Posted by: theresegilardi | July 14, 2011

French Fridays – Bon Dimanche – BlogFest 2011

Bonjour and welcome back to French Fridays! So you’re heading to Paris and wondering: is it true the French have all fled the city now that Bastille Day has passed? Mais non! You’ll still find plenty of potential Parisian pals on Sunday in Le Marais, the central section of the city built atop swampland, where the Orthodox Jewish, gay, and urban French enamored of buildings so old they tilt backward (look up, you’ll see what I mean) populations have combined forces to create the “it” place to while away a sunny afternoon.

You’ll have no trouble finding the place – virtually everyone on the metro will be heading for the St. Paul stop, as it’s the liveliest quarter of the city on Sunday. Be sure you bring your appetite for food and history as well as fashion, since no trip to the Marais is complete without fallafel and a stop at some of the most intimate museums in Paris.

Lenny Kravitz is right. L’As du Fallafel (34, rue des Rosiers) does serve up some of the best fallafel on the planet (although in fairness I’ve never had a bad meal anywhere in the Marais), and if you come early (pre-12:30) you’ll be able to snag a table indoors and a chance to order off of the extensive menu. Otherwise, join the queue waiting for a take-away sandwich and amble with the crowds. Sample Paris’s version of bagels (poppyseed) and cheesecake at Findelstajn’s then stroll over to rue des Francs Bourgeois, your gateway to some free entertainment.

That’s right, free. The Musee Carnavalet (23, rue de Sevigne), consists of two mansions and a lovely courtyard that will make you swoon at the history of France. Don’t forget to check out the military medals upstairs – you’ll chuckle at the similarities between the drop-dead gorgeous uniforms and the fashions on the street below. Then head over to Musee Cognacq-Jay (8, rue Elzevir) for a look at how a childless couple with more money than most of us can ever envision outfitted a fabulous French mansion. This chic, underestimated, free museum will give you a rare small-scale look at the grandeur of old France. (But beware, no visit to the Picassos is possible this trip, as this fee-paying museum is closed for renovations.)

End your afternoon on a bench at Place des Vosges, at the end of rue des Francs Bourgeois. Many people consider this to be the most beautiful square in the world. A cellist often plays in the far corner, near the Victor Hugo museum at number 6 (visit and see why old Victor was such a misanthrope). Grab a crepe or an ice cream at one of the stands beneath the shady arcades that line the square, or just enjoy the fountains. Either way, you’re bound to have a Bon Dimanche (“Happy Sunday”, the greeting the French exchange with each other) when you head for Le Marais.

One of the reasons I love the Marais so much is because it provides such a fascinating cross-section of people. But the best part of the quarter has to be its free museums. What is your favorite free thing to do on Sunday?

Mes amis, this is a special French Friday. I am participating in BlogFest 2011. When you leave me a comment, you are eligible to win a copy of “Matching Wits With Venus”, my paranormal romance about a Hollywood matchmaker and the Roman god Cupid, which has been receiving five star reviews. As always, merci beaucoup for your visit, and bon weekend!

Please visit other BlogFest 2011 blogs. Here are other links to BlogFest 2011:;;;;  For the BlogFest 2011 master list, please visit:




  1. Huh.. Matching Wits With Venus sounds good I’d love to read it! 🙂
    Thanks for participating in BlogFest 2011! 🙂

  2. I wish I had known you when I made my trips to Paris from London. This sounds like a wonderful way to spend the day.

    Congratulations on the reviews. I’ve got a book coming out in August that also mixes the contemporary world with Aztec mythology. The various world myths provide all kinds of great story ideas. ( :

    • gabriella, your book sounds fascinating – and how timely, for 2012.

  3. I love Paris! My husband and I have been there several times. Once, to run the Paris Marathon, another to see the finish of the Tour de France and several times to sight see.
    kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

    • kowanda, my husband ran the half-marathon in paris several times, and we never missed the tour. maybe we crossed paths.

  4. Great post. Paris is great. And congrats for rewiews:D

  5. Thank you for the stroll through Paris, other than stopping in the airport, this is probably the only way I’ll get there. Great giveaway, please enter me.
    lvs2dv (at) gmail (dot) com

    • you are entered – and thanks for your visit!

  6. “Matching Wits With Venus” sounds interesting 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  7. Loved your post! I’d love to visit France one day.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    thecozyreader @

    • thanks jess – i love your e-mail address.

  8. Your book sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for giving it away.

    arielkuran @ gmail .com

  9. Would love to win!

  10. Matching Wits With Venus sounds like a good book, I’d love to read it!!

  11. I’d like to enter too if this is open internationally.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  12. Sound like a great giveaway! I am such a sucker for anything greek mythology related! Thanks for the chance to win!

    ashleyziemer AT gmail DOT com

    • you’re welcome ashley. thanks for your visit.

  13. I miss Paris. I just saw Midnight in Paris and it made me want to visit again.

    booksnobsblog at gmail dot com

    • that film is the best, isn’t it? and that car!

  14. Sounds delightful!

    jenn (at) girlsjustreading (dot) com

  15. Thank you for the giveaway!!

  16. I would love to win you book! Please, count me in!


    P.S. By the way, it’s «bon dimanche», not «bonne dimanche», but «L’erreur est humaine»!

    • ha! that’s what i get for typing in the dark!

