Seduced by Paris

Hello Guys and Gals!

On my last three trips to Paris, I’ve chosen to stay in the Marais, not because of its international clientele, lovely art galleries, and trendy boutiques, but for the glimpses it offers of the history of Paris, dating to the 13th century.

Opening the Travel Section of today’s New York Times (Sunday, February 5, 2017), I was delighted to find “My Paris: Seduced by the Past,” by Liz Alderman, the Paris-based chief European business correspondent for The New York Times. Liz has lived in the Marais for 15 years and, as you might expect, her choices are personal, well-informed, and dear to her heart. Read on!  

I hope you’ll find the article as delightful as I did. All I can say is: If this is February, April in Paris is right around the corner. Yes? I will see you back on the other side of the article. And, by the way, the photos you see initially, of the facade at the Pavilion de la Reine, where we had stayed in the Marais, are from my photo file, but there are other gorgeous photos attached to the article. Don't miss them! 

My Paris: Seduced by the Past
By Liz Alderman

“Paris is an ocean. Explore it, and you still won’t know its depths.”

— Honoré de Balzac

The streets of the Marais are narrow enough in some places that sunlight pierces the shadowy canyons between its soaring Renaissance-era buildings for just a few hours a day. At night, the lanes take on a mysterious, medieval air when streetlamps sputter to life, casting a sheen on timeworn turrets, carved doors and stone mansions.

                                                         On rue Francois Miron, two blocks from the Seine

                                                         On rue Francois Miron, two blocks from the Seine

Slip into a cobbled alley off the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, a main artery, and you’ll find yourself standing where the Duke of Orleans was assassinated in 1407 by a power-hungry rival’s henchmen. Around the corner, the magnificent 18th-century Hôtel de Soubise Palace, home to France’s national archives, showcases the last anguished letter written by Marie Antoinette, bidding “adieu” to her sister before heading to the guillotine.

Strolling amid the steep walls and angular slate roofs always transports me back to a bygone era—a storied past that vibrates beneath the ferment of the chic international crowds, designer boutiques, neo-bistros, kosher delis and L.G.B.T. clubs.

                                                                                 On the  Île Saint-Louis

                                                                                 On the Île Saint-Louis

15 years ago, I was lucky enough to find a quaint apartment on a small rue in the central Marais. I’d just moved from Washington, D.C., to be the bureau chief for a financial news agency covering the birth of Europe’s new currency, the euro, which I would go on to write about for the former International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In short order, that historic project burst into a continent-wide financial, social and political crisis, the aftershocks of which I continue to report about today.

Be sure to click on the above for the full article and gorgeous photos. It's a treat!  Hope to see you back next week, when I'll have the coffee ready... À bientôt and remember, s'il vous plaît, sharing is caring... In any language.

Beth BeauchampComment