Quantcast
Latest Stories

Pride of Place

Living the Parisian way

By

SHINING Parisian clichés at night, the Tour Eiffel and Arc de Carrousel

Discovering the ‘real’ Paris, beyond the famous monuments, leads to wanting to live  ‘la vie Parisienne,’ even if just for a holiday

STEP OUT of the bedroom into a private terrasse.

“Paris is a cliché,” said a friend as we walked leisurely after dinner one winter night, not realizing until we sat at a café to rest our feet that we had been walking for over three hours, and we had covered over four kilometers of Paris.

Four hours of Parisian wonder was what we had just experienced, and we did all the clichés that night.

After washing down a raclette dinner with bottles of wine at a small, crowded bistro on a narrow, cobbled street deep in the picturesque and touristy St. Michel quartier, we thought a short walk would do wonders for digestion.

So we walked from the restaurant through a maze of twisted streets, filled with tourists, with shop after shop hawking the same souvenirs in our faces, continuing until we got out of the picturesqueness of it all and into the Place St. Michel with its Baroque fountain.

In front of the place was a sweeping sight, the wide, open grandeur of the Seine.

There we stood on the quay. The view? Cliché No. 1: There was Notre Dame Cathedral across the river, beautifully lit, its façade reflecting perfectly on the Seine.

THE LOUVRE at night

Splendid it was, just like the guidebook said it would be.

We thought we’d cross the river, so  we walked to the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge that leads to the Louvre.

Cliché No. 2: Framed by the magnificent architecture, the Pyramid of the Louvre, lit from the inside, shone like a diamond at night. On the opposite end of the large courtyard, an open plaza with the Arc de Carroussel framed a long perspective of the Champs Elysées with the Tour Eiffel glistening so transparently in the distance.

The City of Light Paris most certainly is.

 

No stopping

There was no stopping now. We walked into side streets that either opened out to small plazas or led us to wide boulevards which, in true Parisian style, were grand promenades, backdrops for magnificent architectural monuments sited so nobly at the end of the boulevard.

RARE Parisian luxury is a private terrasse outside your bedroom.

At the end of one boulevard we walked on was the Palais Garnier, the National Opéra built in 1875. Other boulevards brought us face-to-face with obelisks, sculpture; and, always, magnificent architecture.

We were doing all of the tourist clichés that night, doing it on foot, and loving every moment of it.

Paris is a moveable feast, another cliché, but in truth, that is what Paris really is.

Digging deeper, moving away from guidebook clichés, gets one into the little neighborhoods, urban treasures where much of the city’s daily life happens away from tourist view.

One area is Rue Mouffetard, a neighborhood of ancient buildings, medieval streets and passages that escaped the Napoleonic destruction and redevelopment of Paris under the hand of Baron Haussmann.

Neighborhood immersion

 

WHAT could be more Paris than a vista of Notre Dame Cathedral from a narrow street?

Rue Mouffetard is one of those places where students, young families and professionals live together with older people who have been there all their lives.

There, locals sit in cafés passing time, buying provisions from wonderful food shops that stock produce of such freshness that visitors pause to wonder at the quality and abundance of vegetables, poultry, meat.

It is this lively mix of people, cafés, restaurants,  food shops and markets that makes Rue Mouffetard the vibrant neighborhood full of character and charm that it is, every day, all year round.

Another cliché this could be, but the fascination of discovering the “real” Paris, beyond the famous monuments, leads to wanting to live “la vie Parisienne,”  even if just for a holiday.

Immersion in a Parisian neighborhood is the best way to be part of Paris life. Instead of a hotel, book a fully equipped, serviced apartment in a residential neighborhood.

Coveted experience

PURVEYORS of the best French produce are found on Rue Mouffetard.

Gourmand Apartments has  various locations in Paris, but the one to aim for is Le Gourmand du Mouffetard in the bustling, medieval Rue Mouffetard area.  It is Parisian everyday living at its most fulfilling.

The apartment is comfortable, fully fitted out, with a bonus of a private, open-air terrasse so rare in Paris. If it’s cliché tourist destinations that you are looking for, the apartment is walking distance to the Panthéon, Jardin des Plantes, Ile St. Louis and Notre Dame.

Le Gourmand Maubert is another delightful property owned by the same Australian couple. Located in a  quieter neighborhood just on the other side of the river from Notre Dame Cathedral, the apartment is across the street from the fabled 4-star Tour d’Argent. Plan your stay at the Maubert around your booking at the Tour d’Argent.

It’s a coveted experience that must be done well in advance.

LIVE the Parisian life in an apartment of your own within a historic district.

Both apartments are one-bedroom flats fitted out with all essentials  for Parisian comfort, including fully equipped kitchens with appliances and crockery, microwave, TV and DVD.

Furnishings are elegant and comfortable, the luxurious bonus being high-thread-count bed linen. There is nothing like living the Parisian life in comfort.

For information on Le Gourmand de Mouffetard or Maubert, go to www.parisgourmandapartments.com.

Feedback and comments are welcome at pride.place@gmail.com.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Lifestyle , Paris , Travel



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  5. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  6. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  7. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  8. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  9. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  10. Philippine novelist wins US book award amid cancer and ‘Yolanda’
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Saudi Arabia reports 3 more deaths from MERS virus
  • Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  • Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?
  • Napoles to have surgery on Tuesday – report
  • Mayor’s assassination linked to black sand mining controversy
  • Sports

  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
    Marketplace