Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just returned from a week in Paris...much hotter than usual but I have loads of advice.

Buy the Museum Pass...I the Museum Pass...if you don't, you will wait on long lines and when it is hot, those lines will even seem will spend your time on line, swearing that you will never forget to plan ahead and buy the Museum Pass.

Use a small light back pack...if you don't, your purse will get heavier and your shoulder will ache and you will spend your time swearing that you shouldn't have abandoned your trusty back pack.

Plan ahead for meals, even for lunch...if that place has been recently reviewed, you will walk in and the matre whatever will waive you off with a stern expression that implies...make a reservation.

If you want to go to a concert at Notre Dame, be aware that the chairs in Notre Dame look as uncomfortable as they feel...the music simply can't be good enough to warrant the torture that you are going to endure...sit in the back...sneak out after a few minutes.  You will not be alone.  There will be others sneaking out with you.

If you go to a concert at Sainte always seems to be the Four aware that those chairs aren't all that comfortable either. The place is gorgeous, the concert is wonderful, but the place is not well ventilated.  Unless you just have to be up close and personal with the musicians, sit in the rear.  They must have been passing out like crazy in the 18th century.  It's no wonder the French were so cranky.  Music is great but breathing is sometimes good, too.

The Metro is great but if you have to transfer underground, the walk can be laborious and unpleasant.  It is certainly cheaper than a taxi, but treat yourself once in awhile.  You can see Paris comfortably as you drive around it.  And most important of the ticket until you get off.  Every once in a while, the police do a check.  Since France is economically strapped right now, they are probably looking to grab as much cash as possible...and non-French cash is best.  If you don't have the receipt, you will pay a hefty, pay me right now or get arrested, fine.  Save the ticket.  The French police have  no personality, let alone anysense of humor.  You will not talk your way out of it.  They want the cash.

Most bistros are OK, but if you are a spoiled New Yorker, which I am, you want something special. I have done all the major expensive biggies years ago and every once in while, it's a treat, but my digestive system is not what it once was.  Had the best onion soup ever at Terroir Parisienne and Au Bascou is still a fav, because there's a Basque influence that makes it unique.

Paris is wonderful, wonderful and gorgeous, gorgeous, but don't be misled by thinking you have to spend the bucks at Tour D'Argent for a view of Notre Dame.  Had the worst overpriced meal ever there years ago.  You can get the best view of Notre Dame on one of the bridges that cross from the left bank to the Ile St. Louis and it's more romantic.

And last, at least until I think of something else, if you are in young (even in spirit) and in love, bring a padlock with your names on it and however else you want to decorate it with and attach it to one of the bridges.  Thousands have done so before you...and it'll being you good luck.