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Monday, 21 July 2014

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This page is a little out of date...

http://www.tleaves.com/weblog/archives/000292.html

In particular the bookstore is long closed, and some of the restaurants have changed hands or gone away.

But, if you had to do one thing my suggestion, which is in the page above, would still be to go to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Runners up are Ile St. Louis (but it will be very crowded in the summer), Maison Européenne de la Photographie, and the market area near the Cantin cheese shop.

My advice is just to wander around. Make a rough route based on two or more of the following:

Eiffel Tower (duh)
Catacombs
Sacre Coeur
Montparnasse Cemetery
Pompidou

You can get excellent coffee and pastries pretty much anywhere. The city is beautiful but hot and humid in the summer. The tap water is very good – "une carafe d'eau s'il vous plait" is a handy phrase at a café.

Walk, walk, walk.

I wish I could come, but Chamonix is kind of a long way away...

I used to live in Paris, though. If you are into museums, well, there is always the Louvres, can't go very wrong with it. But it's a big queue fest, and full of tourists. Musée d'Orsay is a much better fit to my personal taste, and less crowded.

I'd suggest just walking around, Paris is very small compared to most other major cities, and you could, say, start from Place de l'Étoile, walk down Champs Elysées to Place de la Concorde, then Jardin des Tuileries, Île de la Cité, le Marais, Centre Pompidou and a short metro trip to Montmartre. It's also worth spending an hour or two in the Père Lachaise cemetery.

Finally, for the real nice bit about Paris:
- have lunch at Chez Gladines (though it has apparently moved, so I'm not sure it's still as brilliant as it used to)
- have dinner in the Paris mosque restaurant, if you are into Arabic/Moroccan food. Spectacular couscous in particular
- have a street crêpe in the rue Mouffetard


That should keep you busy for a while :)

Paris is a great walking city as has been observed.

Read this blog for some insider details that don't crop up in the travel guides. (Disclaimer - he's a friend of mine)

http://www.peter-pho2.com/

If I were in that situation, here what I would do:

Take the Batobus (16 euros/person/day). It like a bus in the center of Paris, only you're on the Seine river. Visit as many or as few sites as you want.

The evening, I would reserve for a walk with camera along the Seine river near the Notre Dame cathedral. Bring a light tripod.

Keep it simple. You'll have a day to remember the rest of your life.

http://www.batobus.com/english/index.htm

In general, if I had only one day in Paris I would avoid anything that requires standing in a long line. It's far more time-efficient either to walk around central Paris, rent a bike (bike stands are easy to find), or take the Metro to the sites you want to see.

The same advice applies to where to eat breakfast and lunch. There are plenty of places to get food that's quick and delicious. Save your more leisurely dining experience for the evening. Also save some time and energy for some early evening shots, when the beautiful lights come on and there's still a bit of light in the sky. Vraiment magnifique.

It's over 40 years since I first visited Paris, although I have been back once or twice. I recommend La Sainte-Chapelle, the colours of the medieval stained glass are still vivid in my memory.

Yes, walk. I'd suggest this route along La Seine:

Île St.Louis
Notre Dame
Shakespeare & Co.
Pont Neuf
Left Bank
Pont des Arts
Louvre courtyards & pyramid (don't go in, the Louvre needs days)
Tuilleries
Place de la Concorde

From there you can continue along the Champs Élysées or along the river to the Tour Eiffel.

Spend an hour in the Maritime Museum. It is perhaps the best in the world.

St. Chapelle (spectacular stained glass); the Cluny (for the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries); take the tourist boat ride along the Seine (the one around sunset and arrive at the Eifel Tower at night-it's lovely with all the lights on),

Cemetary Pere Lachaise--many famous people buried there and it's quite charming.

Walk around!

It depends on exactly where your day would start and end, but a walk that includes Ile de la Cite (with Notre Dame) and features a few-hour stopoff at Musee D'Orsay would be a very good time and would offer a nice view of the feel of downtown Paris.

Jardin des Plantes and Montmarte at night.

Walk up and down the Champs-Élysées starting (or ending) at the Arc de Triomphe. Stop at one café for coffee. Stop at another café for a glass of wine. Stop at another café for a bite to eat. At each café sit and enjoy watching people walk by.

