My friends and colleagues virtually swooned when I informed them I was spending a week in Paris. (Sadly, when I told them my next trip was to Sarajevo, Bosnia, all I got was silence and then the odd question "Why would you go there.) That being said, for most travelers Paris is all about visiting the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and other iconic sights. And it's also perhaps all about shopping. I didn't do either. Instead my trip focused in on parks and gardens, smaller art museums and galleries, wine bars and wee coffee shops and cafes.
The Jardin Catherine Laboure is so tiny that even Parisians were perplexed as to where it was. It's a bucolic haven for local residents, created on the site of a vegetable garden. Promenade Plantee, an elevated park-garden, reminded me of New York City's High Line, but more romantic because it lacks the High Line's frenetic hipster and tourist scene. Many people forget to visit Musee Marmottan-Monet, an intimate museum that recently featured a fascinating temporary exhibition "La Toilette," showing off the evolution of bathroom spaces and the art depicting it. At Musee Zadkine -- another space that even my hotel didn't know about -- the verdant garden is dotted with with Zadkine's neo classical bronzes that have mythological origins. This YouTube video slide show provides a small window into my trip to Paris.