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The Times’ Sunday Travel section on how to spend a quick, intense visit to Paris , including a Friday evening dash through the Louvre, Moroccan food, Baudelaire’s grave and finding great costumes at the flea market.
“THE chief danger about Paris,â€ T. S. Eliot wrote to a friend, â€œis that it is such a strong stimulant.â€ That wasnâ€™t merely the overcaffeinated ramblings of a Left Bank cafe habituÃ©. Few cities thrill visitors with such a beguiling multiplicity of personalities. There is the devout Paris of Notre Dameâ€™s Gothic solemnity, and the naughty Paris of Pigalleâ€™s red-light bars. Sophisticated Paris radiates from the vaulted galleries of the Louvre and the gilded OpÃ©ra Garnier, while bohemian Paris emerges in the art galleries of the Marais and gritty rock â€™nâ€™ roll nightclubs. For every Gallic gastronomic temple, thereâ€™s an Asian, African or Middle Eastern restaurant brimming with exotic flavors. And for every Jean Paul Gaultier, thereâ€™s a fledgling fashion student opening his first boutique. In the words of Henry Miller, another American drawn to Parisâ€™s manifold pleasures, lofty and low: â€œTo know Paris is to know a great deal.â€
I fully realize the Paris I’m expecting will not be the Paris I actually see, and that’s perfect.