1. Walk around and look at the women.
2. You've got a great connection (Mike) -- get Peter Turley to take you to a cheap restaurant with outdoor seating.
3. After supper, sit for a while in Notre Dame square, then walk home to your hotel.
4. Put batteries in charger.

Since I've never been to Paris I have no idea what should be included in a one-day stay.

That being said I would probably sit outside at some cafe and just observe all the lovely ladies that go by.

And take photos.

All day. All night.

Cathedrals. Wander around on the roof walkways. Take closeups of the gargoyles. If you're up for a short train ride to Chartres, I preferred it to Notre Dame. That would be (at least) a half-day well spent. If it's rainy, ummm ... gargoyles.

I was born in Paris and finished high school and attended college there. Lived in nearly the absolute center of it. I walked to school every day in front of Notre Dame.

If this is your first time, I suggest a walk in the historical center. Start from Bastille / Place des Vosges and head towards to Notre Dame and then on to the Louvre and the Tuileries gardens. From there you can push on the Trocadero which offers great views of the Eiffel tower.

Cross to the left bank of the Seine and walk down the boulevard St Germain towards the Latin quarter where there are very interesting medieval buildings (St Germain de Pres, the Museum of the Middle Ages (the building is worth it)) as well as Roman ruins. You can either cross back to Notre Dame and go down to the quays to walk around the islands, or continue down the boulevard towards the Seine and cross it to head back to your starting point.

Very nice and relatively easy walk. Andre's suggestion to take the Batobus is very good.

The Michelin Green Guide for Paris is a very good source for itineraries.

I would avoid the Champs Elysees and Montmartre (nice views though) as they have become tourist traps (plus the Montmartre hill a bit dumpy).

Enjoy.

Prior to making another visit to Paris, I would certainly search around for the Parisian equivalent of "London" - a non-historical history of the city, from zero to 21st. century, and make a list of 'targets' based on whatever is most interesting.

Having been to the city several times, I was also going to suggest walking but an adequate alternative may well be the river. And of course, for a one day visit, plan to have fun rather than plan to see everything (stay flexible in other words).

Ctein:

I'm on a monthlong visit to Paris, actually staying in the suburb of Choisy-le-Roi. Would love to get together, although I'm hesitant to sign up for organization. Rue Muffetard is a food street and has been for centuries - lots of walking, seeing and eating opportunities. Many would recommend L' ais Du Falafel on Rue Roziers for a falafel lunch - I consider at least one visit a must for any Paris visit.

For photo museums, both the Maison and the Foundation Cartier-Bresson are excellent. For taking pictures, walk just about any street outside of the most tourist infested areas, go to the Jardin Luxembourg or Jardin des Plantes.

Browsing the 'green box' book and graphic sellers while walking the Seine is a favorite pastime, and I cherish the copy of "Lady Chatterly's Lover' I bought at one a couple of years ago, with it's prominent notice that it was 'Not to be Sold in the United States or Great Britain'. Stopping in at Shakespere & Co., near the Seine, is also fun - it's an excellent and vibrant English-language bookstore in it's own right, aside from all the history there.

If that sounds like more than a day, well, it is. Such is a visit to Paris. This is something like my sixth, and there is still much to see.

I've yet to get a good photograph at Pere' Lachese, but I'll keep trying.

Inevitably, I found that Rutherford has indeed written a "Paris" sequel to his London and Sarum books, just after I had posted my previous comment... Oops.

Title is "Paris:The Novel"
Author is Edward Rutherford
ISBN is 978-0385535304

The Paris flea market is great.

Recently spent a long weekend in Paris. My recommendations tie in with some of the above: use the Batobus and stop off at the Musée d'Orsay and Notre Dame. If you stop at the Eiffel Tower, take a bicycle rickshaw to save your companion's legs, great fun. Eat breakfast at a street café. Bon chance!

Remember one word (especially if you have somebody who can't walk far): the Metro. The Metro (subway) is easy to use, cheap, fast, and pretty decent. You can learn to use it in approximately 45 seconds, and Metro stations are scattered all around central Paris. I'd plan to stay within a couple blocks of the Seine -- and I wouldn't worry too much about lines, I'd just go ahead and do it.

