Saturday, September 22, 2012
Weekend Wanderlust: A Taste of Paris
Thanks to Matt Cabot, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University for today’s guest post.
For the past two years, he has led a group of students to Paris to study international public relations and global leadership. He is planning to take another group of students to Europe next summer to visit France, Belgium and Italy.
This summer, I took 20 students from California’s San Jose State University to Paris, France, for a three-week study abroad program. For most of these students, this was their first trip outside the U.S., and for many of them it was life changing.
This is not surprising for those of us who travel. The experience of leaving one’s home and traveling to a distant land will change the way we see the world. It expands our interests, concerns, and tastes. And, today, that expanded perspective is becoming vital as we live and work in an increasingly globalized world.
For three weeks, my students and I lived on the border between the 11th and 12th arrondissements in Paris. This is a wonderful part of the city – especially if you like food (and who doesn’t!).
One of Paris’ best open markets was just around the corner from my apartment: Marché d'Aligre, located on Square d'Aligre. This market has everything you need to create a fabulous Parisian meal. Although you might want to hold off buying your dessert there because less than a couple of blocks away are two famous patisseries/boulangeries.
Boulangerie Jacques Bazin, (85 Bis Rue de Charenton) is famous for its “Bazinette,” Monsieur Bazin’s scrumptious interpretation of a traditional French baguette. The line is usually out the door. The bread and pastries look so amazing you’ll want to take a picture. But don’t. I was told it was “interdit” (forbidden) – oh la la, so French! But worth it.
The other is blé sucré on Trousseau Square, again just a couple of blocks from the open market. Travel writer/chef David Lebovitz calls the madeleines at blé sucré the best in Paris. And, once again, the pastries are exquisite.
A year ago, I would have also recommended having dinner just a few doors down from blé sucré at Square Trousseau, a bistro across from the local park. But while the previous year’s dinner wowed us, we were underwhelmed by this year’s meal. Our experience was not unique. Le mot on the street is that Trousseau has “slipped.”
But if you don’t mind trading the view for better food, the hot ticket apparently is a small Italian restaurant in an alley off Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine called Caffé dei Cioppi. We never got there, but we heard it is excellent.
If You Go:
If you’re taking the metro, stop at Ledru-Rollins on line 8, to access all of these places.
Or, another option is to stop at Bastille (line 1), pay homage to the birthplace of the French Revolution, then walk down Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine and look for the big green tree (pictured here in the background), and you know you’ve found our neighborhood.
Bienvenue and bon appetite!
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