Gulland is the author of "The Many Lives and Secret
Sorrows of Josephine B." She was recently in Europe
researching her next novel and promises JW a report
on Josephine's favored health spa still in existence
in France. Sandra writes...
is a cosmos, it's a carnival, it's a never-sleeping,
never-ending comedy. I spent hours just watching the
street activities from my window. It's a city devoted
to pleasure: cafes and restaurants everywhere.
me, it's the perfect city to travel in alone. The nights
are open to a woman in Paris: I found I could walk and
also ride the metro at night without feeling in the
least bit uncomfortable (in large part because the streets
I walked on were always bustling with activity). I came
to love the metro, that world underground: each station
so unique, buskers everywhere, filling the tunnels and
trains with wonderful music (Once a jazz band even got
on a train and began playing).
In Paris I love to stay at:
Hotel des 3 Colleges
16, rue Cujas
Tel: 1 43 54 67 30
Fax: 011 33 1 46 34 02 99
women can expect a tiny perfect room and
private bath, bright, fresh and nicely designed,
including a desk. Singles are 370 ff (approximately
$100 Cdn./$65 US )without a breakfast, but
it can be ordered separately. The neighborhood
is great: a student district (around the
corner from the Sorbonne), a short walk
to Luxembourg Gardens (lovely for breakfast
on a sunny morning), a block from rue St.
Michael. It's a good 5 minute walk to the
metro (but in Paris, who cares?).
Eating Spots Are More Fun Than Others!
are always shocked when I tell them I eat ethnic
food in Paris, but the fact is, Paris is a truly
international city, and the ethnic food is not
only wonderful but cheap. My favorites, both
French and otherwise, are within walking distance
of the Hotel des 3 Colleges:
restaurant on rue Cujas next to the hotel, toward
rue St. Michael (sorry I don't know the name)
has wonderful food. It's cheap (under $15 for
a tasty and filling 3-course meal), has a nice
atmosphere and is well-lit (for book reading
if you're alone).
French cafe right near it is great for a splurge:
very tasty French fare, intellectual Sorbonne
clientele, chic and well-lit, the perfect atmosphere
for writing poetry over lunch.
(21, rue Monsieur le Prince): good Japanese
fare, always bustling, fast service and noisy,
but in a lively way.
Restaurant Polidor (41 rue Monsieur le Prince):
Seating is at big tables with others, friendly,
great atmosphere, (They claim James Joyce ate
here), cheerful, but over-priced, I felt, for
fairly medium French fare. Nevertheless, I invariably
go there and enjoy myself.
Ramoneur (74, rue St. Denis at rue des Pecheurs).
Located in the heart of Les Halles-- this spot
is a long walk from the hotel (but worth it).
It's filled with tourists (interesting ones)
and Paris regulars. Expect four courses plus
wine (help yourself!) Only 58 ff. Both the decor
and service charmingly basic and lotsa' fun!
and Company (37, rue de la Bucherie) is down
by the Seine. Expect used books, an eccentric
atmosphere bursting with fabulous, mind-expanding
"reads." Proprietor, George Whitman is straight
out of Dickens, his customers straight out of
Bookshop (29, rue de la Parcheminerie), the
Canadian bookstore in Paris, is not far from
Shakespeare and Company. You'll find a wonderful
selection of new and used books in both French
and English. Canadian books are featured, but
other countries are represented as well. They
frequently host author readings, so check their
Spring in Paris! At outdoor cafes, French men
don't just simply sit. They've perfected their
elegant slouch and pretense of casual indifference
as they check-out the female passers-by.
Evelyn Hannon, Editor, Journeywoman Online
Journeywomen who are preparing for a trip to Paris should
also read A Female-friendly
Paris Hotel and Her Paris
- Five Budget Meals With Personality. They provide
lots and lots of insider's info! Bon Voyage, ladies!