Category Archives: Paris Tourist Sights

Climbing Up Notre Dame Tower

Notre Dame
This weekend, I crossed one off my Paris bucket list – climbing up the Towers of Notre Dame. Since we’ve lived here, we’ve only gone up the Arc de Triomphe and the rooftop of department store Printemps for views of Paris below, so it was nice to experience a different vantage point. Here are some pictures of the commanding views from the top of this Parisian landmark.
Notre Dame

Notre Dame

DSC_0081

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame
Visting Notre Dame Tower
Queue up on the left side of the building, and expect to wait about an hour. For more information, here’s the link to the official visitor page.

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A Weekend in Paris

Here are a few snapshots taken while sightseeing with my latest set of guests at Chez Jacqueline this weekend. Besides getting to catch up with an old college friend, one of the highlights was finally going up the Arc de Triomphe for my first time. It was incredible to watch the sun set over Paris and the Eiffel Tower begin to glow a warm gold with the moon shining just above it.  I love this city!
Moulin Rouge

Champs-Elysees
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Pont Alexandre III

Eiffel Tower

Notre-Dame

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Recently on Instagram

I know I don’t post nearly enough about Paris. The simple fact is I don’t visit any tourist sights unless guests are in town, and I don’t necessarily feel comfortable looking like a tourist or snap-happy blogger by whipping out a huge DSLR camera (or even a regular point-and-shoot camera for that matter) when I’m out trying a new bar or restaurant. I’ll occasionally sneak in an iPhone photo, but even then, those aren’t the best quality since I’m trying to be pseudo-discreet. I’m also just not the kind of person that simply wanders around the city for hours with a camera taking photos of beautiful everyday activities and sights. I really wish I was, but I’m not. In fact, I’m afraid that if I ever leave this beloved city of mine, that I’ll regret I didn’t do that. All this is to say that this is the reason most of my photos tend to be of my recent travels (apparently, I don’t have any qualms about looking like a tourist then), with an occasional Paris shot in between. Oh, and a shot of Tyler too, of course.

However, since I did have guests in town recently and even got to visit Barcelona and Madrid again after nearly 10 years, here are a few things I managed to capture on Instagram, Paris sights included.
Après New York on Instagram
Clockwise from Top Left:

  • This is actually an Instagram video. I know it’s cheesy to say this, but there’s something about a French flag waving in the wind that really resonates with me. Yes, I know I’m American, but I can’t help but feel some sort of heavy connection when I see a French flag. Rio thinks I’m nuts. My friend Alan says I’m a romantic.
  • We’ve been lucky with the weather in Paris lately (I know I just jinxed this now), so for the second night of my friends’ visit, I took them to En Attendant Rosa on Les Berges by the Seine for evening al fresco drinks and apéros. This is the view we took in – my favorite bridge Pont Alexandre III. If you’re ever visiting Paris and the weather is nice, then I recommend settling in at one of the few riverside bars or restaurants on Les Berges and doing the same.
  • On the last day of my friends’ visit, I took them to one of my favorite sights: Sacré-Coeur. Did you know the reason Sacré-Coeur always stays so white is because it’s made of a type of limestone called travertine that constantly self-cleans because it exudes calcite when it rains – kind of giving it a fresh coat of white paint? I always love sharing this fun fact with guests when playing a “Paris Fact: True or False” game with them. And oui, I actually do this because I am a nerd.
  • My parents also visited this past week. Before arriving, my dad said to me, “I’ve already been to Paris, I want to see another city and country”. Um, ok. What am I, chopped liver? So with that in mind, I took them to Spain for the week. For our last day in Madrid, we visited El Retiro Park, which is where this pond is located.
  • We also managed to take a day trip from Madrid to Segovia. This is a shot of the impressive Cathedral of Segovia, located right by the main square Plaza Mayor.
  • After literally two weeks straight of traveling and entertaining guests, I was one exhausted lady. Coupled with the fact that I ended up catching the cold my visiting friend Brian had, I decided to stay in and rest all weekend. Tyler did the same.
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Tyler’s Pic of the Day: Le Mur des Je t’aime

Rio, Tyler & Le Mur des Je t'aime
Tyler has seen most of the major Parisian sights (Eiffel Tower, Pont Alexandre III, etc.), so it’s getting a bit harder to find interesting spots to take him to these days. Tough dog life, right? Well, one place he hadn’t been to yet – and neither had Rio or I – was a place called “Le Mur des Je t’aime” (I Love You: The Wall).

