Advice for Frequent Visitors to Paris

Advice for Frequent Visitors to Paris

In just a couple short weeks, I’ll be heading back to Paris. As someone who’s ventured into Paris probably hundreds of times, you may be wondering what else I can possibly get out of yet another visit to Paris.

I’ve done the main tourist sites so many times that the idea of going up the Eiffel Tower again makes me feel lethargic just thinking about it, and imagining the crowds at the Musée d’Orsay makes me feel instant dread and irritation.

The amazing thing about being a frequent visitor to Paris is that all the tedious stuff is old news. You don’t have to stress about learning the public transportation system because you already know it. You don’t have to meticulously plan an itinerary because you’ve already been everywhere. Once you get all of that initial learning and tourist check-listing out of the way, you’re free to simply soak up the atmosphere.

That’s what I want for this trip, to just exist in Paris. Not try to conquer it, not try to dig deep, not to try and feel edgy or cool. Just to be there completely.

But I think in order for me not to fall back into my old, expected routines, habits and walking paths, I’m changing up a few things that will add just the right amount of newness to my experience.

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Le Musée Rodin, Paris | French Californian

Musée Rodin & Roses

Last summer I spent a beautiful couple of hours photographing the Musée Rodin. The rose garden was in bloom and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. I arrived at mid-day when the sun was at its height, so the lighting wasn’t ideal – or so I thought. I spent most of my time in the garden taking endless photos of the roses, trying to get the perfect angles, and even though direct sunlight can be difficult to work with, it can yield amazing results if you work a little harder. 

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Yamtcha Boutique - Frenco-Chinese Cuisine | French Californian

Bonne Adresse: Yam’Tcha

In French, a bonne adresse is literally translated as: a good address. It’s a place to eat, drink, or hang out, usually a business, that you would recommend to all your friends. Today I want to share one of mine in Paris.

If you’re a fan of Chef’s Table: France on Netflix, you have probably seen the episode featuring the Franco-Chinois cuisine of Adeline Grattard and her husband Chi Wah, who run a Michelin-starred restaurant called Yam’Tcha in Paris. I certainly do not have the budget to go to Michelin starred restaurants, nor the patience to try and get reservations, so thankfully they have a more casual, affordable counterpart in the same neighborhood that they call “Yam’Tcha Boutique,” where you can get fresh food from a sreet-side window, or sit in the tiny dining area sans reservations. My Stepdad, being really into the Nexflix show and a connoissuer of fine tea, made me promise that I would go have a taste of their famous Bao and high quality Asian tea before I left Paris, and I made good on that promise at the last minute, just a few days before moving away, with my friend Daniela.

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Revisiting the Louvre with Localers in Paris

Revisiting the Louvre with Museums by Localers

I have a kind of love-hate relationship with the Louvre. I love that it houses some of the greatest works of art and most precious bits of history in the world, but I hate how damn huge it is. On one hand, I love the idea of getting lost in a labyrinth of culture, but on the other, my feet and brain start to become fatigued after hours of slow-walking and observing. Appreciating art is hard work!

Despite having visited the Louvre more than 10 times, I realized I know very little about it. I had a vague idea that the Louvre started out as a much smaller military fortress, and that the Mona Lisa is WAY smaller than you’d expect, but honestly – that’s not much. Anybody could know those trivia facts with a quick peek inside the informational booklet.

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HW-16th-architecture-blog-10

Discovering the 16th Arrondissement of Paris

The other day, I met up with my friend Laura from Ciao Amalfi to explore the 16th Arrondissement. Our primary objective was to visit the lesser-known Musée Marmottan-Monet, but we decided to stroll through nearby streets afterwards. Photographs weren’t allowed inside the museum, but I must admit that it had an excellent collection! If you love the Orangerie with Monet’s waterlilies, you’ll like this museum. They also had a pretty fabulous collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts, most of them extremely detailed and shining with golden gilding.

Just across the street from the museum, we spotted some unique architectural details. One door was guarded by two panthers amid roses. Another was decorated with pinecones and evergreen boughs. Panthers and pinecones are not typical motifs in Parisian architecture. These buildings definitely fall under the Art Nouveau category, but there was something else about these designs I couldn’t quite put my finger on…

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Calm February at the Eiffel Tower-7

A Calm February Morning at the Eiffel Tower

The last time I took the elevator up the Eiffel Tower was 3.5 years ago and after that, I swore I would try my best never to do it again. Doing it once is enough, I thought, and who wants to deal with the pickpockets and con-artists that lurk below, the long lines and cramped elevators, the sheer tourism of it all?

But then I found myself accompanying a friend to the tower on Monday. She had a free ticket and after some indecisiveness, I decided to take advantage of the free entry. Honestly, I was not really looking forward to it. The main reason I wanted to go was to take some pictures of the brand new cherry blossoms making their early appearance for Spring. I accomplished my goal and ended up getting some amazing shots of the blossoms – blurred Eiffel in the background – but I also managed to have a good time.

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