Canada’s 100 Best - - Travel -

For af­ter­noon drinks?

I’d buy a bot­tle of wine and sit by the canal Saint-Martin on a nice, sunny day.

Where do you like to go for a bike ride?

I rent a Vélib’ (the bike-share ser­vice) and cruise down the Bassin de la Vil­lette along Quai de la Seine all the way down the canal Saint-Martin. It’s a ride I did when I lived in Paris that took me from my apart­ment to Du Pain et des Idées, the best bak­ery in Paris, maybe the world. There is a ded­i­cated bike lane al­most all the way, and you can watch old men play­ing pé­tan­ques along Bassin de la Vil­lette and young Parisians pic­nick­ing along the canal.


Or for quiet con­tem­pla­tion?

I love the wa­ter­fall in Parc des ButtesChau­mont, a place that is far off the beaten tourist path. I also love a small park on the tip of Île St-Louis called Square du VertGalant, which is quiet and peace­ful yet a stone’s throw from the 1st ar­rondisse­ment.

What does Paris have that you wish you could get at home?

An amaz­ing va­ri­ety of cheeses, per­fectly ripened. I love aged comté with lots of crys­tals (ripened by Bernard An­thony is the best), Bril­lat-Savarin with truf­fle, Ro­que­fort Papil­lon, su­per-ripe Camem­bert à la louche. And “baguette tra­di­tion” for one euro.

What do you al­ways buy, pack up and smug­gle home?

Cheese, foie gras, char­cu­terie, duck con­fit— get the vac­uum-sealed bags rather than cans as they weigh less and you can smug­gle more of it. This is very self-in­crim­i­nat­ing.


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