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My recent reading (“Berthe Morisot” by Dominique Bona) as well as the new exhibition at theMusée d’Orsay(in english : Click here)dedicated to the artist, led me to write this article This exhibition is a unique opportunity to discover or rediscover the work of this amazing artist, one of the greatest French impressionist painter. I hope my article will make you feel like visiting this exhibition and discovering more about the life and work of this amazing artist ! To book you ticket :CLICK HERE
Throughmy recent reading ‘Berthe Morisot“ (Dominique Bona, French author), I discovered a woman whose life is as fascinating as her painting : she defought the conventions to live her life and art on her way, with an unfailing determination, at a time when women did not have careers outside of their home and marriage.Her art is fascinating : she is a key figure in the founding of Impressionism. She broke the rules of realism, in the way she painted
Certainly one of the three greatest female impressionist painters (with Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassat). She was respected and admired by her counterparts and friends Monet, Manet, Pissaro, Renoir, Degas… But unfortunately her work has been undervalued for too long… She was a women, and that might explain it all.
Lady at her Toilette, by Berthe Morisot – 1875 The Art Institute of Chicago
Here is a list of some of the most famous impressionist painters : Frédéric Bazille, Gustave Caillebotte, Mary Cassat, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pieerre Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Marie Bracquemond… Just to name a few.
Exhibition Berthe Morisot at the Musée d’Orsay :
from the 18th of June to the 22d of Septembre 2019
The Musée d’Orsay is paying tribute to the talent of one of this great French artist. The first time the Musée d’Orsay dedicates an exhibition to Berthe Morisot’s work. And it’s the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to this artist since the 1941 exhibition at the Orangerie.
Who is Berthe Morisot ?
‘I do not think any man would ever treat a woman as his equal, and it is all I ask because I know my worth.’Berthe Morisot – 1890 (“Je ne crois pas qu’il y ait jamais eu un homme traitant une femme d’égale à égal, et c’est tout ce que j’aurais demandé. Car je sais que je les vaux.” Berthe Morisot, 1890)
She is one of the major figure of the Impressionism. She was born in 1841. She died at age 54 in 1895.
She was a member of the Parisian avant-garde impressionist movement. Her friends were Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Fantin Latour, or Pissaro. She exhibited with them regularly. She frequented French writers too : Stéphane Mallarmé, Zola, Baudelaire, Paul Valery… Her work remained popular throughout her life. But her true value was never fully recognized by the public and the institutions. Her marriage license and her death certificat listed her as “without profession” …
Girl with Greyhound – Berthe Morisot -1893 (the model is Julie, Berthe Morisot’s daughter)
Independent and determined :
I will achieve it only [being an artist] by perseverance, and by openly asserting my determination to emancipate myself.” – Berthe Morisot – 1871 («Je n’obtiendrai (mon indépendance) qu’à force de persévérance et en manifestant très ouvertement l’intention de m’émanciper»)
As a woman and as a painter : She was one of the most influential female Impressionist painters. One of the rare woman to make the painting her profession at a time when women couldn’t expect to have careers outside of marriage.She defought social norms, always refused an academic art. She was determined to be an artist as well as a wife and mother. She fought against the preconceptions of women’s roles at a time when women were not allowed to join the official art institutions.
After Luncheon – by Berthe Morisot – 1881
As a model : Posing for Manet, was already an unconventional choice : Manet was a controversial artist for his paintings “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe” (exhibited in the Salon in 1863) and “Olympia” (exhibited in 1865)
Olympia – Edouard Manet – 1865 (The model : Victorine Meurent)
Berthe Morisot and Edouard Manet :
A Model subject and a muse for Manet (1832 – 1883) :
Berthe Morisot posed for Manet. Between 1868 and 1874, Edouard Manet painted her twelve times, more than any other woman. It’s Henri Fantin Latour who introduced her in 1868 to Edouard Manet. Berthe Morisot and Edouard Manet became close friends. He was a great admirer of her work and supported her although, and they both influenced each other art
A contemporary wrote : “When [Manet] paints Victorine, he paints her as a beautiful object; when he paints Berthe, he paints her with love and tenderness.”
The first time she posed for Manet was for “the Balcony”. But the most famous painting of Berthe Morisot by Edouard Manet is probably “Berthe Morisot with a bouquet of violets” where she is wearing a black dress
Edouard Manet, “Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets”, 1872
And “Le Repos”, could look like a declaration of love for his model. At least an emblematic portrait of Berthe Morisot by Manet
Berthe Morisot – The rest – by E Manet – 1870
Were Edouard Manet and Berthe Morisot in love ?
Though, through the letters she wrote, we know that she cared deeply for Manet, nobody really knows if they both were in love.
However, Manet was a married man when they met, and Edouard Manet was also known as having numerous affairs with many women outside of his marriage.
In 1874, at age 33, she married Manet’s younger brother Eugène who was also a painter. Her husband supported Berthe Morisot’ s carrier and provided her with social and financial stability. In 1878, they had a child, Julie.
Eugene Manet and His Daughter at Bougival – by Berthe Morisot – 1881
She and her daughter were painted by Auguste Renoir too :
Berthe Morisot and her daughter Julie Manet, 1894, by A. Renoir
Portrait de Julie Manet et son chat – 1887 A. Renoir
Her painting :
“Real painters understand with the brush” – Berthe Morisot
She started as a copyist at Le Louvre and studied painting extensively during this period. She soon refused the academic training she was receiving. Her work was first exhibited in 1864 at the Salon de Paris, a prestigious art show. She was then 23.
On the Balcony by Berthe Morisot, 1872
In 1872, she sold 22 paintings to a private dealer. It was the start of the career as an established artist.
She painted outdoor scenes, still-life scenes, everyday life activities and portraits. Mostly in Paris and around, but occasionaly in England and Italy too. Always with a unconventional approach to her art, with delicacy
She was renowned for her creativity, and her experiments with the concept of finished an unfinished in her paintings, her way to interpret traditional subjects in a modern way, her capacity to reveal with delicacy the complexity of life and human beings, and her ability to capture the movement, the light, the feelings.
‘Berthe Morisot’s uniqueness was to “live” her painting, and to paint her life’ – Paul Valery (French writer and one of her friends)
Among her most famous works : the Cradle (1872) where she shows her sister Edma contemplating her sleeping daughter and “Interior” (1872)
Le Berceau (The Cradle), by Berthe Morisot 1872, Musée d’Orsay
Her paintings are spread in numerous museums and private collections all over the world. In Paris, mainly at the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée Marmottan Monet
Her childhood and education :
Born in 1841 in a wealthy bourgeois family in Bourges (center of France). She had 2 older sisters Yves (although Yves is a French male first name) and Edma, and also a younger brother, Tiburce. Her family moved to Paris in 1852. She lived in Paris for the rest of her life.
The Artists’ Daughter Julie With Her Nanny, c.1884, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Berthe and her sisters received an artistic education (music and painting lessons) and were supported by their family. Both Berthe and her sister Edma were talented artists. Edma gave up after getting married and Berthe continued working as a painter.
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Some of the paintings of the permanent collection (among the numerous Berthe Morisot’s paintings spread all over the world in private collections and museums). In Paris, mainly at the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée Marmottan Monet
Jeune femme au bal encore intitulé Jeune femme en toilette de bal, 1876,
Jeune femme en toilette de bal (Young Woman in Evening Dress), 1879
(of course the exhibition from the 19 June 2019 to the 22 Septembre 2019 gathers many more Berthe Morisot ‘s works of art)
at the Musée Marmottan-Monet, – 2, rue Louis-Boilly, Paris 16 –Metro stop : La Muette or Ranelagh (line 9)
“Au bal” ou Jeune fille au bal, 1875,
Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight 1875,
at the National museum of Stockolm
Dans le jardin (Dames cueillant des fleurs), 1879
at the National Gallery of London
Le Lac du Bois de Boulogne (Jour d’été), 1879,
at the Art Institute of Chicago :
Femme et enfant au balcon, 1871–72,
Femme à sa toilette , 1875–1880
Jeune fille de dos à sa toilette, encore intitulé Femme à sa toilette 1879, oil on canvas, 6
Autoportrait, 1885, pastel on paper, 47.5 × 37.5 cm,
La Forêt de Compiègne, 1885, oil on canvas,
Le Bain (Jeune file se coiffant), 1885–1886,
My tips :
Book you ticket in advance : Though you won’t be able to avoid waiting in line (because of the safety check) I highly recommend you to book you ticket in advance. Then go directly to the Entrance C dedicated to those who have already got a ticket.
Best days and times :
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the opening time (9.30am. Best being there around 9/9.15am)
Thursday at the opening night. I suggest that you’d be there around 7pm or later. (Thursday closing time at 9.45pm)
Avoid if possible the weekends.And the Monday is the closing day.
Transportation : I favor Solferino metro stop rather than Musée d’Orsay metro stop. From Solferino metro stop, about 5 minutes walk but the taking the metro (rather than the RER) is more pleasant so as the exit. And the walk to the Museum is nice too.
Practical details :
Address :Musée d’Orsay , 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur – Paris 7 . Metro and RER : Solferino metro stop or RER C Musée d’Orsay metro stop –
Opening hours :
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am to 6 pm
Thursday : from 9.30am to 9.45pm
Closed on Mondays, the 1st January, 1st of May and 25th of December
Full price : 15 euros
MORE PHOTOS OF BERTHE MORISOT’s PAINTINGS
Eugene Manet with his Daughter in the Garden,1883
Berthe Morisot Julie Manet with a budgie – 1890
Child among the Hollyhocks, 1881, Wallraf-Richartz Museum
“Your story”, rather than “Your stories”…. because each of these stories is so personal, so intimate… “Story” rather than “memories”, because I feel your words reflect much more than memories. You are really telling us YOUR STORY with NOTRE DAME
Please…. read them all ! You’ll be amazed !
And… Thank you for sharing your story with us, and for letting me publish it on my website !
(at the bottom of this page : a few words about “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” the novel which has played a major role in the preservation of Notre Dame)
First visit to Paris, first day activity, heard mass at Notre Dame as thanksgiving . And everything was just great the whole trip 😘! The mass was in French which I didn’t understand, but I just sort of extrapolated – LéaC.
The first impression for me when I first saw her was incredible absolutely stunning and so beautiful I was mesmerized by her beauty and I got chills as I saw her for the very first time – ClaraB.
One chilly, bright Sunday morning in a February gone by, I attended a Gregorian Chant mass in Notre Dame. From the usher, I took the leaflet printed in French that I couldn’t read and found a seat among the regular worshipers and tourists alike. Instead of fidgeting like I did through mass as a child, I closed my eyes for a moment, centered myself and reached out, one by one, to each of my senses… I listened to the melodic, calming chanting reverberate throughout the cathedral…my gaze wandered from the soaring arches to the dim chandeliers to the magnificent stained glass windows that were lit by the bright morning outside…the heavy scent of incense hung in the air, making my nose itch for release…I felt the cold emanating from the stone floor and wondered what parishioners sat on during services hundreds of years ago. I did not taste the communion as I felt that it was inappropriate for me to partake, being the seriously lapsed Catholic I am. When it was over, I emerged, blinking into the blue-skied sunlight feeling both energized and peaceful. I carried the experience with me throughout that relaxed, quite Sunday in Paris. – The Armchair Parisian
On December 31, 2018 our family enjoyed an amazing New Year’s Eve dinner in Paris. We finished just in time to run to the Seine to ring in 2019 with the bells of Notre Dame. LisaM
I will never forget the feelings of awe and peace when I first entered Notre Dame. I also loved Joan of Arc’s station; she is one of my heroes and I was pleasantly surprised to see it and to stand in her “presence.” HelenP.
The Quai Saint-Michel and Notre-Dame, a painting by Maximilien Luce, 1901
I was twenty years old and climbed around the gargoyles!
