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misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

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Cleveland
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misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

Hi, I will be traveling to Paris for a week in July and taking a Rick Steves tour. My hotel and much of my itinerary is set by the tour, but I will havefree time which is great because keeping me 24/7 in a group is like wrangling a cat. Some of my interests are not covered on the tour so I will (thankfully) be doing them on my own. Below I have some misc. questions:

Thank you so much for your help and advice.

1. Is there a gallery district or design district? or area with many working studios in concentration? Perhaps somewhere at or near an atelier? An art school with exhibitions? Maybe a listing of gallery openings? I'm talking serious art and design here - not just the touristy stuff.

1a. What stores have great window displays?

2. I understand Marais has some trendy boutiques; any recommendations of shops? Anywhere else in the city? (forget the Rodeo Drive type stuff, I'm talking about on-trend, edgy stuff.)

3. Unfortunately, I may not be able to go to a flea market. :( My train from London arrives Sunday at about noon (tour starting 3pm 7th arrondissement) and my airplane leaves early morning the next Saturday. So far, the only hope I see is taking a taxi from Gare du Nord to the hotel and rushing to Vanves to catch the tail end of the market. :( Monday looks like a busy itinerary also, so I'm not sure I can get to Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. ...... Is there anything that can be seen during the week? Even window shopping? Maybe there is another flea market that is open say Thursday or another day of the week. If there is not ...well I guess that's an excuse for another trip.:D, but wondering if anyone has any ideas?

4. How long would it take to travel from 7th arr. to Les Puces de Saint-Ouen by Metro?

5. Regarding the Metro - how can I know for certain which way the train is headed? Are signs posted by direction, destination? Whenever I travel I usually ask someone nearby to ensure I'm headed the correct way. Not speaking French, I'm a bit more unsure. Is there usually someone at the "ticket booth" who can help?

5a. Does the Metro ever change into an "express" and skip stations to get to a particular destination? If so, at what times/lines? Is there any way/marking to determine if the train is an express? (I had this happen in NYC (for a reason I can't recall, the operator changed the train from local to express) causing several people to get off at a different stop and then backtrack.)

6. I hear that restaurants close up after one sitting of lunch. Are reservations required for lunch and dinner? Are most restaurants sit down or can I just get a good sandwich at a cafe? I'm a bit confused by this. If I wanted to eat at say 3 or 4:00, are places open??

7. Thursday will be my birthday (50! I can hardly believe it. I look more like I'm 35.) The tentative schedule has us visiting Versailles in the morning with the option of returning to Paris by train in the afternoon. If I decide to return early, any ideas of something special to do? Visit the Eiffel tower (not part of the tour) or eat at a good mid-ranged restaurant? Maybe I should stay at Versailles? Is there a winery or restaurant?

8. Any unique high quality fabric shops you can recommend?

8a. Any unusual curiosity type shop? One with an incredible interior or architecture? Any usual or beautiful shop, bookstore, restaurant, taxidermy shop, whatever...the more unique the better.

9. Any guide to architecture books or pamphlets you can recommend? or maybe there is an overlooked work of architecture (or art) that I might be interested in...

10. The arc de triomphe is not part of my tour and I would need to see it on my own. Is it worth going inside?

New Hampshire
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1. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

1. There are the Grands Magazins, but also shops and boutiques all over with beautiful window displays.

3. Given your logistics, doubt you'll be able to fit a flea market in during your visit. You may find Marche Aligre of interest, though.

5. If you look at a metro map, the directions is always the last stop on the line. Signs are very clear in the stations.

5a. No. In Paris, the trains stop at all the stations.

6. Only restaurants open for lunch and dinner (and closed in between) have seatings. Cafes and brasseries offer continuous service and you'll have no trouble finding salads, tartines, crepes, etc., mid-afternoon. Many patisseries offer sandwiches to go (along with beverages and, of course, desserts).

7. If the weather is favorable, you may want to spend some time at Versailles as there's much more to the Estate than the Chateau and immediate gardens. You'd probably want to plan to return to Paris not before mid afternoon. The Eiffel Tower is on your way back to the 7th. You can walk (or ride the metro or bus) to Arc de Triomphe (you don't "go inside", but you can climb to the top for fabulous views).

8. There are fabric shops, but a trip to Marche Saint-Pierre (just south of Sacre Coeur) is fabric and notions heaven. If you plan to actually make purchases, bring tape measure, paper, pen, and know fabric requirements (in metric measurements). Write down where you saw something...you think you'll remember, but you won't.

