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The Earful Tower: Paris

The Earful Tower: Figuring out France with guests who know best. 

Feb 19, 2018

Today's episode is a top-20 bonanza! I had tour guide extraordinaire April Pett in the studio to take me on a virtual walk through Paris. She gives her favourite street in each of the 20 Paris arrondissements. 

I like her list because it's not just streets, there are bridges, alleyways, elevated walkways and more, and she recommends them for different reasons. One street has the city's only baguette vending machine, for instance. 

Book a tour to see the streets of Paris with April here, at April in Paris tours, and be sure to drop my name.

Now, before we get to the list, I've started taking my video camera and walking down these streets as a true Parisian flaneur. If you're a Patreon member in the brand new "Flaneur Club", I'll invite you to a closed Facebook page where I will take you down all 20 streets over the course of the coming months (and a lot more). I did the first one today in the 7th arrondissement by the Eiffel Tower. Thanks to those who joined live! Sign up today, your crowdfunding helps me make the show better!

Anyway, enjoy the episode, here's the list of streets so you can mark them down for yourselves. Pictures to follow shortly on The Earful Tower.

1. Pont Neuf

Sure, it’s a bridge, but it’s also a street and it’s a great one. You can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance and you can peer over into the beautiful little Square du Vert-Galant park.

2. Rue des Petit Champs

This street is the access way to all the hidden passages of the 2nd arrondissement, some aren’t very visibly marked so just walk along this street . These passages are a glimpse into yesteryear, says April.

3. Rue de Franc Bourgeois

In the heart of the Marais, you’ll find people flocking here, but don’t worry. It’s one of the best shopping streets in the city. On Sundays, in front of the Carnavalet museum, there’s a cute little jazz band of elderly musicians. It’s like an open-air concert, says April Pett. There’s Place des Vosges at one end too!

4. Rue des Barres

Great for an afternoon glass of Rosé on a sunny day - and there are very colourful facades too! 

5. Rue Mouffetard

A lively, beautiful market street. April calls it a sensation for all of the sense. Plenty of cobblestones. Cheese, pastry, crepe, wine… it’s a foodie haven on any given day. There’s a great tart restaurant - La Maison des tarts. Get a tart to go for 2.50.

6. Cour du commerce Saint-Andre

A combination of a small medieval cobblestones streets - don’t wear your high heels on this street! The Cafe Procope (see below) has been whipping out java since 1686.

7. Rue de Monttessuy

Perhaps the best street for a view of the Iron Lady - get there in the evening if you want to see her sparkle, says April.

8. Avenue Montaigne

It's full of luxury shops. If you’re lucky enough to see it at Christmas, you’ll understand why Paris deserves the moniker of City of Light.

9. Rue du Faubourg Montmartre

Access to more hidden passages and the home to the oldest chocolate shop, A la Mere de la family, a chocolate shop from 1761. Bouillon Chartier, a legendary institution, 1896 and the prices are from 1896 too. It’s a big dining hall. You’ll feel like you’re at the halls of Oktoberfest.

10. Quai des Jemappes

When the sun is shining, everyone goes down to the canal and has a glass of Rosé.

11. Passage Turquetil

A beautiful little place with framed art along the sides of the buildings, not to mention the old shoes they’ve made into plant pots.

12. Coulee vert

The elevated walkway, a great view of the 12th arrondissement. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

13. Avenue des Choisy

Restaurants, shops, and a great look into the Asian community of Paris. And it’s where you’ll find Pho 14 too, see below.

14. Square Montsouris 

It feels like an extension of the nearby Parc Montsouris, it’s townhouses, and it’s very green, says April. It’s a pocket of village inside bustling Paris.

15. Rue Paul-Barruel

The only street in town with a baguette vending machine. The bread is partially cooked before it’s put in the machine. You put in a euro and it gets you a warm, freshly cooked baguette.

16. Rue de Passy
Great place for boutique shopping, including the covered market of Passy. Check out the oyster and wine bar in the market, says April.

17. Rue des Dames

Just north of Place de Clichy. It’s a nice place for an evening out, try the Cave Populaire wine bar - 7 euros for a bottle of wine. And 8 euros for a charcuterie board. And it’s not touristy at all compared to the nearby Montmartre.

18. Rue des Montcenis

On the backside of Montmartre, these are the legendary stairs leading up to the Sacré-Coeur. You'll never feel more Parisian than when you're scaling these stairs.

19. Rue de la Villette

A small street north of Parc de Belleville and leading to Buttes Chaumont, check out the restaurant there called Escargot (if you like things like snail, frogs’ legs, and kangaroos), says April.

20. Rue Denoyez

This place is an open canvas for street artists to lay out their masterpieces, says April. Check out the bar Aux Folies at one end, where it feels like Happy Hour every hour (and where Edith Piaf began her career as a cabaret singer).

That's it! All 20. Now, all these excellent tips have been added to my ever-growing Ultimate Guide to Paris (170 tips now!). The guide is hidden for Patreon members who are in the Friends of the Show club.  


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