I am happy to learn they had been removed due to the renovations and are safe now! – Mary KayK.
I was 5 the first time I walked through those doors into that immense mysterious dark space and saw the light filtering through those stained glass windows as my eyes adjusted. I spent my 7th birthday there with my parents and sister — at my request. Heard Pierre Cochereau play the glorious pipe organ. I had photos, clippings, reference books and models of the cathedral in my room as a kid. Over the years my love and fascination with the cathedral, its history, its architecture and engineering has only grown. At sixty I love it still with that childlike wonder. Like a sword through my heart to watch this horrible catastrophe play out this week. Bittersweet but also comforting to know I was sharing this grief and love with so many others. I’ve always considered Notre Dame my favorite spot on the planet since I was five. Love and a hug to all who are heartbroken and touched by what this great jewel of civilization has meant to us. So thrilled to see the outpouring of love, money and support for the restoration. – Denis de B.
I went to look at Notre Dame because people told me to – it was a tourist spot. I did not expect that I would feel the way I did. It absolutely took my breath away. I visited several times during my stay and discovered something different each time. I almost cried. It was so stunning – MaryD.
I of course heard about the great cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris but never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to see it….but see it I did..on a trip to Paris in 2016..we went to see it and tour it …I was totally in awe of the grandeur I encountered ….the bonus point for me was The Joan of Arc station who had been a saintly idol of mine since Grade school…also all the statues and religious artifacts and the living history of the past embodied in the catherdral inspired in me a peace and reverence I hadn’t known since childhood…At this point after the tragic fire of April 15 2019 I give thanks that I was able to visit the most holy place before it was partially destroyed…I await the return of Notre Dame to all it’s former glory – Betty AnnA.
On my husband’s first trip overseas, 2002, I remember him lighting candles for his parents, and awe over the medieval architecture and rose windows. Our trip in 2015 with daughter and granddaughter was so much fun because we took time to relax and let her play with children in park behind buttresses. – BrendaM.
The Bohemian, a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1890
I remember going to mass there years ago and being in awe of all the beauty, history, and majesty around me! I just wish I had climbed to the top. JenniferL.
I went with my father last summer. He actually injured himself the day before our flight to Paris so he was on crutches the entire time but he climbed to the very top. Growing up Catholic and watching the Hunchback of Notre Dame and studying art history made me dream of seeing all the beauty of the cathedral and it was worth the wait! – Ashley EliseS.
Went to mass there with my dad – when it was still in Latin. – TheresaN.
I visited Paris for the first time in 1971 when I was 16 years old. Nôtre Dame was the most amazing part of that visit. When I later studied in Paris, my travaux pratiques class was held every day in a classroom on the Rue du Cloître, less than 20 yards away from the cathedral. I never ceased to wonder each day that this magnificent edifice was already hundreds of years old when Columbus discovered the New World. I would go into the building 2 or 3 times every week, sometimes for Mass but just as often because it was a sunny day and I wanted to sit inside and look at the extraordinary light coming through the Rosace. I felt calm and serene and very peaceful. My parish church back then was St. Germain des Prés and I love its Romanesque history and modesty to this day, but Nôtre Dame was always my most cherished place. And with every subsequent visit to Paris, attending Mass here on my final Sunday was my tradition. It will be again. Grâce à Dieu. – MichaelH.
My husband and I were poor, poor students. We would walk down Rue Saint Jacques every Sunday evening to hear the most beautiful free organ concerts a highlight of our week. So began our Love for our beautiful Lady and France and it’s inspirational people ❤️I will bring my Grandchildren when they are old enough to walk with you so they can see our beautiful Paris. – JudyA.
Portrait of Queen Marie Thérèse of France, as patron of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris – 1660
Notre Dame has been on my bucket list for as long as I remember. I finally made it just over a year ago. To see it in person was a surreal experience for me. I am not Catholic but I am profoundly spiritual and have a deep love for all religion especially Catholicism as I lived in Spain for a year and a half in my early 20’s. I was with my husband and my two teenage boys last year and it was magical to see Notre Dame through their eyes. As we were leaving the church to go to the bell towers a storm came up of of nowhere with rain and wind so hard it was bringing the rain in sideways. We quickly ran back inside seeking real ‘sanctuary’. We did make it to the top of the bell towers later and I was overwhelmed to the point of tears by the beauty of Paris and this strength of this Cathedral that binds Paris. I’m so grateful that so much was saved and that Notre Dame will rise again. In this Easter season it is especially poignant to know that She will rise again and be whole. – Gretchen B.
I attended Mass at Notre Dame June 1975. Beautiful and had latte at a little cafe across the street. It was raining that morning and the gargoyles looked amazing with the water streaming from them. ♥️♥️♥️ JoanneZ.
For me, the heartbeat of Paris is Notre Dame. I love her windows, her artwork, her solemnity and, especially, the carved wood biblical story which wound around the alter. (I hope it survived.) My last visit was in October 2018 when my sister and I attended a audio/visual show projected onto the face of the cathedral. Following the program the doors of the cathedral were opened, and we experienced another light show inside which was accompanied by the Grand Organ. Such a wonderful memory. – MeredithP. T.
I visited Paris when I was 16. Notre Dame was the most amazing experience! The beautiful windows had me mesmerized! There was such a wonderful, peaceful feeling standing amidst the beauty and history. I was in tears watching the news reports. My heart goes out to Paris! 💕💕💕💕 – Audrey S.
I had the privilege of going to Notre Dame during the week when there were not too many people, our school brought us to the cathedral and we had free time for an hour, often under the eye of the sacristan Who was watching us from far, as long we respected the silence and the collection it was a good time, wonderful memory, we were like at home ! – DominiqueG.
Notre Dame, a painting by Sylvius D. Paoletti, 1907
I visited Notre Dame during my trip to Paris in 2006. I stood in awe looking at the details in the arches and loved the rose windows. Hope to be back someday. – Mary JoH.
I have always loved history. As a teenager I read many different histories of various European monarchies. This was my first introduction to Notre Dame. I saved and saved and left to travel Europe after university to find the great buildings I had read about. When I finally made it to Notre Dame I was mesmerized. I wanted to stay in that cool, dim world forever. In the quiet, the majesty, in the past I sat and said a prayer. Then I stood and walked as close as I could to see the Rose window. I imagined all the craftsmen it must have taken. Each beautifully cut colorful piece of glass put in place. Beautiful. – HeatherH.
I studied Architecture in college and all I ever wanted to see was the flying buttresses, the rose windows, the layout… I only dared to dream of visiting one day. Fast forward 11 years later I meet Stéphanie Gaveau Mounts , a good friend, from Montpellier, who graciously showed me her home country in all its glory. Climbing to the balcony and peering out at the city I felt the wind and sunshine on my face. It was perfect. That view was liberating. I felt God in that moment. The architecture is breathtaking and forever holds significance as the only place I stepped foot in from my Architecture History books. I’m American but I knew in that moment, breathing in the stone and watching the city below, that I was home. – Datgurl T.
Notre Dame, a painting by Paul Signac, 1910
My first visit to Notre Dame was on a trip with my brother. We rented an apartment on Ile St Louis and walked over early in the morning to get in the already long line to climb to the top of the bell towers. 250+ steps. We were up close and personal with the gargoyles and the spire. Absolutely amazing. We then proceeded to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomph, Printemps department store and up to Sacre Coeur on the stairs all on the same day. A day I will never forget starting from the center of France. Sherry F.
I have loved the french culture and history since I was in high school in the U.S. I had the most wonderful French language teacher for four years as a teenager and through her teachings and passion for the topic, I fell in love with France (Thank you Ingrid. !). I dreamed of visiting for most of my life and didn’t have the opportunity until I was an adult in my 40’s. My first visit to Paris was in 2014 and it was everything I imagined and dreamed of as a teenager. Ms. Baird’s teachings came to life for me. Visiting Notre Dame was a highlight of my visit and it immediately became one of my favorite places. This is strange to say given I am an atheist. However, I respect different beliefs, history and art. I respect the significance of places and relics held dear by others. I have since visited Paris a total of 3 times with an upcoming 4th visit in June. Each visit is amazing and Notre Dame is part of what makes Paris such a special place for me. CarrieT.
Last visited Notre Dame was in December of 2018 with my son, his girlfriend, and my wife. This place brings me memories of my 8 year old son who I brought to Paris on my first visit. He was so confident of Paris, that he was my guide! He felt like he belong in this beautiful city. Today, I still dream of my wife and I can retire there. We are from Sugar Land Texas USA. Love your city. – MannyM.
I am not a religious person, but consider myself spiritual. I studied Notre Dame while an architecture student, so put it on my list of must-see sites to visit when I was in Paris a few years ago. When I stepped inside my breath was taken away. Sheer awe of the breadth of history contained in this beautiful cathedral, 850 years of human existence. No photos or videos can do it justice, simply something you have to see in person to truly appreciate its splendor. RandallO.
Gargoyle at Notre Dame, unknown photographer, ca. 1870
I had the honor of visiting the roof top bees two summers ago. Followed by a behind the scene tour of the beautiful church by the gentleman in charge of the restoration. It was unforgettable and an honor. PatriciaM.
It had always been my dream to visit France 🇫🇷 Ever since I discovered Degas, Monet and Lautrec in High School, I was smitten. Then something awesome happened in college, while studying costume design in theatre school, when we got to the 18th c, well something happened! I flipped. I had never seen such pure majesty and glory. Oh my goodness.
Then I started reading more carefully french authors from Molière plays to Victor Hugo. Well. It had always been a dream to visit, Paris was something I cherished in my heart ❤️ (and fingertips!)
At 45 I finally arrived on the Left Bank on an Ash Wednesday night. I made one stop to my hotel on rue Racine & St Germain, and walked an easy 10 minutes to Notre Dame. I had traveled to be in Paris for my 45th bday!!!
What followed was so special. Part Two of my first visit to Paris…..It Was to Notre Dame!
It was Ash Wednesday, 1999 almost 6 pm. As I walked through the chapel, and the long knave…crying in joy, I noticed a little bit of a commotion to the side. I walked towards an area blocked off by a red velvet rope and a security guard standing there. I read a sign saying only for locals, no visitors allowed (because a french mass was son to begin.) I walked away. But then, I thought, I must ask.
I turned back and asked, politely in my broken French, I asked the guard, if I may not attend? He answered, “For you, Oui!” and I was allowed in and sat on a little chair, attended mass and just was…awestruck!! Mary LouH.
A visit to Norte Dame brings vivid memories of the beautiful glass windows, the elegance of the building both internally and externally. It was a place of quiet and wonder. Notre Dame will, in time, again become elegant and a place of peace and calm. Bravo to the fire brigade who dared to approach the raging flames. Dot D.
I am Canadian. In the 70’s I worked at the American Hospital of Paris for 3 years. My first visit in Paris was for Notre Dame. Was so thrilled to imagine I was walking at the same place Napoleon did when he was sacred emperor and by all the long history of that cathedral.
Went back to France many times later, every time paying a visit to Notre Dame.
In September 2001, with my best girl friend we were there while the NYtowers were attacked. So we ended up attending the solemn mass held at Notre Dame the following day. By shire luck, we were assigned places in the first row, left of the altar. The archbishop of Paris with the Paris American bishop celebrated the mass. It was a moment of such strong emotions. Notre Dame was full. Listening to the archbishop words trying to console the assembly was emotional. I remember crying, sobbing for long minutes. Thinking that the world was changing for the worst from then on.
This mass will stay in my heart until the day I die. Nicole B.
The Vampire, a photograph by Charles Nègre, 1853
I had the good fortune to visit Paris many times. I visited the inside of Notre Dame twice over the years, I was there in 2016 and was debating if I should go inside for the 3rd time , since it had been awhile, unfortunately I decided against it because of the very long line ahead, I’ll go in next time, I thought!!! In hindsight I should have gone in. If only I would of known that was my last chance to see the original. NEVER take anything for granted ! – YolandaA.
