Its been a few years since I spent time in Paris as a tourist. It was pleasantly refreshing. I love how the city juxtaposes old and new as you see here in this picture at the Louvre. I went for a couple of days with one of my oldest buddies Jared Hendler – digital marketing supremo, now heading up marketing at Sundance Film festivals globally. We have been getting the habit of the occasional little euro trip when he is this side of the pond- our last to Berlin. We stayed in Vincent Warins amazing Montmartre apartment thats available for rent on Airbnb.
Heres a few more moments of my trip…
Velib – The free city bikes, seem to be half the weight of the ones in london. Most streets that were one way, especially the small ones round the left bank are now also two way for bicycles meaning you can happily meander as your whim takes you. Angry Parisian drivers are super surprisingly extremely tolerant of cyclists. I did got get beeped at once in two days of cycling all over town.
I think overall Parisians have gotten a dose of humility subsequent to suffering the recent financial depravations and terrorist attacks. They are really much more friendly than eve before.
Taxis.. I used to spend hours and days in Parisian cabs – fighting with the drivers who even though I speak like a local would try and take me long ways round town to inflate the fare.. They told good jokes but that was it. I was on expenses mostly but i hated wasting time on their charades.. Now Uber rules and they are friendly, open the doors, put bags in the boot, offer water and sweets, play ridiculously cool music and nothing is too much of a hassle – drop one here, collect another there its all about good service and ratings..
Waiters in touristy cafes and restaurant’s with a view are just as odious as ever.. less said the better – clearly not interested in earning their tips.
Gare Gorille is an amazing restaurant at the other end of the scale charming, attentive and knowledgeable staff. Outstanding ingredients simply but exquisitely combined for truly delicious food. Thanks to my super talented old friend Bertrand Gruyer for finding and booking. Check out his amazing street art photography in the link on his name.
My visit was topped off when i was at dinner last night – the somewhat loud but exquisitely eloquent brit at the next table was familiar to me but couldn’t work out where form – was he an actor i had cast at some stage..? I finally twigged it was Jamie Byng of Canongate publishing. We had been introduced once before in Portobello by mutual friends but it took being coincidentally sat in the corner of a garden on the banks of the Seine in Paris to have a proper conversation and to discover a great connection.