Nous aimons

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What we like “ce que nous aimons”

What we like may be colored by ignorance and inexperience
We are often wrong
But occasionally, we get it right
(and have visited Paris each year, since 2011)

We like to go to Paris, maybe the most popular tourist city in the world and avoid the tourists (which is a conundrum)

There is a reason that Paris is popular – it is Spectacular!
(i.e. just because the Grand Canyon might be so popular, doesn’t mean it is not worth seeing or should be avoided)

We especially like the History of Paris
the Museums, the Cemeteries and Churches
the layout of the city and the architecture

We like moving around the city like a Parisian
riding the Metro and Vélib’ (bike sharing)

We like Eating like a Parisian
shopping at grocery stores, boulangeries and health food stores
(our favorites: Naturalia and Le Grenier à Pain)
We seldom find a full scale grocery
and go to the Chain-Convenience Grocery Stores (Franprix and 8 A HUIT)
(avoid the “Mom-and-Pop” tiny expensive stores)

We usually stay Outside of Central Paris
(and choose Montmartre, Bercy, Versaille and La Defense)
We stay at premium chain hotels (Sofitel, Pullman, Mercury, Novotel)
They may all owned by a conglomerate, but they are predictably clean, comfortable, luxurious and feel safe
(when we have explored other affordable options the rooms were cramped, the showers claustophobic and there were sanitation issues)

We like to shop for souvenirs at Museums and Churches
Office Supply shops often have interesting blank books
Groceries often have “different” toiletries (avoid expensive pharmacies)

When my sunglasses broke last spring
they were able to fit me with new frames
(and it was very reasonable surprise!)

We like to Run in Paris
There are Meet Up Groups which you can run with
We recommend running the Gardens of Versailles when the gates open at 7:00am
Some hotels (Soffitel La Defense) provide a small pocket card with various running routes

When you are buying Things to Eat, you should NOT avoid the crowds
Do not shop at the Fromagerie, Wine Shop or Drug Store which is empty and expensive

For Coffee, we go to the nearest McDonalds for a cafe allonge (espresso diluted with hot water)
We don’t understand the politics of cafes, the waiting, the bar vs tables, etc
In our opinion, the worst cafe in Paris is at le Louvre
(no concept of service, efficiency or expediency)
and it is terribly expensive (I saw a couple with kids spend their mortgage)

We seldom “eat-out”
Were unimpressed with street crepes
Almost didn’t have enough money for a lunch, when they required cash
But we can recommend: Bouillon Chartier, L’As du Fallafel, Taverne Henry IV and La Tour Montlhéry – Chez Denise (as does every tourist guide – no surprise)

But it is important to remember . . .
We are often wrong

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