On the left bank in Paris there are two hotels that sit side by side. I have been staying in one or the other for over forty years. ]


Nov 3, 2011by tracey Comments

On the left bank in Paris there are two hotels that sit side by side. I have been staying in one or the other  for over forty years. For most of those years they were a bit dumpy. That is not entirely fair, but they were not  well cared for. They were also a great bargain. They have both had serious facelifts over the last two decades.  They continue to be in my favorite neighborhood. For the years when I came here on my own, but more often than not with my mother, there was never any question where we would stay.

My beloved prefers to stay on the other side in a bigger hotel with better service and a fancier lobby and bigger rooms. Every now and then we do that and I always say this is the last time we do this.  Because as soon as we check in I take off across the river for this part of town. For me the first day in Paris and most every day at some point consists of a very specific walk. Paris is not Paris for me unless I take that walk as quickly as possible.

The Pont Royal. There is one amazing room in this hotel, most of them are so small you can't turn around. If they give us the one room with the four giant windows we stay here. Problem is they always promise it then never deliver. Then when we walk by they say Why are you not staying here?
The other hotel, The Montalembert. Glenn likes it more as he can sit outside and smoke a cigar. We are here right now.


View out the window. Now to me it is gorgeous. It is Paris. I say to Glenn is this not the most beautiful view in Paris and he says no. I have many memories that live on this street.


This is what I see if I look right out the window.


If I look straight down this is what I see. The noise is deafening. They have been working on this street for I think 15 years now. I don't know what they are actually doing, I can tell you they are not making much progress.


The walk starts by heading out of the hotel past the work and making the first left. You walk half a block and wind up in this square in front of this church.
I took this for my friend Susan. Plus it's really pretty. It is next door to the church.

Then I head out of the square and  walk up the Avenue  St. Germain. I walk past the same umbrella store I have been walking by for forty years.

It has been around for hundreds of years. The umbrellas are insanely expensive. Once after I had sold a film I bought one. I never use it and I hide it so no one can take it.
This is in the window of her shop now. Mine is not so fancy but it is pink. I just looked she does not have a website.
They also sell gloves and bags. Pink the theme still.
Not a great shot, but I have not mastered photos of store windows.
A few feet further up the ave. these mushrooms were in the window of a shop.
And then of course what has become the ubiquitous cookie for a certain group - the macaroon. I'm going on record - I' think they are over rated.
Mushrooms are big this fall in Paris. Another window featured this one.
At this point I make a right turn.
I head down this street.
It's a very pretty little nook of Paris.
Turning around and looking in the opposite direction.
My mother would always go into this shop. I would huff and puff and not want to look at fabrics when I was young. Now of course I like fabrics.
We headed down the rue de Seine and found an open market.
Why does everything just look better?
More mushrooms!




Red lips. Cigarette. Says it all.
Headed to the Place St. Sulpice I saw this flower shop.
And then this hat shop. And I don't wear hats. But it looked so French.
I actually went inside.
I spent half an hour. I felt it was time for a hat.
I ended up with the pink one you see me wearing in the background. Now we will see if I wear it.
Place St. Sulpice. One of my favorite spots. Always a destination.
The Church ~ the heart of the square.
I always gravitate to the candles inside of a church.
Four hours into my walk - very happy.
Just because.....


We stopped for tea at Deux Magots. The couple next to us downed a bottle of red wine in the time it took us to drink our green tea! Gotta love the French.

After tea it was about four, Glenn headed back to the hotel for a nap, but I continued on  my walk. I made many stops that would bore you I fear. But I walked around for two more hours, rue Bonaparte, rue Jacob, rue de Rennes. And then on the way back to the hotel around six I remembered Glenn needed cologne and the place we get it is on the rue Grenelle. I turned down the rue de Bac and passed this food shop.

I was glad I was alone as I always stop here and tell Glenn how when I used to come here with my mother we would stop at this shop and buy boxes of celeri remoulade and take it back to our room and eat it. He says "do you know how many times you have told me that?"
It was dark by the time I discovered these chickens.
Then I stop in front of a butcher and think if I lived here I would buy one of these and take it home and cook it.
But since I don't live here we ate dinner next door at Joel Robuchon.
My dinner. Looks odd, but was amazing.
View across the street at six-thirty am. See why I like it?