For me, walking into that majestic place that was 800 years old was surreal. I immediately felt it was a part of me from then on. When I saw the video of it burning, I felt my soul was burning too 😞 Tracie B.
In March, 2014 my brother and I visited Notre Dame after visiting my uncle’s grave at the Normandy Cemetery. I lit a candle for him and my mother, his sister. – ThomasS.
One of my many times in Paris, I was with ma fille et ses enfants, we went to Mass in Notre Dame. It was All Saints jour. A memorable experience. Et j’aimais pas encore. Je suis très triste. J t’iame France ma pays de mes famille. Nous sommes de Honfleur – DianeD.
Went there as a young girl and have never forgotten it. Xx – Kathy S.
Getting to the top of ND (or at least as high as they’ll let you go without accident insurance) is quite a struggle and they don’t let you dally there all day, either. 10 minutes (max) and mademoiselle is herding you toward the ‘down’ staircase. I asked mademoiselle how often she did the trip and she told me “twice a day: once before lunch, once after”. She had, I would guess, less fat than a bottle of skim milk. You say your diet’s not producing the results you want? I’ve got just the answer… From the top of ND, see the 2nd bridge, the darker one. That is Pont de Sully. If you were on that bridge and walked toward the left up R. Henri IV in about 4 blocks you would come to the Bastille (that is, the monument which marks where it once stood). Paris is very compact. – Frank C.
Le Pont de l’Archevêché et Notre-Dame, vus du quai de la Tournelle 1894 – Albert Lebourg
Hi Ann the first time we were in Notre Dame was on our honeymoon. We rented some headphones to listen to what Notre Dame was all about. Unfortunately we rented them in French lol and didn’t understand what was being said. So we went on our own and were amazed at everything we saw. I remember waiting on a long line and watching people step off the line for sandwiches until it was their turn to go in. The funniest thing I remember was a group of young girls on the very top standing near us but one was sitting behind on the floor. She said she was afraid of heights. Her friends asked us to take their picture and the scared girl agreed to join them. Just as soon as she went to them the bells rang and she screamed and fell back to the floor Although we felt bad for her we all laughed as did she. Those are the memories I have and would love to share with you. Francine P.
20 years ago, visiting our French friends , we walked the grounds and inside of Notre Dame, magnificent then and now, crowded with long queues still we managed to see the confessional box, the statues and the amazing architecture – Sheila G.
It was my senior year in high school. I remember walking through and thinking of all those who had gone before … the people you read about in the history books and those whose names are forgotten by history. And then I thought … I am now part of that same history. – Kevin P.
The “Tresor de Notre-Dame”… ChristianeK.
My first visit to France in the early 80’s I went to see the Notre Dame with the school visit to PARIS ! and then second was the school again in1985 ! we stayed in Paris youth hostel was brilliant loved it ever since ! Michelle T.W.
Nicholas Pascal’ story
Nicholas Pascal’ story
Nicholas Pascal’ story
Nicholas Pascal’ story
Nicholas Pascal’ story
Sheila G. ‘story
A big thanks to everyone , for sharing such touching memories (and for giving me the permission to publish them on this page) ! Your words are beautiful, They are full of emotion and poesy. It’s a great tribute to Notre Dame !
VICTOR HUGO SAVED NOTRE DAME from RUIN
It took almost 200 years to build Notre Dame : from 1180 to 1260. It’s one of the world’s first Gothic cathedrals and among the first to use flying buttresses. It has survived wars, weather, and the French Revolution too.
When a man understands the art of seeing, he can trace the spirit of an age and the features of a king even in the knocker on a door – Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo began writing “The Hunchback of Notre Dame “ ( = “Notre Dame de Paris”, the French title) in 1829, largely to save the building, to make his contemporaries more aware of the value of the Gothic architecture.
It was an architecture that Parisians didn’t value and that was considered old-fashioned and even vulgar. By then, Gothic architecture had given way to the Renaissance. And Notre Dame was in a horrific state. When Victor Hugo’s novel came out, the attention turned back to the cathedral and the King ordered a restoration in 1844.
The original French title is “Notre Dame de Paris” (Our Lady of Paris). It refers to Notre Dame Cathedral, which is the central character of the novel. Although we know “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” mainly through Quasimodo, born deformed and Esmeralda a sixteen-year-old street dancer. The novel was published in 1831.
AJIP private walking tours : Share the Paris of a Parisian !
Not traditional guided tours, but an encounter and a way to see Paris in a different and authentic perspective. I welcome you, I accompany you and share my Paris with you, off the beaten track, at your own pace. Each of my tours can be personalized. . Don’t hesitate to contact me
List of AJIP private tours –Here – Each of the tours can be customized according to your wishes and interests :
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) is one of the greatest American 20th century novelists. He is renowned for his spare but powerful waiting style. Famous for his novels like “The Sun also rises, “A farewell to arms” and also for “A moveable feast”, the memoir of his Paris years, written later after he returned to United States. Hemingway won the Nobel prize in 1954.
Sean Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s grand-son, said that what’s remarkable about his writing is that he really formed the writing in his head very carefully before it comes out”
Ernest Hemingway, a figure that seems to belong to Paris
Although Ernest Hemingway has lived in Paris for only a short time (from 1921 to 1928), he is a figure that will always be connected to Paris. ThiThis is where he started writing his first novel which was going to be published (“The Sun also rises”) and this is where he lived the 6 years he spent with Hadley Richardson, his first wife. It seems that his years with Hadley in Paris were among his happiest years of his life and though he was married four times, that Hadley stayed his only true love.
Hadley (in the center) – Hemingway (on the left side)
He wrote “A moveable feast”, the memoir of his Paris years, long after his return to United States with the help of notes he had written while in Paris.
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.“ – Ernest Hemingway
“A day with Hemingway” walk is a great way to discover Hemingway’s Paris
To take this walk with meor to get more information : Don’t hesitate to contact me :here
Hemingway in Shakespeare and Company in Saint Germain des Prés – Photo by Sylvia Beach
The walk takes you to most of the places Hemingway frequented. I have listed more than 25 places that are spread mostly across 3 neighborhoods (the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain des Prés and Montparnasse). The Latin Quarter where his first apartment was located, Montparnasse (his 2d apartment) and Saint Germain des Prés (his last home). And in these 3 neighborhoods, numerous cafés, brasseries and places he frequented…Without counting the streets in which he loved to stroll.
And what’s amazing, is that much of Hemingway’s Paris still exists: the cafés that he frequented, the brasseries where he dined, the places where he wrote some of his best writing, the places where he lived… Many of these places are mentioned in “Paris is a moveable feast”(his Paris’ memoirs) and in “”the Sun also rises” too.
But not only ! …. You don’t have to be the greatest fan of Hemingway to enjoy this stroll.
It is a good excuse to explore Paris off the beaten path, while stopping at some of Hemingway’s favorite spots.
And… it takes you back in time : If you love the 1920s era, “A day with Hemingway” is a way to experience what Paris was like at that time. In the 1920s, many writers and artists from all over the world moved to Paris and the American writers were known as the Lost Generation.
To get more information about “A day with Hemingway” walk, Don’t hesitate to contact me : here
Hadley, the woman Hemingway never stopped lovingOne can’t speak or write about Hemingway’s Paris without mentioning Hadley. Hemingway and Hadley were the golden couple of Paris in the 1920s
Hadley Richardson, the woman he left and the woman Hemingway never stopped loving
Hemingway was married four times. One says that Hadley (his first wife from 1921 to 1927) was his only true love and that he cherished her throughout his life. And no one can denied Hadley’s major influence on Hemingway’s work. And her presence is found in Hemingway’s writing
with their son Jack, nicknamed “Bumby
They lived 6 years together, which is most of the years Hemingway spent in Paris
He met her in 1920s, in Chicago, at a friend’s apartment. He was 21, Hadley was 28. They got married in Horton Bay, Chicago. They moved to Paris in 1921, shortly after their wedding. But they divorced in 1927, soon after Hemingway had a love affair with Pauline Pffeifer, who soon became his second wife. Hemingway and Hadley : a true love story and a heartbreaking ending.
In “A moveable feast” he wrote about the years he spent with Hadley : I am happy and without any remorse and I never worked better nor was I happier and I loved the girl truly”. He displayed his feeling for her again in the novel “Islands in the stream” and dedicated “The sun also rises” to her and their son. His friend, A.E. Hotchner said that Hemingway has been seeking his great love the rest of his life, and that his separation from Hadley had haunted him to the grave.
Places where this walk will take you :
“A day with Hemingway” walk takes you mostly off the beaten path, through the 3 main neighborhoods he frequented : the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain des Prés and Montparnasse.
Among the numerous spots we’ll stop at : places where he lived, his favorite cafés and brasseries (often gathering spots of numerous artists and writers at that time), the hotel where he spent his first days in Paris , the hotel where Hadley found herself alone with their son after Hemingway left her for Pauline (who was going to be his second wife) , the cafe where he wrote most of “The Sun also rises” and many more
To take this walk with meor to get more information : Dont’ hesitate to contact me :here
How and why did I designed “A day with Hemingway” itinerary ?
I have always been passionate about knowing and visiting places where writers and artists lived and worked in Paris. I feel it’s a way to get closer to their writing, to get closer to the humans they were, a way to feel the city (rather that “visiting” it) and a way to get to know more about the history of Paris. And I had enjoyed reading the Hemingway books that are so associated to Paris (Especially “A moveable feast” but “The Sun also rises” too)
And it turns out that the 3 main neighborhoods that Hemingway frequented are my favorite too and those where I spent the most of my time in Paris. As you may know already (!), I am a “left bank” person. And it’s where I was born and raised and this is where I live now. I have always known and frequented most of all the places mentioned by Hemingway in “A moveable feast”.
However, before designing the tour, I sought out and checked all the addresses at which Hemingway had lived, every houses, hotels bars and restaurants, every street and block, I re-read his books* (the ones strongly linked to Paris, and I went again to all the “Hemingway’s addresses and hangouts.
It was fun research and a real pleasure to work on designing this tour and it will be my pleasure to share it with you ! To take this walk with meor to get more information : Don’t hesitate to contact me :here
A few notes about “A day with Hemingway” walk with AJIP
My grand-parents in 1928 when they moved to the Latin Quarter
The Hemingway’s Latin Quarter: This is where Hemingway and Hadley settled in their first apartment in 1921, a very modest apartment in a working class neighborhood.
With the exception of a few years, my grand-mother could have met Hemingway on the street or in a shop… !! For indeed, the street Hemingway used to go shopping was the one where my grand-mother loved to go to. And Hemingway and Hadley’s first apartment was located nearby the street where my grand-parents settled in the 30s
But Hemingway left Paris in 1928 (!), a short time after (one or two years) he divorced Hadley. And my grand-parents settled in this neighborhood around 1929… (!)
During our stroll through this part, we’ll see : a lively market street, the building where his first apartment was located, his favorite café located at a charming square. We’ll walk the same streets he used to walk to go either to the Luxembourg garden, to Gertrude Stein his friend and great supporter, or to the banks of the Seine. And we’ll pass by many other Hemingway’s spots
Hemingway in the courtyard of his 2d Paris home
Hemingway’s Montparnasse :a neighborhood where many artists lived, gathered and worked in the 1920s. It was the neighborhood of Hemingway‘s second apartment in Paris. Where he and Hadley moved when they came back to Paris in 1927 (after their son was born in Toronto).
Of course, there was no chance for me to meet Hemingway (!!!!) , but the area where he lived (1924-1927) is my most favorite Paris area. The place where my secondary school was located and the neighborhood that I’ve so often preferently chosen, when a teenager, to meet my friends in cafés, to go to movie theaters and so on. A neighborhood I favour, still now. And surely the area I’d like to choose if I had to change apartment.
