Yes, that’s pretty much where I was coming from. There’s so much else in Paris to explore, so if you’re limited on time, getting caught in the queues doesn’t make sense.
I understand, but I still think it’s important to remind everyone that, even if those queues exist for all the wrong reasons, AND they’re upsetting, AND the adoration for a few pieces of art is just as absurd as our superstar system, there should be queues for this place anyway for all the right reasons and they would still be a hundred time worth it, again, if museums are your kind of thing (and it’s entirely OK if they’re not by the way, I think we should also detach ourselves from the “museum is fine art” mentality as well). I know I don’t live in Paris anymore (it’s where I was born and lived for most of my live), but I sometimes consider taking the train and sleeping at my family’s place for a few days just to go to the Louvre, that is how much worth it I think it is !
I should do that sometime ( but stay with my family, not yours, maybe ). Most of the time on recent visits I’ve been rushing across Paris to change trains or get to a concert, so it’d be nice to actually take time to go places again.
That’s absolutely the other reason I go there often ^^ last time I had a completely bonkers schedule of going to see Basquiat / Schiele exhibition + SerpentWithFeet and then Open Mike Eagle in a one day and a half span it was ridiculous, I definitely did NOT have any time to queue for the Louvre !!
Edit : Which actually reminds me, if someone feels the courage to list the small cool venues (Badaboum, International, La Station, Café de la Danse, these kind of smaller yet sometimes interesting venues where you don’t have to book days before)
Last time I went to Paris it was to go to Bercy Arena, so not exactly small nor cool!
K-X-P at Garage MU in Goutte d’Or was much more my type of gig, so that should go on the list for sure.
Comme le Point Éphémère ?
Yeah so if we list them as such (and bear in mind these are all pretty “mainstream venues” by Paris Indie World standards, just not the big ones) we’d have :
- Centre Barbara Fleury Gouttes d’Or (FGO)
- Les 3 Baudets
these first two are actually state funded venues which means they have a handful of obligations they’ve got to follow regarding their programming and other stuff like that, they’re still small-ish I’d say, but here I’m definitely sharing venues and not “bars / caves” which is another deal and the list would be long but still, feel free to participate !
- Point Ephémère (slighlty bigger still, I think)
- Le Café de la Danse
- Le Badaboum
- L’International (bar / cave-ish but it’s such a go to place that it still goes down as “mainstream venue” to my eyes)
- La Station (More electro / DJ set kinda things but they also do live gigs)
- Garage Mu (woah, didn’t think of that one !) maybe more to the taste of the Monome Lines population programmation wise, there’s another one a bit like it , very low profile, in the 20th but I can’t put the name on it…
- If we’re talking “cool places with a very unclear set of activities that can potentially do live music / sound installation” there’s “Le 104” in the 19th
Please feel free to add to this list, my brain’s freezed atm from working on other things.
I’ve been in Paris for 7 years. Here’s some random ideas, considering you are with your family:
– Du pain et des idées. Best bakery in town. Near the great Canal St. Martin. Buy some pains au chocolat, some croissants et a baguette in the morning and have a nice walk and breakfast along the Canal St. Martin
– La Recyclerie, old train station in the ancient petite ceinture, which has been reverted in a nice urban farm / kitchen and hipster stuff, ideal for a brunch, and close to the St. Ouen’s flea market – one of the biggest in Europe
– 38 Riv’ for some informal jazz jam sessions in a cute basement after dinner
– Pavillon des canaux, for a nice breakfast or lunch along the Ourq canal, very quiet
– Jeu de Paume, great photos expositions
– Palais De Tokyo, best contemporary art museum in town, huge expositions, in a great old building renewed by Lacaton&Vassal, and with a great external area. Can’t go in Paris without visiting the Palais De Tokyo
– Café Dauphine, for a café or chocolat chaud in the magnificent little Place Dauphine, at any time of the day
– Le Petit Fer à Cheval, favourite little french restaurant, insanely great (and it’s an italian guy speaking here!)
