While hardly an expert on a city that I have a rather checkered past, staying out in a neighborhood is great!!! Very few tourists, mostly locals and working folks.
No, we are not celebrating a 16th birthday. Maybe some multiple of 16. I am referring to the 16th Arrondissement (of twenty) of Paris. There are twenty in Paris, for those of you unfamiliar. The 16th includes the Arch de Triomphe, and several well-known museums. But as you are aware, I am not here for the museums. I have only one reason for being here, the famous French Open.
The 16th is rather a high rent area or one of high society’s favorite places, comparable to Chelsea and Kensington in London, or Charlottenburg in Berlin. It has the third highest income following the 3rd, and Neuilly-Sur-Seine, both adjacent. And besides Roland Garros, it also boasts Parc des Princes (pfootbol), and Bois de Boulogne, the second largest public park in Paris. Nevertheless, it is thought to be one of the richest parts of Paris, and an area strong for the French right. Proust and Balzac both lived here.
The 1965 James Bond film, Thunderball, was filmed here. Also, Last Tango in Paris with Marlon Brando.
Also found here: The Louis Vuitton Foundation, NYU’s Paris campus, International School of Paris, Paris Aquarium, Musee du Vin, Foundation Le Corbusier, Musee Baccarat, and Palais de Tokyo.
Parisians love to shop, including luxury food here, as well as enjoy the streets and parks. The 16th also provides the best view of the Eiffel Tower. The area is often described as “quietly charming” which I enjoy.
Only the French would use the term Arrondissement to name their city.
The 16th voted for President Macron in a landslide in the runoff. Likewise, for Sarkozy, Chirac, and d’Estaing. Are you impressed by how I know these names? Easier than Clinton, Bush, Obama, ****, and Biden!
The Musee du Vin is here and includes wine tasting at the end of the visit. My kind of museum!!!
The Palais de Tokyo is here and boasts no permanent exhibits. The other half of the building house the Musee d’Art Moderne. And the best part, it is free!!
The Guimet Museum, aka Musee National des Artes Asiatiques is also here, with 20,000 works covering seven millennia.
This museum is actually a direct replica of the Musée Guimet de Lyon, which was so successful that Emile Guimet transferred the collections in 1889. Watch out for the striking life-sized replica of the Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat.
The Monet Museum is also here. On display, are more than a hundred of his works, donated by his son, Michel.
In 1985 there was a dramatic art theft from Musée Marmottan featuring five masked and armed robbers. One of the paintings stolen was Monet’s uber-famous Impression: Sunrise, the work that gave the name to the entire Impressionist movement. A daring police operation that involved French thugs and Japanese heroin traffickers resulted in a round-up of the thieves and the return of all the art.
The best markets in the 16th:
- RUE DE L’ANNONCIATION
Pedestrian market street off Rue de Passy near La Muette
Most stores open daily except Sunday
- PASSY COVERED MARKET
Place de Passy
Daily 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.; Sunday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
- AMIRAL BRUIX
Boulevard de l’Amiral-Bruix, between Weber and Marbeau
Wednesday & Saturday 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM
- PRESIDENT WILSON
Avenue du President-Wilson, between Debrousse and Place d’Iena
Wednesday 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM; Saturday 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Corner of rue Mesnil and rue Saint-Didier
Indoor market Tuesday to Saturday 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM Outdoor market Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM; Saturday to 1:30 PM
Other 16th information:
- Metro Line 9 runs along the “spine” of the 16th Arrondissement, starting at station Franklin D Roosevelt in the 8th all the way out to the last station at Pont de Sevres.
- Metro Line 6 cuts a little arc through the 16th from Etoile to Passy. Line 10 ends at Boulogne-St-Cloud in the east after making a few stops in the lower part of the arrondissement.
- We forgot to mention the Statue of Liberty found in the middle of Pont de Grenelle.
- The Aerodynamic Laboratory of Gustave Eiffel. Amazingly, this laboratory and wind tunnel is still operating after more than 100 years. It’s found at 67 Rue Boileau. It can only be visited in pre-arranged groups on Saturdays and Sundays – you must call in advance. 01 42 88 47 40.
- Castel Béranger, designed in 1897 by the then-unknown Hector Guimard (later famous for his iron Metro entrances) can be seen at 34 Rue La Fontaine.
- The last operating artesian well in Paris is located at Square Lamartine.
- An obelisk to Benjamin Franklin commemorates the place he installed the first lighting conductor, or lightning rod, in France. 66 Rue Raynouard at Rue Singer.
Rue de Passy is one of the biggest and busiest shopping streets in the 16th, boasting an array of hot French boutiques, Passy Plaza (a mall comprising 26 shops) and the Franck & Fils department store. Known for its expensive, chic stores (including French mainstays: The Kooples, Zadig et Voltaire, Maje, and a three-story Isabel Marant) this street is brimming with rich Parisians and a smattering of Art Nouveau lovers. But I am not here to shop!
The focus on these few days here will be tennis. I will be rooting for the great champion, Naomi Osaka, as well as the few American stars. But Mostly, I want to soak in the atmosphere at Roland Garros.