When a teenager, I didn’t know about the rich history of Montparnasse… A few years later, I learnt about it, and it made me love Montparnasse even more
Where Hemingway used to stroll
During our stroll through Montparnasse, we’ll see : His second home with Hadley, the home of Ezra Pound, the 4 cafés he loved (among them the Closerie des Lilas where he wrote almost the whole of “The Sun also rises”, the place where he met Scott Fitzgerald for the first time, hthe location of Gertrude Stein apartment (where they used to meet and discuss), l’hotel where he started his love affair with Pauline Pffeifer, the location of the bakery where he used to go, the hotel where Hadley felt so lonely after they separated.
Hemingway’s Saint Germain des Prés : This is where Hemingway and Hadley stayed the first days they arrived in Paris. This is also where numerous of his favorite cafés and restaurants are located too. And this is where the original Shakespeare and Company (owned by Sylvia Beach) was located too (So this is not the actual Shakespeare and Company, rue de la Bûcherie, that opened in 1951,long after Hemingway left Paris).
With Sylvia Beach (on the right side) at Shakespeare and Company
Sylvia Beach was the owner of this lending library/bookshop, which played a major role in Hemingway’s life when in Paris, alike in many other writers’s life. It was a gathering place for artists and particularly the American expatriate community (J Joyce, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and many more … ) Hemingway used to borrow books there.
One of my favorite places to meet friends, to wander by myself, to spend time in cafés, reading working dreaming.
During our stroll , we’ll see : the hotel where he stayed with Hadley during his first Paris days, the location of the original Shakespeare and Company, 2 restaurants he used to go regularly, 3 cafés he especially loved, his second home with Pauline, the Luxembourg Garden where he loved to wander, the location of the museum he used to go to and other spots
Some RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS : BELOW on this page : Books, article and the hotel where Hemingway stayed when he arrived in Paris
MORE PHOTOS OF HEMINGWAY’s PARIS at the BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
AJIP private walking tours
To take this walk with meor to get more information : Don’t hesitate to contact me :here
“A day with Hemingway” private walking tour, will take you from the Latin Quarter to Montparnasse, through Saint Germain des prés. We’ll walk the streets Hemingway used to walk and will stop at the places where he lived, at his favorite cafés and all the places that were important during his Paris years.
I’ll give you a small bookletwith the list of the places we’ve seen and explored and in addition the list of the main other places he used to go to on the right bank (some of them he visited long after his Paris’ years) such as the Ritz.
“A day with Hemingway” walk, includes two breaks with a drink (included in the fees) in two of Hemingway’s favorite cafés
If you prefer a shorter walk, we can focus on 2 of these 3 neighborhoods : any combination which suits you.
The whole walk can be divided into two parts too(on two different days)
If you’re coming to Paris soon and feel like discovering the Paris of Hemingway, if you’re passionate about Paris in the 1920s, about discovering the city off the beaten path, wether you’re a fan of Hemingway or not, Don’t hesitate to contact me
List of AJIP private tours – Here – Each of the tours can be customized according to your wishes and interests :
MORE PHOTOS OF HEMINGWAY’s PARIS at the BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
My recommendations and suggestions :
You don’t have to have read Hemingway’s books or his biographies to enjoy “A day with Hemingway”
But if you haven’t, our walk may make you want to know more about Hemingway’s life,about Hemingway’s work and about his love story with Hadley ! Here some suggestions
“A moveable feast”by Hemingway (his Paris’ memoir) – Written after his Paris years. Published in 1964 by Mary Hemingway, his 4th wife, 3 years after Hemingway’s death.
“The Sun also rises” by Hemingway (1926) – The novel of the Lost Generation – The setting at the beginning of the book takes place in Paris. – Hemingway’s first novel, written while he was in Paris and which established him as a writer of genius.
“The Paris’ wife“ – by Paula Mc Lain – The story of Hadley and Hemigway’s relationship from its beginning to its heartbreaking ending
“Midnight in Paris” (2011) – the movie, by Woody Allen. “A moveable feast” has provided inspiration for Woody Allen’s movie. Midnight in Paris is set in the Paris of the 1920s as portrayed in Hemingway’s memoir The movie features the figures of Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and uses the phrase “A moveable Feast’ in 2 sentences.
HOTEL d’ANGLETERRE : You can stay in the hotel where Hemingway and Hadley stayed during their first days in Paris. The room (room 14) is unchanged. It has to be reserved far in advance – 44 rue Jacob – Paris 6 – Website of the hotel d’Angleterre https://www.hotel-dangleterre.com
Room 14 – Hotel d’Angleterre – 44 rue Jacob – Paris 6
Where Hemingway like to stroll and shop
Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier at Shakespeare and Company (the original bookshop !)
Ernest Hemingway at his desk, working
Ernest Hemingway holding John (Bumby) Hemingway. Please Credit: “Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”
Hadley with Bumby in their Montparnasse apartment
Shakespeare and Company, the original bookshop in Saint Germain des Prés
Ernest Hemingway with his son Bumpy (Jack), Paris 1925
Gertrude Stein, who welcomed, support and helped Hemingway
A stroll through the bouquinistes’ stalls is a genuine experience and a real pleasure. And the Paris’ bookstalls are one of the most iconic symbols of Paris
In brief :
The “bouquinistes’ (= Paris’ bookstalls) are traditional secondhand booksellers located along the quays of the rive Seine. It’s the largest open air bookshop in Europe. One of the most iconic symbols of Paris. Paris wouldn’t be the same without its bookstalls !
In “A moveable feast” Hemingway,mentions the bouquinistes; Hemingway used to visit the bookstalls and buy second-hand books there, especially on the left bank (Hemingway has spent all his Parisian years on the left bank (first in the Latin Quarter, then, in Montparnasse, then in Saint Germain des Prés, and finally in the South part of Montparnasse.
“In the bookstalls along the quais, you could sometimes find American books that had just been published for sale very cheaply…if the people (in the Tour d’Argent’s
rooms) who lived there left any books behind there was a bookstall not far along the quai where the valet de chambre sold them and you could buy them from the proprietress for a very few francs…. After that bookstall near the Tour d’Argent, there were no others that sold American and English books entitle Quai des Grands Augustins” (in A Moveable feast – Chapter 4 – People of the Seine)
Among the other most famous customers, François Mitterrand, who liked to “browse” the quays, then walking back home (rue de Bièvre – Paris 5) followed by his two bodyguards !
Bouquinistes in 1920 – 0n the left bank – At the time Hemingway was in Paris
Quai de la Tournelle années in 1950 – Paris 5
Some figures :
around 1000 boxes
3 kms along the river Seine
Since the 16th century
more than 300 000 items : books and magazines and many others items
Opened daily from the morning to sunset ( but generally from 11am). Then the “boxes are locked with padlocks
Quai Voltaire – Paris 6
Where does the word “bouquiniste” come from ?(Bouquinistes = bookstalls)
Bouquiniste is formed with the word “bouquin”. The Bouquinistes are the shopsellers who sell “bouquins” ! (The term “bouquiniste” appeared in the dictionary of the French Academy in 1762.)
Bouquin doesn’t mean exactly “book”. The classic and exact French translation for book is : “livre”. Actually, “livre” and bouquin” are synonymous but with a slight difference (more details/explanation below).
Quai Voltaire – Paris 6
Quai Voltaire – Paris 6
The word “bouquin” was originally used to depict an old book. Nowadays,“bouquin” is more often used to depict a book in a familiar way, a bit closer to French slang for book. It’s not rude at all to use the word “bouquin”, but it’s a much less elegant way of speaking… less litterary !!! The word “bouquin” come from the old dutch word (17th c) : boeckjijn ou boekin
My personal note : The bookstalls are so much a part of Paris’ landscape that I believe unfortunately, we Parisians (including myself), sort of forget about them.
Both planning to write this article, and taking my visitors for tours nearby and along the Seine gave me the opportunity to rediscover these iconic bookstalls much better (!) , And it made me want to spend more time browsing them. It reminded me of how pleasant it is to stroll along this huge open-air bookshop in the wonderful setting of the Seine and with Notre Dame, the Conciergerie or Le Louvre in the background. So thank you for that !!
What do they look like and where to find them ?
Notre Dame in the background
They are 240 of them, dark green color. In French, we call their color :“green wagon”. It refers to the dark green of old train carriages. The color has been strictly defined since 1891, so as to be in harmony with the Wallace fountains and the Morris columns.
And we call them :“boîtes” (= “boxes”). They are made with metal and they are hanging on the parapets of the banks of the Seine.
They are all the same size : The size was fixed since 1930 :
Length : 2 meters
Between each box : 20cm.
Width : 0.75 meters.
The upper edge of the opened cover mustn’t be higher than 2.10 meters above the ground .
They are registered on the UNESCO world heritage since 1991.
There are 240 of them extending for 2,8 kilometers along the banks of the Seine :
On the right bank from Marie bridge (= Pont Marie Paris 4 – Marais neighborhood – Metro stop Pont Marie or Saint Paul) to Louvre bank ( = Quai du Louvre – nearby Le Louvre)
On the left bank from Tournelle bank ( = Quai de la Tournelle – Paris 5 – Latin Quarter) to Voltaire bank ( = Quai Voltaire, nearby Orsay Museum and the rue du Bac)
Being a bookseller :
4 boxes are allowed for each bookseller (4 boxes of 2 meters long for each bookseller). The booksellers don’t pay any tax nor rent but they need to get a license ( a yearly renewable license, issued by the City of Paris). They must be open at least 4 days a week.
What do they offer ?
They originally used to offer (and still do !) : second hand books (including rare editions of novels), prints, old magazines, old manuscripts and newspapers, old photos, posters, and collectable postcards. You can find French books as well as English books.
Prices are generally displayed even for old and rare items. And you can most often find something to enjoy (a book or any other items) from 1 euro !
Posters and postcards
The tourism increasing, they now offer Paris souvenirs too (key rings, and other souvenir gifts) too. Though the city of Paris ask them to focus their offer mostly on their original activity and minimize the offer of touristic souvenirs. Thus, only 1 of the 4 boxes (at most) can be dedicated to tourist souvenirs.
Each bookseller who is running a bookstall tend to have his own specialty. For instance, a bookseller chose to have international customers and thus, is selling the American magazine “National Geographic” and english magazine published since 1888, but he is selling French literature, science fiction and detective novels too.
A bit of History !
The tradition was born around the 16th century. Itinerant booksellers were selling books, travelling back and forth along the Seine and on the Pont Neuf too ( = the oldest Paris’ bridge).
In the 19th century, the first bouquinistes settled on the Quai Voltaire in 1821, installing their boxes permanently.
From 1891, they were allowed to leave their items during the night.During the Universal exhibition of 1900, there were already 200 bouquinistes along the river Seine.
Image below : in 1858
Quai des Grands Augustins in 1858
Quai des Grands Augustins – 1900
Depicted in numerous paintings of Paris,especially during the impressionist period :
Edouard Léon Cortès (1882-1969)
My suggestion : Combine a stroll along the bouquinistes with one of Ann Jeanne in Paris tours :
A walking tour in the “Latin Quarter” or a walking tour “From Le Marais to Notre Dame (via Saint Louis Island)”.
(Each tour can be customized, according to your wishes and interests or combined with another AJIP tour). All the tours are lead by me.)
More details about AJIP private walking tours : please click here
Just of the different walking tours : please click here
Some words about Paris protests (“Yellow vests” / “Gilets Jaunes”) (1)
I have received messages from several of you wondering if I was fine. I’d like to thank you for your thoughts. I am fine so as my family and friends.
And here are some of my thoughtsabout what’s going on in some parts of Paris :
The protests are very spectacular but take place in confined neighbourhoods of Paris only. (They take place in many other locations all over France too)
Most of the city, most Parisians, though really concerned (alike me) by the current (violent) events, can carry on with their everyday life in a quiet atmosphere.
