Snore

SitRep From Paris?

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I am looking to get some first hand info on the situation in Paris.  Right now we are planning on spending the month of May in the 6th arr.  Some friends were there in November for a few weeks. At that time Yellow Vest demonstrators were smashing windows and tear gas was flying.  They were off the Champs and had to leave thier apartment every weekend, or be shut in by the local police.

 

just read the police are using shock/pellet grenades. 

Anyone have current info?  Is it that bad?

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well typical france..     everyone riots for a bit..   gets hungry, goes home & eats.. the weather gets nice, they go do something else..  they get bored.  riot for a little bit... etc..    don't rent a car and leave it in the streets..  the tourist areas are always crowded..  there is a lot more outside paris worth seeing and the people are a lot nicer...

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I would not cancel your trip at this stage.  If the worst comes to the worst and you cannot access your flat during the weekends, hire a car and go wandering in the countryside.  The Loire Valley is close and you can easily spend a week trundling around there.  Better still hire some bicycles and go touring.

There will always be some form of protesting going on - it is rarely a serious problem unless you are directly involved.

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And remember, the Gilets Jaunes protests are happening only on Saturdays... I was in Paris on week 5 or 6; the Champs Elysées were completely smashed... On the following Tuesday night, I was eating in a restaurant, on the Champs Elysées with some cousins... Christmas lights were on, the street was clean, people strolling along on the "Plus belle avenue du monde"! I was commuting on week ends to visit my parents. 250 km West of Paris. There were a few "check points" set up by the Gilets Jaunes at some strategic cross roads, slowing down the traffic. What was supposed to be a 3 hours drive ended up being a four hours drive. A nuisance, but not a show stopper.

Don't visit the big cities main avenues, squares, monuments etc on Saturdays. This was true for Paris, but also Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, etc. I do not know if it is still active outside Paris.

And as recommended above, this is a good excuse to get out of Paris and see the country side. Some suburbs around Paris can be gloomy, but go further out. The Loire valley is a good advice. Beautiful country side, small old cities and a string of magnificent castles along the river...

Another option, since this is a sailing forum, is to go to Normandy coast. Honfleur, Deauville are really nice. If you push further West, you can go to the D-day beaches, the WWII cemeteries, Caen and its Memorial...

 

Trivia question: why Gilets Jaunes??? (Yellow vest)

Because by law in France, as part of your safety equipment in your car, you need to have a vest with reflective yellow tape. So if you change a flat tire on the side of the road in the middle of the night, you are more visible to other drivers. The protests started because of an additional tax on gasoline, affecting first and foremost all car owners. So people took their yellow vest from their cars and started protesting...

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Thanks for the info.  Yes we are doing Normandy, but mid-week to avoid the crowds, especially since this is the 75th anniversary of the battle(s).

The Loire Valley and Brussels sound good, Will start making those plans.

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You'll be fine there is nothing really to worry about.  Check with your hotel desk in the morning to see what is going on.  They will have a pretty good handle on where the hot spots are if any.

If you are heading to Normandy, I advise going to Mont-Saint-Michel and spending the nigh.  You'll thank me later.

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5 minutes ago, nimroods said:

You'll be fine there is nothing really to worry about.  Check with your hotel desk in the morning to see what is going on.  They will have a pretty good handle on where the hot spots are if any.

If you are heading to Normandy, I advise going to Mont-Saint-Michel and spending the nigh.  You'll thank me later.

Thanks- we are renting a flat for the month of May in the 6th.  I could not find a spot on Mont-Saint-Michel that had decent reviews.  Where did you stay?  

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1 hour ago, Snore said:

Thanks- we are renting a flat for the month of May in the 6th.  I could not find a spot on Mont-Saint-Michel that had decent reviews.  Where did you stay?  

pay attention to the tide tables :)

 

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4 hours ago, Snore said:

Thanks- we are renting a flat for the month of May in the 6th.  I could not find a spot on Mont-Saint-Michel that had decent reviews.  Where did you stay?  

A quiet morning there, though, should outweigh staying in a lower-rated hotel.  Go mid-week and before summer starts.   We did that at Carcassonne and had a great experience walking alone on the battlements.  There are towns nearby that have decent hotels and a short drive to Mont Saint-Michel.  But plan on a whole day of wandering.  

St. Malo is also a worthwhile visit, I think.   

BTW, there is a small museum on the upper floors of Les Invalides that is a display of models of the fortified cities of France.  Well worth an hour.  There is one there of Mont Saint Michel made, unbelievably, of playing cards by a cloistered monk.  Amazingly accurate, down to the narrow staircases between buildings.

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12 hours ago, Snore said:

Thanks- we are renting a flat for the month of May in the 6th.  I could not find a spot on Mont-Saint-Michel that had decent reviews.  Where did you stay?  

Hey Snore,

My wife and I are heading there this July and she has a place booked in MSM... she is a travel agent and to her a Hampton Inn is slumming it.  I ask her where we're staying and let you know.. 

