24 May2010

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Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. For Marketman & Family, of the cities we have visited so far, PARIS IS DEFINITELY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY of them all. While I consider New York City our home away from home, Paris is only a hair behind it in our personal ranking of places we would live if we were not based in Manila. Mrs. Marketman lived in Paris for several years, completing a graduate degree, taking all of her classes, then writing and defending her thesis in French, so she is quite fluent. The Teen and I just hide behind her when language skills are required, and vendors just assume we are “fresh off the boat” Vietnamese immigrants… :) I realized recently that last year’s posts from our Paris and Venice trip were interrupted and thus incomplete, so I plan to share the remainder of the posts from that trip with readers over the next few days (almost exactly a year after our visit to the City of Lights)…

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These photos were taken on a post-dinner walk at 9pm or so, which had us meandering around the Left Bank, crossing the Seine at the Pont Neuf bridge onto the Right Bank… I had a Canon point and shoot camera on an automatic setting and still managed to capture these images… I can only imagine what a good photographer with a good camera would capture (or someone who knew how to use my G10 properly)!

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The Eiffel Tower in the distance had a huge spotlight circling near its apex, casting a strong beam of light over the Parisian sky. Whether on a bridge, sidewalk by the river, or a boat on the Seine, the city simply glittered on this perfect evening… Springtime in Paris. That’s one thing that should definitely be on your personal bucket list. :)

Some other previous posts on Paris:

Springtime in Paris
Marche du Raspail
La Fougasse
The Macarons of Pierre Herme (The 6th of 6 Macaron Posts)
Marche des Enfants Rouges
Dessert at the Place des Vosges

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Tout simplement magnifique

    May 24, 2010 | 5:31 am

     
  2. Eden says:

    From another Parisophile, I totally agree, Paris IS the most beautiful city in the world.

    May 24, 2010 | 7:31 am

     
  3. Footloose says:

    April in Paris
    Chestnuts in blossom
    Holiday tables under the trees
    April in Paris
    This is the feeling
    No one can ever reprise
    I never knew the charm of spring
    I never met it face to face
    I never knew my heart could sing
    Never missed a warm embrace
    Till April in Paris,
    Whom can I ran to
    What have you done to my heart

    May 24, 2010 | 7:33 am

     
  4. Elmo says:

    Wow…enough said

    May 24, 2010 | 8:19 am

     
  5. marilen says:

    Simply lovely!!!

    May 24, 2010 | 9:52 am

     
  6. Beth says:

    Personally, I think Paris is the most overrated city in the world. Though its super fun doing patisserie and boulangerie tours.

    May 24, 2010 | 10:00 am

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Beth, I am curious overrated how? Not nice enough architecture or impressive buildings/structures/museums? A lack of fine art? Music? Opera? Fashion? Food (Pastry, Bread, High End Meals, Bistro Style Plates)? Ethnic variety? Markets? Shops? Parks and Esplanades? Tree-lined boulevards? History? Residential Neighborhoods? Education? Transport options? Foie gras sandwiches… :)

    May 24, 2010 | 10:11 am

     
  8. Marketman says:

    I googled “most beautiful cities in the world” and got Forbes’ Magazine’s list of 12 that sound pretty good to me, with a few exceptions: Paris, Vancouver, Sydney, Florence, Venice, Cape Town, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, London, Cambridge, Tokyo.

    Having so far visited 9 out of the 12 cities, I really want to visit Vancouver (plans to see this town were twice cancelled), Cambridge and Cape Town in that order… I wasn’t particularly fond of Tokyo or Chicago, so I would have a shorter list of 10 cities maybe… :)

    May 24, 2010 | 10:31 am

     
  9. Footloose says:

    I worked once with an accountant who went to Paris with her husband for what was supposed to be a week’s vacation but had to cut it short because they could not stand the food. An eye-rolling moment (for me) if there ever was one but this was in the early eighties before American fast food chains established their foothold in Europe and I remembered in time that one man’s meat can be another man’s emetic. Maybe our fellow visitor went there in August when everything was closed.

    Unesco World Heritage sites are also worthwhile spots to visit.

    May 24, 2010 | 10:54 am

     
  10. pinkytab says:

    Footloose, it was Aug. the first time I went to Paris and I loved it! Not crowded because most of the Parisians were out of town. I walked the streets late at night and felt very safe (would not recommend it though). I ate a lot of crepes sold by sidewalk vendors. I remember a waiter in a cafe admonishing me to eat slowly (was in a hurry to go back to the Louvre) and enjoy my meal instead of gulping my food like most Americans do.