I feel as a citizen and can’t be indifferent to what’s going on. I feel committed in what’s going on in my city, my country, and in the rest of the world too
But so many media have already communicated about these events already…. What could I say more ?
… But finally, I chose to write a few words about all what’s going on… The media are showing and focusing on what’s worst and are making the world think that the whole city is on fire and that everything in Paris is destroyed…
Which is not the case… at all…. Though I would never minimize the violence… which is real.
This protest movement which at the start, was meant to be a social protest, finally looks quite antisocial to me. This protests are supported by the far right that try to highjack the protest for political purpose
Infiltrated by far right people, by people causing material damages, engaged in looting. Shops are destroyed and looted. People , protesters (and police too…), are put in danger.
Owners, and small and medium sized business owners are going to face huge expense to rehabilitate the place. The city of Paris (several million euros) and others French cities and locations too. Some companies and shops will just close down and numerous people, the same that are suffering for the same reason than the protesters, will soon be unemployed. It’s the defamation or the representative democracy.
A leaderless protest, some fighting one another, no main thrust, no representative, a protest with no banner. Difficult to negotiate and communicate with a heteroclite group with no banner… However, a few individuals have wanted to negotiate with the political representatives.
The people who has expressed the willing to encounter members of the government as to express their claims have been harshly threaten by other protesters.
Now that they have obtained the suppression of fuel taxes, some express the will of the president’s demission (sometimes asking even worse…). Finally, the claims are going off in all directions, under the banner of no one, associated to the far right with acts of destruction and looting…
Not that I support Macron ‘s politics. We could have surely expected better and not that I’m happy with the tax policy. France have (among ?) the highest taxes in whole Europe. And many people and companies are suffocating. But it’s not something new… It is not an issue that only goes back a few years.
The group phenomenon (started on social media) has generated a public hysteria, Macron’s inappropriate words has probably participated at crank up the conflict. The media too, too often primarily concerned with their audience … I wouldn’t support this hysteria…
Jacques Lacan (2) , French psychoanalyst once wrote : « Ce que vous aspirez comme révolutionnaires, c’est à un maître. Vous l’aurez ».
” What you aspire to as revolutionaries is a master. You will get one.”
This was in 1968 and at this time people were fighting for their ideal, for more liberty and a less patriarchal society, and they were not looting… However, I hope we won’t have this master. This is what may happen if the majority of the public opinion (and this is what’s seems to be…) carries on supporting these “protests”… No Master please. Better people educated as to make them citizens, thinking people, not followers. No obedients/followers.
Thank you for reading these few words and I apologize if my writing is too clumsy (which actually is another proof that I’m French…!). And thanks again for following my Facebook posts
Writing this article was not my first project after such a long time without writing any article (my previous plan was to write an article about Bookstalls in Paris !!) but … the events helping…
Below, some photos of Paris’ quiet neighborhoods, as they were this weekend, including my neighborhood (Paris 14)
(1) I guess that if some French read by chance this note, I may not be complimented nor get some new French friends…… !
(2) Jacques Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist (1901 – 1881), who has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud”.
If you’re a passionate collector, a lover of hunting for bargains, or just enjoy wandering through flea markets, you’ll probably like Vanves flea market!
Every Saturday and Sunday morning, it’s a paradise for “les Chineurs” (= the French nickname for the bargain hunters). More confidential than Saint-Ouen. On a sunny Sunday morning, more especially, you’ll spend an exquisite peaceful morning, whether you’ve planned or not to buy something, whether you’ve bought or not something !
It is one of the largest flea markets in Paris : 350 merchants along 2 avenues (boulevard Marc Sangnier and boulevard Lafenestre)on the edge of Southern Paris. At the crossroad of these two avenues a man play on his piano.
This market is filled with charm and authenticity, friendly. A relaxing and joyful way to spend a morning of a weekend
What will you find at Vanves flea market?
If you love authentic items, this is the place to go to.
20s and 30s items, 18th, 19th and art deco objects, luminaires, glassware and silverware; vintage jewellery and fantasy, cameras, records, old French comic books and old papers; dusty antique books, old fashion magazines from the 20s and 30s (and some a bit more recent ones), coins, military medals; paintings, drawings and engravings and vintage postcards, antique toys, religious objects, dolls, old dishes, table cloths, vases, vintage kitchen items…
Only a few stalls vending old clothes and textiles. Same for big furniture
Most of what’s sold there is quite affordable and you can negotiate the price as in all flea markets
The main Paris’ flea marketsare Montreuil, Saint Ouen, and Vanves. They developed during the 19th century on the area where the fortified wall of Thiers (President of France from 1871 to 1873) was located. (The wall of Thiers was a defensive wall, built around 1840 and included almost the whole actual Paris. It was demoslished around 1920.)
The Saint Ouen flea market is by far the largest in the city (more than 2500 stalls and 17 kilometres of alleyways spread over 6 hectares).
So why choose Vanves?
Much smaller than Saint Ouen flea market: you’ll easily find you way, won’t get lost and won’t feel overwhelmed. Also a peaceful and intimate Parisian atmosphere, a little outdated, easily accessible by metro, and still largely the haunt of locals and regulars. You’ll find there atmosphere of an old Paris.
Some of the vendors are professionals and many of them have had a stall for a long time. Some of them for several decades.
But if you‘re more interested in large furniture, Saint Ouen flea market will probably be a better place. And if you’re looking for vintage clothing, the choice in Saint Ouen flea market will be much larger.
My suggestions and opinion :
Saint Ouen or Vanves ? Pro : Vanves is a smaller and thus of a more manageable size. You can’t get lost ! . Cons : Not the best place for furniture (or clothing, especially if you’re looking for something specific)
Plan to arrive not too late, if possible around 10.30 or earlier if possible, for the best finds. Not after 11am (The vendors generally leave around 1.30pm)
Take some cash with you. Most vendors take cash only. And be prepare to bargain,
Needs between 1.30 to 2.30 hours to enjoy it; Good prices.
Some vendors speak some English. It would be helpful if you spoke a little French. Don’t hesitate to bargain.
Practical details :
Marc Sangnier avenue and Georges Lafenestre avenue – Paris, 14th arrondissement
Opened year-round on Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 1.30pm
Metro stop : Porte de Vanves, line 13 or Tram T3 or Bus 58, 95, 191
Share my Paris, the Paris I love. I welcome you, I accompany you and we walk at your own pace. I’ll be delighted to be your friend in Paris ! 2 days, 3 days or more, half a day, a whole day with a native Each tour includes a break in a Parisian cafe. It’s a cross cultural experience and a way to see Paris in a different perspective. A way to know more about Paris’ life and culture.
Ann Jeanne in Paris’ private tours are designed for one or two persons. A friendly, authentic and personal way to experience Paris. I was born and raised in Paris. Paris is the city where I live.
This list includes my personal suggestions. It’s not (of course !) an exhaustive nor an objective list. I may update it later in case I find out other ideas to suggest you.
1 – Anne Maisonneuve’s T-shirts : You can get a T-shirt with a great printing related to Paris. Elegant, Parisian and fun. For instance : macarons, Eiffel tower made with macarons…. And many more. Not a souvenir look but a T-shirt you’ll probably enjoy to wear as a good memory of your Paris stay ! BTW : Don’t rely too much on their website : the products look much greater in real !! In the shop, you’ll find costume jewels too – Where ? : Anne Maisonneuve – 113 boulevard Raspail – Paris 6 – Metro stop : Notre Dame des Champs (Montparnasse neighborhood) – annemaisonneuve.com
2 – Mariage Frères tea: Mariage Frères is an old renowned French company (since 1854), which sells a large range and high quality tea – They sell nice teapots and cups too. Where ? : Saint germain des Prés : 13 rue des Grands Augustins – Paris 6 // La Madeleine : 17, place de la Madeleine – Paris 8 // Tour eiffel 56 rue Clerc – Paris 7 // Le Bon Marché 38, rue de Sèvres, Paris 7 (La Grande Epicerie, 1st Floor) // Galeries Lafayette , 21b boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9 (ground floor) // Printemps, 64 boulevard Haussmann Paris 9 (3d floor) – www.mariagefreres.com
Another French brand of Tea : Kusmi tea, a nice french brand of tea too (In La Grande Epicerie of the Bon Marché – Metro stop : Sevres Babylone and several Kusmi tea shops in Paris including one on the Champs Elysées
Mariage frères – French Tea
3 – French candies :Calissons, Marrons glacés, Pralines, Nougats, berlingots, all very popular French candies. This is just some of the most traditional French candies. There are many others.
“Les Anis de Flavigny”: the oldest fresh candies, not larger than a pea. The original ones are made with anise; Other flavors : rose, lemon, mint, violet… And the boxes are gorgeous old-style metal boxes.
Marrons glacés (= Candied chesnuts):Seasonal candies that can be found generally in Chocolate shops from end november to end of January. A confection originating in southern France and northern italy, consisting of a chestnut candied in sugar syrup and glazed. People who like them actually LOVE them. Where ? :high quality chocolate shops such as JP Hevin, Jacques Genin, La Maison du Chocolat, Patrick Roger, Arnaud Lahrer. The making process of those candies is so complex that if you get them in ordinary shops you may be very disappointed.
Calissons : a traditional French diamond-shaped candy, made of a smooth pale yellow paste of candied fruit and ground almonds topped with a thin layer of royal icing. Renown brands for Calissons : Léonard Parli (founded in 1874) or Roy René. The packaging is what they call themselves a “diamond-shaped box”. Where ? confectionery, delicatessen La grande Epicerie of the Bon Marché, A la Mère de Famille shops
Nougat :the Montelimar nougat,has a traditional whitish color and is made of honey, almonds and a light mousse of egg whites mixed in copper cauldrons. Made since the 18th century, in the Ardèches (region of France). My recommendation : choose it in bar shape (rather than in small candy size) then cut it when you want some and buy it in a chocolatier or a good quality candy shop (rather than in a supermarket), this will make a real difference. Check too that “Montelimar” is written on the package. You can ask for nougat soft (=tender) or hard. Generally, nowadays, you’ll find more easily soft nougat (that I recommend) rather than hard.Where ? confectionery, delicatessen La grande Epicerie of the Bon Marché, A la Mère de Famille
Pralines : combination of almonds and caramelized sugar. Created in the 17th century It’s a specialty of Montargis, city of the Loire Valley, nearby Orleans. You can find brown or pink pralines. Mazet (French brand, founded in 1903) is maybe the most famous brand of Pralines, located in Montargis.
Berlingots : Hard and pyramidal shape candies. Nice to eat and to look at. And I must say that I like the sound of the word “Berlingot” too (!). Very musical ! Though I remember that you can’t eat music !
Where find these candies ? InLa Grande Epicerie of the Bon Marché, and in most of confectionary and chocolate shops. “A la mère de Famille“ is a popular confectionary shop. The larger “A Mere de Famille” (and the original one) is located 35, rue du Faubourg Montmartre – Paris 9
4 – Chocolate : Many great chocolate shops in Paris.
Other renown chocolate shops : Arnaud Lahrer, Pierre Marcolini…and many more !