Nacra

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So, we're going to Paris in a couple of days. 

We'll be there for a week to visit our daughter, who is attending L'Ecole Normale Superiere doing research for her PhD in Chemistry.

We're staying in an apartment in the 14th, a couple of metro stops from our daughter's place.

Anyone have any advice or recommendations, especially for restaurants?

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I’m in Paris now and have been for the last week or so. We are staying in the 3rd and have not visited the 14th, but I can tell you that the Marais is definitely worth at least half a day wandering around. Fine grained street network, great eating and shopping.

We were wandering about yesterday around the Notre Dame area and although the Yellow Jackets were kicking off in a few places around the city, all we saw were plenty more police for a few hours. It feels safe, and my god it is a fantastic city. Your daughter is very lucky to be spending some of her studies here MSS.

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We are in France at the moment, but left Paris last Friday for the Loire valley (I gather the demonstrations are at weekends).  We will be returning to Paris (I think we are in the 16th Arr) on this Friday. The last place I herad of any problem was Le Mans, near where we are, but we just avoided it.  

Sorry, our restaurant recommendations would be limited to the cafe (L'Empire) next to the Exelmans Metro station - we don't do high end very much!

Enjoy your time - it's been warm, but turned cold today!

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We were there Saturday and Sunday and the police had closed off an extensive area around the Louvre and it made it difficult to get around this area so we walked along the Seine. Saw a few of the yellow vest protestors gathering around the Gare de L'Est and they met up with a band of other protestors who had white tunics with a blue cross who seemed a bit more militant.

When you see the number of people sleeping rough in the streets you can appreciate why they are protesting. Housing is sooo expensive in Paris.

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On 3/31/2019 at 10:52 AM, mainsheetsister said:

So, we're going to Paris in a couple of days. 

We'll be there for a week to visit our daughter, who is attending L'Ecole Normale Superiere doing research for her PhD in Chemistry.

We're staying in an apartment in the 14th, a couple of metro stops from our daughter's place.

Anyone have any advice or recommendations, especially for restaurants?

Congratulations to your daughter for being admitted at “Normale Sup’ “ . In France, this is THE toughest school to get in, for “hard sciences”.

Bar none.

Tougher than the most prestigious engineering school in France: Ecole Polytechnique.

 

Do you truly understand how smart your kid is ???

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On 3/31/2019 at 11:52 AM, mainsheetsister said:

So, we're going to Paris in a couple of days. 

We'll be there for a week to visit our daughter, who is attending L'Ecole Normale Superiere doing research for her PhD in Chemistry.

We're staying in an apartment in the 14th, a couple of metro stops from our daughter's place.

Anyone have any advice or recommendations, especially for restaurants?

 

Ok the food isn’t the best in Paris, but it is good.  Call to Procope and ask for a table on the second floor balcony over the street.  This usually takes some doing and if your daughter speaks French it will help.  But the tables are only for two (sorry kid).  

Sitting there over the street  is just a wonderful experience.  Be sure to have the absinthe there.   

It is on our list for May...

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4 hours ago, Laurent said:

Congratulations to your daughter for being admitted at “Normale Sup’ “ . In France, this is THE toughest school to get in, for “hard sciences”.

Bar none.

Tougher than the most prestigious engineering school in France: Ecole Polytechnique.

 

Do you truly understand how smart your kid is ???

Yes, we have a pretty good idea.  

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My best friend just got home from a week in Paris with his wife and daughter. He said Saturday was the only day they really had to pay attention to where they went. Apparently even the protesters have to work during the week. 

The cab drivers don’t want issues either, and apparently they’re very good about making alternative suggestions if you’re asking to go somewhere sketchy at the time. 

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16 hours ago, Snore said:

 

Ok the food isn’t the best in Paris, but it is good.  Call to Procope and ask for a table on the second floor balcony over the street.  This usually takes some doing and if your daughter speaks French it will help.  But the tables are only for two (sorry kid).  

Sitting there over the street  is just a wonderful experience.  Be sure to have the absinthe there.   

It is on our list for May...

We had some of the best oysters I've ever eaten at a little place 2 blocks south of the circle at Place de Clichy - I think it was called Amalfi - 

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2 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

 

Is this the one you told to go lay in the yard?

All three of our children heard it at one time or another, and they seemed to turn out just fine despite being raised by sarcastic parents..

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On 2/14/2019 at 11:56 AM, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

there is a lot more outside paris worth seeing and the people are a lot nicer...

this .

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The view from the balcony of our Paris apartment in the 14th Arrondissement. 
To the right is the Observatory of Paris, the Pantheon is at the center, and the spire of Notre Dame is just visible to the left.

55927985_620592585055271_6530941602603466752_n.jpg

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1000 AM Saturday morning and not a siren to be heard in the 16th.  Enjoy your stay.  We leave for Zurich on Monday,

Cheers MSS.

