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summer in the city.


Nothing says warm, breezy summer days than a hooded wool coat layered over a cashmere scarf and sweater, right?  Well that's what I'm wearing these days. Am I complaining? No, not at all. I know the drill around here. Warm summers in Paris went out in 2010 never to be seen again. A chilly and wet summer was already expected, and if I want any sun for longer than an hour, Paris is more than happy to show me the door to one of many destinations that will provide me with it. There's always holding out hope for a warm autumn, right?

Just because I have experienced several summers here, doesn't mean that I'm excused from learning something new. Are we ever? I think that's actually what I love most about living abroad; there is always a new discovery just waiting to happen.

On an early Saturday evening Velib ride through the 11th and the 12th, we turned down this street that is fairly close to where I live, that I have never seen or even heard of before. It took a spontaneous bike ride (which sadly, I seldom do) to turn a corner to one of the cutest streets I have ever seen, trumping even Gay Street, one of my favorite spots in the West Village.

I swear I heard wind chimes, magical harps and chirping birds -- providing an enchanting welcome to the next scene.

Where was I?

Rue de Crémieux just steps away from Gare de Lyon certainly made the bumpy first leg of my bike ride worth it. Note: If you are an inexperienced rider like moi, I'd advise avoiding major stations where cars, pedestrians, taxis, better cyclists and buses are coming in all directions. After I almost got hit by a bus barreling past the station and making a sharp left, crossing over into my bike lane. I needed off the main road, and made random turns which brought me to this absolutely darling little street.
 

 If this isn't a warm welcome, I don't know what is.
I was practically begged to stroll this street.

Paris! All this color!
Didn't think you had it in you!


Aurel securing my Velib while I explore, 
so I don't get charged 150 euros for it should it go missing.

A cat chasing birds was deliberately painted on this sky blue house.
 I can't. Next level cuteness.

 Since I will be on vacation very soon (!!!) and I'm a newfound Veliber , what are some other adorable streets off the beaten path that I should check out?

Happy first days of summer wherever you are! 

26 comments:

  1. It's a little out of the 11/12 area but there are a few streets near the butte aux cailles that look like this - little houses lined up against each other like in a village and very unlike Paris. Happy Parisian summer!

    Karina

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    1. Hi Karina! Thanks! I'll have to check it out! I may start off by foot because I don't know this area as well as I should, but thank you!

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  2. I love the velibs. At first I was afraid, I was petrified...but now I wish I had tried them sooner. I'm near the peripherique so we usually end up outside of Paris where there are dedicated bike lines with an actual concrete barrier, so on the way it's gets easier and on the way back I feel all safe and sound and then bam.. back in traffic.

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    1. At first, they really ARE scary, especially when there isn't a bike lane available! How scary is it when you have to go around a roundabout? I did it once and was like, NEVER AGAIN! I use the bike lines or I walk it. I know, I'm such a wimp. : )

      Don't you love how quickly you zip around town? Getting to my favorite market (the crazy cheap one) now only takes 5 minutes when it used to take almost 15 by foot!

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  3. That street is super cute. I wish I could be as sanguine as you about the weather, it's ridic! I know I moaned about it last year too, but I swear although it was rainy, it wasn't this cold! (PS sorry if this is a double post...)

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    1. I know, it's a struggle to stay positive because some of these days have been quite chilly, but it's weather, just like taxes there's nothing we can do about it...unfortunately.

      But this weekend has been lovely...I hope you're enjoying it! I have my window open and am drinking a glass of white wine now...I hope you are doing about the same. : )

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  4. That's the most charming street there ever was! You need to live on that street. x.

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    1. I get the sneaking suspicion that super cute in Paris means super expensive. One day, one day.... : )

      Hi Sara!!

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  5. you would never think that street was in Paris...so lovely...and for real with the wool coat?? are you serious? now that is simply crazy...we are swealtering here...so humid

    this is why I love Paris in September...have always had great weather then....

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    1. It so English this street, isn't it? All the colors! I just fell in love!

      Yeah the wool coat has since been put back in the closet but I fear that I'll be pulling it out a few more times before I leave for a real summer in the States! I would love some humidity. That's what summer is all about!

      I hope you're having a nice weekend, Deb!

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  6. I'm not a veliber... i get scared and want to wear a helmut but know that wearing a helmut would make me stick out even more here so I've retired my velib activity. but good for you! and that street is adorable (love Gay St btw). I don't know any others around here... but what I do know is that I'm still wearing all my wool and cashmere as well!

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    1. It really is so scary. You're right. This is a whole new world for me, but I tell you, each time gets easier and you learn where the bike paths are. When I feel unsure or unsafe, I hop off and walk to the next path. Yes, I get looks but who cares. : )

      Gay Street...Je heart! So freaking cute. Who is lucky enough to live there???