    May 24, 2010 | 12:05 pm

     
  11. leigh says:

    I’m not sure about Paris being the most overrated city in the world, but I must admit I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. The first time I visited Paris was in 2001 – I didn’t really like Montmarte and definitely wasn’t bowled over from the view of Paris from Sacre Couer. I thought the Paris Opera House was magnificent though and the Louvre simply has to be the best museum in the world. We took a trip out to Versailles as well – you can rent bicycles and it’s a fun way of seeing the enormous grounds and gardens. We were there late October and twas a bit chilly already so there we were riding our bicycles with our trench coats and scarves flapping in the wind. Certainly one my life’s carefree moments …

    Food-wise I must admit that I was a bit surprised at first with all the steak frites I kept seeing on the menus, but really loved the sugar crepes they sell all over.

    May 24, 2010 | 12:08 pm

     
  12. Jaja says:

    Definitely one of my dream destinations! :)

    May 24, 2010 | 12:09 pm

     
  13. Ging says:

    Overrated?! I was there for a week and felt that time was too short. Food was fantastic (although restaurant meals were a tad on the long side). I could not get enough of the musuems. Walking in the streets from one destination to another was already filled with so much eye candy (people, architecture, monuments). Even the flea markets were worth visiting. French people are described as rude- well okay, i found the older ones rude with one lady actually pushing me out of her way with an umbrella but the younger ones were pretty cool.

    @Pinkytab, i walked the streets with friends at 1-2 am. No problems there :-)

    May 24, 2010 | 12:18 pm

     
  14. fried-neurons says:

    MM, you definitely must visit Vancouver. It is an amazing city. It’s clean, has interesting architecture, has plenty of open space, and has great restaurants galore. It’s probably my favorite city in North America after New York. (Yes, I like it even more than San Francisco.)

    Anyway, I’ve only been to Paris once. Regrettably, I didn’t get to see enough of it because I was there for only a week and was too busy watching tennis to see the sights. I DID manage to go on an evening cruise along the Seine, though… that was very nice. Also went on a tour of Versaillles. It still boggles my mind that some people (ok, royalty) actually lived in such splendor back in the 17th and 18th centuries! No wonder the people revolted! lol. I will go back someday, I’m just not sure when.

    Right now going back to Buenos Aires (with side trips to Iguazú, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego) is higher up on my agenda…

    May 24, 2010 | 12:39 pm

     
  15. nina says:

    I love Paris and it’s my favorite city. Been there twice and still planning to come back. It’s a place I’ll never get tired of. And if I can go to one European City only – that would be Paris.

    May 24, 2010 | 12:57 pm

     
  16. lea says:

    Beautiful pictures even if taken with a point a shoot camera! I love Paris too … although I was there for only an overnight visit. It was March..still too cold but we still enjoyed the River Seine tour.

    May 24, 2010 | 1:25 pm

     
  17. isagarch says:

    I should really go back to reading your blog on my pc rather than my phone – those pictures are amazing!

    May 24, 2010 | 1:33 pm

     
  18. Marketman says:

    fried neurons, I will definitely have to get to Vancouver, if only for the market. As for other trips to aspire to, I have wanted to try that really remote hotel in Patagonia, but I am not much of a hiker… :)

    May 24, 2010 | 2:02 pm

     
  19. Rico Baltazar says:

    I too have lived in Gay Paree for more than a year but I say Sydney Australia is still by far more vibrant and beautiful city to live in; even though the cost of living in Australia is much higher.

    May 24, 2010 | 2:56 pm

     
  20. iyoy says:

    fried neuron, i’m envious. from tropical iguazu to near-antarctic tierra del fuego, with a stop in-between in patagonia. will you be hitting bariloche (touristy, but still fantastic views and glorious food) in the alpine zone to complete the picture? would like to go back to argentina too but the air fare alone costs a bundle and the trip takes too long. from europe it’s a 12-hour trip. probably takes as long from the west coast. coming from manila, one will have to spend a small fortune. paris na lang kaya? :)

    May 24, 2010 | 3:50 pm

     
  21. mila says:

    I agree that Chicago isn’t the prettiest place, and NY has a lot more foodie stops, but I did enjoy visiting the city a few years ago (especially after reading Devil in the White City right before going). Fun outdoor sculptures, good museums, some lovely spots for architectural walking tour fans, and let’s not forget the sports fans.

    Just re-read the list you found, interesting that Cambridge got added in the list (would that be Cambridge Mass. or the one on the other side of the Atlantic?). Do you think the writer was an alum from one of the schools there?