Spend a little time at the Louvre, and then the Musee d'Orsay is just across the river and a few blocks up...and you can spend a few minutes in the Jardin des Tuileries on the way. From the d'Orsay, you could walk a couple blocks to a Metro, and ride most of the way down to Notre Dame, which really shouldn't be missed no matter what your attitude toward religion may be. The Latin Quarter is more or less right across the river from Notre Dame, but basically, while there are a lot of funky buildings and institutions over there, it's a lot of walking and not really much to see. That's more a a place to go if you have a few months to experience it. (It's where I would take an apartment, if I ever took an apartment in Paris.) Les Deux Magots is over there, and still has the ambience (if not the reality) of the old post-war literary days, and you can sit down outside and watch the passers-by and take a long time to eat, if you don't mind spending $100 for lunch...for one. Given your photographic style, I suspect you might be interested in visiting The Centre Pompidou, not so much for the art, as for the building...(check Google Images, and you'll see what I mean.) It's well away from the river, but there's a Metro station close-by. But, basically, I'd say stay around the river, and learn the Metro. Say, you're not a fan of The Doors, are you?

Your predicament is rather unfortunate, because Paris really demands more than a day and it truly is a fantastic walking city. The Batobus is a good idea for seeing the main sights. Maybe you could also take up the bicycle taxi guys? I personally haven't tried it, but I remember seeing them everywhere in Paris and it would be a good way to get around. The Metro subway is efficient, but you can't see much when you're in an underground tube.

The Jardin des Tuileries in the center of the city should perhaps be your walking allotment for the day. Nice gardens, fountains, and plenty of benches. But any nice park will do, and Paris has plenty, so ask the bike guy. My personal idea of heaven would be to hang out in the Tuileries with a baguette sandwich and a sack of pastries. Then for exercise I would find a crepe stand on the street.

Hi Ctein - If you want to do a get together in San Francisco sometime at the end of August running into Sept I will be there! Ww will probably be staying out in Point Reyes for most of the time (do you know Richard Blair, by any chance?). And... if you make it to London on your trip I would be happy to make suggestions for nice places to meet for a beer.

Robert

Just one day ... quelle dommage.

Musée d'Orsay is a comfortable size, especially if getting around is difficult.

Besides the Batobus, look into the Bateaux Mouches tours.

Find a cafe table somewhere around the Pont des Arts (on the Musée d'Orsay side of the Seine) and just people watch.

Well, what types of things do you and Bayla enjoy doing? Paris offers a lot (obviously). If you do the Batobus (which I also recommend), you could combine that with Gordon's suggestion and check out the sights of Paris from the Seine at twilight when all the lights come on. I happen to like the Marais a lot, too, and recommend l'As du Fallafel if you're there around meal time; it's no longer a secret, but it's really good. The windows of Sainte Chapelle are spectacular on a sunny day.

The Musée Rodin is a nice size for a short visit, and has a small garden with sculptures if you'd like to sit outside. Any and all of the gardens mentioned are great, as are the Botanical Gardens (Jardin des Plantes, near the mosque if you take up that suggestion). I also really like the Arènes deLutèce, between the Rue Mouffetard, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and the Botanical Gardens.

I like contemplative strolls in Paris, whether in museums or outside, and wholeheartedly agree with Andre Moreau's advice to keep it simple, and Gordon's advice to avoid lines. Paris can easily become overwhelming, but I think you'll enjoy it a lot more if you pick one or, if necessary, two areas to explore, especially if Bayla needs frequent rest stops.

Dear Ctein,
We enjoyed taking a taxi tour at dusk. It was fixed price and hit many of the tourist sights. The taxi will wait for you to get out and take photos. If I remember correctly it was about an hour and a half or two.
After a busy day its a great change of pace (excitement, fast as in a taxi) but time to photograph. Don't know if they still offer this our trip was in 2005.
Note a lot of metro stations have stair access only. Check this for the Batobus too.
Bon voyage!

bd

In my last two trips it turned out that my favorite day was walking around the 5th and 6th arr. looking at (and photographing) art nouveau architecture and having a kir royale from time to time as well as something from a patisserie. If you feel like you must do a museum, the Orsay has some staggering stuff.
I like St. Chapelle a lot as mentioned above but you will stand in line a long time (heavy security screening) and if you only have one day that is intolerable. Be a flaneur.