Located in the Montmartre area, the wall is found in this tiny garden called Square Jehan Rictus right by Metro Abbesses. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked right past this garden not knowing that just inside was 612 blue enameled lava tiles forming a wall of more than 300 “I love you’s” in 250 languages. Quelle romantique!
Le Mur des Je t'aime Le Mur des Je t'aime
Tyler Waiting for Le Mur des Je t'aime
Sadly for us (and Tyler), when we arrived we immediately noticed the “no dogs” sign in the park. Merde! So the above pics are of us waiting for the park guard to leave so we could sneak him in for a quick photo shoot. Luckily, our patience paid off and as soon as the guard left, we skedaddled in there with Tyler in our arms as Parisians and tourists looked on. What can I say, I am one determined American.
Le Mur des Je t'aime
How many languages can you say “I love you”? I can say it in Polish, Chinese, Tagalog, English (obviously) and French.

Je t’aime, Paris! xx

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Recently on Instagram

On Instagram
Clockwise from top left:

  • A drive-by shot of Château de Chantilly while on our way to a Sunday of BBQ, swimming and golfing at our friend’s country house.
  • Love these peonies!
  • Celebratory champagne after wrapping up my first editorial gig and officially becoming an “auto-entrepreneur” in France.
  • A photo reminder to buy a lock for the Love Locks bridge and to put the key on Tyler’s collar so he’ll always have us with him. Cue “awwww”.
  • A chocolate ice cream from the infamous and overrated Berthillon. Seriously, people, if you see a line snaking outside, it’s really not worth the wait. Instead, walk one block west on rue Saint-Louis en l’Île to Amorino for delicious gelato.
  • A solo lunch al fresco before getting back to work.

If you’d like, you can see more Instagram pics at @apresnewyork.

Happy Friday!

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Les Berges de Seine

Les Berges de Paris
Last week, Rio and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and took a stroll along the new Les Berges de Seine (The Banks of the Seine). The Seine Riverbanks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site (who knew?!) and in an attempt to revamp the unattractive Georges Pompidou highway on the Left bank between Pont Royal and Pont Alma, Les Berges de Seine was created. Running 4.5 hectares, the space has been converted into a riverside park that combines elements of nature, sports, activities, and of course, drinks. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Want to veg out? Take a stroll along the floating garden, do some sun salutations on the Zen platform or simply lay on the sun loungers or Mikado benches whilst enjoying the riverside view. Got company? Score a game-equipped table in the YOU area and brush up on your Backgammon or Chess skills. Looking for something more private? Book a free ZZZ “container” where you can play cards, take a nap or enjoy some QT with your friends. (Unfortunately, alcohol is forbidden in the ZZZs.) Or pop a squat on “The Emmarchement” for stadium-style seating in front of Musée d’Orsay to take in the city views.

Looking to burn calories? There are nine fitness stations to help you get lose that extra wine, baguette & cheese weight. Warm up & stretch, build your biceps on a suspension beam, sprint along a 15m track or even channel your inner Tarzan on a ring and rope structure.

Got kids? Challenge them to make it through the climbing wall, have them learn about their five senses in a funky green caravan, test their Hopscotch or Labyrinth skills in the Ground Games area, or channel their inner artist on the slate chalkboard wall. If you’ve got a birthday tot, then make a free reservation at one of the “Birthday Teepees” that come complete with Mattel games so those little rascals can celebrate with friends. If they’re budding Tony Hawks, let them take a spin along the skate ramp. Although, I should note the skating ramp at Parc Clichy-Batignolles is infinitely better.

Hungry or thirsty? Whether it’s an actual restaurant for a sit-down meal, a glass (or three) of wine or a grab-and-go sandwich, you’ve got plenty of options at Les Berges. I personally enjoyed une verre de rosé at Flow while taking in a view of the gorgeous Pont Alexandre III and I couldn’t have been happier.

After you’ve relaxed, worked out, drank or babysat at Les Berges, it’ll be time to hit up Paris Plages, which opens up tomorrow! You’ve got to love all the summer events and cultural activities this gorgeous city plans.
Modern Museum
While walking to Les Berges, we passed by the Musée d’Art Moderne and came across this graffitied statue. it’s such a shame these delinquents do this! Ok…I kind of sound like an old lady, but it really is terrible.
Berges de Seine
Les Berges de Seine
Berges de Paris - 2

Berges de Seine

Berges de Seine  Flow
Flow

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Une Bonne Bastille Day

Bastille Day 2013
Just as we did last year, we capped the weekend with a Bastille Day celebration underneath the fireworks last night and it was magical as always. Is there anything better than celebrating with good friends, old and new, while you take in the fireworks, music and the Eiffel Tower that surrounds you? Je crois que non, mes amis, je crois que non.Bastille Day 2013

Bastille Day 2013
Bastille Day 2013
Bastille Day 2013 - 2
There was a lot of blue, white and red going on. Vive la France!
Bastille Day 2013 - 3
Eiffel Tower
Bastille Day 2013

Bastille Day 2013

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Bastille Day in Paris

Bastille Day Poster - 2013
Sunday, July 14 is Bastille Day, which means fireworks at the Eiffel Tower and another round of festive picnicking on the Champs de Mars.

