its paths and discover its many worlds, while the weather is warm and the tourists are sparse. This is not one of the Paris museums or monuments to which the foreign tourists flock, such as Le Louvre or La Tour Eiffel, but instead draws a visitor with a more profound knowledge of the city.
I urge you to be one of them. There is no need to leave the city for a long weekend in the countryside, with so much greenery at our feet.
One of the apartments offered by Parler Paris Apartments, “Le Balcon Planté,” is adjacent to the “Promenade Plantée” having a view of it from it’s balcony. Renters arrived Sunday afternoon, a perfect excuse to revisit the elevated walkway after years of disregard.
On route by foot I stopped at one of Paris’ new tourist information kiosks at Place de la Bastille where one can pick up tourism brochures and maps of the city. I got a chuckle overhearing someone ask the adviser, “Where was the Bastille? And the prison that was stormed during the French Revolution?”
Clearly, with Place de la Bastille all around them, these were first-timers to the City of Light, so I had second thoughts of suggesting they visit the Musée Albert-Kahn or La Promenade Plantée.
It had been years since having climbed the stairs at rue Ledru-Rollin to walk the path almost to the Bois de Vincennes. Since then, the shrubbery had grown to full maturity, the path taking on a lush and inviting atmosphere. Strollers were old and young alike, on foot, on skates and “trotinettes” (scooters).
The path is so lush that the street is hardly visible now, yet there are points along the way where one can peek below. It’s always a pleasure to see the 12 replicas of Michelangelo’s “The Dying Slave” carved into the Police Station of the 12 Arrondissement on Avenue Daumesnil, the sections of path that cut through contemporary apartment blocks and the bridge that spans over the green carpet-like lawn of the Parc de Reuilly.
The shops under the walkway in the “Viaduc des Arts” were closed on a Sunday August afternoon, but no matter. It was a perfect repose on a long weekend in the City of Light…and GREEN.
Maybe we should change Paris’ nickname to “Very ‘Vert’-ual Paris?”
A la prochaine…
P.S.Make your reservations now for the October 11-12, 2008 Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference — it’s the best month of the year to be in Paris! Visit frenchpropertyconference for more information.
An Important and Special Message to AOL Subscribers
As you AOL subscribers upgrade to AOL 9.0, you will find a number of new spam controls aimed at keeping your inbox clean. These controls create a greater distinction between e-mail from the people that AOL customers know and those they don’t by putting incoming email into one of these folders: everyone, people I know, bulk senders, and/or unknown senders.
For e-mail senders like us, unless you AOL subscribers put us in the “people I know” category, chances are we are considered an “unknown sender,” and our email newsletter will not get through to you.
If you want to continue to get Parler Paris just like always, you must a) either add our newsletter mailing address to your address book (“Parler Paris” <[email protected]>, or b) simply REPLY to this text message. If you reply to this email, AOL will automatically put our address in your address book and once in the address book, we are considered “people you know.”
Now our newsletter will avoid the bulk email folder because we are no longer considered a stranger to you!
Thank you, Adrian
Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think…
Let us show you just how hassle-free it can be to get a French property mortgage for your dream Paris pied-à-terre or villa in the country!
This Week in French Property Insider…
The Dollar Rally! Really?
Hooray! The dollar is showing some strength after many moons of rates as weak against the euro as $1.60. This past week, the rate actually fell to under $1.50. This is certainly good news for those living in Europe on dollar earnings and investment seekers whose wallets were getting thinner by the moment…Subscribers Read On…
Learn how to buy property in France!
French Property Insider is a weekly e-zine, sharing insights, recommendations, tips, and discoveries about Paris real estate and French property. Each information-packed issue is devoted to educating its readers on how to effectively, efficiently and profitably purchase property in France.
Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference!
Hosted by Adrian Leeds, long time resident of Paris, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly E-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for the International Law Partnership, London, these two days in Paris will point you in the right direction to make it really happen!
Shanghai Photography Expedition
Join professional photographer Shelly Perry on AWAI’s first-ever trip to China… And find out just how easy it is to turn your snapshots into cash — and enjoy the fun, freedom, ind
ependence, and travel opportunities that freelance and stock photography deliver. You’ll:
* Have fun exploring one of the fastest-changing cities in the world — while you get hands-on practice applying new photography skills…
Seats are limited. Go here for more details: http://www.thephotographerslife.com/shanghai/09
Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus the newest guide, Practical Paris!
Visit Insider Paris Guides
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.
Parler Paris Après Midi
The next gathering is September 9, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.
Please note: There is no meeting in August.
Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group
Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!
WE’RE OPEN ALL SUMMER LONG!
Parler Parlor meets Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For further details, visit parlerparlor.com
Join Us for the Rentree Party Picnic!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Save 25€ when you buy a 20-Session card that Day!
Parismarais.com: Discover the number one travel guide to central Paris
Parismarais.com, affiliated with the Tourist Bureau of Paris, is the creation of a team of journalists and advertising professionals. Passionate about their district, they want the world to discover it as well. The Parismarais.com team constantly selects and recommends the best charming hotels, inexpensive restaurants, upscale shops, museums and galleries. Their goal is to provide information to all tourists and residents. Whatever your passion, everything you want to know about le Marais, in English, is on Parismarais.com! So chic, n’est pas? parismarais.com/
Subscribe to the free Parismarais® Newsletter and each month you’ll receive a review of great bargains to be found in the district…
Every day, check out what’s new in central Paris on the Parismarais Blog: parismarais.fr/blog/
Book the best luxury hotels in Europe:parismarais.com/hotels-europe.htm
France Today, The Magazine of French Travel and Culture, delivers all the information you need to indulge your passion for France: travel advice you won’t find anywhere else, off-the-beaten-path trips, the inside track on trends in dining, hotels, shopping and style, and the culture scene.
To subscribe, visit francetoday.com or call 1-800-901-6560
Buy and sell with Parler Paris classifieds: ParlerParis.com/advertise.html
Very Vert-ual Paris: Taking a Long Green Weekend in the City of Light
This entry was posted in 2008, Parler Paris and tagged address book, Adrian Leeds, Bastille, central paris, central paris parismarais.com, com, Community Calendar, Conversation Group, dream paris pied-à-terre, faire le pont, France Real Estate, French, french property, French Property Insider, GERMAIN 14 rue, information, Insider Paris Guides, Jardin Albert Kahn, Le Déco, Le Déco One-Bedroom, Le Musée et, Light Parler Paris, Long Green Weekend, long weekend, musée et jardin, narrow marais streets, newsletter, number 38 rue, Paris, Paris Bike Tour, Paris insider perspective, Paris museums, Paris real estate, parler paris, parler paris apartments, PARLER PARIS APARTMENTSparlerparisapartments.com, Parler Paris Après, Parler Paris classifieds, Parler Paris Nouvellettre®, parler paris reader, Parler Paris Share, Parler Parlor, Practical Paris, professional photographer, Promenade Plante, real estate conference, rue saint-sébastien neighborhood, unknown sender, Vert-ual Paris, weekly e-zine. Bookmark the permalink.