  17. Matching Wits With Venus sounds awesome! Please enter me 🙂

    asha (dot) facebook (at)

  18. The book sounds great!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. My email is…sorry and thanks!

  20. Thanks for the giveaway! Gloria
    geschumann at live dot com

  21. Thanks for the giveaway
    I cant wait for your book sounds awesome

  22. Great Giveaway Thankyou!

  23. Your book sounds extremely intriguing based on those tantalizing few words- congratulations on the reviews-I’m sure you’re ecstatic; I know I would be if I received such high accolades for my novel!
    I’ve loved Paris since I first visited when I was seven, nine years ago and want to go back so badly; when I get the money together, it will be the first place I’m heading off to on holiday! When/if I do, I hope I remember to stop by your blog and take note of your day-trip-suggestion 🙂
    Thank you for the giveaway!

    • thanks so much alicia, glad you’re enjoying my blog. hope you get back to paris soon.

  24. I like the blog. 🙂 -laura
    L_Hogg at comcast dot net

  25. So cool. I’d like to visit France some day…

  26. Hearing you speak of your love for the city makes me want to travel to Paris myself!
    Thank you for a chance in your giveaway!

    • paris charms all – thanks for participating in the contest.

  27. Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

    Jen K
    admin.bookblog AT

    • thank you, jen, for being a part of blogfest.

  28. Sounds like my husband has a business trip to France in the fall. Love to go with him, but that’s not going to happen. Matching Wits With Venus sounds like a great read
    thanks for participating in blog fest

    • what a business trip, betty – sorry you won’t be joining your husband.

  29. Well, this is fun. Thanks so much.

  30. Thank you so much for participating in this fun blogfest. I am enjoying traveling around the different blogs and finding new sites.


  31. I would love to get back to France its been 24 years…oh..too long..

    MIchelle A


    • michelle, i love your “tintin” address ….

  32. I loved this post, I really hope I go to Paris one day 🙂 Thank you for your giveaway, I’d love to enter!

    kate1485 at

  33. Hi:) Thanks for the great giveaway! Matching wits with Venus sounds like a great read. I look forward to reading it:) Thanks for the giveaway!


  34. Spent time in Switzerland and France in high school but am going back again with my daughter’s class next summer to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels. Thanks for the giveaway.

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

    • bon voyage – that sounds like a fabulous trip!

  35. I’d love to read Matching Wits With Venus. Great concept for a read. Thanks for the opportunity. My daughter loves everything Paris and has never been 🙂
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    • hi carol, i hope your daughter gets to visit paris sometime soon.

  36. Thanks for the giveaway!

  37. This looks like a very good book, I would love to read it. Thanks for participating in the Blog Fest.


  38. I would love to visit France. Thanks for the giveaway!

    mary_reiss @

  39. thanks for the give away

  40. Hi! Thank you for this awesome giveaway! I hope to read your book in the future even if I don’t win! (: It sounds like my type of read (:


    • thanks, ellen, i’m touched. i hope you read “matching wits with venus” and let me know what you think of the book.

  41. Thanks for participating in the Blogfest!!
    Great giveaway!

  42. So glad you are a participant in the BlogFest!


    • thanks! i’m really enjoying my first blogfest.

  43. sounds like an awesome book count me in please and ty!

  44. Sounds like a great read!!

  45. I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. I’d like to enter, too! C:

  46. A pleasure to meet you Therese. I will one day make it to Paris and I’m sure I’ll love it as much as you seem to be. 🙂 Your book sounds like it has a great premise behind it – thank you for offering it as your giveaway for Blogfest. You can definitely count me in. 🙂

    wordfiend at

  47. Thanks for the giveaway! I went to Paris on a budget over 10 yrs ago. Must go back when the budget isn’t so tight.

    beckerjo at verizon dot net

  48. Count me in, please. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

    • you are in – and thank you for popping by.

  49. That was a wonderful post. The fact that I read it on a dreary morning in the North of Scotland only enhanced my jealousy of your stroll through Paris. “Matching Wits with Venus” sounds like a great read and will be added to my TBR list.

    • thanks angela – i love scotland! went to my husband’s family reunion a few summers ago, and i know you won’t be surprised to hear it rained. but what a country ….

  50. I LOVE everything French and Paris is my favourite city. SO atmospheric and beautiful! love it! *sighs*

    Thank you for the great giveaway! 🙂

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

    • bonjour stella, great to meet another francophile!

  51. Such an interesting post! Me and a friend always planned to go to Paris together but it never happened. Maybe one day 🙂

    I’d love to enter the giveaway, thank you! Your book sounds very interesting.
    jaedia (at) live

    • hi hannah, i’ll bet you will hop the eurostar one day. thanks for your visit.

  52. Sounds like a fun story–thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  53. Thank you for participating.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  54. Awesome post! Thank you for the great giveaway!

  55. thanks for your visit, shadow!

  56. Thanks for the giveaway-awesome post

    areeths at new dot rr dot com

    • glad you’re a part of blogfest, anne!

  57. A Roman god and a Hollywood matchmaker–that sounds interesting! Thanks for this opportunity. Christmastv at aol dot com.

    • i’m glad you like the concept, thanks for your visit.

  58. ty for the giveaway i hope to win

  59. Your book sounds like a great read! Thanks so much for the giveaway! And I love your French Friday post! I took French for five years through high school and a semester of college, and I absolutely love the language and the culture. I still attempt to study it on my own because it’s such an incredible world outside of my own.

  60. thanks, shannon – you never know when keeping up that french may come in handy. i love your world view!

  61. Thank you for the nice giveaway. I have not heard of your book until the blogfest and I can see why such good reviews. Hope to read it.

  62. Matching Wits with Venus looks awesome I’d love to win it!


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