Trip Coach: August 16, 2005
Benjamin Sutherland answered your questions about Paris.
Benjamin Sutherland: Hello everybody, thanks for tuning in. I'm Benjamin Sutherland and I'm looking forward to answering your questions, so bring them on!
St. Louis, MO: By mid to late March, how is the weather in Paris and Lyon? Would winter clothing still be needed or is it still unpredictable like St. Louis?
Benjamin Sutherland: Unfortunately winter lingers, you really have to wait until mid- to late- April to get the sweaters off. You won't need a winter hat, but it will still be cool, especially evenings. In Paris, the coldest part of the city is along the Seine, so if you'll be walking along the river dress warmer. Lyon is better, but for warm weather at that time you need to get down to the coast...
Toronto, Ontario: What are your suggestions for casual dining restaurants in Paris? I am travelling with my husband and another couple in late October. We are staying near rue Moufftard. Thank you
Benjamin Sutherland: Rue Moufftard is a student-y neighborhood, and the food there is oriented to students, so it might not be the cuisine you're looking for. I would try the Fumoir, it is casual dining (certainly no evening dress required) but there is an understated classy feel. The food is really good to, and the decor is nice with dark wood, leather chairs, with a colonial feel. Prices are mid-range. Call ahead to book, it gets packed. Also nice is La Fourmie Ailée, near Saint Michel. More on both of these cool restaurants in the Snap Guide.
Binghamton, New York: Where are the best places to hear Parisian or French music in Paris?
Benjamin Sutherland: Hello, for solid deejay fare, I really like Sanz Sans, near the Bastille. Another very on-the-map hipster gig is the Batofar, a cool club in a barge on the Seine. Deejays here too, but also live acts, and even "siestes musicales" on Sundays, ie afternoon lower-key concerts. You can enjoy sun on the deck while you groove.
Miami Beach, FL: I am going to Paris Oct. 5-9th 2005 with my boyfriend. It is my birthday weekend and I would like to know if you could suggest any reasonably priced romantic French restaurants.
Benjamin Sutherland: Au Bec Fin is a cosy charmer with the quintessential French dishes (yes, snails), but also small game. After (or before) dinner you can step upstairs for a small (50 seat) play, and some are in English. You just have to call ahead.
Indianapolis,in: I have a five hour layover in Paris. since I have never been to Paris I would like to at least ride through the city. What is the best way to do this..is it advisable? I arrive around noon and depart at 5
Benjamin Sutherland: That's tight, but there's a way to do it, it's just expensive. You'll never make it on public transport, that takes a moment to figure out, so that slows you down, and you can't risk your onward flight. So you should, meethinks, just bit the bullet and do the cush taxi tour. The taxi driver will be happy to take you into Paris, take you on a nice sightseeing loop, and will know when to make it back to the airport. That's really your only hope if you don't want to sip drinks in an airport lounge...
Annville, PA: Our family and friends (8 of us all over the age of 14) will be in Paris for 4 days between Christmas and New Year's. Are there any special things to see or do during this time? Will all the major attractions be open?
Benjamin Sutherland: Yep, everything is open, no worries there, and the street lighting is excellent. The "Grands Boulevards" area, where some of the biggest department stores are (called "les grands magazins") is great to visit. The department stores set up amazing window displays, all themed and really works of art. People come from all over to see them, so you may have to wait in line to get a good gander. The set up stools for the kids so they can get a look over everybody else's shoulders. You can also ice skate on the Eiffel Tower (that's right, platform 1, rent your skates there) or at Hotel de Ville.
Dallas, TX: I'll be in Paris September 12-16 and would like to see any photography exhibitions. Any suggestions?
Benjamin Sutherland: You're spoilt for choice, no matter when you visit. 2 of the most prestigious spots, all with rotation exhibitions, are>
La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie
If you buy Pariscope (available at any newsstand) they have a whole section just for photography exhibitions. The list goes on for pages: the French love photography, and the government (ministry of culture) provides grants to promising shutterbugs.
Oh, and I forgot to mention something important for everybody. To get address of places not mentioned in the Snap Guide, visit pagesjaunes.fr
This is one of easiest online phone directories available to use (with English version, too) and you can click on a button next to each address to see a photo of the facade. High-tech cool, plus helps you find the place visually.