9. There are plenty of architecture books and tour guides with photos (Eyewitness, National Geographic...) cover architecture somewhat. There's plenty on the web, too. There are "works of architecture", hundreds, all over Paris. I notice new ones (none famous) every trip.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

8. This was posted in January this year by MCJULIA, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

25. Re: Fabric stores in Paris

27 January 2013, 0:13

Just came from Paris, THE place to buy material is Sacres Coupons au Gentleman des Tissus. Monmartre, 4bls rue d'Orcel. A local told me here you can find designer leftover material for really good bargain prices. Indeed after a visit I got 3m Barbabra Bui silk for 75 eur and some Hermes Cotton ( 30 eur 3 m ). Theres a lot of material pieces, you may not get the required amount but worth to spend a good hour looking at the little tags and notes..there are marks like YSL, H etc where you can identify which house these materials came from..theres plenty of silk at discounted prices too ( 20-30 eur).

Underhill, Vermont
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3. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

What sort of architecture are you interested in? There are some small museums which specialize in modern or contemporary art, and some modern design (clothes, furniture) stores. Is that the sort of things you are looking for?

Cleveland
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4. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

Thank you for the replies so far. I also received a private message answering some of my more basic questions regarding the metro, restaurants, etc. along with some other excellent advice, so you no longer need to reply to those questions, but if you have any unique, not-so-well-known art/design related suggestions, that would be great. Regarding architecture, I am interesting in something say art Nouveau or perhaps something unique and different to the area. Maybe it's a middle ages well on some street corner, or a really impressive Tiffany glass window rotunda, or a lesser known section that is frequently overlooked. It could also be an interior design of a particular shop with paintings by a particular artist....

Edited: 12 May 2013, 21:16
Underhill, Vermont
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5. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

Probably all stuff you know already. 4 or so Art Nouveau Paris Metro stations. Also the Tiffany windows in the American Church. This looks like a nice little tour you could take on your own: parisperfect.com/blog/… Here's a site I found with a map: …pagesperso-orange.fr/en/…Paris.htm Here is an exhibition: http://www.pinacotheque.com/?id=852

New Hampshire
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6. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

You might want to search some of those things on this forum.

I contributed an extensive list of Art Nouveau buildings and restaurants...

And, others have noted beautiful domes and other beautiful interiors...

Underhill, Vermont
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7. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

Oh I'll have to look for your list, too!

Cleveland
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8. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

Thanks, I know about the metro stations and a bit about Tiffany. I will search for the djkbooks. Was that an article or a reply within a post?

Cleveland
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9. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

Here are some suggestions I received via message: Perhaps this will be of use for anyone else interested in the same info.

1) Several areas, depending on what interests you. Fondation Cartier has good expos and is small enough to navigate, unlike the Centre Pompidou, and all the other large expo or museum spaces, where you will spend over an hour just waiting to get inside.

In the Marais, along rue de Turenne, Place des Vosges, rue Debelleyme - photos, modern art and sculpture - small galleries scattered here and there. If you wander around the area between Republique and Square du Temple, you'll see some interesting little shops.

Unfortunately, you won't have time to wander around Belleville, where there's a lot of bohemian ateliers - takes too long to get to and is too spread out.

1a) Galleries Lafayette - the main store, and the home store. Printemps. BHV. All the high-end stores on rue de Faubourg St Honore - your eyes will fall out of your head...

2) In the Marais, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, rue Vieille du Temple, rue du Temple, rue des Rosiers, rue du roi de Sicile - and just about every other street in the vicinity!

3) Forget about the Marches aux Puces - no one opens on Monday - except for high-end dealers making major purchases - and the area is not very nice when the markets are closed. Vanves is not worth running to at the end of the day - people tend to pack up early.

As a good alternative,

Google "brocantes et vides-greniers paris" - enter the date you will be going and look for an arrondissement that is convenient for you to visit. These are sort of flea markets that extend for several blocks and you can often find interesting stuff here.

6) Some cafes will still serve "between meals", but restaurants will not. Best bet is to head for a boulangerie/patisserie and buy a baguette sandwich and/or other goodies and a drink and head for the nearest bench or park. You will only spend about 8 euros, as opposed to at least twice that for a sandwich and drink in a cafe. Creperies are also good, and serve all day, though I don't know of any with outdoor seating.

7) Stay in Versailles. Gordon Ramsay does a nice job at his restaurant "Le Trianon" on the grounds of the chateau. Very reasonable and good quality. You should probably reserve ahead.

8) In the 2nd arrondissement, around Le Bourse (old Stock Market) you will find the seriously upscale fabric shops of Pierre Frey and a few other fabric designers. Anything less than that, you will have to get up to Montmartre, to Marche St Pierre and the little shops lining the streets nearby - all of which sell ordinary fabrics. To most people, it is not worth going all the way to Montmartre for this, but if you are there anyway...

Cleveland
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10. Re: misc Q's Paris, art, design, flea markets, birthday,etc.

Here is the link to djkbooks' list:

tripadvisor.com/…10446967