    May 24, 2010 | 5:22 pm

     
  22. Marketman says:

    mila, I have always heard that Cambridge in the U.K. is beautiful. but sounds a little too small town for me, even if charming…

    May 24, 2010 | 5:55 pm

     
  23. Footloose says:

    You do not want to miss the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge. Make it a day trip from your London base, just like Stratford on Avon where btw Gordon Ramsay grew up. Now I am just as familiar with the bard’s work as the next guy but may be they Bowdlerized them in the nineteenth century and weeded out all the f words. I caught an episode of his in one of the cheap lodgings I stay in in Brazil where he tackled a more than wayward Indian restaurant in NYC. I tell you all the ear rending invectives were apt and well deserved.

    May 24, 2010 | 7:29 pm

     
  24. sunflowii says:

    Paris overrated? Quite. My first trip there back in July 2007 was short so I do know I should give it another try. But what disappointed me the most was that it was not clean at all and reminded me of Manila. yikes. we took the subway and the subway trains didn’t have air conditioning. the subterranean hallways reeked of urine. it was so hot down there and in the trains that I felt like I was back in Manila’s LRT’s, back when it wasn’t air conditioned.

    then the toilets at Galleries Lafayette (their sosy department store) was so dirty! one time there was a line up and when I was about to go in to an available cubicle, the lady that just left it told me I wouldn’t want to go in there. eeewww.

    and it was raining a lot when we were there. we went to the Louvre and took pictures right under the glass pyramid which meant that we were taking pictures of the inverted pyramid right underneath it PLUS the buckets that were collecting the rainwater leaking in. haha!!!

    it was definitely shocking to see and smell this side of Paris since all the movies with Parisian locations I’ve seen seemed to look and smell clean. or at least as clean as typical North American cities.

    my husband and I enjoyed Versailles very much though. would definitely recommend booking a bike tour that includes a picnic since the place is just huge and biking would get you around faster and farther.

    May 25, 2010 | 5:47 am

     
  25. Marketman says:

    sunflowii, actually, I wish more people feel like you do about Paris, so it isn’t so crowded in future. But I would happily put up with what you describe, in exchange for all the other wonderful things that are there. :)

    May 25, 2010 | 6:47 am

     
  26. joyce says:

    paris has to be one of my dream destinations if only for the food and culture. scandinavian friends tell me how they find paris really dirty compared to the rest of europe overall. i guess preferences on travel destinations reflects on what kind of traveler you are. do you prioritize shopping and food? landscapes? availability of modern conveniences? i have a well-traveled friend who doesn’t really enjoy outdoor destinations and prefers going to urbanized, luxe places where he buy hagen daz hehe. personally, i like places with a bit more grit; contrasts and history are interesting for me. i love nature as well and lack of restaurants or shops don’t bother me. one destination may fail in dining choices or even cleanliness but win you over with its jaw dropping sights and rich history.

    May 25, 2010 | 10:42 am

     
  27. fried-neurons says:

    I would have to agree that Paris (at least what I saw of it during my tennis-focused trip) is dirty. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It is still an amazing city. I’ve found that dirty doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not worth seeing. Conversely, clean doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a there there.

    Examples:

    Paris, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, New York, San Juan Viejo (in Puerto Rico), Cuzco… all dirty, yet all amazing places.

    Dallas, Irvine, Raleigh-Durham, Bellevue… all clean, all completely uninteresting, not worth seeing, and devoid of soul.

    Vancouver, Reykjavik, Seattle… all a happy combination of clean and interesting.

    Or picture yourself as a non-Filipino, toying with the idea of going to Manila. Would you fly thousands of miles to the Philippines to go see Serendra (spotless) or Intramuros (dirty)?

    May 25, 2010 | 2:34 pm

     
  28. Teresa says:

    Paris is defintely one of the places I love. Love the modern buildings in La Defense. Love the Rose Windows Chapel. Love the flee market at Porte Clingacor. Love the dioramas and models at Musee d’Orsay. Love the restos at San German area. Love the sights and lights of the city. Love macarons. Love the Jardin des Tuilleries. Love, love, love Paris. Can keep on coming back and wont get tired of walking around this lovely place. There’s just so much history and culture. And food is great except for the over cooked haricots, I must say.

    May 25, 2010 | 3:38 pm

     
  29. Footloose says:

    Agree with Fried-neurons, ultimately, it is not the tidiness or squalor of cities that repel or draw people to them. A spectacular landscape (natural or manmade), the overwhelming beauty of the land, the accessible show-houses of living and accumulated art, the contagious energy, passion and charm of the inhabitants, alone or in combination have the power to seduce visitors and make them come back again and again in defiance of violence, danger and limited means.

