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.
DU PAIN ET DES IDÉES
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.