– Le Petit Pontoise, another favourite of mine
– La Pétanque (in a nice little square in front of the Menilmontant church) for a café and a pain au chocolat early in the morning OR Chez Eva Pritzky in the same corner for a beer in a weird classy bar late in the afternoon. Very spanish.
– L’Entrepot’s (rue Sorbier), super nice french brasserie, great for lunch
– L’Art Brut, favourite little ancient french bar of mine
– Au P’tit Grec (+ rue Moffetard to walk by), very popular GIANT greek crêpes to take away for lunch. Worth the wait.
– La Droguerie (+ rue des rosiers to walk by), famous french crêpe in the Marais
– Grande Mosquée De Paris for a tea in their arabic garden in the afternoon
– Pizzeria Popolare or Il Posto, best pizzas in town (italian guy speaking, you can 200% trust me)
– Chez Gladine (rue des cinq diamants to walk), CRAZY place for GREAT dinners
– 59 Rivoli, just have a visit. Art residencies and stuff, near the Hôtel De Ville
– Dixième Degré, extremely great for an informal and super good dinner
– Souffle Continu, nice vinyl shop in town
– La Gaité Lyrique, check what they are doing in when you are in town. Great stuff. The new RedBull Music Studio is in here. Great electronic music events and expositions.
– Musée de la chasse, often excellent scenography, it’s like being inside a David Lynch film.
– Butte aux cailles, my favourite pedestrian neighbourhood in Paris
– Philharmonie, a must-see.
– Fondation Louis Vuitton, a must-see, and huge modern art expositions
– Buttes-Chaumont, best park in town
– Don’t miss Le 104
– You can do an elevated and green walk from Bastille to the Porte Dorée along the ancient aqueduct
– Atelier des Lumières can be cool
– Don’t miss the Père Lachaise, still my favourite place in the world
– Walk along the Seine in the big pedestrian pathway from Pont Neuf to Champs de Mars on the gauche (southern) side. My favourite walk in Paris.
Etc. If you have specific questions do not hesitate to ask.
edit: also, very important: DO NOT USE SELF-SERVICE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS. We are f*****g sick of them. This must end.
I think the lists made above are quite exhaustive, so I’ll just add my 2c : the bamboo garden in the Villette Park, just next to the Philharmonie, was my favorite place to escape the rushes of the city when I lived in Paris. Get to it from the Belvedère Alley, you have to take some small stairs on your right. It’s quite small, but very calm and sound-proof. There’s, at the other end of the garden, a sonic installation. It’s a concrete circle broadcasting very subtle acousmatic music. Great to meditate, and also to play an instrument. When I first went there, a saxophonist was playing. Beautiful moment.
Here are the GPS coordinates :
Enjoy Paris en Brittany,
Nice. I stay in St Ouen when in town, but didn’t know about this one. Has it been there long?
A recommendation for the flea market is the Café Paul Bert, which has incredible hot chocolate (just add milk) and an amusing submarine- styled basement, complete with sonar sound fx.
This is a spectacular list - thank you for taking the time to embed so many links and photos - I’m keeping this close at hand.
I’ll be doing the same for the next time I’m there for more than a flying visit.
Bienvenue à Paris
I am born here and can recommend a few things:
- cannonball in the wall of Hotel de Sens (1 rue du Figuier) - a nice thing to point out to a 12 year old
- Petite Ceinture (e.g. via Jean Moulin Atation) - an abandoned railway around Paris … you can walk it
- la Salle des Espèces Menacées et des Espèces Disparues (36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, third floor) - a room with stuffed, (soon to be) extinct animals
- WW II bunker at Gare de l’Est (Place du 11 novembre 1918) - well, a WW II bunker
- mètre étalon (36, rue Vaugirard) - it is a public standard meter (as in distance) installed after the french revolution. It is easy to miss but installed in the marble wall near the bus stop.
If you (really) go on the Eiffel tower, there is a tiny apartment on the third level.
Back when I was living in Paris I used to love to go to Les Instants Chavires in Montreuil.