Here’s a roundup of some of the most popular and traditional Bastille Day festivities in Paris:

Fireman’s Ball: Single and looking to score a Frenchie fireman? Pick a number. All throughout Paris, the firehouses open on July 13 and 14 from 9pm to 4am so you can hook up party with French firemen. I’ve actually never done this, but I hear it’s quite the scene. I also heard that the firemen in the 17th arrondissement are supposed to be one of the hottest. I can attest to that as I see them running in Parc Monceau every morning. Some of the fire stations have an entrance fee or accepts donations.

Champs-Élysées Military Parade: Around 9am on the 14th, the French military will be stationed at Place de l’Étoile/Champs-Élysées in preparation for their march down “les Champs” (as Parisians call it) around 10am.  That’s when the troops will be joined by President Hollande for the opening event, air show and parade. 10am too early to get your act together to head there? You can just watch it on TV. Based on last year’s (televised) experience – the parade does not start on time.
Louvre
The Louvre For Free: In the more than one year I’ve been living in Paris, I’ve only been to the Louvre once. That one time was on Bastille Day because I had friends in town and it’s always free on this day. To say I’m not a museum person is an understatement. So if you’re like me and don’t want to pay for the Louvre but feel obliged to go, or you’re really into the Louvre and going for free the first Sunday of every month isn’t enough for you, then Bastille Day is the day to do so.

Bastille Day 2012 - Soldiers
Meet the Soldiers:
After the Champs-Élysees military parade, the troops are dispatched throughout Paris (Place de la Nation, Place de l’Opéra, etc.) to “greet” the public and chat with them about their jobs, and the public can in turn meet the soldiers who defend their country. Last year, we came across the soldiers at Esplanade des Invalides and got to climb into a tank and take a photo with one of the soldiers.

Pre-Fireworks Concert: From 9:30pm to 11pm on the 14th, there will be a classical concert performed by the French National Orchestra and the Radio France Choir at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on Champs de Mars.The theme is “L’Amour à Paris”.
Bastile Day Fireworks
Bastille Day Fireworks: 
The fireworks display at Trocadéro is the highlight of Bastille Day. Beginning around 11pm and lasting approximately 30 minutes, you can best see the fireworks from the Champs de Mars (where I go) and Trocadéro. Last year’s theme was disco with fireworks going off to the tunes of songs like YMCA and It’s Raining Men. This year, it’ll be “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité…what that means in terms of music, I have no idea! I arrived around 8pm last year and watched as the sun set, the Eiffel Tower began to glow and the fireworks commenced.

Looking for Bastille Day tips? Here’s a link to a post I did last year.
Want more Bastille Day festivities? Here’s a link to more Bastille Day events going on in Paris (en français).

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A Week on Instagram

Instagram Week
Clockwise from top left:

A private music & champagne night at Club Rue de Naples. I felt so fancy!
Obsessed with this gorgeous building in the Monceau neighborhood.
Finally, blue skies and sunshine sans rain! Naturally, that meant a lovely picnic at Parc Clichy-Batignolles.
Sunshine means working and making travel plans sur mon balcon. It was a productive morning, as I booked a trip to Spain with the parentals and a romantical getaway with my bestie and her husband…yup, just the three of us.
Started off 4th of July with a French breakfast chez moi.
Ended 4th of July with a view of this gorgeous building after my first-ever blogger event.

If you’d like, you can see more Instagram pics at @apresnewyork.

Happy Friday!

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Picnic in Paris

Picnic in Paris
I don’t think I’ve ever picnicked as much as I do now that I live in Paris. My go-to spot is naturally Parc Monceau since it’s a mere 5 minute walk from my apartment, and although I love it there, it’s important to venture out of your comfort zone – even if it is for a mere picnic. So I was glad when my friend Carolina invited me to a picnic in the far corner of the Tuileries Garden last night – right by the chichi bar/resto Le Saut du Loup. With a view of the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower, it’s a great picnic spot that’s not too touristy despite its central location. I still remember going last year shortly after I arrived in Paris and seeing a group of capoeira performers dancing under the lights of the twinkling Eiffel Tower.

As for les toilettes – a very important concern amongst picnickers – you can try to sneak into the bathroom at Le Saut du Loup or just walk through the restaurant, cross the street and hit up the toilet at McDonalds. And for those who’d prefer to be served and sit at a table with real chairs, then feel free to spend 10+ euros for a glass of champagne at Le Saut du Loup while enjoying the same views as the picnickers.
Picnic in Paris
Picnic in Paris
Homeless Guy
Since we didn’t finish our second bottle of wine (I know, hard to believe), we “donated” it to this homeless guy – who then kindly posed for us. What a ham! Or should I say “Quel jambon!”.

Have I mentioned how much I love Paris?!

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