Wednesday, August 11, 2004

12 Hours in Paris

1. Walk down the Voie Triumphale from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre, through the place de la Concorde and Tuileries garden.

2. Go to the Louvre after 3pm and visit the paintings section of the Richelieu wing; see Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People and other faves.

3. Wander the two small islands in the Seine: the Île de la Cité, which was the whole of Paris c. 50 A.D., and the Île Saint-Louis.

4. Wander up into the Latin Quarter from the rue des Écoles and the little medieval streets on this side of the Panthéon at night, when the vampires come out.

5. Nearby, visit the Musée de Cluny and see the five allegorical tapestries of The Lady and the Unicorn.

6. Have a pot of tea and some scones at Mariage Frères in the Marais at 4pm, and watch the ladies who lunch pour in.

7. Wander and explore the Marais and walk elegantly around the Place des Vosges at sunset, when the galleries cast long shadows over the court.

8. After 11pm, live it up along the rue Oberkampf, at Café Charbon, Mécano Bar, and Cithéa.

9. If it's a moody day, stroll along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin beginning at the François le Maître Square (Métro to République), and soak up the atmosphere.

10. Have dinner, or at least dessert, at Bofinger, the extraordinary, bustling brasserie, at midnight, when the best people are only just sitting down to sup.