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We're walking Montmartre today. 

Took the metro, which didn't stop at two stations on the way here due to the protests.  

 

 

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Would they have been Concorde and Invalides?  I couldn't understand the announcements, so we went straight through twice!  Eventually got out at La Tour Maubourg and saw an electronic message board that mentioned Gillets Jaune.  Anyway, I looked across the park and there was the Invalides (where we were going) so we just walked it.

Nice lunch with a couple of Sancerres at a cafe near the metro ... heard a couple of sirens but no sign of much activity.

 

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5 minutes ago, Recidivist said:

Would they have been Concorde and Invalides?  I couldn't understand the announcements, so we went straight through twice!  Eventually got out at La Tour Maubourg and saw an electronic message board that mentioned Gillets Jaune.  Anyway, I looked across the park and there was the Invalides (where we were going) so we just walked it.

Nice lunch with a couple of Sancerres at a cafe near the metro ... heard a couple of sirens but no sign of much activity.

 

We were on the 12, and we skipped Asemblee Nationale and Concorde.  

If you're interested, our daughter is playing in the handbell choir Sunday morning at 11 at the American Church.  Take the metro to Invalides.

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22 hours ago, mainsheetsister said:

 our daughter is playing in the handbell choir Sunday morning at 11 at the American Church.  Take the metro to Invalides.

Sorry MSS, we were going to try to make this, but a longish Queue at the Monet museum dashed those plans.  It would have been great to meet up ...

Next time!

Cheers

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15 hours ago, Recidivist said:

Sorry MSS, we were going to try to make this, but a longish Queue at the Monet museum dashed those plans.  It would have been great to meet up ...

Next time!

Cheers

Our daughter told us that most museums have free admission on the first Sunday each month, and so are very crowded. 

We walked around la Tour Eiffel, then took the 4 metro north to the Porte de Clignancourt station to check out Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, the open-air antique and flea market. 

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On 4/2/2019 at 6:10 PM, Snore said:

 

Ok the food isn’t the best in Paris, but it is good.  Call to Procope and ask for a table on the second floor balcony over the street.  This usually takes some doing and if your daughter speaks French it will help.  But the tables are only for two (sorry kid).  

Sitting there over the street  is just a wonderful experience.  Be sure to have the absinthe there.   

It is on our list for May...

My wife likes Italian food more than French (don't ask) so we ended up in a small restaurant/deli called Sapori di Parma which is not far from the Eiffel Tower. Inexpensive and terrific food highly recommended. A few weeks before we had gone to Paul Bocuse's restaurant in Lyon to see what a Michelin 3-star was like (at those prices likely the only time in my life in such a place). We enjoyed the little Italian place that was barely a tenth the price.

In my next life I will be French (probably be a better sailor too). Haven't decided if I will live in Paris (Ile St Louis) or in the south somewhere. Perhaps I will have a place in both.

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We had a great Italian meal at Gusto Italia on Rue de Grenelle near the Eiffel Tower.  Go there for lunch, and get the special.  For 12.50 euros, you get a pizza and dessert.  I recommend the mousse au chocolat. 

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Lots of good restaurants as good as Michelin 3 star which is often political and a little estoteric. One that I ate  in the wine glasses were designed by the owners wife to be perfect for Alsace wine .  

I mean Jesus Murphy really???
 

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On 4/8/2019 at 3:20 PM, HuronBouy said:

Lots of good restaurants as good as Michelin 3 star which is often political and a little estoteric. One that I ate  in the wine glasses were designed by the owners wife to be perfect for Alsace wine .  

I mean Jesus Murphy really???
 

I can't say anything bad about Bocuse's restaurant (3 stars for 51 years at the time). The food was excellent and the service impeccable, not sure what I expected but I wanted something truly exceptional and did not find it.

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Perhaps the least enjoyable meal we had in 2 weeks between Paris and the Loire valley was at a bistro attached to a pub/accommodation owned by some superstar chef who also ran a Michelin 1 star restaurant a couple of doors away  in a small village.  The pub meal was far too clever and clearly reflected its upmarket cousin.  We were given (not free!) a bottle of wine from the chef's personal collection - it was the only wine we didn't like in the same period - a Sauvignon Blanc that followed the Australian/New Zealand path way too closely.

First world problems ...

Currently in Budapest where I may have stuffed up the currency conversion and acquired a few too many Forents - thinking of starting an airline or a casino to use up some of them ...

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Leaving Monday for a month, any updates??

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On Saturdays, the metro will simply skip stops to keep people away and/or to make it difficult for the protesters to get in and out of the protest area.  Unless your place is on the Champs Elysees or something, it's not likely that you'll even know that anything is going on.

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I am assuming at least one of you guys will head this way in the next few months- so here is a HUGE resource I found.

Check https://paris.demosphere.net/ it is a listing of various events, including protests (manifestations).  Clicking on tomorrow’s gilet jaune - yellow vest- event even gives a parade route.

 

 

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