Not much to add to the suggestions that already have been made (they mainly mention the historical center and such, which is absolutely fantastic to see.

Since you have very little time I will suggest three museums which haven't been suggested yet, but which are some of my favorites in the world.
- L'orangerie (custom build oval viewing hall with wall-covering paintings by Monet http://www.musee-orangerie.fr/ )
- Musee d'Orsay (absolutely fantastic)
- Musee Rodin (Fantastic overview of the entire oevre of Rodin, his influences, relationships with other artists, etc. NIce building and garden too. Across the street is the army museum, never liked that one much, but you might)

Since it is a walking city, it is also a great city to sit and watch. The Pariseans have conveniently placed cafe's with outdoor seating for that purpose. La Chappelle is a wonderment. Oh, and learn a few "politenesses", I was amazed how far courtesy would take me, and I have a terrible accent. I also found smaller, working parish churches to be more interesting than tourist draws; just walk in. Relax, you can't see it all in a city that has a restaurant devoted to L'Escargot. Enjoy what you do see.

The Musée national du Moyen Âge gave me a thorough reboot of my view of the visual arts in the Middle Ages.
From there it is a short walk to Notre Dame, where you can get on the Batobus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musée_national_du_Moyen_Âge
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady_and_the_Unicorn

My favorite Paris times have been spent at the Picasso Museo, the Musee de Orsay, and sitting at cafés on the Champs D'Elysee reading a book, watching people, and engaging the occasional conversation with Parisians.

Have a great time!

and the famous, so interesting camera street!

Don't walk, sit. Find a cafe on the ile St Louis or ile de la Cite and just be, just watch. Lift your camera now and then. If you must move, Notre Dame is close by, as is Sainte Chapelle. If you're there in August it might well be very quiet as that's vacation time for the French.

Use the Metro to get around, The Paris Metro is very clean and efficient and unlike the London Underground isn't buried in the bowels of the earth so the stations are close to the surface. That way you could visit the various tourist sites without too much walking. Study the maps before you go and make plans.

Avoid like the plague the pavement cafes on the main thoroughfares. Over priced, and heaven knows Paris isn't cheap anyway, and the food can be dire. Log on to ViaMichelin to source good eateries at reasonable prices (look for Bib Gourmet).

Where to visit ?

Sacre Coeur on Montmartre for fine views and the last leg of the journey is via a little funicular railway.
Batobus for a relaxing tour.
Notre Dame.
Arc de Triomphe. Lift to the top with fine views.
Eiffel Tower but book ahead. I don't think you can say you have done Paris if you haven't at least stood under it.
The Tuilleries for a sit down.
Place de la Concorde for fine views up the Champs Elysee and a short stroll along the Seine from here woud show you some of the beautiful bridges. Cross Pont Alecander and visit Les Invalides and Napoleons tomb.

All of these places have good access from the Metro.
Parisians flee Paris in August for two good reasons. Heat and hunidity. Perhaps you are acclimatised to these?(Make that three good reasons the third being tourists !).

You won't see it all in a day but you will whet your appetite for further visits.

Do you have any time in Paris on Sunday evening? You might have been interested in the bird market on Île de la Cité, but it finishes at 19:30.

Allan: I agree about the Maritime Museum, but the model ship collection (my favourite part) is currently at Versailles for a special exhibition.

I think it sort of depends on just how mobile your friend is; how high things like the great art galleries are on your personal priorities, how high experiencing Paris food is for you personally. With just one day I'd minimize the big sights where you have to stand for long periods in a queue. I'd recommend one of the big medieval sights, one famous art gallery, one foodie/cafe stop. Do spend a little time just looking at the bread and pastry shops.Just spots in the list I would choose would depend on where I was staying. The trip up the St. Martin Canal is superb and very good value. It also depends on you. Do you like to look or to feel like a participant. Personally, I hate bus tours, I sort of feel I might as well have stayed at home and looked at slides, but this is a personal thing.
The Paris Metro underground is excellent. I'd get a day pass and use it to cover a lot of ground between stops quickly.
i'd do some web searching as well to make my own list. For a medieval venue, I'd suggest Notre Dame or the Museum of the Middle Ages.
Also check out "The Passages" on the web. There are many of these around Paris. If you are close to one, have a look. They are very varied and give an insight into what Paris was like in the Belle Epoque period, most have many little curious old shops but each has a character of its own. Recommended for an easy walk with atmosphere plus (if you are close to one).

