Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Paris Part II: Favourite Streets

Rue des Martyrs

After having shown you my favourite food and drink places last week, we today continue with part II. It is all about my favourite streets in Paris. In fact, there is no better than walking around this beautiful city and discover new places, new scents, new people, new buildings, new ambiances. Come with me on a little walk through these particular streets and imagine yourself passing by the boutiques and restaurants while avoiding dog poop on the sidewalk (well yes, this is Paris as well).

Rue des Martyrs
It is probably my absolute favourite street in Paris. How often do I take detours just in order to walk along this narrow slightly uphill street in the 9ème. On one hand you have colourful fruit stalls, fresh delivered fish or at least three fromageries (cheese stores), on the other you find exquisite stores such as the Chambre aux Confitures, a Swedish sweets store (you know my obsession for this country), specialities from Southern France or little cafes that invite to sit down for a while. Actually, you could replace your weekly shopping in the supermarket by just buying everything you need here: butchers expose their fresh meat in the windows, bakeries shine with facades from the 19th century... yes, I sometimes feel like taken aback in time.

Rue Daguerre
What the Rue des Martyrs is for me in Northern Paris, is the Rue Daguerre in the South: A pedestrian street in which you can find everything that you need for your dinner. Fresh fruits, screaming vegetable traders and little delicatessen stores with products from all over the world. In between you have lovely restaurants and cafes that offer a large choice of international dishes.

The Bercy Village

Bercy Village
Bercy used to be independent from Paris until the 19th century and served as storage place for all the wine barrels that arrived from Southern France along the Seine River. Those times are over now but yet, the old storage houses have been keeping their charm. I hardly can describe the mix you find in the street today: there is a fnac mega store, decoration boutiques, galleries, a pet food store and some pretty cool Parisian designers. Not to forget the different kinds of bistros, from Burger places, to Tapas bars, to typical French cuisine – let’s say that the Bercy Village is a huge melting pot. My favourite bar is inside the incredible Quicksilver store as surf boards are rotating above you while having a mojito. Afterwards I like having dinner at Chai 33 before grabbing a typical New York Cheesecake at Factory & Co.

The French National Library

Avenue de la France
Even if the name speaks for a very very French atmosphere, I think there is no street that is more untypical for Paris. The Avenue de la France is the street I go to when I want to feel as if I was in an American business district. It is wide, high buildings cast clouds over the sidewalk and the coffee shop culture emphasizes this feeling. As a lover of healthy food, I absolutely love the EXKI green take away place. For now, there is also the only H&M in Paris I could find that has an H&M Home section. And of course, the National French Library with its four immense towers is another reason to come – and to study.

No better than a fresh cake at Factory & Co.

Rue Saint Dominique
Stretching from the Champs de Mars to the St. Germain quarter, the Rue Saint Dominique is a great shopping street if you want to avoid all the hustle on Rue Rivoli or other famous shopping places. You have all the French designers you need (The Kooples, ba&sh,..), again nice coffee places - Starbucks and Bar du Central for instance - and eventually little boutiques that are truly particular for this street. My personal favourite is the NKO Cashmere Boutique.

The Quicksilver store in Bercy Village

Rue des Dames
When my friends and I want to grab a drink and don't know where to go, Rue de Dames is ALWAYS an option. Direction Place de Clichy you find great bars with young people, as for example the BB Tapas Bar, Les Caves Populaires (N° 22) or the Lucien La Chance. Further down you have little boutiques with individual styles, as well as my favourite Vietnamese place I love Bo-Bun. Don't miss the little artist passage Geffroy-Didelot with all its little artist's workshops. 

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