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How Not To See Paris

How not to see Paris

How Not To See Paris

Paris: The city of love, the city of lights, yada yada yada. The city of cliches and rude pigeons, more like. I’ve been to Paris a few times, and all of those times it’s never been for more than 3 days, I wasn’t older than 9, and it rained the whole time. Now, a few years and a food blog later, I’m much more eager to return to Paris. But under the right circumstances. For starters, don’t go to the Eiffel Tower. You’ve seen it in pictures. You can see it wherever you go in Paris, for heavens sake- turn around and there it is. There’s no getting away from it. There was a man a few decades ago who hated the Eiffel Tower so much, he ate lunch there every day, because it was the only place you couldn’t see it. I relate to this guy. Even as a grumpy, jet lagged 8 year old, I was excited for the Eiffel Tower. It’s a rusty pile of metal covered in pigeon droppings. Don’t do it. Bad idea. I’m sorry, Gustave Eiffel. And along that line- skip all the touristy stuff. Notre Dame is pretty, sure, but overrated. And there’s always a line miles long to see the bells. Take a selfie outside, and scoot. If lines aren’t your thing, don’t go to the Louvre. And the Mona Lisa? Slightly bigger than a postage stamp. It looks better in the pictures. However, the Champs Elysees is worth seeing- as is the Arc de Triomphe. Again- selfie and scoot. The best way to see Paris? Walk. It’s a very pedestrian friendly city, and you’ll see places you never would’ve thought to visit- like a tiny little cathedral across the street from Notre Dame with tapestries that should be in the Louvre (but thank goodness they’re not). Or a newsstand next to the Seine River that sells first edition Tintin comics. Or the oldest basketball court in the world, built in 1892. If you can’t abide not having an agenda (I understand compulsive planning), go to places one wouldn’t think to go in Paris. Go window shopping- visit Louis Vuitton’s flagship store! Instead of elbowing your way through seas of people in the Louvre, go to the Jardin de Tuileries right behind it. See the Chateau de Chambord instead of Versailles (Chambord has a moat!). Get your portrait painted in Place du Tertre. Visit one of Paris’s 20 arrondissements every day- for the ambitious type, visit as many as 5 a day. For the foodies, visit the Terroirs d’Avenir in the Rue de Nil, and spend the day looking at cheeses, herbs, fruit, bread, and meat in one of Paris’s chicest markets.   Oh, and another thing- don’t act like a tourist. Learn some basic French phrases, and you’ll probably make it through your trip without being laughed at by any locals! The last, most important thing- eat cheese. If you leave Paris without eating cheese, I refuse to acknowledge you actually went to Paris.
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