|Subject: Re: Paris in April--not the usual sights|
When I had the good fortune to live in Paris, one of my favorite activities was just walking the neighborhoods looking for hidden oases and interesting side streets amid the chaos of a big city. A writer for the NY Times also did this and wrote about his findings recently:
One of my favorite finds was a small park called Jardin de Babylone off the south side of Rue de Babylone between Rue Vaneau and Rue du Bac in the 7th arr. Either there or the garden of the nearby Musee Rodin are wonderful places to have a picnic lunch on a nice spring day.
Also a place that I find fascinating which I have never seen in a guidebook is called Rue Cavallotti in the 18th arr (nearest metro is Place de Clichy - you will probably need a map to find Rue Cavallotti). It is a completely nondescript street except that the storefront shutters are decorated with replicas of paintings by Gaughin, Rousseau, Modigliani, Vermeer, et. al. The storekeepers tried everything to keep graffiti off their shutters. Then someone had the idea that taggers might leave the shutters alone if they were decorated with art. Voila! This seems to have worked. One of my favorite little-known sights but you must visit on a weekend or in the evening after the shops have closed.
Have a great trip!
Mark Los Angeles