Monday, November 12, 2012

From London to Paris Photo?

M --, a dear friend in New York, called this evening as she was heading to JFK to go home to London, to see her mum.  M is a superb photographer, and does know Paris a bit.  She had hopes to see Paris Photo next weekend but wasn't sure of how to make it work at the last minute.  "Polly, darling, can you help me?" asked M.  "Just the logistics on getting to Paris Photo from the Eurostar.  Last time I went it was in the Carrousel du Louvre."  Not sure of internet or time availability in the next few days, she needed Polly-Vous Francais to the rescue, and to email her all the information.



This is my idea of the best possible way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  

So here is what I wrote.

Dearest M --

Here is the information (more than you need!)

DATES: 15th -18th NOVEMBER 2012
Location: Le Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris
Thursday 15 Nov. - Sunday 18 Nov. From noon till 8pm.
Full price : 28 €

If you take the 8:30 am Eurostar from St. Pancras, you'll arrive in Paris at around 11:45.  Eurostar arrives at Gare du Nord.  Take a taxi  from the taxi stand outside to the Grand Palais, about 20 minutes.  Have the driver drop you off at the entrance to the Grand Palais on avenue Winston Churchill.  Cost?  Not sure, maybe 15 euros?  20? Note: Not all Paris taxis have credit-card machines (like NYC), and even if they do, will not accept payment by credit card (carte bancaire) for less than 15 euros.  And the machines are with the drivers, I think, not mounted in the back seat like in NYC.  So best to have cash, in any case,
Or, in a pinch,  if the taxi line is too long or no taxis seem available (which is sometimes the case!) or you're just feeling adventurous, you can take the # 42 bus, which goes directly to the Grand Palais.  To get to the bus stop, from inside:

  • Follow the Gare du Nord station exit signs for “Est” onto rue de Dunkerque, then go left onto rue du Faubourg St Denis. 
  • Walk about 200 meters to the bus stop.  You'll want the # 42 bus heading toward ("direction") “Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou." You can buy the ticket on board the bus (1,7 euro) with exact change (as long as you say “Bonjour, monsieur” to the bus driver first!!) or buy in the train station at a place that says "tickets RATP."   
  • Take the bus (about 18-20 minutes) and get off at the stop “Champs Elysees-Clemenceau".  The Grand Palais is to your left as you look up the Champs-Elysees.

I am a big fan of the Paris bus system, as long one takes it in the right direction.  "Direction" always means where it's going, not where it's coming from.)

If you want to have lunch when you arrive, a great cafe is LeMinipalais, which is located in the Grand Palais itself.  It opened a few years ago and is quite good - fabulous decor and setting, and delicious food.  I don't know how crowded it will be during Paris Photo.

Otherwise, if you take a slightly later Eurostar, of course you can always lunch on the train.  Is the Eurostar train food good?

By the way, there are some great local restaurants near the Gare du Nord, but they are cheek-by-jowl with others that are too touristy and lackluster; so I think better not to waste time figuring those out.

If you finish at Paris Photo and have some time left over before you head back to London, across the street at the charming and glorious  Petit Palais there are also some photography exhibits, and entrance is free for the permanent collection, and very reasonable for special exhibits.  Discounts for those who are 60+,  but you are so young... I'm not asking!

And of course my beloved Pont Alexandre III is right there.  You must take at least a quick stroll, and take some photos.

Have a safe trip!  I hope all is well with your mother!
Let me know how it goes.



Did I forget anything?  any other recommendations for M?


Alison said...

You're fab.

Diary of Why said...

It's good to have friends like you!

Polly-Vous Francais said...

I wish that I were the one heading off to Paris Photo. Vicarious living, moi. :)

Online RSA said...

Thank you for that information. Going to grab that one.

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