I'd go to Shakespeare and Company Bookstore which is a replica the the original Shakespeare and Company managed by Sylvia Beech where the grand bunch of writers like Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and others hung out.
This is an incredibly hard question - Paris is so choc full. So, I would go to Cafe De Flore and spend the day at a table where they serve great food and wine, people watching and enjoying the sights of San Germaine
You are so right. I don't even like to go for shorter than a week. My favorite thing to do is to just "hang out" like the Parisians. I lived not too far from the café in 87, but could not afford the café there!
There is no way I could go to Paris without visiting the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial outside of Paris.
I believe that before one can appreciate the art, architecture, food, and civility of France, and in particular Paris, one needs to understand why Paris survives. How wonderful that such a culture can contribute to the world, but that culture must be viewed first from the standpoint of history. Then it is appropriately appreciated.
At Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial 1541 American military who died liberating France in World War 1 and WWII are buried. At the World War I St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial in France, 4153 American military died defending, for the most part, Paris.
I won't go on because I know that by now there are those saying, "What a party pooper!" Let's hear about something splendidly French. Sorry, I am not sure anything French would still be around if it were not for massive amounts of American blood enriching the French soil. The numbers of American dead on French property is amazing.
I do not feel that most people appreciate the cost American families have paid trying to take back French real estate.
So before you are bedazzled by the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, spend a moment contemplating how valuable those places really are. If you would like to understand the commitment the U.S. has made to civilization, check out http://www.debv.com/memoaa.htm. The beauty that is Paris will be even more meaningful.
My father marched into Paris and through the Arc d' Triomphe. His company stayed at Versailles while they were there, then marched on to liberate sections of France and Belgium before finding himself in the Battle of the Bulge. I respect your choice.
I've never been to that during my many visits to Paris and environs. I'll put it on my list for next time thank you! Many also forget that France bankrupted itself to finance our Revolution. It's pretty well known we would not have won without them.
For moi; it would be the Louvre Museum. Such treasures, such history and such stories all showcased in such a beautiful setting. Keep in mind, the walk from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower and/or Notre Dame Cathedral is spectacular and full of beauty...
I've been there twice, and both times, Sacre Couer touched me most deeply. The first time, Pope John Paul II was in Paris that weekend and the whole city was very crowded. It was a very hot week with poor air quality, but two friends and I found relief up there on Monmartre. We got there around sunset on a Friday night. The city was lighting up below us, there was a cool breeze blowing and such a sense of peace, like the chaos of the city below was no longer.
Fast forward four years, and I was there with a different group. This time it was early morning, perhaps an hour after sunrise. The air was cool and pleasant. None of the tourists had arrived yet and while we were waiting for others, I was blessed to hear a violin player playing classical music that really moved me almost to tears.
And if those two experiences aren't reason enough, there are many spiritual, personal reasons why I would visit that place, if I could only visit one place there.
It's been years since I've been to the top, I prefer the view from Montparnass (I know...) where you look down on the Eiffel Tower. It's also not crowded and air conditioned. But there is nothing like standing under the Eiffel Tower - can't be beat!
Sacre Couer and the area around it. Just so beautiful if I can trust memories that are 18 years old. The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles is hard to forget, but that's outside Paris. If I ever get to go back, I'll just find a sidewalk cafe, drink wine, and let Paris come to me.
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