Paris by the BOOK

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The No Worries Paris guide, that is. The stock market is plummeting, the political candidate news is disturbing, cheap oil is affecting world markets, there’s trouble in the Middle East, and there are epic storms predicted for the East Coast, but there is still Paris.

A few random pages from the book (or ebook) to inspire your walks are below. There’s no shortage of maps, photos or street by street directions. Have a look:

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In a nutshell, No Worries Paris takes readers on a visually luscious journey to the city’s striking monuments, as well as into the cobblestone crannies of its villages and along the glamorous fashion boulevards.

Virtually all of Paris is covered in 10 Walking Tours, each with its own map. Walks take from a half-day to a day to complete, starting at one Metro stop and ending at another. The tours are complemented by 10 Promenades, which are shorter in length, taking in the sights around a single attraction, mainly on the fringes of city’s arrondissiments. No Worries Paris is sure to meet expectations the famous sights s of Paris but it is also full of surprises at out-of-the way places.

The time is now. Gather up all the acorns you’ve saved over the  years, raid the stash under your matrress or max out your credit card. Air fares have never been better.

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“Getting around the City of Light should be a cinch. And it is on paper. Then reality gets in the way. There is so much to see, so much to eat. What to do? Jerry and Janine Sprout have made it trouble-free for visitors to Paris by dividing the city into walking tours that take a half to a full day, depending on your pace, and cover anywhere from a few miles to a maximum of six. The promenades in the book are shorter, taking about half a day. Each tour starts and ends at a Metro stop, and there is plenty of time set aside for detours, stops and just wandering. All the famous spots (Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, Montmartre) and neighborhoods are here.” —-Chicago Tribune

Park it in the Marais at Square Georges Cain

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Out of Paris’s 400 parks, the tucked-away Square Georges Cain, an oasis of greenery,  gets my vote for poetic escapes. Maybe it’s the circular design, the gardeners’ decision to fill the center surrounding the statue of Aurore with a sea of orange long-stemmed roses in the spring, or to color coordinate all the other flowers with a pastel palette to complement the archeological relics around the perimeter. The sign at the park’s entrance reads “colors too bright would monopolize the view of the passer by.” Walk in, sit down and I guarantee you’ll feel soothed. There always seems to be an empty bench, just how the neighborhood regulars  like it.

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Who was Georges?  Answer: a painter and writer who was a long time curator (1897-1914) at the Carnavalet Museum.

Pieces from the history of Paris dispersed in the square include the remains of the previous Town Hall, Merovingian sarcophagi, and the pediment of the central pavilion of the Tuileries Palace still blackened from the fire that destroyed it.

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If you intend to visit Musee Picasso or Musee Carnavalet, this is a place to head for afterwards . Your feet will thank you and you’ll have a chance to read your No Worries Paris guide for where-to-next inspiration.

Stay long enough and you might have a chance to hear ” Le Rossignol Electrique’ by Eric Samakh (1990), a small electronic bird that starts singing whenever the wind blows (iffy in the summer).

7 rue Payenne
75003 Paris
District : Le Marais

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Bonne Année 2016

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Happy New Year 2016

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Here’s wishing Francophiles, soon-to-be Francophiles, Parisians, expats, and all Trailblazer Travel Book readers a 2016 packed with excitement, contentment, and discoveries!

Our books explore  the American West, including the ‘far west’ of Hawaii, and, as you can see, Paris, the birthplace for much of the culture of the Western World—a second home to the authors for many years.

Enough said…..Bonne année mes amis! Enjoy the ride on a visual journey of Paris by foot.

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No Worries Paris can be ordered here:

Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Powell’s Books, Trailblazer Travel Books as well as your friendly neighborhood independent bookstore

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Patrick Roger: master chocolatier

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This blog segment was intended to be a general listing of Paris’s best chocolate makers. As I delved deeper into my photos, images of the whimsical, bizarre, over-the-top creations of Patrick Roger trumped all. So let me introduce you:

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Roger is not only master of the confection but has turned his hand to sculpture. Note the sting ray in his window at Place de Madeline. Branching out in the adjoining space are huge thought provoking slabs inviting the visitor to break off a piece and sample. But, non, non, non  – you might get yelled at by the staff if you don’t read the “ne touch pas” signs.

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His chocolates take on the traditional forms too, all lined up on a counter in the center of the store. Crazy good, with hints of this and that, it’s right here, almost too perfect to eat. But you will and you’ll be back because they’re seductive.

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Go up the stairs and something else will have you guessing. An inviting room with leather sofas, a gallery of bronze sculptures. Roger has been at it again, he’s reinvented himself, his art has taken on yet another form.

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Want to know more? Here’s his website http://www.patrickroger.com

The Figaroscope called him “L’enfant terrible de la ganache…” in 2010. He’s tackled Balzac, the Thinker, a 5-ton chocolate “monkeys in the wild”. Wonder what surprises he will be up to in 2016? A real artist to keep your eye on.

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3 PLACE DE LA MADELEINE
75008

Paris: Christmas faire extraordinaire

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Zip out to La Defense one of these evenings for a little shopping and holiday gaity. Covering almost 3 acres and located beneath the glitzy lights of the esplanade’s skyscrapers,  the Christmas Village with over 350 chalets is the biggest, most authentic one in Ile-de-France.

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Fill your bags with a potpurri of unique gifts by craftspeople from across France as well as  Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Iran, China and Nepal. Santa will be there for the kids afternoons, from 12pm-5pm on Wednesdays, 12pm-3pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and 12pm-7pm on Saturdays and Sundays, right up to Christmas Eve. Local produce, mulled wine to sip, original fashion accessories, Corsican sausages, raclette cheese,  and the sounds of traditional Peruvian flute music filling the nippy air make this a seasonal must-do.