It’s outside the periferique but there’s metro all the way out there.
Great place for noise, improv and all sorts off crazy music.
Montreuil is a nice place for pretty niche / alternative / conceptual spaces. I’ve worked for years with “La Parole Errante”, they used to do theater plays, some concerts, there’s a festival (“Ta Parole”) sometimes some exhibitions, and sometimes nothing ! Sadly they closed, although I’m sure the space has been claimed either by the city of Montreuil or some private actors, but “La Maison de l’Arbre” is still there last time I checked, and from the same team of like-minded people there’s also still the “Café Librairie Michèle Firk” rue François Debergue nearby. It’s as its name says a bookshop-coffee where they often do political discussions (mostly libertarian / communism oriented discussions) and it used to be amongst the spaces I liked to go to (because I had my rehearsal space in this area for a while).
Actually next week there’s an open discussion around the book “Ne travaillez jamais !” by Alistair Hemmens for the Parisians hanging around in this thread. For the others, the title I just highlighted translates “Don’t ever work !” and the book is a history of critical philosophies of the concept of “work” under capitalism. The title actually reminded me of Masanobu Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution and “Do Nothing” Philosophy which has been mentionned several time on this forum by @jasonw22 and @tehn most notably (and to great length) on the Agrarian Interdependence topic.
Here’s the event : http://www.michelefirk.org/?oaq[uid]=43768118
So if you want some real life discussion in a real life space about those concepts and live in Paris, well, you’ve got some options now ! It’s nice too, real life !
I don’t share much of these spaces here because I realize they’re very “french speaking people” centered, and it’s a shame really, as I think they translate much more of our culture, spirit and daily life than a lot of spaces (even I) mentionned here that feel a lot like a Parisian variation of Brooklyn for modern days worldwide travellers more often than not. Also it doesn’t help that so many french people suck at speaking english, it keeps the smaller, more fragile spaces, from being trully welcoming to outsiders not speaking the language.
Still, if from time to time if I think of a few places that might be welcoming to liners, or if there’s an event that justify sharing, I’ll come to this topic to give it some visibility and I’ll mention if it’s friendly to non-french speaking people too !
Dizonord record store - ask Vincent for a few tips
thx. I wish I could have had your recommandations 2 months ago, when I stayed in Paris.
thank you all for the wonderful tips and reflections. so much to consider!
we’re actually thinking of staying in the Marais…
but i should ask, do folks have specific recommendations for neighborhoods to stay in? also, do people like homeaway or airbnb or … ? (i generally just stay with friends when i go abroad so this is new territory for me! )
thanks again and in advance for any other inputs.
Eh ben… Centre Pompidou et l‘IRCAM if you are into Fine Arts and Music. I‘ve seen a Vasarely Exhibition in Spring and will have to say that even though these Expos are maybe a bit touristy; Vasarely has been extensive to the most possible. Pompidou can be a really nice quiet retreat in the middle of the city as well.
If you like excitement and Noise, have a look at various flea markets ‚Puces‘ with Porte de Montreuil being the most touristy. There is a lot of Noise in this City if you are into it…
And don‘t leave without going to a famous Brasserie like La Coupole, these places ooze History
Sorry i forgot…
If any of you are mildly interested in Fashion, this is the place. Go the extremely expensive highfashion Shops. Avoid the malls with the inhouse Shops of famous designers-these are for tourists
Instead visit the flagshipstores. There‘s potential that you‘ll see highly creative architecture/art/soundinstallations in any of the following: comme des garcons, marni, yamamoto, givenchy et al…but avoid vuitton, its corporate disneyland with tickets at the entry to buy stuff i‘d recommend Celine in 2019 because Hedi Slimane is still the most artistic Designer there is.
So basically you go there not to buy clothes (few ppl can afford them anyway, the boring rich ppl) but to visit a store with extremely bored clerks that are eager to talk in any case. Just beware the stare, be polite, try on some clothes and enjoy the arts. This is really fun to do with kids nagging ‚dad, this is really shit, can we go?‘