We just returned from a long weekend in Paris, which took just five hours by TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse - France's high-speed train) from Antibes to Gare de Lyon. After getting settled into the Hotel Des Jardins du Luxembourg in the 5th arrondissement (5, impasse Royer Collard, tél: +188.8.131.52.08.88), our next order of business was to get some fresh air and stretch our legs, so we headed over to one of our favorite walking paths, the Promenade Plantée in the 12th arrondissement.
The promenade was completed in 1993, and is built on an abandoned 19th-century train viaduct which stretches out for just about 3 miles, starting from the very modern l'Opéra de la Bastille and continuing on toward the entrance of the Bois de Vincennes, the 2,458-acre public park which flanks the east side of the city. The series of arcades that support the promenade from below on avenue Daumesnil have been turned into an area called the Viaduc des Arts, which consists of art studios, shops, and cafés such as the Viaduc Café (43 av Daumesnil in the 12th) where we have been known to have a quick lunch before boarding the train at Gare de Lyon. And, if you continue on down the road, as we always do, being the nerds that we are, you will run into a computer store by the name of Surcouf (139 av Daumesnil in the 12th), the French version of Silicon Valley's Fry's Electronics.
Caveau de la Huchette
In addition to all of our normal Parisian activities: eating, drinking, strolling, eating, museum visiting, drinking, eating, etc., we had another great evening of music at the self-proclaimed "temple of New-Orleans Jazz and be-bop", Caveau de la Huchette, which they claim "was the first club in Paris where jazz was played". This time we saw the Drew Davies Swing Band, whose smooth vocals and cool saxophone captivated the locals into the heights of a dancing frenzy that only professional bebop dancers can attain. Actually, I'm pretty sure that they were not professional dancers, but they certainly seemed to know what they were doing, and they knew how to have a great time doing it.
Drew Davies Swing Band and Bebop Dancers