Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris

I recently got back from a two-week trip to five cities, where I somehow managed to squeeze in what felt like five separate vacations and take over 500 photographs.  While in Paris, I went to the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen with a few friends that I made at the wedding (which was the impetus for the trip).  Even though I still can’t pronounce the name of the flea market correctly, it did not disappoint.  For more information about the Puces, which covers seven hectares, check out their official website here.

I went specifically to find a rug for my apartment, and a rug I did find!  While I was trying on vintage couture clothing that I absolutely did not need (nor did I buy), I told the shopkeeper that I wanted a rug and she personally walked me over to a shop with the most beautiful rugs, and I immediately fell in love.  There’s something about the lighting in Paris, where everything just looks better.  It could be that I refuse to take off my rose colored glasses while there.

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© Sarah Milstein 2018

 

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Paris

Realizing that it has been exactly one year since I put nearly all of my belongings into a storage unit in Los Angeles, and packed the rest to take on a plane to Paris, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.  Here are some photos that never got any face time before.

© Sarah Milstein 2014

Loustic, Paris

I wrote about Café Loustic a while back when I first discovered it, and subsequently became a bit of a regular since it was so good.  It didn’t hurt that it was just around the corner from my apartment.  (I actually think the coffee is better than at the nearby, The Broken Arm.)

Even though the temperatures are dropping in Paris, if you like iced lattes (“latte glacé”), this is the place to go.  I won’t give away Channa’s secret, but they are pretty delicious.

Café Loustic, 40 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris, France.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Paris Favorites

My friend just moved to Paris and I sent her an email with a parsed down version of the below list of my “favorites.”  I figured, maybe you’d be interested too.  Anything I should add?

Favorite Café Crème:

  • Loustic – 40 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • 10 Belles – 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris (Canal St. Martin)

Favorite Parks:

  • Tuilleries
  • Bois de Vincennes
  • Butte Chaumont
  • Luxembourg (St. Germain)
  • Place de Vosges (Le Marais)

Favorite “Trendy” and/or Pricey Places to Eat:

  • Le Perchoir (sunset dinner) – 14 rue Crespin du Gast, 75011 Paris (Oberkampf)
  • Derrier (dinner) – 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Le Taxi Jaune (dinner) – 13, rue Chapon, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Café Charlot (for brunch, late night, afternoon, really, anytime) – 38 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Rose Café (for brunch, lunch) – 30 rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Fish Club (for dinner) – 58 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris

Favorite Places to Wander:

  • Le Marais
  • St. Germain
  • Canal St. Martin

Favorite Paris Blogs/Guides:

Favorite Markets:

  • Bastille Marché – Metro: Bastille.  I usually go on Sundays.  This is where I discovered my favorite cheese and practiced most of my French! (Haricot verts, s’il vous plaît?)
  • Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen – Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt, 75018, Paris

Go to Stores for Necessities

  • BHV (stands for Bazaar Hôtel de Ville) – 34 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris.  This store is like Bloomingdale’s, Barnes & Noble, an electronics store, and hardware store wrapped into one.  You can find anything from leather and fabrics, art supplies, and kitchen wares, to the latest trends from Iro, Kooples, and Chanel.
  • Monoprix – These are everywhere.  Good place for groceries and toiletries.  You can also buy clothes and other things.  It seems to be the French equivalent of Target.
  • FNAC – Galerie commerciale Forum des Halles, 1-7 Rue Pierre Lescot, 75001 Paris ‎(but there are lots of these in Paris).  Good place for electronics.  I left my adapter in Corsica and seriously went to 4 places to find one before finding one here.
Must have foods:
  • Tuks (not even French, but a delicious cracker).  I have a song and dance that goes with these.  They are just that good.
  • Compté cheese (my fav!)
  • Pain au chocolat
  • Baguettes (obviously)
  • Falafel from L’as du Falafel – 34 Rue des Rosiers  75004 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Empanadas from Clasico Argentino – 56, Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Ice cream from Berthillon – 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île  75004 Paris (but you can find this ice cream in a lot of restaurants).  I can vouch for the moka, chocolat noir, abricot, and framboise.
  • Moules-frites
  • Foie gras (sorry, California)
  • Any and all wine (rosé is big here)
  • Yogurt – for some reason it is much better here than in the US.  Try weird flavors.  I liked the fig and rhubarb.
Shopping:
(Basically anywhere.  This is Paris.)
  • Rue Vieille-du-Temple (Le Marais)
  • Rue de Poitou (Le Marais)
  • St. Germain
  • Montmarte
For Overpriced (but Fun) Cocktails:
  • Experimental Cocktail Club – 37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris
  • Little Red Door – 60 Rue Charlot 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Candelaria – 52 Rue de Saintonge  75003 Paris (Le Marais).  They also have great tacos, but good luck finding a spot unless you go early!  (The bar is through a secret door at the back.)

