glam,  travel,  world

Montemartre, Anyone?

Well kids, we finally did it. We finally booked our trip to Paris. This is particularly monumental being Steph’s first Euro vacay and all. But now that we have tickets (tickets? I love tickets!), we must decide where to stay. Being a Parisian imbecile, I only just learned about their system of arrondissements, or neighborhoods. Each apparently has its own advantages and quirks. The one that’s drawing our attention though is #18, the hilly north side area called Montemartre. Here’s the Wiki blurb:

The 18th arrondissement [1] of Paris is probably best known for the hill of Montmartre which was the centre of the Communard uprising of the late nineteenth century, but is also perhaps better known as the centre of the flourishing artist community of the period from around 1907 to 1914. Picasso, Dali, Duchamp, Toulouse-Lautrec, and others from the vibrant early modern period lived and worked here until driven out either by political considerations during the First World War or rising property values thereafter. The 18th is also the home of a thriving ethnic community in the east and a sort of a red-light district alongBoulevard de Clichy near Place Pigalle.

Option #2 is Arrondissement #5, St. Germain/Latin Quarter on the Left Bank. So, anyone have opinions on this matter? Will this be a fun area to hold court?

In the meantime, it’s time to start reviewing High School French. At the moment I can recall exactly one sentence: Pourquoi est-ce que vous habitez à Genève? [Why do you live in Geneva?] Somehow I don’t think this will get us very far. Steph has a better ear for language though, so I’m banking on her mad skills to get us through.

6 Comments

  • Conrad

    I would say our trip to France was probably the best vacation we’ve ever taken. I believe the Sacre Coeur is in Montemarte and I highly recommend going there. You can see the whole city from there. If I remember correctly, I think we ate at a really nice organic restaurant in that area.

    I’m not sure about the Arrondissement.

    I’m not much of a museum person, but I recommend the Musee d’Orsay over the Louvre. The Louvre is jam packed and the Mona Lisa is tiny.

    Other highlights (in no particular order) were
    – the Arc de Triumphe (you can see the Eiffel Tower)
    – the Eiffel Tower (you can see everything else) Get there early to avoid the lines. There are 3 levels I believe. Take the elevator to the top and back down to the second and the walk down from the second level isn’t too bad.
    – Notre Dame
    – Versailles (It’s a little bit of a drive or bus ride, but the gardens are beautiful)
    – The Centre Georges Pompidou museum has more modern art. Worth checking out if you have the time.
    – We enjoyed the Fat Tire Bike Tour. It’s a neat way to explore the city and see some sights.
    – The Champs Elysee is pretty to cool to walk down to get to the Arc de Triumphe.
    -We had the advantage of Debbie’s uncle (he’s younger than us) take us around. If you have time, the country side is gorgeous. We stayed in a bed and breakfast on the north west side of France and also went to see Mont St. Michel. That place is a bit touristy, but has amazing views.

    – There are some good jazz clubs there too. We went to Sunset sunside. Duc Des Lombards was closed when we went. They are all really close to each other so it would be easy to check them all out in an evening or two.

    Rick Steves has a good guide audio guide on his website.

    Here are pictures from our vacation last year.

    http://conradanddebbie.com/Pictures/090731%20The%20Kao's%20in%20France/

  • Fauxmat

    That’s great, thanks so much for the info Conrad. Excellent pictures too! Looks you guys had an amazing trip. We can’t wait!

  • Jenny Wilson

    hi andrew and stephanie, i am really enjoying both your blog pages, actually you are the first bloggers i have really looked at!

    if you like i will email you the name and email address of a lovely person we met in paris. she has a cafe ( May’s Jazz Cafe) in the 15th and she is fluent in english. she may be able to help you find a good place to stay (with no bedbugs hopefully). she also makes good food and loves, loves, music and musicians.

    we particularly enjoyed the Musee d’Orsay and a naive art gallery just on the edge of the Montmartre area. If you friend me on facebook you can see all my paris pics, my kids and i actually jammed with some peruvian musicians on the street and it was fantastic. I want to go back soon, despite our bb experience. for musicians and artists it is a kind of mecca…the parc floral in the bois de vincennes is great for biking and looking at exotic plants, it is a nice respite from the city, also the giverny, which i did not get to. versailles is impressive, but i would have taken giverny any day, i was outvoted!

    thanks for your nice words about our music. i am obviously not a bop player but i am always trying to understand that language and to practise it. we have two cd’s one is on cd baby called confluence, with a malaysian pianist ( iam playing flute and a little bit of singing and guitar) and nathan playing bass.

    have a wonderful trip and let me know if you want may’s email. she is really a great lady and would enjoy a visit from you if you have time.

    jenny

  • Fauxmat

    Thanks Jenny, we appreciate the info! Bringing bug spray for the beds 😉 We’d love to go hear some music, check out a jazz jam, etc. If you can send us May’s email, we’ll get in touch with her.

    I’ll check out your CD on CDBaby!

  • Julia

    Oh, just rub it in, why don’t you!! I have no ideas to offer re Paris since the last time I was there, I was ten years old and had just heard the word “prostitute” used in a sentence for the first time. In Paris. This was not a coincidence.

    Let’s drink some wine before you two go.

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