Yes, you can walk around endlessly in Paris. But if that’s a problem maybe renting a bike is an idea? There is a self-service rentalsystem with 1800 stations all over the city, called Velib
Never tried it m’self, I must confess.
Traffic on the grand boulevards is normally murderous, but in August it should be doable.
Enjoy!
Nicolaas, Amsterdam.

Arrange in advance at your hotel to rent a lightweight folding wheelchair for your companion. It will make an AMAZING difference in practical ambulation.

Ctein,

only one single recommendation.

The Maison Rouge, a "private" collection but run as a not for profit.

And now what Ctein will like: The works have been hung as determined by a computer program with the main aim to show as many works as possible, yet in a somewhat coherent way.

http://www.lamaisonrouge.org

(subsequent pages with english option)

What Bayla will like: there is a nice laid back café with home made organic food and cakes.

It is less than half a mile from the Place de la Bastille with its abundance of sidewalk cafés with interesting people passing by the second. La Maison Rouge is easy to miss, it used to be a block of flats. Not every taxi driver will know where it is. Note the address.

Ctein will get a cheap rate entrance fee because he looks old, Bayla oviously not.

I am sending this as an email to Mike with some photos I made there last Sunday. I don't think it is OK to publish the photos on the net.

I'll be specific. It's simply what I would do if I had only one day.
Go to le Jardin des Plantes to visit the red panda. Exit at the west end by the spiral labyrinth. Walk rue Lacepede to Contrascarpe for refreshment. Force yourself from your chair for a short walk to the Pantheon. Pick up a bagged lunch on the way down Soufflot to Jardin du Luxembourg (Luco). Rent a model sailboat for the pond. Chill. Absorb the fact you are in the centre of the universe. Metro home, if you must.

Ok. After my first comment and Ctein's advice about his companion.

Skip the museums. Visit two cemeteries, Pere Lachaise and Monparnasse. Wander slowly and ponder on all the souls, artistic and otherwise who chose to live and die in the city.

Skip the Louvre (not that it's bad, but life is short). Go to Galerie d'Orsay for a better fine art experience. But really look out the memoirs of the people who are city icons (for better or worse). The Hemingway trail is a bit well-worn for most but leads to interesting places and resonances.

The great brasseries of Montparnasse (a cote du cimetiere) are still worth a visit for the tourist. Better than the "Left Bank" ones in my opinion

If you're travelling by train (I hope you are) and your departure is Gare de Nord, or Gare de l'Est - Terminus Nord is a great authentic brasserie as well.

Or at Gare de Lyon "Le Train Bleu"

If you visit the Rodin museum (which I recommend), you are not far from the wonderful Grande Epicerie food market/emporium and, depending on what day of the week you are in town, an open air market on the Boulevard Raspail. Both the Epicerie and the market are appetizing, visually and otherwise. No photography in the Epicerie, however -- which I learned by being scolded for trying.

"Oh, and learn a few "politenesses", I was amazed how far courtesy would take me, and I have a terrible accent."

I agree. A simple "Bonjour, parlez vous anglais?" goes a long way in my experience. Much of the time the response was "Just a little bit ..." followed by nearly perfect English.

The great museums as Orsay and Louvres are terrific but it's a lot of standing and trampling, both outside waiting and inside, so I wouldn't actually recommend them. On the other hand, I absolutely second the Batobus, Notre-Dame and Sainte Chapelle advice, the latter two being close by. In fair weather the gardens are great, especially Tuileries and Luxembourg where you'll find plenty of chairs to sit and enjoy some peace away from the bustling tourist sights.

The finest stroll in my opinion goes along the Seine river between the Louvre Pyramid and Notre-Dame, crossing the river on Pont des Arts. About one hour at a leisurely pace, stops not included. The Louvre end conveniently doubles as the entrance to Tuileries garden. From there, it's a short underground ride to Arc de Triomphe, where you can even enjoy the fine view from the top of the Arc. On Notre-Dame side, cross over to île Saint-Louis for the best view on the cathedral from Pont de la Tournelle.