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By métro

La Défense (ligne 1, and RER line A)
Esplanade de la Défense (ligne 1)
Note: Both stations are in zone 3, but can also be accessed using a T+ ticket or a zone 1-2 only pass by Metro line 1. You can’t go there by RER with 1-2 zone pass.

By train

La Défense can be reached on RER A, Transiliene L, Transiliene U, tramway T2, station La Défense. It can be very confusing but ‘Les Quatres Temps’ is color coded. There are many maps around the shopping center.

Give Paris for Christmas: a subtle hint

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The perfect gift for every Francophile on your list. Order it on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Powells.com or trailblazertravelbooks.com (get it personally signed), your favorite independent bookstore, or buy the ebook for yourself on iBooks.

Feedback from happy readers:

“My husband and I loved this book! We spent 2 weeks in an apartment in Paris and were looking to explore areas that were off the beaten path. This book became our favorite! I have been to Paris numerous times and love exploring the city. This time we used No Worries Paris and it was no question our favorite to find out-of-the-way surprises along our daily walks. On one such walk my husband quipped that the author must be friends with Jillian Michaels (the workout maven) because we did so many stairs! We found many treasures along the way and when describing our trip to friends and family, they would comment that we should be “history teachers” because they were amazed at what we learned! I ended up losing the book on one of our last adventures, but the minute I got home I ordered another copy just to have for future adventures.” – G.Z.

“I have been a faithful reader of the posts on “No worries Paris” blogs and was very excited to see their compilation handbook. If you love Paris, I mean REALLY love all things about Paris, this is a must-read. This walking guide takes you to all areas and interests of Paris and includes beautiful, artistic photos and helpful maps. Some of the picture headings are obscured and hard to read, but this is a minor problem with the book.
As a Francophile who has lived in Paris and has taken yearly trips since 2004, I have used many guidebooks. I can honestly say that this is one of the most useful guides for Parisian visitors!”  R.K.L.

“A meaty book full of photos and maps that far surpasses any of the standard walking guides for Paris. The authors have designed a novel way to see the sights starting and ending at various metro stations and meandering through the neighborhoods. Each walk starts out with a short historical overview then follows up with turn by turn directions. Beautiful.”  E.L.

Paris news: Climate change progress

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Climate activists demonstrated with red umbrellas and ribbon in Paris today during the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Several environmental and human rights groups are planning protests around Paris to call attention to populations threatened by man-made global warming and urge an end to human use of oil, gas and coal.

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Skate on the Eiffel Tower, 184 feet above Paris

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Right now the Eiffel Tower is offering its visitors an outstanding program of free events on its ice rink.

On the program:

Kids on Ice:  A painting on ice workshop, Wednesdays Dec. 9-16 and  December 23 from 2 to 7 p.m.: Introduction to dancing on ice to music from favorite children’s cartoons, skating demonstrations, fun events with Santa.  Enjoy a delicious snack for €5 (a hot drink and a pastry or an Eiffel Tower lollipop) at the ice rink bar or the nearby buffet.

Ice dance every weekday evening from December 11-23  from 7  to 10 p.m.

Demonstrations by professional skaters, introductions to some dance steps then… the ice floor is available for you. Ambience is guaranteed by the playlist and lighting effects. To warm you up the ice rink bar is offering “two glasses of mulled wine for the price of one” ( €5) or champagne at a special price, 2 glasses for €15.

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Fitness mornings with exercise on ice the weekends of December 12-13 and 19-20, from 10 a.m. to noon. Get fit to music with your skates on, led by a coach. At the buffet you can also enjoy orange juice and an organic seeded pretzel for €6.

Open every day from December 1 to January 31, from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., the ice rink is available free to all Eiffel Tower visitors.

Access to the first level by the stairs is €3 to €7. Lift ticket for the first level is €4 to €11. Children under 4 years visit the Eiffel Tower for free. Book and buy tickets in advance at: www.toureiffel.paris

Skates (sizes 25 to 47) are free for visitors*.  There are scooters and sled-chairs for the little ones. Disabled people can enjoy the rink too, with easy access and sled-chairs for adults.

*Personal skates are not permitted. Note: as for all skating rinks, gloves are compulsory.

 

Rue Montorgueil: shop, eat, bavarder

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Pass beneath the iron filagree gate and you’ll enter a street like no other in Paris. Trust me, you won’t make it through this neighborhood without buying something: fine pastries, cheeses, chocolates, rotisserie, charcuterie, flowers, all gourmet quality.  Not a shopper?, then take it all in at one of the cafes or restaurants dotting every corner. A happening place full of history and authenticity. Historic houses decorated with elaborate ironwork can be found at #17, #23, and #25, Rue Montorgueil. Many of the buildings on the street also feature painted facades.

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Pedestrians rejoice. A few delivery trucks make their way through at times but mostly you’re free to saunter along sniffing and devouring all the colorful activity with your eyes. Cameras down, enjoy the moment and the buzz of the locals. Rue Montorgueil’s name translates literally to “Mount Pride”. Kids love this street; watch for the walking balloon vendor.

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Tips: Charles Chocolatier,  Stohrer patisserie,  Le Rocher de Cancale, L’escargot are some of the places you’ll want to stop in. Streets including Rue Dussoubs and Rue Saint-Sauveur date to the 11th century.

How to get here:

Metro:
Etienne Marcel (Line 4)
Sentier (Line 3)
Réaumur Sebastopol (Lines 3 & 4)

Pages 85-86 in the No Worries Paris guidebook. Find it on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com

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