Having traveled extensively around the world and lived in various countries (including Japan, which I love), I finally got hooked on Paris. Compared to major capital cities like Tokyo, Paris is a village, and each district has its own personality. As for me, I am delighted by the 12th Arrondissement! (I also love the 20th, and particularly Gambetta’s neighborhood, but I will write on that another day).
I am fortunate to have been living for 7 years in a lovely apartment in what could almost be considered a skyscraper in central Paris (where, by law, the number of high buildings is particularly limited). From the 18th floor, the views are stunning: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, La Defense, the Opera Garnier, the Pompidou Centre, Bastille, Montmartre, the Père Lachaise … the landscape before us is absolutely magnificent !
My apartment had a balcony, which was big enough for a few friends to have dinner, or simply enjoy a glass of wine or Champagne in good company, while enjoying the view. My friends and visitors have constantly marvelled at the spectacle of the city literally at their feet, its immense sky, its unforgettable sunsets, and the Eiffel Tower sparkling every hour in the evening.
In 7 years, I thought almost every day how lucky I was to be living here, as I never got tired of this amazing view. I have photographed it hundreds of times, and now I am sure: the sky in Paris is never the same. While not being a great photographer, I wanted to share with you on my blog some of these beautiful images:
I also wanted to invite my friends in far away countries (Japan, USA, Brazil, etc.) to not hesitate to visit the 12th arrondissement and discover its excellent and cheap restaurants (for this district has managed to preserve itself from touristic crowds). And this is why I love it so much: it remained authentic. Over the years I have discovered great local shops: succulent bakeries, Italian caterer I recommend, the BEST Lebanese caterer of all Paris, run by my friend Bassam (the restaurant is called « Rayan »), a very nice bistro with cheap and delicious French dishes (« The bistrologue »), etc, etc..
And then, during the day, it is lovely to go for a walk on « La Promenade Plantée », this green corridor, ten meters above the Daumesnil avenue and its « Viaduc des Arts », which crosses the 12th arrondissement from Bastille to the great « Parc de Vincennes ».
On Sundays, don’t miss the « Marché d’Aligre », a colorful, noisy open air market, with its café terraces and its now famous « Red Baron » wine bar. There you can taste « charcuterie » or oysters, standing on the sidewalk, with a glass of wine at the hand, as it is so crowded inside.
Paris is made of lots of villages, and the village where you live is always the best !