The Pantheon/Sorbonne/Cluny area with the wonderful Jardin du Luxembourg is my other recommendation (even though the Pantheon itself is being restored and hidden from view). If you want a good view of the city, it's a 30 min walk from the garden to Montparnasse tower where you shouldn't wait long, especially compared to the insane queues at Eiffel tower. But you'll be so high over the rather low-rise city that the view can appear a bit flat, especially in the middle of a sunny day.

After reading some more comments, I can't resist adding another vote for the Musée de Cluny (the Museum of the Middle Ages). Also, in a similar vein to Bron's suggestion regarding less-visited churches, if you visit Notre Dame, skip across the Seine to Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre for a study in contrasts. It's just around the corner from Shakespeare & Co. Note that Saint-Séverin is also very close at hand.

Per GRJ's recommendation, there are many other open-air food markets in Paris, such as one at the base of the Rue Mouffetard. A very enjoyable way to get some food and people watch. Such a great place, Paris. Good luck narrowing down the suggestions!

Musée Rodin is a great place to get over jet lag :-)

but seriously if aren't gluten intolerant then the bread & pastries at many places are the best in the world e.g. Patisserie Stohrer, 51 rue Montorgueil

Dear folks,

Thanks for all the brilliant suggestions. Just to be a little clearer, Bayla CAN walk. She doesn't need a wheelchair or a Moby. She just can't do it for hour after hour after hour like I can. Stairs are entirely navigable. We traipsed around the Art Institute in Chicago with Mike and Ken Tanaka. She just had to sit down and get the load off her feets periodically.

Don't have a lot in the way of specific comments, except to note that Richard Tuggwell's friend's blog is really wonderful and worth a read. No disclaimer on that recommendation was needed! Thanks, Richard! And, yes, we are traveling by Chunnel train, so we can check out that brasserie.

Recommendations seem to be pretty consistent––skip the Louvre, go to the Musee d'Orsay if we're going to get an art museum.

Sitting and letting life swirl around us is highly workable, especially accompanied by good food. [ gluttonous smile]. I do know minimal politenesses. I can even read enough French to avoid getting myself killed or poisoning myself. I just can't speak it worth a damn and my listening comprehension is even worse. Learning other languages has ALWAYS been a problem for me. (Brains are very odd things–– this deficiency definitely doesn't run in my family. Everyone else is quite facile at learning other languages, I even had a cousin who was considering a career as a simultaneous translator at the UN.) Someday I'll have to try total immersion and see if that can break through the logjam.

Unfortunately, Sunday evening is booked. We train down from London on Sunday and the remainder of the day in the evening will be spent with Bayla's cousins in Paris.

We may actually have a little more than one day in Paris–– were planning on taking a late train back to London on Tuesday. But depending on how much we exhaust ourselves on Sunday and Monday, we don't know how early will be getting up on Tuesday so for the sake of planning I'm making believe that they doesn't exist. If it turns out we have several hours for seeing more sites, that will be a bonus.

So far no volunteers for hosting a get-together in Paris. If someone contacts me about such, I'll make sure there is a news posting on TOP to alert readers.

Now I need to get back to the %$#@! novel. Just a few more chapters to go…


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
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-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
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@Ctein

I'm pleased you liked Peter's blog. I thought his detective work, and his (to me) uniquely detailed and informed approach to documenting Paris and it's historic denizens might appeal to you.

Only problem with the website might be how to find all the fascinating stuff that's in there.

His recent post on Caillebotte is a good introduction to the style

http://www.peter-pho2.com/2014/07/gustave-caillebotte.html

And you only have a day.....

NB apropos my previous comment about the blog

http://www.peter-pho2.com/

There's a photographic theme which is worth studying. Here's someone who uses photography in, I think, an exemplary fashion. By that I mean of course that it defines a use of photography. It's simple - he uses photography to illustrate his thoughts and writing, as opposed to being an end-point in itself. Not all photography needs to be contemplating it's own navel

I recommend this web guide:
http://www.afar.com/travel-guides/france/paris/guide

It is composed by intelligent posters of highlights of their visits.
Get the app on your phone and you can post too:

http://www.afar.com/highlights/a-great-museum-in-a-great-station

When I go anywhere I do a search of Afar to see what others have recommended.
Then when there, I check the afar map to see what is nearby I might be missing.

