Fun day wandering around the nether regions of the Bastille, following a Lonely Plant map that took us through a variety of near-hidden cobblestone passages dotted with shops of craftspeople, from chair makers to architects. The weather vacillated between drizzle, mist, rain and sudden sunshine, adding drama to the day.
The kids ended up going to the Pompidou, which thankfully was open on Monday (as was the Louvre, but not the Musee d’Orsay), and then on a ghost tour that began at Shakespeare and Company and moved into the Isle de citie.
We ended up at East Mama (rue de Faubourg St.Antoine) having a delicious lunch of Italian food – pizza Naples style and a carbonara pasta with grilled threads of artichoke. No wonder the place was packed, which is why we chose it and ended up sitting at the bar overlooking the chefs in action.
The second Lonely Planet tour – of “secret villages” hidden in urban Paris south of Montparnesse, in the 14 and 13 arrondissements, was interesting but I’m not sure worth all the walking. Live and learn. Starting at the Pernety metro, We did walk through what felt like very non-touristy parts of Paris, which was a nice change from the more famous bits. We walked 35 minutes to the citie florale, five winding streets named after flowers, lined with little cottage-like rowhouses that apparently are well endowed with gardens, but not in January. It is remarkable that this little area is surrounded by urbanhigh rises and busy city shopping drags. I’d return to better explore the nearby butte aux Cailles, a hilly cobblestoned area with interesting looking cafes and restaurants (near Place D’italie metro)