The Urbanist’s Paris: What to Do

Parc André CitröenPhoto: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

Paris by Park
Lindsey Tramuta, 11th-arrondissement dweller and author of Paris à l’Air Libre, offers lesser-known outdoor spots to lounge, eat, and get splashed with 120 water jets.

Hit the Flea
“The Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves (avenue Georges Lafenestre; 86-89-99-96), open weekends, is a bit cheaper and less chaotic than the more famous Saint-Ouen. You can take your time browsing everything from vintage jewelry to antique furniture. I always unearth the most beautiful fabrics and silverware. Here, you’ll be hunting among antiques-loving locals.”

Pretend You’re in Giverny
“The reopened garden tea salon at the Musée de la Vie Romantique (16 rue Chaptal; 55-31-95-67), located behind the museum that’s the former home of Dutch painter Ary Scheffer, feels like you’ve been transplanted to Monet’s house in Giverny, surrounded by lush trees and flowers. Try the homemade lemonade alongside any of their fresh-baked cakes.”

Caffeinate on Sheepskin Throws
Fondation Café (16 rue Dupetit Thouars; no phone), in the north Marais, is one of the latest in a wave of specialty coffee shops that opened in the last year. The espresso bar is tiny, so head to the outdoor terrace for a spot in the sun. It has a clean, modern aesthetic, and there are Swedish sheepskin throws you can snuggle up with at the wooden tables and chairs.”

Splash Around
“The 15th arrondissement is a bit of a trek, but Parc André Citroën (rue Cauchy) is worth it. It’s huge and has tons of grass for lounging, which is not true of most Parisian parks. There are also 120 water jets that you can splash in, plus the tethered Air de Paris hot-air balloon, which takes you 150 meters in the air (€10 per person) and offers an incredible view of the city.”

Downward Dog on a Deck
“On Sundays, you can take in views of the Seine during a free yoga class (12:30 to 1:30 p.m.; April to October) on the rooftop deck at Wanderlust (34 quai d’Austerlitz; 76-77-34-90), a cultural center that’s part of Les Docks, this new fashion and design complex. Don’t worry about the language barrier—if you’ve taken yoga before, you can follow the motions easily.”

When the Lines at the Louvre Are Too Long …

Head to the Musée de la Contrefaçon, a.k.a. the Counterfeiting Museum (16 rue de la Faisanderie), in the 16th, where you may find yourself alone wandering the former home of Gaston-Louis Vuitton. Over 500 examples of fake merch are on display; the museum’s Sophie Yin-Billiet talks about three pieces on view now.

A shipment of embroidered Lacoste crocodiles:
“This past December, 100,000 Lacoste-crocodile insignias and 170,000 Lacoste buttons were seized in China. The forgers were shipping the textiles and insignias separately, to more discreetly get past Customs.”

J’adore Dior perfume:
“It’s extremely hard to identify faux from real perfume, especially if the packaging is well reproduced and similar components are used. The difference is only evident over time as the color browns and the smell weakens.”

Bébéna baby food:
“The resemblance between Blédina and the fake ‘Bébéna’ baby food was clear. Like the authentic one, the fake states: ‘Le pop à l’ouverture est notre guarantee,’ which has been the brand’s motto since the 1950s. The fake one, however, has the same slogan in English.” —Sarah Moroz

Nouvelle Parisienne
Written and illustrated by Damien Cuypers

She’s everywhere in the arty Canal Saint-Martin district—a creative type with money to travel and, post-crisis, a YOLO attitude. If she were to lose her job, at least she’d have her Tunisian bracelets.

Inside the bag:
• Volume 5 of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, in English. Because the wait is too much.
• A book by Céline (the writer).
• Dior lipstick.
• Swiss anti-UV moisturizer.
• A pass for the neighborhood pool. Because she wants to look good naked for cheap.
• A yearly pass for art-house cinema MK2 (also valid for the UGC chain so she can see a blockbuster now and then).
• Contraband cigarettes from Gabon bought in Barbès.
• Receipts from Bob’s Juice Bar and Tuck Shop, her Rue Lucien Sampaix cantines.
• A lucky charm from those three months in Thailand.

Map by Jason Lee

A Lazy Day in Batignolles
Where to wander in this largely tourist-free enclave in the northern 17th, according to Foodie Underground blogger Anna Brones.

“Start out with an almond croissant at Acide Salon de Thé (1) (24 rue des Moines), a sleek but cozy spot with teapot-shaped lights hanging from the ceiling. You won’t have to fight the crowds here—it’s mostly just young people and families from the neighborhood. If it’s a Saturday, browse the open-air Marché Biologique des Batignolles (2) (boulevard des Batignolles), which is one of Paris’s biggest organic markets. If you’re hungry, Thibault of Les Gustalins will make you a mean potato-and-onion galette. (The sign is small, so just look for the long line.) For shopping, head to rue Legendre. Superflu (3) (77 rue Legendre) is an airy shop that sells trendy men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing—they carry Veja, a French-Brazilian sustainable shoe brand, and wall-poster maps of Paris that kids can draw on. Next door you’ll find Blou (4) (77 rue Legendre), a design boutique with a clean Scandinavian feel. On that same block is En apARThé (5) (90 rue Legendre), which is part gallery, part tea boutique, and has rotating exhibits by artists like Françoise Bailly, Sylvie Bruneau, and Jean-Pierre Lefebvre. Walk ten minutes and catch an indie film at Cinéma des Cinéastes (6) (7 avenue de Clichy), a movie theater that once housed the Père Lathuille Cabaret, where Edouard Manet used to hang out. End your day at le Garde-Robe des Batignolles (7) (4 rue Bridaine), a neighborhood gathering place that serves hand-cut charcuterie and tartines topped with Bayonne ham. I always mean to go for just a glass of wine but end up staying the whole night.”

The Urbanist’s Paris: What to Do