NFT Paris 05e-Sorbonne / Pantheon

05e-Sorbonne / Pantheon


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Posted By:  Garland Walton
Photo:  Garland Walton

Au Doux Raisin
You seek a relaxed, auberge-like vibe with charming locals singing along to the French chansons the young proprietor's sound system is playing? You got it, along with seven house gratins (the auvergnat, with potatoes, onions, artisinal ham, and blue and comté cheeses, is swoon-worthy), a 16-euro dinner menu, and cheap pitchers of heavenly house wine (of course -- you're in France, where cheap doesn't = gag reflex). The generous serving of duck will be cooked perfectly, the saucisson will be buttery (how's that possible?) and rich, and you'll lick the crème brûlée dish. All this while you take in a wildly decorated bar (like The Smiths collaborated with Tim Gunn in a mood) and random artwork throughout -- but never fear, the ambience is 100% authentic. The friendly locals having a pint or glass at the barrels outside will smile as you enter -- one of them's probably the chef, and another the young owner. Great neighborhood with a don't-you-dare-miss joint, where every dish's a winner.

Posted By:  Alex G
Photo:  Alex G

250 years on, the rumor simply won't go away--the dome of the Pantheon is about to collapse. This story has been lingering ever since construction in the 1650's, under king Louis XV. Thing is, the dome actually includes no less than 3 domes--after its model, the pantheon of Rome. And because of lack of funding, the project took 30 years to complete. These two factors combined are enough to feed the urban legend. And to add to the story, the French government is now looking for €100m to conduct a thorough restoration of the landmark. If you haven't picked your ideal burial ground yet and you have 100 million to spare, this could be your lucky break. The Pantheon is indeed the burial ground of French heroes--writers like Victor Hugo, Zola, or Alexandre Dumas of 3 Musketeers fame; philosophers like Rousseau and Voltaire; and scientists, e.g. Marie Curie. Incidentally, Marie is the only woman buried there--history is best left to men, apparently. If you visit, keep in mind Foucault conducted his pendulum experiment there. And make sure you go up the cupola--not just for the cracks, the vista on to Paris is breath-taking.

Posted By:  Anne Patault
Photo:  Anne Patault

Shakespeare Company
C’est la plus atypique et chaleureuse des librairies anglophones que je connaisse. Une perle au milieu d’un océan d’enseignes. Un petit sanctuaire de la littérature anglaise et américaine, installée à l’ombre des tours de Notre-Dame. Ouvrez grand les yeux ! Quel que soit le livre que vous cherchez, il est ici, au milieu des centaines d’autres qui emplissent ce petit espace du sol au plafond. Magazines, livres neufs, d’occasion, éditions originales (parfois signées!), de Miller, Hemingway, Burroughs ou Auster. Vous pouvez y passer des heures à jouer du piano ou confortablement assis pour lire au milieu de vieilles affiches et autres graffitis tel que « Be not inhospitable with strangers, lest they be angels in disguise” ou “Live for humanity”. N’oubliez pas de monter (attention dans l’escalier, la lumière est parfois capricieuse) où vous trouverez les messages laissés par les visiteurs et une chambre où vous pouvez dormir en échange de services au magasin. Cet endroit incroyable fut fondé par Georges Whitman en 1951, qui raconte son histoire sur les quatre grandes ardoises à l’extérieur. Maintenant à la retraite, la magie opère toujours grâce à sa fille, merci à elle qui a su laisser cet endroit « dans son jus ». « Wonderland of books »…disait Henry Miller, et il avait raison ! Et il en existe un ersatz sur « Second life » parait-il…quand je disais culte… Quelle chance vous avez, amis anglophones ! A quand une librairie française comme celle-ci?

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