    May 25, 2010 | 6:00 pm

     
  30. Gina says:

    Hi MM. Look what they did to the Champs Elysees over the weekend! It was a project called Nature Capitale. Can you imagine doing all this for a 3-day event?
    http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=pictures&action=display&thread=4070&page=1

    I miss rue Mouffetard; miss the chevre and baguette and roast chicken there; miss simply walking the avenues and small alleys until 8pm; the rose bushes in the gardens; the overhelming sense of history. And yes, the metro does smell of urine, but that’s a small price to pay if, upon emerging from the city’s subterranean depths, you come upon a sight so breathtakingly majestic.

    May 26, 2010 | 12:51 am

     
  31. pinkytab says:

    @fried-neurons & footloose – totally agree with you. Which brings to mind Granada in Spain.
    All the dog poop strewn all over the city streets there will not keep me from going back. I would move there tomorrow if I could.

    May 26, 2010 | 1:08 am

     
  32. Jade186 says:

    I just arrived from Paris today – (still feeling tired from the flight but still have the energy for checking out my fave food blog ;-) ) . I must say that it has changed quite a lot judging from my previous trips there before and also hold the same opinion of others who think that Paris is rather overrated.

    May 26, 2010 | 6:15 am

     
  33. Marketman says:

    Gina, OMG, now I wish I WAS in Paris last week instead of last year. That link shows just an amazing effort. AMAZING. It is truly spectacular. I strongly urge all readers go to the link in Gina’s comment. Wonderful.

    May 26, 2010 | 7:20 am

     
  34. sunflowii says:

    Hi! Don’t get me wrong, folks. I did say I would give Paris another try. What I got from that trip was that I definitely had the wrong expectations fuelled by Hollywood. I was expecting “PARIS” but what I found was akin to Manila and parts of China so I was extremely shocked and disappointed. And we just squeezed in too much in too few days so we felt rushed. My post above was just to show others the other side of Paris that hardly gets mentioned but is still quite real.

    May 26, 2010 | 7:24 am

     
  35. Marketman says:

    sunflowii, from the sound of it, several other readers had similar reactions so it wasn’t unusual. But I would encourage another visit if possible, assuming the things Paris does have to offer are things that interest you personally… :)

    May 26, 2010 | 3:26 pm

     
  36. mikel says:

    missed you guys again. in boston on the way to MLA. bon appetit!

    May 27, 2010 | 4:39 am

     
  37. Marketman says:

    hi mikel, nope, these are remnant posts from last year’s visit! But thanks again for the recommendations!

    May 27, 2010 | 8:56 am

     
  38. Tessa Cruz says:

    We were in Paris two weeks ago – the last leg of a trip that included Munich and Vienna – and I must say that the city gave me so much more than I expected and hoped for. We are by no means art, food and fashion connoisseurs but it was just a wonderful experience to live and breathe the Parisian culture (Metro “panghi”/stench notwithstanding). Going around with a history geek (aka my husband) gave the trip another fascinating dimension on top of what was obvious. Good trip planning on the hubby’s part had us in the Rodin Museum first thing in the morning, Orsay towards closing time and the Louvre on a Wednesday night when they are open until 945pm – minimal crowds, no waiting in line at all (thanks to the Paris Museum Pass, highly recommended!). Because we were too busy trying to see as many things as we can, our meals were limited to a croissant on the go or a quick cafe lunch. A nice treat was the brioche from a bakery on Rue Cler: ensaymada :) And the macarons … The French cannot do wrong with their breads and pastries – that’s a new universal truth of mine.
    I can see clearly now what the fuss was all about, and I can’t wait to visit again.

    May 27, 2010 | 11:13 am

     
  39. sc says:

    going to be my destination next year! ahhh. . .

    May 27, 2010 | 8:46 pm

     
  40. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Paris is one of the places I would like to visit again (and again). I went there for a business trip and was put up in a charming little hotel within walking distance of the Arc de Triumph. The neighborhood where the company’s Paris office was located looked something like out of the Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin wall. Taking a walk from the hotel the explore the neighborhood, there were quite a few Filipinos, many working as domestics. It was very comfortable and the faces in the crowd were that of any cosmopolitan area in the US. No problems with the locals and in fact, many were quite helpful and accomodating. There was some blight, but there’s that all over the world. If you ever visited San Francisco and stayed near the airport, your first impression of the city wouldn’t be that impressive either. Overrated? Not in the least. You gotta remember that Paris is thousands of years old so its history speaks for itself. Sure there’s the touristy places, but its the quaint little hotels in Paris’ neighborhoods that make the city worth exploring.

    May 28, 2010 | 5:02 am

     
  41. MJ says:

    The best dinner experience ever. (OK, a close second to The French Laundry.) http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthomeparis/

    May 29, 2010 | 5:05 pm

     
 

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