Why I love Paris: Jennifer Greco gives you 10 ways to fall in love with the city in photos

by Julie Blakley on September 13, 2009

by Julie Blakley | September 13th, 2009  

My love affair with Paris began when I was 15 years old.

I had an unforgettable high school French teacher who rounded out her lessons of the complexities of the French language by seducing us with stories about the food and culture of France, and of course, Paris. During one exam we were tested on our knowledge of Parisian monuments by having to identify twenty or so numbered points scattered on a blank map of the city. If we needed extra credit, we could earn it by going to see French films or making croissants.

Because of her I fell in love with France. And especially Paris.

I finally got there on a student tour when I was 16 and sadly, it didn’t take long for the bubble to burst. The combination of jet lag, culture shock, a rainy, tourist jammed Champs-Élysées, dismissive waiters and dismal student tour meals all tarnished my romantic, teenage vision of the city.

Several years later I returned to Paris. This time I was older and wiser, had a better grasp of the French language and a greater respect for this charismatic and sometimes challenging city. Our love affair was back on track.

Twenty five years later it continues to blossom and I relish every moment we have together.

10 Reasons why I love Paris:

petit-dejeuner2
1) My favorite way to start a day in Paris: breakfast of tartines (baguette slathered with butter and jam) and un café crème.

2) The Canal Saint Martin in the 10th is a picturesque place to take a stroll, ride a bike or have a picnic. Quirky boutiques, restaurants and cafés abound in this neighborhood.
2) The Canal Saint Martin in the 10th is a picturesque place to take a stroll, ride a bike or have a picnic. Quirky boutiques, restaurants and cafés abound in this neighborhood.

3) Paris is full of surprises!  I turned a corner one afternoon on my way to the Jardin du Palais-Royal and stumbled across an impromptu classical concert taking place in a small square.
3) Paris is full of surprises! I turned a corner one afternoon on my way to the Jardin du Palais-Royal and stumbled across an impromptu classical concert taking place in a small square.

4) A quiet corner of Paris. The Jardin du Palais-Royal is a peaceful spot to sit and rest your tired feet.
4) A quiet corner of Paris. The Jardin du Palais-Royal is a peaceful spot to sit and rest your tired feet.

5) One of the ubiquitous images of the city, le Cathédrale Notre-Dame.  It always seems to be surrounded by crowds of tourists, but it is a must see!
5) One of the ubiquitous images of the city, le Cathédrale Notre-Dame. It always seems to be surrounded by crowds of tourists, but it is a must see!

6) A beautiful and romantic walk along the banks of the Seine.
6) A beautiful and romantic walk along the banks of the Seine.

7)  da Rosa in the Latin Quarter is a tiny Spanish épicerie and deli which offers Spanish hams and cheese, simple salads, and a handpicked selection wines from Spain, France and Italy.  On a sunny day, try to grab a table on the terrace, and after your meal don't forget to check out the intriguing selection of wine, vinegars, condiments and spices for sale. Address:  62, rue de Seine 75006 Paris
7) da Rosa in the Latin Quarter is a tiny Spanish épicerie and deli which offers Spanish hams and cheese, simple salads, and a handpicked selection wines from Spain, France and Italy. On a sunny day, try to grab a table on the terrace, and after your meal don’t forget to check out the intriguing selection of wine, vinegars, condiments and spices for sale.
Address: 62, rue de Seine 75006 Paris
Métro: Mabillon or Saint-Germain-des-Prés

8) After soaking up art and culture at le Musée du Louvre, head upstairs to the Café Richelieu.  The terrace offers a sensational view of la cour Napoléon and the Pyramid. Address:  Musée du Louvre, 93 rue de Rivoli 75003 Paris Métro : Palais-Royal-Musée-du-Louvre
8 ) After soaking up art and culture at le Musée du Louvre, head upstairs to the Café Richelieu. The terrace offers a sensational view of la cour Napoléon and the Pyramid.
Address: Musée du Louvre, 93 rue de Rivoli 75003 Paris
Métro : Palais-Royal-Musée-du-Louvre
Website: Restaurant de Rosa

9)  One of my favorite places to taste cheese is the Fromagerie Chez Virginie.  The owner is a passionate, third generation Maître Fromagère/Affineuse who specializes in raw milk cheeses produced on small farms all over France. The selection never fails to impress, and I think this is a must visit in Paris for any cheese lover. Address:  54, rue Damrémont 75018 Paris
9) One of my favorite places to taste cheese is the Fromagerie Chez Virginie. The owner is a passionate, third generation Maître Fromagère/Affineuse who specializes in raw milk cheeses produced on small farms all over France. The selection never fails to impress, and I think this is a must visit in Paris for any cheese lover.
Address: 54, rue Damrémont 75018 Paris
Métro: Lamarck – Caulaincourt

 10)  Sunset glowing on classic Haussmannian buildings.  An enchanting view of Paris.
10) Sunset glowing on classic Haussmannian buildings. An enchanting view of Paris.


About the Author/Photographer:
jenniferJennifer Greco is a life-long Francophile who has called a small village in the south of France her home for almost 7 years. She writes about life in France, cooking and French cheese and wine in her blog, Chez Loulou, which I recently rated as one of the best Paris blogs. She visits Paris every chance she gets!

{ 6 comments }

Valerie September 14, 2009 at 5:14 am
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I did indeed like the article. I’m slightly biassed being a Chez Loulou addict and missing that while the blog is on holiday but it made me really want to return to Paris one again. The last time was over 15 years ago when I stayed in a relative’s eerie rambling empty house in the Robinson area but I still remember the ‘Tomates Farcies’ that I bought from the local traiteur and popped in the oven for dinner…..miam miam as they say here.

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David Nutt October 8, 2009 at 10:04 am
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A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: http://www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life on Wall Street to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of http://www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.

Enjoy.

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visvaldis November 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm
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It’s great seeing photos of Paris. Thanks very much. I wish I was there.

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Connie Silk May 14, 2010 at 8:19 pm
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I have the pleasure and privilege of being Jennifer Greco’s mother, and I have never heard this exact story from her, how she fell in love with France when she was in high school. As much as I hate being so many miles away, I know her deep love for this country and have watched her blog grow and develop, as have her talents as a photographer, researcher, writer, and culinary specialist and finally her excellant command of the language. I only hope and pray that someday in the near future, I get to experience Paris with her. I love you Jenn and am so very proud of you. Mom .

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Connie Silk June 19, 2010 at 10:59 pm
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Hi Honey: I loved the way you shared your 12 favorite things about Paris. Sheila and I were talking today, that “one way or another” before we are any older, we will make it to Paris . After seeing your photos over the years, I must admit, I get more excited about actually having my own private tour guide. I am so proud of your accomplishments Jenn, and as reluctant as I may be, to make such a long trip, I am submitted to making it happen! Love always Mom

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villa lloret October 5, 2010 at 6:16 am
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Hi,nice post and must say you narrate very well..When I start reading your post internally it made me happy and I went to my childhood days how my mom use to boost me for studies by giving different things if my work finishes and this is the reason I started loving my studies..Apart from my memories..
Pics are great and just wondering to know what is the best to see in the Paris and is Italian food available at the streets?

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