Paris. Its very name exudes magic. For centuries this magnificent city has been a major tourist destination. I had the privilege of living nearly two years in the City of Light and want to share my impressions and suggestions with you. I spoke and still speak the language and am familiar with many aspects of the culture even if I am by no means a Titi de Paris (Parisian kid) and even less a zonard (punk residing in the low rent suburbs beyond the city limits). This article and the others in the series are not about me; they are about one of the worldís greatest cities and greatest tourist destination, Paris.
Caves Legrand, 1 rue de la Banque, Paris 2
You might think that Paris is enormous. In fact, itís quite small. It barely exceeds forty square miles (about one hundred square kilometers) much of which belongs to two large forest-parks, the western Bois de Boulogne and the eastern Bois de Vincennes. Parisís population is only some two million within the city limits. Depending where you draw the line the metropolitan area has some ten or twelve million. But with few exceptions, tourists visit selected parts of Paris and do not visit many of its neighborhoods, much less venture outside the city limits. Paris greets after a fashion more than thirty million tourists a year. Try to imagine, thirty million tourists descending on a city of two million.
Hotel Pavillion Louvre Rivoli, right in the historic center of Paris.
Everybody knows about the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysťes. We will describe the well-known tourist attractions of Paris. But we focus on the Paris that most tourists donít see. When you visit these somewhat off the beaten track attractions you will usually deal with smaller crowds. And you will see the real Paris, an integral part of the real France. Once in a very long while you may even find a bargain.
The city of Paris is subdivided into twenty arrondissements, roughly translated as districts or boroughs, somewhat similar to the five boroughs of New York City. We have written a series of articles, one for each district, describing both their well-known and hidden attractions. This present series condenses and reorganizes our previous articles. Why did we do so? Letís say that youíre considering traipsing through central Paris but you arenít ready to wade through several full articles. A single, one page article integrates and highlights these four districts. If after reading that article you want more information on central Paris we modestly propose our longer individual articles describing each district in greater breadth and depth. One of Parisís major attractions is wine and food (when the pairing is successful the wine and food become one). Our original articles also propose a sample menu, one for each district, taken from our I Love French Wine and Food series.
Our condensed articles combine neighboring districts that share more than physical boundaries. For example, the next article describes central Paris, which comprises the first to fourth districts. The third article describes Parisís famous student district, the Latin Quarter consisting of the fifth and sixth districts, which just happen to be my old stomping grounds. While the arrondissementsís boundaries are often artificial, this series respects the real boundaries that perhaps surprisingly have not fully broken down yet as Paris moves into the second decade of the new century. Enough talk, we promise you a maximum length of one page per article. So rather than look for some legal paper we wish you Bon Voyage.Access the unabridged articles at www.wineinyourdiet.com
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.theitalianwineconnection.com
Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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