5 – Armor Lux : The « Marinière » = the classic Breton stripe shirt : It’s an iconic French outfit, that actually is originated from Brittany and a cloth that takes its inspiration from the maritime tradition. It’s a great French basic that many French have in their wardrobe; a classic ! Jean Paul Gaultier has been using it as an emblematic piece of his fashion collections. Armor Lux is renown for its “Marinières”. It’s a company created 80 years ago in Quimper a western city of Brittany (itself a western region of France). You’ll find marinières from women, children and men. Where ? Seven Armor Lux shops in Paris. Among them : Saint Germain : Paris- Sèvres, 33, rue de Sèvres Paris 6 –// Montparnasse : Paris-Vavin, 16, rue Vavin, Paris 6 // Montmartre – 1bis rue de Ravignan – Paris 18 – www.armorlux.com/en/
OrPetit bateau (= “little boat”)– another renown French company, a 124 years old company – nice great quality Tshirts and other products – They often sell Marinières too.Where ? 30 Petit Bateau shops in Paris – One in Saint Germain des Prés – 33 rue du Four – Paris 6www.petit-bateau.co.uk
6 – Traditional French Biscuits : Lu, Paille d’or, Crêpes dentelles, sablés bretons (La Grande Epicerie, Monoprix)
Crêpes dentelles: one of the iconic biscuit originated from Brittany dating back to 1893 : pancake. www.gavottes.fr/fr
batter rolled into a lace-thin cylinder. As light as crispy and succulent Brand recommended : “Gavottes” You can get a cardboard box (lighter than the metal ones)
Sablés Bretons ( called “galettes” bretonnes too) : Breton round shortbread cookies, sandy texture, slightly salted. Brands recommended : Traou mad, Saint Michel, Ker Kadelac, La Trinitaine. Warning : not to be confused with the “‘Sablés de Retz” (different texture and taste)
Palets Bretons (= Breton “disk”) :thicker than the sablés (about 3 cm thick), quite soft and slightly salted. Brands recommended : Traou mad, Saint Michel, Ker Kadelac, La Trinitaine. Warning : not to be confused with the “‘Sablés de Retz” (different texture and taste)
Palmiers (= “palm tree”) : flaky and crunchy. Nature (= the original and classic one) or chocolate (black or milk chocolate). Brand recommended : Palmito
Tuiles (=tiles) : egg white, caster sugar, flour, butter and vanilla extract. Great with a fruit salad for instance.
Cigarettes russes: Cigarette-shaped biscuits, sandy and empty, size of a cigar. A great classic that you can eat on its own or with ice-cream. Brand recommended : Delacre
Barquettes: Little boat- shape biscuits. The children especially like them. The original is apricot flavour, but some are chocolate or strawberry… Brand recommended : Lu
Pailles d’or de Lu
Paille d’Or (= gold straw) Strawberry (Lu Brand): rasberry wagers, very fine and crispy with no artiicial color or flavor. Brand recommended : Lu
Warning : There are everal chains of stores selling biscuits that I wouldn’t recommend. Their storefronts look really attractive, but in my opinion their products are as much disappointing as their storefront and setting are attractive.
7 – Heyraud umbrellas.Not an ordinary souvenir – Wonderful umbrellas that look more real ombrella than souvenir that won’t last – Parisian patterns : Le Pont des Arts – Tour Eiffel pattern. Not made for tourists but for Paris lovers (either Parisians or visitors) . Herault company sell mainly high quality shoes, an a few other products Where ? Heyraud – Paris Montparnasse 142 rue de Rennes – Paris 6 // Heyraud – Paris St Germain 23 rue du Four – Paris 6 // Heyraud – Paris Rivoli 90 rue de Rivoli – Paris 1 – // Heyraud Paris La Madeleine, 5 boulevard de la Madeleine, Paris 9 // Heyraud paris Italiens, 32 boulevard des Italiens, Paris 9Heyraud umbrellas
8 – Hermès scarves :An iconic brand and an iconic great French classic. A scarf as much as a work of art. Awsome material and design… and… very pricey (around 360 euros) … The house of Hermès launched the creation of its first ever silk scarf in 1937. Most popular size : 90cm X 90 cm. Where ? Main Hermès store (flagship store) : 24 rue du faubourg Saint Honoré (between La Madeleine and La Concorde) The store itself is worth the visit // In Saint Germain des Prés 17 rue de Sèvres Paris 6 // in Le Bon Marché too.
The Christian Lacroix scarves are gorgeous too. Expensive too, but far less expensive than the Hermès scarves. Where ? Le Bon Marché ( www.24sevres.com/fr-ba/accessoires/echarpes-et-foulards/foulards ) or at the Galeries Lafayette or Le Printemps.
You’ll find other wonderful scarves in the department stores, like in Le Bon Marché
9 – Get your portrait drawn at the Place du Tertre.Your portrait or your silhouette !
Place du Tertre – Montmartre (Paris 18)
The Place du Tertre is the most “touristic” spot of Montmartre village. Probably the most touristic spot in Paris. However having your portrait drawn, may be a great idea, a great memory of your stay. Try to avoid to crowded hours. Better choose the morning or an early evening. Take your time to choose the artist and if the artist is too insistent and pushy, don’t hesitate to say no and walk away. The average price : 60 euros for an individual portrait. Don’t hesitate to bargain a little. I can help you if I’m with you.
Get your silhouette cut by a Montmartre artist : Silhouette cut-outs : Great too. One of my friends still fancy having her sihouette cut out in Montmartre several decades ago. A great memory for a cheap price. The artist use only a pair os scissors and will cut a coloured sheet of paper in the shape of your profile. Great to bring back as a souvenir. But some of the artists are really pushy. Don’t hesitate to walk away if the person is too insistent.
Where ? Place du Tertre – Paris 18 – Metro stop : Anvers or Abbesses
10 – Get a book at Shakespeare and Company … with a stamp ! Get it stamped after purchase : the famous kilometer zero stamps inside the front cover. You could buy a book of Poems by Jacques Prévert (“Paroles” for instance). Prévert, a so (!) Parisian poet or Apollinaire (very Parisian too !) who wrote « Sous le Pont Mirabeau » or a book by Hemingway, for instance « A moveable feast » (“Paris est une fête”) or a book by our beloved Colette, or “The little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. And enjoy this beautiful old 16th century building and all the books at the same time !…
Where ? : Shakespeare and Company, 37 rue de la Bucherie, Paris 5 – Metro stop : Saint Michel. Located nearby the Seine and Notre Dame.Oh ! … after getting your book, take the opportunity to have a break in their (tiny and great) tearoom which is nextdoor (great tea and a cheesecake I highly recommend !)
11 – Soaps and perfumesat Oriza L. Legrand
Oriza house was created in 1720 during the reign of Louis XV, Supplier of the Royal family and Queen Marie Antoinette ; The boutique is tiny and gorgeous. The old style packagings awsome. The old-style setting of this shop is gorgeous too. In this tiny shop, you’ll find soaps, perfumes/cologne
Where ? Oriza , 18 rue Saint Augustin, Paris 2ème Monday to Saturday 11am to 2pm – 3pm to 7 pm Orizaparfums.com
Les Parfums de Rosine
12 – Les Parfums de Rosine.An old style and tiny shop focused on rose perfume. In the awesome setting of the Palais Royal garden.
Other nice brands of tea towels, apron, and others things for your homein Le Bon Marché or Galeries Lafayette gourmet maison 35, boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9 – Metro Stop : Chaussée d’Antin or Opéra
Note : the Galeries Lafayette gourmet maison (35 boulevard Haussmann) is for food and all what’s related to the home. It’s located in a different building from the main Galeries Lafayette department store (40 boulevard Haussmann)
15 – A gift from Le Louvre – A wide range of products derived from the collections and exhibitions of the museum : jewelry, prints, stationery, postcards, posters, books, scarves… and many more or reproductions of works. For instance the miniatures of the Venus de Milo or the Winged Victory
2 very popular shops for beauty products at discount prices : Citypharma andPharmacie de la Place Monge. You’ll find in both places many brands including Caudalie and Nuxe, most of them at a discount price . But these places are often crowded ! No high fashion designer brands like Dior, YSL, Chanel…
Where ? : Citypharma, 26 rue du Four, Paris 6 (Saint Germain des Prés) – Metro Stop Saint Germain des Prés, Mabillon or Odeon // Pharmacie de la Place Monge, 74 rue Monge – Paris 5 – (in the Latin Quarter). Metro stop Place Monge (line 7)
18 – Cheese : Androuet is one of the oldest Cheese shop in Paris (since 1909) – 9 shops in Paris – In my opininon, a company on which you can rely . Great service and products. Several shops in Paris. Nice welcoming and knowledgeable staff and they provide vacuum packing to transport cheese home.
Nice gifts in Ladurée : Key chains, shopping bags… and many more. And their famous macarons too.
Where ?8 shops in Paris. Among them : Ladurée Champs Elysées, 75 avenue des Champs Elysées , Paris 8 – Ladurée Saint Germain des Prés, 21 rue Bonaparte, Paris 6,Ladurée web site
Ladurée tea and beauty
And a new Ladurée Tea and beauty shop !!!: A quite new shop (opened about 1 year ago) entirely dedicated to teas, candles and home fragrances. : Ladurée Thé et Beauté, 232 rue de Rivoli, Paris 1 – A boutique located a hundred meters from Angelina,
Where ? Ladurée Tea and beauty shop, 232, rue de Rivoli, Paris 1 – Metro Stop : Concorde or Tuileries, close to Angelina
Share my Paris, the Paris I love. I welcome you, I accompany you and we walk at your own pace.
Each tour includes a break in a Parisian cafe . It’s a cross-cultural experience,a way to see Paris in a Parisian perspective and to know more about Paris’ life and culture.
Ann Jeanne in Paris’ private tours are designed for one or two persons. A friendly, authentic and personal way to experience Paris. I was born and raised in Paris. Paris is the city where I have always lived.
Introduction : This isn’t a list of the most renowned French films only. It’s a subjective list of 15 films I particularly liked or loved.
15 films shot since 1990 (I’ll post a list of French films shot before this date later). Some are funny, some aren’t. Some of them are very well known, some are less known.
Films can be seen a great reflection of a country and watching French films can be a good way to get to know more about France and its culture.
… alike architecture, music and meeting French people, novels by French authors, French songs, French cooking books…and so on
Unfortunately, I know that one often think that French films are boring,…!!! This could be partly true and that’s what you might think and feel about some of the films of this list
As you know already, I am French. Thus, if you think that those films are boring , I must be very very French…!!! But I hope I’m not too boring…!!! Nevertheless I hope you’ll enjoy some of the films mentionned in this list
If you’ve already watched some of them or when you’ve seen some after reading this article, I’d enjoy hearing about your appreciation and your feelings
The films are ordered from earliest to latest.
1 – La discrete (1990)– Comedy-Drama
Director and co-author :Christian Vincent
Stars :Fabrice Luchini, Judith Henry
Antoine (the narrator and main character) has been dumped by his girlfriend and has no inspiration for a next novel. In an attempt to find a solution, he decides to seduce a youngwoman with the singular purpose fo keeping a diary of the seduction and then break up before publishing the book about it. Unforttunately, he falls in love with her…
In my opinion ; No surprise I like this film… As its Director (Christian Vincent) is said to be an admirer of Eric Rohmer…And I especially like Eric Rohmer’s films (New Wave/Nouvelle vague)… So this film may sound as special as Eric Rohmer’s films and for this reason you may not like this film… I love it for the atmosphere, for the acting by F Lucchini and Judith Henry, for the Paris’ background. One scene takes place in the famous “Café de la Mairie” at Place Saint Sulpice at Odeon/Saint Germain des Prés neighbourhood.
Music : Philippe Sarde
Nelly is married to Jerôme. She meets by chance M Arnaud, a mature and wealthy just retired businessman. She has fallen six months behind on the rent for the apartment in which she lives with her husband. Nelly type up Mister Arnaud’s memoirs. Nelly thus learns more about Mr Arnaud’s life. Begins a strange and special relationship between the two personalities.
Notes : It won the César award for best director and best actor from Michel Serrault. A film to be watched for the great French director (Claude Sautet) and Michel Serrault and Emmanuelle Beart’s excellent performance. A subtle film which explores many emotions.
One of my most favorite films. And Michel Serrault and Claude Sautet have a special place in my heart
An upper middle-class French family celebrates a birthday in a restaurant . One evening family history, tensions, and memories clash
Notes :The film won the Cesar award for best writing, best supporting actor and best supporting actress. In this film, scathing phrases and situations..