Miscellaneous:

  • Detergent – Ariel.  I was an idiot and was using Soupline for 2 months before realizing I was washing my clothes with a fabric softener.  Good job, me.
  • Skin care products – Nuxe.  I went to buy lotion and after staring for what felt like 20 minutes ended up with makeup remover.  The pharmacist steered me in the right direction.  I love this line of lotions and skin care products – they are all “sans paraben.”

Favorite bookstores:

© Sarah Milstein 2013

I Want To Ride Your Bicycle / I Want To Ride Your Bike

I am in love with the Vélib’.  That’s a bicycle for those of you wondering what the hell I’m talking about.  Although it took me 2 months to muster up the courage to check one out, I am a wholehearted convert and think every city should have a bike share program.  For 29€ for the year, 8€ a week, or 1.70€ a day, you essentially get a license to rent a vélib’ for 30 minutes from any station in Paris, of which there over 1800.  Yes, 1800 stations.  That means you will find another station within 300 meters–that’s less than a quarter of a mile.

You can rent a vélib’  for longer than 30 minutes,* but will be charged a nominal fee.  But why would you do that when you can turn it back in at 29 minutes and check out another one, for free?  Plus, Paris is small.  You probably won’t even need a full 30 minutes.

Yes, riding on cobblestone and uphill is difficult.  Yes, there are times that I am terrified I will get taken out by a bus.  Sure I’ve had a dog jump out at me while I was riding and nearly been taken out by a scooter, but I’m less likely to be pick pocketed than on the metro.

Also, it is a fun, amazing way to see the city and to get to your destination, all while doing something that is good for you: exercising.  How else am I supposed to be able to eat all of these pains au chocolat and compté cheese?

I know that New York and Chicago recently implemented bike share programs.  What do these cities all have in common?  Good public transportation systems, but bad weather for a large part of the year.  (Sorry, but it’s true.)

Now why on earth does Los Angeles not have this?  LA has wide streets, no cobblestone, terrible public transportation, and year round nice weather.  I’m a convert and would gladly leave my car on the street (assuming it’s not a street cleaning day) and take a vélib’ / citibike / divvybike.  Come on LA, get with the program!

And now, a photo montage.

Disclaimer: Only the grey bikes featured above are vélib’s.

*”Vélib Passion” is 39€ for the year and allows you to check out a vélib’ for 45 minutes at a time.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Le Mur des Je T’aime, Paris

Je T'aime

Le Mur des “Je T’aime” is a wall in Montmarte with “over 311 written declarations [of I love you] in 250 different languages.”  I overheard a tour guide telling her devoted clan that it was only 52 languages.  I suppose eavesdropping does not guarantee accurate information.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

La Patache & Le Perchoir, Paris

After walking to Canal St. Martin the other day to check out a restaurant I read about on this awesome blog, I was bummed, but not surprised, to see that it was closed for August.  I’ve started to accept the fact that regardless whether a restaurant has a website, it does not mention whether it is closed in August, on said website.  It just lists its normal business hours.  Sigh.

So, I was left to my own devices and after wandering a bit, peaked through the window of La Patache (Rue de Lancry, 75010) and saw three women eating roasted chicken and potatoes.  Done.  I ordered the same and it was delicious.  Actually, the potatoes were pretty heavenly.

Saturday, my friend scored a reservation at Le Perchoir (Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011).  The rooftop bar reminded me a little of High at Hotel Erwin in Venice, California.  Only, instead of the Pacific Ocean, there are panoramic views of Paris, freshly sliced charcuterie, absinthe, abundant wine, and an amazing restaurant just one floor down.  The only option is a prix fixe, which comprised of 8 dishes, each possibly better than the previous (sea bass sashimi, ahi tuna, roasted eggplant, veal, roasted potatoes, tomato provençal, cantalope soup, and a berry variation of mille-feuille).  However, if you ask my friend, the tuna was the best.  It did come atop a giant potato chip like thing.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges

I found open places to eat in Paris!  Le Marché des Enfants Rouges in Le Marais, which is the oldest market in Paris (notwithstanding several renovations), appears to be staying open for August–well, at least some of the vendors.  The Moroccan restaurant inside is always packed and a safe bet.  The Italian restaurant looks good, but avoid their gâteau.  Possibly the worst slice of cake I’ve had.  The Lebanese food looks good, as well, however, I can’t vouch for it.

Also, I just found myself on Rue Tiquetonne and was happy to see tons of open restaurants and cafés.  Le Titi Qui Tonne, on this street, is still open.  I ate there a while back and was pleased with the canard, and the waiter always waves when I walk by now.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Angelina, Paris

Angelina

Was it worth the hype?  Maybe?  It was good.  But kind of just tasted like my mom’s hot fudge melted just enough to make it drinkable.  You’d think you’d be wired after all that sugar, but I felt more like sleeping.

© Sarah Milstein 2013