For those of you that have seen the movie Taken, rue de Paradis in Paris’s 10th district is where all the bad stuff happens. Well, in real life, it’s actually a pretty snazzy street with some nice restaurants and bars. Ok, so I get that it’s not the BEST neighborhood at night and all, but for Parisians, let’s be honest, it’s a hotspot. The whole Strasbourg Saint Denis area with its weird pockets of sketch but still awesome places to go out… it’s like a big melting pot. And rue de Paradis has a bar I happen to really like: L’Ours, or The Bear.
L’Ours after work is crowded. But if you stick it out just for a little bit, it’ll calm down. If you’re hoping to catch up with a friend, you’ll want to grab a seat so the crowdedness won’t affect you. Anne and I made our way there one evening ever so slightly beating the afterwork crowd.
I was distracted by the adorable wallpaper, but l’Ours has got far more to offer than just a well-decorated cozy space.. they’ve got a killer happy hour and as equally killer meat and cheese platter (as seen above). It’s also a rare find to have super kind bar staff, so L’Ours has many many stars in my book.
8 Rue de Paradis, 75010
Métro: Château d’Eau (4)
When I first moved to Paris in 2008, the 19th seemed so far away. Over the years my vision of Paris has become smaller, and now 30 minutes by bike brings me to the city center, and a 30 minute metro ride can very well be to the other side of Rive Droit.
I have a vivid memory of being at Buttes Chaumont for Nuit Blanche a few years ago. There were lamps placed every few meters across one of their fields, and as the sun set the park lit up with Pixar-like lights. There was a panel with messages flashing, and many other marvelous installations.
It’s the ideal park for a picnic. Despite the hills, if you find a good spot on a slight incline, you’ll be set for hours. The park is filled with youth and laughter, with runners, families, music and ice cream. Climb around the back of the hills up to the path that leads to the tower where you have a panoramic view of the city, with the silhouette of Sacré Coeur and Montmartre in the distance. You’ll feel so high up. From that particular spot things seem so far away and spaced out so awkwardly. There was smog, but with the sunsetting it made for shadowed like buildings contrasting the pastel skies. It was quite nice.
If you’re just visiting Paris for a few days this spot may seem pretty far out, but make the treck, it’s a different kind of charming, not like the other parks in the heart of the city.
La Moustache Blanche is a beer haven right near Bastille. I knew when I walked up immediately what the shop before it was, a random not so great cupcake spot, so seeing a new beer shop was just divine. It was a Sunday afternoon, and let me tell you, I was thrilled it was open because most of the other beer shops are closed Sunday/Mondays. But don’t worry beer loving friends, Moustache Blanche is open on Sundays! It’s magic.
We were greeted by Guillaume (if my memory serves me well), the guy that runs the place, who was honestly just so nice and boy does he know his beer. Their American section has a few of my Colorado favorites (Left Hand Brewery and Blue Moon), amongst many well known American breweries. There is a wall for Belgian beers, a wall for French beers, with a table covered with European beers in between. There are stacked books and posters on the walls… You really feel like you’re in a beer wonderland when you walk in. Grab a beer from the fridge to drink immediately, or to take to Place de Vosges for a picnic in the sun.
The shop carries brands that have already take Paris’s beer scene by storm like Brooklyn Brewery, Mikkeller, Rogue and Outland, as well as newbie or lesser known craft breweries like Deck & Donohue (Montreuil), Brasserie la Corrézienne and Brasserie de la Senne (Brussels). The selection of French beers was phenomenal, I wanted to take one of each. Guillaume explained the heightened interest in craft beer, and how France has more and more breweries opening up. Needless to say he was such a friendly fellow and I truly look forward to my next trip in to get a monthly stock of delicious beer.
16 Rue des Tournelles, 75004
Tél: 01 75 57 15 06
Métro: Bastille (8/5/1)