Sat 17 Aug 2013
Mon 23 Aug 2010
I’m consistently awestruck every time we visit our ‘Jardin.’ We’re so lucky to have le Jardin du Luxumbourg as our backyard. Even after more than a decade and a half of coming to this lovely city each year, I have always found this park and its gardens magical. Lately, I’ve found myself reading more about the planning of the space.
The Project for Public Spaces, a major urban planning think tank, considers the Luxembourg Gardens to be one of the most successful parks in the world, partly because it is so well integrated into the fabric of the city around it, which makes it easily accessible. There are also many things to do there, evidenced by the wide range of people who use it: children, older people, Sorbonne students, people cutting through on a lunch break, etc. People come to stroll, play chess, to sit and read, people watch, to sit at one of the cafes or to bring their children or grandchildren to one of the many attractions. During the past decade, it has also become ground zero for French runners and athletes, who run/walk laps around the perimeter roads in the Park. In addition, an organic fruit garden has sprung up in the southern section of the park, with pears, lemons, and oranges in full harvest. Organized activities at the park include tennis, pony rides, puppet theatres, and toy sailboat rental (children float them in the large central fountain). We have used them all. I just realized that visitors can also stop inside the Palais and attend a hearing of the French Senate, which is open to the public.
The Gardens also host innovative exhibits, such as one of aerial photographs from around the world. Twice or thrice a year, the exhibits are mounted on its perimeter gates facing Rue de Vaugirard and Blvd. St Michel. In addition, it has an intimate Musée where we have seen some of the most memorable expositions, like the exquisite and rare Modigliani show we saw a couple of years ago.
I can imagine why Marie de Medici, bereaved after the death of her husband, could no longer live in the Louvre, and wanted to have this palace and the gardens built to remind of her childhood home, Palazzo Pitti in Florence. We all want to be ‘home.’ My husband and I walk through the Jardin daily, and talk about whether indeed, this can or cannot be ‘a moveable feast.’
Mon 22 Mar 2010
The rue de Vaugirard is not as romanticized as some other streets in the 6th and 7th so it’s always nice to see a glowing write up in an article that is really more of a review of a hotel at 4, rue de Vaugirard, the Hotel Fontaines.
Rue de Vaugirard is the longest street in Paris. It spans the 6th and 15th arrondissements, a mostly one-way passage dating from Roman times, paved in the 15th century and well maintained by the city since it also is home to the French Senate. Rue de Vaugirard is a delightful walking route that leads from the Latin Quarter to the edge of Paris at the Porte de Versailles. I spent my time on the south end of the street closest to the hotel. The first day I nibbled delicacies (a tough choice to make among three famed local pâtisseries: l’Atelier Pierre Hermé, the Japanese patissier Sadaharu Aoki and Des gâteaux et du pain, so I sampled something from each) and cruised past the former residences of American writers who lived on this street: at #42, William Faulkner; at #58. Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald; at #33, Hemingway’s hangout, the American Club.
I was tempted by numerous three-course lunch specials and nearly settled for an 8E plat at the Brasserie du Luxembourg at nearby Rue Monsieur le Prince. Instead, I opted for a conservative 4-Euro goat cheese baguette from a corner bakery and lunched at the Luxembourg Gardens, for me the heart of the city. It was sunny but windy. It took little prodding to set the rented toy boats on course in the bassin du jardin, also known as the Luco. Unfortunately, the Musée de Luxembourg is closed this year due to renovations, and Le Sénat is open only on Saturday. I consoled myself with an espresso at the historically chic Cafe Tournon across from the Senate. Nearby, still on rue de Vaugirard, I spotted what appeared to be an age-tinted lithograph of porcelain dolls and ancient doll carriages. It was in fact the window of the Musée de la Poupée, a doll museum which also repairs these priceless antiques from someone’s childhood. I felt nostalgic for treasures like these, which have since been supplanted by “Grand Larceny,” the video game that encourages felony crime.
Many of these sites are part of our daily experience when we’re home in Paris, though I’m going to have to check out my history of American writers. I was unaware that Faulkner and Zelda, and Scott lived within doors of our building.
Mon 8 Mar 2010
Okay, I feel ashamed I don’t even know this one, but I guess now we’ll have to try it, seeing as it is supposedly just a few feet from chez nous. Actually, on the map, numéro 8 is down a bit, just a few meters short of the 5th, where the rue de Vaugirard gets lively near the Boul’ Mich.
La Ferrandaise—located near the Sorbonne and frequented by scholarly types, this neighborhood bistro has a charming, effortless appeal. Wonderful, if a little robust, cuisine. I had a pate, boeuf bourguignon, and a chestnut soufflé and could not eat again that day. La Ferrandaise, 8, rue de Vaugirard
Sun 14 Feb 2010
Does anyone know more about the village of Vaugirard, which must have been somewhere along our street, the rue de Vaugirard, perhaps at the end?
The village of Vaugirard was known for its wines, exported way back in 1453.
I guess asking such a question before looking at the Wikipedia is just kind of dumb in 2010. I was just a few misspellings away from an answer. Here’s a partial situating of the village of Vaugirard.
