The best savory tarts and fruit compote sans sucre, just a stone’s throw away. We finally went there for lunch, and it was delicious.  Our favorite, the tomato tart, the asparagus, bacon, and dill.  And the couscous looked great.

62 rue de Vaugirard, 6me.

Walk along Ile de la Cité, and at the edge of the garden is the Memorial of the Martyrs of the Holocaust, a monument dedicated to the all those Parisiens deported from 1941 to 1944 during the Vichy occupation. — at Memorial des Martyrs de la déportation. The architecture is stunning, and is another one of those secret finds of Paris

Another little surprise, from Parc de Villette, rediscovering Canal St. Martin by walking from Parc de Villette to Bastille.

The entire neighborhoods along the way are so lively, especially during the summer months, when Paris Plage is going on.  All of the activities here beat the Paris Plage by the Seine.   Canal St. Martin, is a 4.5 km long and connects the Canal de l’Ourcq to the river Seine and runs underground between Bastille (Paris Métro) and République (Paris Métro).  Takes about two hours and take a leisurely walk.

Français : Vue du canal St martin et ses eaux verdâtres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Promenade plantée in Paris, looking eastwards.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok.  I thought New York City’s High Line was an original.  Then I discovered that idea of elevated linear parks built on old railroad tracks actually originated in Paris in 1988 with the design of the Promenade Plantée, a 2.8-mile-long series of gardens built atop an abandoned railway viaduct in the Right Bank’s 12th Arrondissement, anchored by the Opéra Bastille at one end and the Bois de Vincennes at the other.

I dragged my family to the Bastille, with the promise of a Paris High Line.  I have to say, NYC trumps Paris, on this one.  The Promenade Plantée and the High Line are similar: although its landscaping is more traditional than that of the relentlessly hip High Line, the Promenade is likewise tightly squeezed between buildings. They both offer a new way of experiencing the city — from above. It is the unexpected views of surrounding buildings that make walking the High Line much of  a memorable experience that the Promenade Plantée.

It is a beautiful walk on a summer day.  The Promenade goes from Bastille, to Jardin Neuilly/Gare de Lyon, and then onto Bois de Vincennes.  I walked half way, then came down to street level, and walked back exploring Viaduc des Arts, with the most beautiful, design shops in the city.

Avenue Daumesnil
12e  Paris



La Rotonde has become our go to brasserie in the neighborhood. Their terrace is perfect in the summer. So is their menu.  Their Tomato Carpaccio is out of this world.  So is their Œufs Cocotte (BIO)  à la crème de morilles.  Our son’s favorite is the Cote de boef avec morilles, avec riz.

Since 1911, la Rotonde has become a mythic place in the Montparnasse. During the Wars, the painters and surrealists have always made this their place. Now, its’ the directors and cinematographers. You can see the haunts of Hemingway across the street, Le Select,  Le Dome, La Coupole, the Closerie des Lilas down the street, and the oft-overlooked Rosebud bar on the rue Delambre parallel to the Bd. Montparnasse (not to mention the Dingo Bar – now gone- where Hemingway met Fitzgerald for the first time).

There has always been a long history of love of all that is Japanese in France.  The trend became so intense that in the 19th century, there was a movement called ‘Japonisme.’  This wonderful NY travelpost lists many interesting destinations, including Albert Kahn Museé et Jardin.


1. Galerie Sentou

2. Kunitoraya

3. Jugetsudo


Albert Kahn, amazing philanthropist and traveler, bought the Boulogne property in 1895 and slowly bought up his neighbours’ lands to the point where, in 1910, he owned an immense plot of nearly four hectares. In the shady avenues, near the Boulogne.

The Jardin is a collection of homage to a Japanese garden, an English garden, a temperate forest… it all works together in harmonie. It’s a wonderful afternoon treat for the entire family.

Our friend Jose Medio’s commentaries on the ‘spellbinding garden’.

10-14 rude du Pont Saint Cloud Metro: Boulogne-Pont de Saint-Cloud

I love my kids’ education at the French American school here in San Francisco. Among other things, it’s made them so much more sensitive to language and humor. Today, I asked the kids if there was a French word for a whiteboard. They said that everyone just calls it the “ardoise,” which of course is like continuing to call a whiteboard a “blackboard” in English. By definition, an “ardoise” is black because it’s made of slate.

I suggested “ardoise blanche,” hardly a good compromise. My 8 year old son replied, “How about “blardoise,” which I’d say is the perfect adaptation. The only problem is saying “la blardoise” three times fast. It’s a word that no matter how cute, will never catch on.

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