Sunday, April 22, 2007

Paris, Overnight

On Friday Ken and I drove up to Paris to see friends Chris and Tony who are visiting from the Bay Area. They rented a small apartment in the Marais and we met them in the afternoon for a walk, some shopping, and dinner that evening.

A view of the Tour Eiffel from the rue de Belleville, near the Pyrénées métro stop.

We had some errands, all of which were successful. They included a stop at the spice store, Izraël, for some smoked spanish paprika and a dash into the BHV for a broom/dustpan thing.

The sign at Métro Buttes Chaumont.

Before we got to Paris, we stopped at Ikea out in the 'burbs for a light fixture for the kitchen. We got to Paris at lunch time and drove in to the rue Lecourbe for sushi and sashimi at a Japanese restaurant near our friend CHM's apartment. He's not in town right now, so we didn't get to see him on this trip.

We also made a run over to the 13th arrondissement to Tang Frères for a granite mortar & pestle that we had seen last year. Dinner was in the 15th again at a couscous restaurant called Le Vent de Sable that we had been to with CHM. It was just as good as we remembered.

The view from the temple at the top of Buttes Chaumont, looking more or less north.

Saturday morning we got up and went for a nice walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont over near Belleville. I wanted to have lunch in a Thai place on the rue de Belleville that I had read about, and this was a park that Chris said she had never been to, so it was a great combination. The weather was spectacular and lunch was not disappointing - although I think Chris and Tony wouldn't have necessarily chosen an Asian place to eat given that they can get that back at home. They were kind to indulge us.

A more familiar sight seen from the temple at Buttes Chaumont.

Belleville as become more or less an Asian neighborhood, full of great shops and restaurants side-by-side with the more traditional Parisian kinds of places. Just walking around was a feast for the senses. Down the hill, the neighborhood around the Boulevard de la Villette is more North African. We stopped in a little store and Ken found a tajine (a traditional clay pot for cooking the dish of the same name) that he's wanted for a while.

Inside the church of St. Jean-Baptiste de Belleville at métro Jourdain, a gothic style church built in the late 19th century.

We walked some more and stopped at a café on the Place Colonel Fabien - near where I lived when I was a student back in the last century - before getting back in the car, dropping our friends off at the Palais de Tokyo modern art museum, and heading for home. It was all great fun and we enjoyed seeing C&T, eating exotic (for us country folk) food, and getting some good shopping done.

I'm certain that Ken will get it together to do a more detailed description in the next few days.


  1. Great photos. I particularly like the reflection of stained glass windows on the ground.
    I worked in Belleville for 12 years and remember well the view of the Eiffel tower as I was going down the rue de Belleville towards the métro.

  2. Ahhh, but the Thai restaurant had a Parisian flair! We had a wonderful time, and were so happy to see you. The three twirls en voiture around L'Etoile were something to remember too!

  3. Love the shot in the Cathedral and the reflection on the floor.. I live for shots like this... simple yet, something most people don't notice....
    Bonne journee... Leesa


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