To the south, quartier Saint-Lambert occupies the former site of the village of Vaugirard, built along an ancient Roman road of the same name. The geography of the area was particularly suited to wine-making, as well as quarrying. In fact, many Parisian monuments, such as the École Militaire, were built from Vaugirard stone. The village, not yet being part of Paris, was considered by Parisians to be an agreeable suburb, pleasant for country walks or its cabarets and puppet shows. In 1860 Vaugirard was annexed to Paris, along with adjoining villages. Today, the only notable attractions in this area are the Parc des Expositions (an exhibition center which hosts the Foire de Paris, agricultural expositions, and car shows), and Parc Georges Brassens, a park built on the former site of a slaughterhouse.
Origins of the name: “Vaugirard” came from an old French noun-and-genitive construction “val Girard” = “valley of Girard” (Latin vallis Girardi), after an Abbé Girard, who owned the land over which the road passes.
History: The road appeared in the fifteenth century, and led from Philip II’s city walls towards the village of Vaugirard. This route was itself based on an old Roman road.
The rue de Vaugirard today seems to be more associated with the 15th, since more of it runs through that arrondissement.
Thu 11 Feb 2010
Our kids love Paris’ parks, and the splattering of manèges and play structures we find on our long walks across the city. But day in, day out, except when it rains, they want to go back to “Le Jardin,” as everyone, at least in the 6th and 7th, calls it. Aside from being classically beautiful, designed by architect Salomon de Brosse under Marie de Medici’s supervision (1615-1627), and a wonderful place for adult pursuits, like making out on the grass, playing tennis, or dozing by the bassin, this place is filled with stuff kids like. More below the quote.
Paris is a great place to take your children on holiday as there are many tourist attractions, museums and parks in the city that cater to children. Several of the parks scattered across Paris, are equipped with playgrounds, carousels, puppet shows and petting zoos that children are sure to love.
1. Jardins du Luxembourg (Rue de Médicis, Rue de Vaugirard) – This garden has a long history, it was established in the 17th century by Marie de Medicis from Italy. This is one of the most popular gardens in Paris and is especially full on weekends, when there are guignols, puppet shows and poneys! There are also a number of ponds where one can go boating, take a stroll, or simply relax while the children play in the sun.
Take your pick from the attractions below made for the under 12 set:
- Pony carrousel with “grab the ring” feature
- Zipline ride
- Immense play structure and sandboxes (n.b. pay for entry, even for parents)
- Cotton candy
- Rental sailboats in the fountain
- Pony and donkey rides
- Famous marionette theatre
- Flying two person swings
There is plenty to enjoy here without paying a cent, but go with kids, and expect to shell out plenty of 2 Euro coins to enjoy the full experience.
Fri 22 Jan 2010
Unfortunately (or fortunately – I don’t know the politics of the situation), the Sénat has retaken control over the Musée du Luxembourg, so new exhibits here are on hold. I don’t know what that means for the café which is always packed with French museum-goers.
Cafe Medicis is located on 19, rue de Vaugirard 75006 PARIS – and their tel # is 01 42 34 37 99
Thu 14 Jan 2010
A pithy review by John Talbott on a restaurant that sounds a lot closer than it is. We’ll still call it “in the neighborhood,” since it’s about 4 métro stops away.
Le Marcab in the 15th; still very nice.
Le Marcab, 225, rue de Vaugirard in the 15th, 01.43.06.51.66, open 7/7, has a set of menus for 16, 25 and 35 €, plus a la carte items. We have friends who live a short walk from it and invited them to joing us today.
Three of them had the 4 course forced choice “menu” for 25 E which is a real bargain and I had the 35 E 3-course one.
Fri 1 Jan 2010
We’ve also had a very good meal at the Maison du Jardin. This is an adult neighborhood restaurant, which is really a bit too quiet to take kids, which we did. The staff though, was very friendly and the food very good.
This lovely little restaurant is a gem in Paris. It has delicious food, not a thing we ordered was anything worse than outstanding. Our hotel recommended this restaurant after the concierge had personally eaten there. He was not wrong. Very nice wine list, even if it is rather limited. The duck was amazing, but so was the “plat du jour” venison. The pumpkin soup was divine. The rabbit terrine was superb. The cheeses are sourced form a local shop called Rouge Creme and were all delicious. The service is impeccable. All in all, a real delight and highly recommended.
Sun 6 Dec 2009
And here are a few other topographical and geographical high and lowlights:
The longest street: Rue de Vaugirard (6th and 15th arrondissements): 4.36 km.
The shortest street: Rue Degrés (2nd arrondissement): 5.75 m.
The narrowest street: Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche (5th arrondissement): 1.80 m.
The broadest street: Avenue Foch (16th arrondissement): 120 m.
The steepest: Rue Gasnier-Guy (20th arrondissement): 17.4%.
Lowest point on a public street: 30.5 m (corner of the Rue Leblanc and Rue Saint-Charles, 15th arrondissement).
Highest point: 148.45 m (40, Rue du Télégraphe, 20th arrondissement).
The only other one I’ve seen, at least knowingly, is the rue Chat-qui-Peche. How could you miss that?