TRAILER IN FRENCH (Sorry… !)
4 –Marius and Jeannette (1997) – Comedy-Drama-Romance
(Original title : Marius et Jeannette)
Director : Robert Guédiguian
Stars : Ariane Ascaride, Gérard Meylan, Pascale Roberts
Marius is the keeper of an abandoned cement works in the quarter of l’Estaque in Marseilles. Jeannette is bringing up her two children alone with her poor checkout operator salary. Their meeting won’t be without trouble, since besides material difficulties, both of them are wounded by life. They have to learn how to be happy again.
Notes :A feel good movie. poetic and very touching. A mix of love story, family drama and comedy, joy, tears and emotion. The film won the César award for best actress, best supporting actor and Best supporting actress,
TRAILER IN FRENCH (Sorry… !)
5 – Amelie(2001) – Comedy-Romance
(Original title = Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain)
Director : Jean Pierre Jeunet
Stars : Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus
Music : Yann Tiersen (Original main theme : “La valse d’Amélie)
Amelie, a young girl in Paris, resort to her own fantastical world and dreams of love and beauty . She decides to devote her life to the people around her, such as, her father who is obsessed with his garden-gnome, a failed writer, a hypochondriac, the love of her life and a man whose bones are as brittle as glass. But after consuming herself with these escapades – she finds out that she is disregarding her own life and damaging her quest for love.
Notes :A great film worth to be seen, notably for the setting in Montmartre and the music. Most of the locations in the film can be found in Montmartre. The main colors in the film are inspired by the paintings of the Brazilian artist Juarez Machado. It was in 1974 that Jean-Pierre Jeunet began collecting the memories and events that make up the story of Amélie. The part of Amélie was written specifically for Emily Watson, but she had to decine because she didn’t speak French and had already agreed to be in Gosford Park (2001)
TRAILER : SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH
6 – The Girl from Paris (2001) – Comedy-Drama
(Original title : Une hirondelle a fait le printemps)
Sandrine, a young Parisian woman, tired of her life in Paris, decides to leave her work in computers and become a farmer. She buys an isolated farm from Adrien, an old farmer who decides it’s time to retire. However, Adrien wants to stay a few more months before moving away from the farm, and the rough winter finds them together… Adrien ‘s arrangement with Sandrine allows him to remain on the farm for 18 months. She is too self-confident to require much help and he is more interested in waiting around for her to fail than offering help. But gradually, they become friends…
Notes : This film is worth seeing for the beauty of the setting ( in the Vercors region of France) and the wonderful performance of Mathilde Seigner and Michel Serrault (the grouchy old peasant). Great actors and touching characters.
TRAILER IN FRENCH (Sorry… !)
7 – 8 women(2002) – Comedy, drama, mystery and Suspense
At an isolated mansion in the snowy countryside of 1950s France, a family is gathered for the holiday season. But their beloved patriarch has been murdered. The killer can only be one of the eight women . One murdered man, eight women, each seeming to be eager than the others to know the truth.
Notes : An entertaining film with 8 famous French Actresses. The film is filled with references to beloved classics. With a special like for the scene with Fanny Ardant (signing “A quoi sert de vivre libre” ) which pay homage to Rita Hayworth in Gilda. Fanny Ardant among my best favorite actresses. A part of the film is sung, but not a real musical
Below : “A quoi sert de vivre libre” by actress Fanny Ardant
(Original title : OSS 117, Le Caire, nid d’espions)
Director : Michel Hazanavicius
Stars : Jean Dujardin
It’s 1955 and after a fellow agent and close friend disappears, secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, a.k.a. OSS 117, is ordered to take his place at the head of a poultry firm in Cairo. This is to be his cover while he is busy investigating, foiling Nazi holdouts, quelling a fundamentalist rebellion, and bedding local beauties.
Notes :An homage to classic spy films. Entertaining/funny. Jean Dujardin is the actor who played in “The artist”
TRAILER IN FRENCH (Sorry… !)
9 – The neighbor (2007) – Comedy Romance
Director : Eddie O’Flaherty
Stars : Matthew Modine, Michèle Laroque, Katie Walder A guy whose life is in turmoil falls for an attractive real estate broker who moves into the condo next door, but soeisn’t realize that she expects him to move out for her planned renovation.
Notes : Really entertaining.Not a French film but a remake of a French film. Nevertheless, I included it in this list because of the irresistible Michelle Laroque, French actress, who was playing in the original French version too.Though I prefer much more the French version with M Laroque and Richard Berry (It was a telefilm). Great for Michelle Laroque, definitly one of my most favorite actress
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10 – 2 days in Paris(2007) – Comedy
Director : Julie Delpy
Stars : Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Brühl
A New York based couple, Marion and Jack attempt to re-infuse their relationship with romance by taking a vacation in Europe. Their trip to Venice didn’t really work out. They have higher hopes for Paris. But the combination of Marion’s overbearing non-English speaking parents’,her ex-boyfriends’, and Jack’s obsession with photographing don’t make things easy.
Notes : The characters of Marion’s parents are played by Delpy’s real life parents. Julie Delpy is French, but one of the most American “French Director ” !
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11 – The wedding cake(2019) – Comedy-Romance
(Original title : Pièce montée)
Director : Denys Granier-Deferre
Stars : Clémence Poésy, Danielle Darrieux
Vincent and Bérengère are getting married on a beautiful spring day in the French countryside, in the style of the Haute bourgeoisie. But a chain of events threatens to bring down a family façade which has been cultivated over the past few decades.
Notes :An entertaining and touching film. And the last film of Danielle Darrieux, a wonderful French actress
TRAILER IN FRENCH (sorry…!)
12 – The women on the 6th floor(2010) – Comedy
(Original title : Les femmes du 6ème étage)
Director : Philippe Le Guay
Stars : Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain
Paris 1960s. A conservative French couple’s lives are turned upside down by two spanish maids who work in their apartment building. Mr Joubert is an unadventurous stockbroker who befriends a group of Spanish maids who live on the top floor of his building and live the life of the poor. Then he discovers that there is a whole other world he never knew existed, . Slowly he recovers his joie de vivre by tasting life ‘s simple pleasures . He becomes increasingly involved with the problems of the Spanish women working improving their lot while causing friction at home.
Notes : A light-hearted and amusing comedy of worlds colliding. It focuses on Jean louis transformation. Fabrice Luchini is terrific
SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH
13 – The intouchables(2011) – Comedy-Drama
(Original title : Les intouchables)
Director : Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
Stars : François Cluzet, Omar Sy
After he becomes a quadriplegic from a pargliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man to be his caregiver
Notes :The second giiggest box office hit in France, The film has received several award nominations i. In France, the film won the César Award for Best actor for Omar Sy. Nominated for a golden Globe. The plot is inspired by the true story of Philoppe Pozzo
SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH
14 – Delicacy(2011) – Romantic-Comedy-Drama
(Original title : La délicatesse)
Director : David Foenkinos and Stéphane Foenkinos
Stars : Audrey Tautou, François Damien
Music : Emilie Simon ‘Something more”
A romantic comedy about love. Nathalie, a beautiful, happy and successful Parisian business executive woman finds herself suddently widowed… To cope with her loss, she buries herself and her emotions in her work but one day, inexplicably, she meets a seemingly unexceptional, gauche and average looking subordinate, Markus…
Notes :the film is based on “La delicatesse” a book by David Foenkinos
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15 – What’s in a name(2012) – Comedy-Drama
(Original title : Le Prénom)
Director : Matthieu Delaporte, Alexandre de la Patellière
Stars : Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui, Charles Berling…
Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends (In an upper-middle-class apartment in Paris), he reveals the name for his future son. Everyone at the dinner is speechless…The situation eventually gets out of hand, when no one can come to an understanding, and everyone starts unearthing old rivalries and unspoken issues.
Notes :Patrick Bruel is a very famous French singer too.
SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH
AJIP Private walking tours and photo sessions
Ann Jeanne in Paris
Share my Paris, the Paris I love. I welcome you, I accompany you and we walk at your pace. I’ll be delighted to be your friend in Paris ! Half a day or a whole day with a native including a break in a very Parisian cafe. It’s a cross cultural experience and a way to see Paris in a Parisian perspective. A way to know more about Paris’ life and culture.Don’t hesitate to contact me !
Ann Jeanne in Paris’ private tours are designed for one or two persons. A friendly, authentic and personal way to experience Paris. I was born and raised in Paris. Paris is the city where I live.
And maybe in person on your next visit to Paris… !
The Sacré Coeur of Montmartre
I am a native who loves her city. I’d be delighted to welcome you in person and share my Montmartre with you, off the beaten track, discovering all the best spots of the village often missed by visitors and the most famous spots of the village too (Place du Tertre and the Sacré Coeur)
Book you private visit, for you only !
Montparnasse cemetery, the final resting place of many artists and illustrious personalities.
The grave featuring Mr and Mrs Pigeon lying on their bed
After WWI, just after the heyday of Montmartre (and before the Saint Germain des Prés one) and for a few decades, Montparnasse was the home and favorite haunt of many writers and artists : Picasso, Soutine,Man Ray,Sartre,Simone de Beauvoir, Hemingway, Foujita, Zadkine, Brancusi,Amadeo Modigliani, Samuel Beckett, Fitzgerald just to name a few
Artists came from all over the world and Montparnasse was the capital of the avant-garde, the heart of the artistic and intellectual Parisian life.
This neighborhood has changed but you can still go to the same iconic cafés, brasseries where all these artists and writers used to go, you’ll see beautiful building façades of the old time, the homes of some of these artists, the old art supplies shops and art academies, and you’ll feel the spirit of the Roaring 20s and of the following decades. Personally, this is my favorite Paris neighborhood (with Saint Germain des Prés)
Montparnasse cemetery is the final resting place of many of these artists. Man Ray, Soutine, Zatkine, Brancusi, Brassaï, Bourdelle … It’s also the cemetery where you’ll see the graves of Jean Seberg, Serge Gainsbourg, Marguerite Duras, Susan Sontag, César (the sculptor), Brassaï, Baudelaire, Guy de Maupassant, Bartholdi, Camille Saint Saens, Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Constantin Brancusi Some of them were the illustrious residents of Montparnasse. Graves of writers, poets, artists, filmmakers, politicians, actors, publishers, patrons of industry… Many graves of foreigners who have made France their home.
You’ll see unusual graves too, some with great funerary art (Niki de Saint Phalle, Tinguely, Cesar…)
Auguste Bartholdi’s grave
A huge but beautiful and peaceful :
You can spend a few hours in Montparnasse cemetery, walking through the lanes. This place is worth a visit. It’s a huge cemetery (47 acres – 19 hectares, with about 40 000 graves, 750 trees and bushes), very peaceful with some fascinating graves. It’s dividedinto 2 cemeteries separated by a street (rue Emile Richard) : on one side, the “grand cimetière” and on the other side, the “Petit cimetière” . Btw : The main difference with Père Lachaise is that Montparnasse cemetery is flat. No slopes. Thus, you may find Montparnasse cemetery is less charming than the Père Lachaise, but It still a beautiful place with great funerary art work and great personalities’ graves
But the graves are tightly packed. Even though you’ll find a plan of the cemetery at the entrance to help you find the graves it’s quite difficult to get around and find some graves you want to see, .
My personal link with Montparnasse cemetery : This is the final resting place of my father. Also where my piano teacher, who taught me (private lessons) the piano since I was 8 to the age of 22, rest. So to me, this cemetery is not like the others… And … it’s nearby my home and in neighborhood I particularly love.
Some History :The cemetery opened in 1824. after the cemeteries closer to the center of Paris, were banned owing to sanitary problems. In the early 19th century Montmartre, the Père Lachaise and the Montparnasse cemetery replaced some small ones.