Glad to hear you are there more than a day. I did Paris in 24 hours years ago on my first trip and found a well planned taxi route was an excellent fist step, not walking or metro. On a later slower trip I discovered there was a cafe Marly overlooking the Louvre. Sit outside and observe the long line trying to get into the Pei's Pyramid. Drink a bottle of wine while watching, but don't go in the Louvre unless you have a month.

If you plan to go to the Orsay museum, it would be a good idea to buy tickets on the net. The ticket lines are substantial and standing in line is even more tiring than walking. But make sure you go to the entrance reserved for internet ticket holders.

http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/visit/admission/ticket-purchase.html?cHash=1030a57d48

I live in Paris and will share more specific ideas ; I have seen great suggestions in the previous posts, the batobus being one of them. I always enjoy walking around Le Marais, I really like certain perspectives such as La Défense/Arc de Triomphe/Champs Élysées/Place de la Concorde/Jardin des Tuileries/Musée du Louvres from Place de La Concorde and also Assemblée Nationale/Place de la Concorde/Madeleine (used by Maupassant in Bel Ami). The view on the Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars from Trocadéro is great (and this is just by Le Musée de la Marine). I am not very good at this but I could try to organize a get together. I have fond memories of the time I spent looking at Ctein's print in Daly City.

Consider contacting David Downie. Maybe he can suggest something that's feasible. And besides his wife, Alison Harris, is a photographer.

http://www.davidddownie.com/David_D._Downie/tours/
http://www.parisparistours.com

Oh noes! I would have loved meeting the artist behind the prints but you're coming the one week I'm away from Paris this summer :( Oh well... "C'est la vie", as they say on your side of the pond.
As for recommendations for one day in Paris, I see you've already received tons of great ones so I'll simply second the idea of staying near the Seine. There's tons to see and do close by the river, and one day won't be too much to make the most of it. If you really want to see something different, you can check out the Marais neighbourhood (already mentioned in the comments, when someone suggested you go to Rue des Rosiers for falafel), pretty central and with some of the oldest buildings in Paris. Most of the city was rebuilt when Baron Haussmann decided to modernise it.
Have a great time in Paris!
Thomas

So you're going to try the Orsay - good. A more detailed tip - Buy your ticket online and print out the receipt and go in at Entrance C to avoid the big lineup. Then, after entering go up to the top first and work your way down. The main gallery at the top has about a billion ;) dollars worth of impressionist art and gets pretty crowded in the afternoon, so try to go early and run counter to the way most people proceed.

The Chunnel Train is my #1 favorite vehicle I have ever ridden in. I was highly entertained by watching the water in the bottle on the table almost imperceptibly moving at whatever hundred KPH we were traveling. The trip seemed a bit long, but since i was in a unique vehicle, i didnt mind too much. The available sandwiches on the train are quite tasty, so dont deprive yourself. As for what to do in one day in Paris, I was surprised that more people didn't mention the Eiffel tower and surrounding areas. Plenty of photo ops, people watching, real French Vanilla ice cream (Duh!) ;-) orange colored hot dogs, pizza topped with sliced boiled eggs and i believe restaurants on the surrounding sidewalks, if not a cab ride or rubber wheeled metro ride away (watch for pickpockets on the metro). Watching the people on the platform under the tower reminded me of watching an unscripted reality play unfolding. I don't remember how long we waited to ride the ancient elevator to the high platform, (at the price of a king's ransom, IMHO) but I'll never forget how efficient the operators of the the elevators were at herding the crowd and I marveled at the view through the glass walled elevators of the stunning erector set construction as we ascended. The view of this historic city from the high platform is magnificent and unforgettable. I would reserve visiting the museums for a time when you could spend three or more days in the city. I had visited three of the above mentioned museums, but many cities have museums, and only one city has the Eiffel tower. Maybe you could bring your IR kit and get some unique images of the area. If you have any time left over after the tower, I don't know how far away Monmartre is from the tower, or where you are staying, but that area was my second favorite part of the city partially due to the resemblance to some of Van Goghs paintings. And maybe you might pick up a watercolor painting from one of the street artists there. Outside restaurants are also abundant there. Bon voyage.

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