Paris in June

I haven't made it to Paris for a few months now, but Paris is on my mind.  My beautiful friend Alessandra asked me (trusted me!) to make her an agenda for a day trip this week.  She's been many times before, but with an imminent move to Seattle in a few weeks she didn't have the mind space to make a plan.  What a gift to me to be asked!  Ale is a talented photographer, so the day centers around two photography exhibits.  If you are in Paris this summer, here's an idea or two.


9:00 – Arrive in Gare de l’Est.  Take Metro M5 (dark orange) towards Place d’Italie and get off at Bastille (6th stop) then walk 7 minutes to Saint Paul Saint Louis Church (99 Rue St-Antoine). 

9:30 –Saint-Paul Saint-Louis Church (99 Rue St-Antoine).   As you know, I like to start my morning off in a church to meditate and pray.  Quiet ones like this one are best.  Jesuit church on one of the main streets in the Marais.  Famous for Delacroix’s work “Christ in the Garden of Olives.”

10:00 Walk through Ile St Louis.  Walk 10 minutes crossing Seine to Ile St Louis to enjoy quiet of morning in a residential area.  Stroll down the Rue St Louis.  I then love crossing Pont St Louis bridge to take in back of Notre Dame and sit in the The Square Jean XXII.  When ready for coffee, cross back over Seine to great coffee shop on Hotel de Ville. 

10:30 Coffee in Marais at Cafeotheque  (52, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4th). The coffee shop is run by a woman from Guatemala.  This is serious coffee where they do tastings in the evening.  You can get coffee at the bar in the back or sit down at one of the many cozy tables.  It’s pricey coffee but worth it.  After coffee, walk only 5 minutes to photography exhibit.

11:00 Francoise Huguier photography exhibit at Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)  (5-7 rue de Fourcy in 4th.)  Exhibit opens at 11am and costs  €6.50  Exhibit is described as: “Straddling the boundary between fantasy and factual reportage, the photographs of Françoise Huguier present the viewer with a kind of veiled reality. Her work for such publications as Vogue and the New York Times sent Huguier to some of the most remote corners of the globe to snap everything from the Siberian tundra to a community of Colombian nuns; never content to photograph her subjects at face value, she injected an dreamlike energy into her images that raises them above the average.”

1:00 Casual not “proper” lunch in Marais. Three options for lunch heading away from Seine and into Marais: 1) Candaleria (mexican tacos)  52, rue de Saintonge (3rd) The taqueria is open all day, every day, Sunday-Wednesday 12:30pm-11pm .  Limited seating.  2) L’As du Fallafel 34, rue des Rosiers , closed Friday pm and Saturday. No seating, buy from window. Opens at noon. 3) Poliane Cuisine de Bar (sandwiches on Paris’s most famous bread) 38, rue Debelleyme (3rd).  Ample seating.  Any one of these places is a good option for dining solo.

3:00 Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibit at the Grand Palais.  Exhibit opens at 10 and costs €12.  Metro or walk (25 minute walk) to the Grand Palais from the Marais.  Exhibit is described as “Robert Mapplethorpe was one of the great masters of art photography. He produced highly stylised black and white portraits, nudes and still lifes. Over and above the erotic power that made Mapplethorpe’s work famous, the exhibition presents the classic dimension of the artist’s work and his search for aesthetic perfection, through over 200 images that span his career from the early 1970s to his untimely death in 1989.” (Consider buying tickets online before you go.)

5:00 Walk through the Jardin des Tuileries  to the Palais-Royal garden to people watch and get inspired by the specialty shops and galleries around the square (10-15 minute walk from Grand Palais.)   A last trip to Paris isn’t complete without this favorite Parisian stop. 

6:00 Glass of wine and nibble at Verjus Bar à Vin (47 rue de Montpensier, 75001).  It’s only 5 minutes walking from Palais-Royal and one of the few places that opens at 6pm!  The restaurant doesn’t open until 7 but the wine bar opens at 6.  It’s a small plate, no-reservations wine bar.  I haven’t been but it’s an “absolute favorite” from Paris by Mouth.

7:00 High tail it back to the Gare de l’Est by metro or bus the 7:40 train.