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  7. Oh my goodness - the cutest!! I'm petrified to ride a bike around Paris but the fact that you are still alive gives me hope for my own summer adventures :)

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    1. We'll go on a ride when you get back! It really is super fun and QUICK! I didn't think it would shave off as much time as it does but it has cut my commute from 15m by foot to 4!

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  8. How so very Burano!:) I will be sure to check it out the next time I'm in town!:) I quite like the Gare de Lyon area in any case:) Have you ever been to Le Train bleu? Very elegant!

    I thought the weather had somehow improved in Paris now?! Here, it's finally summer, albeit a wet one. Yesterday, with the humidity factor, it went up to 40 C in some places. I hope we get nice weather in NY next week! When I went in Paris in August 2007, I packed for Ottawa weather (it was 30 C here) and arrived to 16-degree weather and brown leaves in the trees in front of Notre-Dame. I love the fall... But in the fall, when I'm dressed for it! I had to borrow a pashmina from a friend because I was chilled to the bone in my light summer dresses and capris. Oh well! Now I always make sure to check accuweather and meteomedia before I pack. Live and learn!:)

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    1. I have always wanted to go to La Train Bleu (because we leave from G de Lyon to go out to my in-laws) but I'm always running late and can barely manage a shot of espresso at Starbucks (I'm so American, je sais). Is it any good? The neon sign is super cute!

      The weather changes every single day. Today it is like late spring; sunshine and warm temperatures, but not scorching like it is in North America, apparently. And a few days ago it was fall and I was wearing a coat...on sait jamais!

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  9. I believe this is La Butte aux Cailles, I've seen pictures before, it's lovely!

    Summer has arrived here and I DO envy you, believe it or not.
    I'm also petrified of biking in Paris but it must be really cool.

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    1. Hi Sylvia!

      This street actually is in the 12th near Gare de Lyon. It is so precious! Buttes aux Cailles also has some charming streets like this. I need to head over, it's been forever. Thanks for reminding me about this little Paris gem. : )

      I'll be enjoying a real American summer very soon....can't wait! : )

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  10. Rue Du Parc Montsouris in the 13th, which is not far from the Butte-aux Cailles.
    Rue de Mouzaia in the 19th east of Parc de Buttes Chamont.
    There is also a pretty place off place st Blaise up Rue de Bangolet past Mama Shelter on the right


    I am an enthusiastic veliber as you know. Try off road routes to build your confidence like canal St Martin or the Promenade de Plantee.

    and I don't wish to plug my own blog but this ride to St Maur des Fosses is nice for a beginner and if you have had enough when you get there you can come back on the RER.

    http://denisefrombolton.com/2012/07/12/paris-last-day-the-marne-river-meander/

    or here are some cycling routes out of Paris

    http://www.mayq.com/Cycling_out_of_paris/Best_bycling_routes_from_Paris.htm

    Love Denise

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    1. Denise! How dare you plug your own blog here! The nerve! : P No really, thank you so much for these great rec's and the post. It's much appreciated. You're so right about starting with smaller streets to build confidence. The bigger rues are intimidating with the buses and surprisingly the pedestrians who have almost had me fall off a few times.

      Thanks again, Denise! I hope you are enjoying your weekend! : )

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  11. OMG, so cute! Can you take me here when I visit!? :)

    I'm also super jealous of your cool summer. It's a cruel, cruel summer here in New York. Even Bananrama couldn't handle this humidity!

    Enjoy your summer break! xo

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    1. I want a cruel summer!!! That's what summer is all about! Well I'll be there soon enough. Drinks when I get back? : )

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  12. BTW... Kale project....in the last couple of years more and more Parisians are wearing helmets and high visiblity safety vests. So you would no longer stick out as unusual.

    Love Denise

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  13. I hope you are still enjoying Summer in Paris, keep taking those amazing photos, they are so colourful.

    Paris is my favourite city, along with New York, San Francisco, London, Rome, Sydney - Oh I just could never make a choice of my top one.

    However, being a wheelchair user I can share some of your fear of cobbles, french traffic and narrow streets - and cyclists who forget to ring their bell as they overtake me :)

    I hope you don't mind me promoting my own site and very high happy to reciprocate

    http://citybreaks.amoretravel.co.uk

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  14. So cute, loving the paintings on the houses :o)

    There was definitely sun when I was stuck on the Peripherique for a couple of hours last Saturday evening...

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  15. Ahh bike-riding - I should try it when I get back to Paris next. One thing I will never do is try a Citibike here in NYC - it will be death by yellow cab for sure

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