The real Paris is the one Rick Steves and Pauline Frommer have yet to discover.
It is your Paris, the one only you, the visitor, can find.
Richard Nahem of Eye Prefer Paris has found a Paris of his own and he’ll give you a tour. That’s his business, one he started earlier this year and is growing.
We met Richard (right) at L’Epicerie on Ile St. Louis and joined him for a drink at his neighborhood café about six blocks into the Marais.
He is charming and knowledgeable and full of trivia you won’t find in a guidebook. He agreed to have his photo taken. He looked great but blurry on the “monument” setting on my Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Here he is in the “portrait” setting.
I guess Richard has the potential to become a monument here. He sure knows a lot and he has not yet lived in Paris for two years.
What is your Paris? It is what you value most about your time here.
And it likely changes from visit to visit. For now, the Paris that has caught my attention is one of parks and iron fences and rooftop gardens and charming little cafés and shops tucked into odd corners.
On Wednesday, we ventured into Tolbiac (above) and the Butte aux Cailles (below) area. The former, a favorite of my friend Sylvie of the Queen of Cheap Travel, is a place where people live and know the corner boulanger and walk their dogs like any other neighborhood. But I found no official buildings and daunting monuments. I liked that.
The latter is a quiet, somewhat shabby, village within a neighborhood. It is reputed to be the part of Paris most like a rural area.
Colette said something about Paris being a city made up of many provinces. How right she was!
What is your Paris? What stays with you long after you leave?
I know something lingers. Paris has that effect.