Before being a cemetery, the land of Montparnasse cemetery belonged to a religious community. There was a monastery on the place and an old flour mill. It became national property at the French Revolution (from 1789). The Monastery was pulled down, but the windmill, “Le Moulin de la Charité” was kept.
Practical details : Montparnasse cemetery : 3 boulevard Edgard Quinet – Paris 14 Metro stop : Edgard Quinet or Raspail. Main entrance : Boulevard Edgar Quinet – Opening Hours : March to November : 8.30 to 6pm (Sunday : 9am) November to March : 8 to 5.30pm (Sunday : 9am)
Unusual Gravestones :
Le Chat :A polychrome cat by Niki de Saint Phalle. A 1,50 m tall masaic representing a cat for the tomb of her friend Ricardo
L’Oiseau :a birdman by Niki de Saint Phalle
The statue of the “Génie du Sommeil Eternel” (Eternal Sleep) by the sculptor Horace Daillion in the center of the cemetary
Le Baiser :by the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi
Sculpture by Brancusi (“The Kiss”)
Pigeon Charles’s grave (1838 – 1915): French inventor of a non-exploding gas lamp. Born in France in Normandy. A life size figures of Mr and Mrs Pigeon (fully clothed) lying in a bed. The bed forms the grave .
The grave features Mr and Mrs Pigeon long on their bed
Some of the illustrious personalities (buried in Montparnasse cemetery) :
Baudelaire (1821 – 1867):French poet born in Paris where he lived most of his life. buried with his mother and step-father. Also a cenothaph dedicated to the poet.
Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre : leading figures of the Existentialist literary movement are buried together. Simone de Beauvoir (1907 – 1986)was a French writer, philosopher, and feminist. Best known for her work “The second Sex” (1949) which contained detailed analysis of women’s oppression.Jean Paul Sartre (1905 – 1980) was French writer, philosopher and critic. Best known for his writing : “Being and Nothingness”. He believed in the fundamental freedom of human beings and reflected ont the unbearable nature of that freedom. Major works : Nausea, Being and Nothingness (1943), the Words (1964)
Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’s grave
Susan Sontag (1933 – 2004) : American author born in Manhattan. One of her more famous books was “Illness as Metaphor” (1978)
Chaïm Soutine (1893 – 1943) :Painter, born in Lithuania. He moved to Paris in 1911 and settled in Montparnasse district; He became famous after years of poverty in 1823 when Paul Barnes, a wealthy American cnollector bought 60 of his paintings at once. . He became known for his portraits of working-class people, still lifes and landscapes. As a Jew, at the start of WWII, he fled the Nazi occupation of France
Zadkine Ossip (1890 – 1967):Russian-born sculptor. There is a Museum dedicated to Zadkine’s work of art located in Montparnasse. This was the house and workshop where Ossip Zadkine major figure in the School of Paris, lived and worked from 1928 to 1967. Zadkine Museum: 100 bis rue d’Assas – Paris 6
Man Ray (1890 – 1976) : Artist born in USA especially known as a photographer. He is acknowledged as one of the masters of the 20th century. He moved to Paris in 1921. He immortalized in many famous photographs the model Kiki de Montparnasse with who. In 1940 Ray fled the Nazi invasion and went to California. He returned to Paris in 1951
Marguerite Duras (1914 – 1996) :French writer and film director, best known for her novel “The lover” (Prix Goncourt – 1984), which was made into a movie.
Guy de Maupassant (1850 – 1893) :French writer. He is considered one of the world’s great short-story writers. He wrote novels too. One of the best known : “Bel Ami”
Samuel Beckett (1906 – 1989):Irish Author, Playwright. novelist who spent most of his life in Paris (Paris 14), from 1937 and wrote in French after 1945 His best known work is the play “Waiting for Godot”
Ionesco Eugène (1912 – 1994) :French playwright. Known for his contribution to the theater of the absiurd. Two of his plays are shown at the Theatre de la Huchette in Paris since 1957 without any interruption !. (“The Bald Soprano” and “The lesson”)
Antoine Bourdelle : (1861 – 1929) :French sculptor. One of the Pioneers of 20th century monumental sculpture. His home and studio where Antoine Bourdelle has been working from 1885 to 1929 is located 19 rue Antoine Bourdelle – Paris 15, and can be visited.
Constantin Brancusi : (1876 – 1957) : Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer who made his career in France. He is considered as a pioneer of modernism and one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century,
Brassaï (1899 – 1984) : Hungarian photojournalist, portraitist. He moved to Paris in 1918 and fell in love with the city. Hi is renowned for his photographic chronicles of the night.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834 – 1904) : French sculptor most renowned for the Statue of Liberty.He designed his own grave.
César Baldaccini (1921 – 1998) : French sculptor, better known simply as César. He was at the forefront of the Nouveau Réalisme movement with his radical compressions (compacted automobiles, discarded metal, or rubbish), expansions (polyurethane foam sculptures), and fantastic representations of animals and insects.
Camille Saint Saëns, (1835 – 1921) :composer, leading representative of French Romantic music. His most popular piece is “The Carnival of the Animals” (1886)
Jacques demy, Eric Rohmer, Claude Sautet, filmmakers
Serge gainsbourg (1928 – 1991) :Songwriter, singer and film maker : one of the most visited graves in Montparnasse. His grave is often covered with different objects which are references to some of his songs : a cabbage (for his LP called “L’homme à la tête de chou”, a metro ticket for his song called “Le Poinçonneur des Lilas”, or cigarettes’ buts because he was smoking a lot and also wrote a song called “Dieu est un fumeur de Havane”.
Jean Seberg, (1938 – 1979) : American actress who played in “Breathless” (1959) (director Jean-Luc Godard).
(MORE PHOTOS OF MONTPARNASSE CEMETERY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE )
Even with the help of a map, it’s quite difficult to find the graves you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate to contact me : A visit of Montparnasse cemetery can be included (or added) in the Montparnasse walking tour (= “The Roaring 20’s ) Share my Paris, the Paris I love. I welcome you, I accompany you and we walk at your pace. Half a day or a whole day with a native including a break in a very Parisian cafe. It’s a cross cultural experience in Paris and a way to see Paris in a Parisian perspective.
Ann Jeanne in Paris’ private tours are designed for one or two persons. A friendly and personal experience of Paris. I was born and raised in Paris. Paris is city where I live.
Practical details : Montparnasse cemetery : 3 boulevard Edgard Quinet – Paris 14 Metro stop : Edgard Quinet or Raspail. Main entrance : Boulevard Edgar Quinet – Opening Hours : March to November : 8.30 to 6pm (Sunday : 9am) November to March : 8 to 5.30pm (Sunday : 9am)
THE SOUTH EAST OF THE LATIN QUARTER : the Latin Quarter OFF THE BEATEN TRACK…where Parisians love to go, where visitors rarely go…
“We did the hidden Latin Quarter tour. Cannot praise Ann Jeanne enough. Passionate with great knowledge. Very easy to talk to. Even though we had been to Paris many times we learnt so much. Would highly recommend these tours. Thank you for your time Ann Jeanne” – Warren Greg Tania Dave
If you like wandering off the beaten track and explore quaint neighborhoods, you’ll probably enjoy this neighborhood that has a very special place in my heart and you will see what visitors in Paris often miss.
Hadley and Ernest Hemingway in 1922 – It’s where they both used to live and go shopping –
The South East of the Latin Quarter that many travel websites and travel guides don’t mention. Though : 17th century facades, one of the most favourite market of the Left bank Parisians, high quality food and shops, remains of the Roman time, amazing doors…and among Hemingway’s most favorite Paris’neighborhoods.We’ll walk his favorite streets, and will see his home and the cafe he used to enjoy the most in this area
In the Snows of Kilimanjaro (E. Hemingway), Harry, the character wrote regarding this South East part of the Latin Quarter : “…There never was another part of Paris that he loved like that, the sprawling trees, the old white plastered houses painted brown below, the long treen of the autobus in that round square, the sudden drop down the hill of the rue Cardinal Lemoine to the River …”
This Latin Quarter : often missed by visitors, though a great history and a very Parisian charm
It’s an area preserved, with a feel of the old timeswith its narrow paved streets, its markets, its old fountain and many more special places. And it has a special place in my heart, a place that I would enjoy to share with you : this neighborhood is the neighborhood/village where my grandmother was living and used to go shopping from the 30s to the 80s, where my mother has been raised and where my parents got married.
Located on the left bank of the river Seine, it’sthe South-East part of the Latin Quarter, a part largely untouched by the Haussman huge renovation. Between the Pantheon and the Boulevard Port Royal. The South half part of the red zone on the map below
One of the oldest part of Paris :
This neighborhood has an amazing history and it’s also one of the oldest part of Paris. It was first built during the Roman time about 2000 years ago and the area still conserves Roman ruins. During the Middle Age, it was a very lively village. This part of Paris was annexed to Paris in 1724. Nowadays it’s one of the most beloved part of Paris
Paths dating back to Roman time (paths from about 2000 years ago)walk the streets with old painted signsreminder of past times, andbuilding facades dating back to the 17th century
Previously a Medieval Market street : During the Private tour I’ll designed for you,we’ll browse a market street (Mouffetard street) whose origin is probably 1350AD, possibly earlier, a wonderful market street with quality food places (vegetables, fruits, cheese, pastries, wine cellars, fresh breads and much more).
This was among Hemingway’s most favorite districts when he was living in Paris
We’ll stroll the pretty side streets with 17th century facades, old doors, an old fountain, 5 century old church, restaurants with outdoor tables, and sometimes musicians playing in the street. We’ll stop for coffee at a classic old and peaceful square… (Why not where Hemingway’ cafe was ?)…And we will see some of Hemingway‘s favorite hauntsincluding the place where he has been living several years with Adley.
A break at the Lutetia Arenas , one of the most important remains of Lutetia (Paris was known then as Lutetia) from Gallo-Roman time. These arenas restored are dating back to the 1st century AD and were a Roman amphitheater. The exact place were gladiators were fighting with lionsabout 2000 years ago. And in the 20th century it was one of my mother and uncle’s favorite ‘s playgrounds ! Nowadays, it’s still a favorite playground for neighborhood kids. A visit in the Lutetia Arena can be included in the private tour
A visit to a 13th Cistercian building: The College des Bernardins(click on the link for more detail about this building).A visit of The College des Bernardins can be included in our private tour
a visit to a 17th century royal garden : Le Jardin des Plantes(click on the link for more detail about this building), which is the first French botanical garden, and a visit of the tropical greenhouses located in this garden . This garden was one of the place where my grand mother loved to take me when I was a child. A walk in the Jardin des Plantes and a visit of the Greenhouses can be included in your private tour.
A visit and a mint tea at the gorgeous white Grande Mosquée de paris with it’s impressive minaret
a visit to the rooftop of the Institut du Monde Arabe to enjoy a breathtaking view over the City Island (center of Paris where Notre Dame is located) can be included in your private tour
Please be aware that theLatin QuarterandSaint Germain des Présare distinct neighborhoods ! Please, be aware that many English websites, even the most renown websites and reviewers, make a confusion between the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain des Prés; Saint Germain des Prés is a wonderful neighborhood (probably among my favorite neighborhoods, the neighborhood where I’d love to live if my current neighborhood didn’t exist… and if I had much more money too !) but Saint Germain des Présis not the Latin Quarter. 2 different neighborhoods, 2 different atmospheres and feels. and 2 very different histories…
(MORE PHOTOS OF THE SOUTH-EAST OF THE LATIN QUARTER AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE )
A few words about Ann Jeanne Private walks
Share my Paris, the Paris I love. I welcome you, I accompany you and we walk at your pace. Half a day or a whole day with a native including a break in a very Parisian cafe. It’s a cross cultural experience in Paris and a way to see Paris in a Parisian perspective.
Ann Jeanne in Paris’ private tours are designed for one or two persons for a friendly and personal experience of Paris. I was born and raised in Paris. And Paris is city where I live.