Ah, printemps. After months of being holed up indoors, stuffed into layers upon layers of sweaters and trapped inside of the grey Zara peacoat that’s been my second skin since December, the first signs of budding leaves on those perfectly manicured Parisian trees is definitely a sight for sore eyes.
To celebrate our imminent release from the hellish, icy grip of winter, I actually went outside today! Caroline and I met up in the 12th arrondissement early in the morning for some exploration.
The first point of interest for the day was Promenade Plantée, or Coulée verte. It’s basically the original NYC High Line, as in its a ‘linear park’ built on the foundations of an old rail line—in this case, Vincennes. Of course, we got ridiculously lost trying to find the entrance [imagine two Americans staring in confusion at what is clearly the park, but being unable to access it without the power of flight], so if you’re planning on a visit, try to make sure you know exactly where you’re going. Also, don’t listen to Google Maps, it’s a shitshow.
Since its elevated, you get some nice rooftop views of the surrounding area! Plus, it serves as a nice little pocket of peace and quiet, removed from the rest of the city.
Even though it’s early March and a lot of the trees are still naked, there are plenty of flowers blooming, from daffodils to cherry blossoms.
The following photo is absolute rubbish, but the details in this little park are really charming. Case in point: horseshoe sign.
After leaving Promenade Plantée and walking about five minutes, if you don’t get lost, you’ll easily be able to find Rue Crémieux, or that thing that you keep seeing on Instagram.
This private, pedestrian-only street is easily one of the city’s most photogenic spots—I mean, just look at those houses—and is actually pretty dang cool to step into for a quick second, especially since most of the rest of Paris’ architecture is pretty homogenous.
Still, that didn’t stop us from calling it ‘discount London.’ [Most people will probably be able to notice the similarities between Rue Crémieux and London’s Notting Hill neighbourhood pretty quickly.]
Since the 12th is a bit out of the way for the average tourist, however, Rue Crémieux seems pretty quiet for the time being. Plus, little details like this really add to the character of this simple street.
Anyway, if these playful shades and blooming roses don’t get you excited for spring in Paris, I don’t know what will! Seriously, I’ve been craving warmth for so long during my stint as a hibernating bear that I’ve started to forget what it feels like.
Anyway, after these two spots and some more wandering around, we actually ended up in the 6th arrondissement—which is a story for another day.
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