Sunday Evening in Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Sunday Evening in Saint-Germain-des-Prés

This is Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a neighborhood at the west end of the Latin Quarter. It is named after the church you see here, Saint Germain of the Fields. The Brasserie Lipp is one of several famous and rather snooty bars and restaurants here. The Café de Flore is another one. Famous writers (Sartre, Hemingway) used to hang out at these places. The name Les Deux Magots refers to two Chinese figurines that are still visible inside. Most of the people you see milling around this newsstand are tourists. This area also used to be a major publishing center, so this bookstore/stationery store fits right in. They are all on Saint Germain boulevard, seen here, which is also named after the church. Originally, 1400 years ago, there was just the abbey (now a church), and empty fields. This is the bell tower of the church. This is one of the oldest churches in Paris. And here’s a small park on the north side of the church. There’s a small statue in honor of Apollinaire inside. The park is named after Laurent Prache, a former city council member who died in 1919. Some bits and pieces of the original 7th-century church are still visible. This is the view from the street on the north side, Abbey Road (rue de l’Abbaye). This is part of the plaza in front of the church, looking west. The plaza is named after—you guessed it—Saint Germain of the Fields. Let’s step over to Seine Street, still in the same neighborhood. This charming little store sells wine and groceries. Typical neighborhood grocery. Let’s take a quick detour down narrow Visconti Street. Like Seine Street, it’s filled with art galleries that are open on Sundays. But it’s also home to the tiniest park in Paris, the Visconti Street Garden. It’s closed right now because of some structural safety issues with the rear wall. Notice the heavy bracing of the rear wall. The surrounding buildings are 400 years old. There’s one big tree in the park. Anyway, back to where we were (roughly). This is a popular restaurant, La Palette. And it’s on popular Seine Street, with art galleries in every direction. It reminds me of the gallery “art walks” in some other cities, but I prefer this one. The galleries come one after another in some spots. Most of them exhibit and sell modern art. The weather is really nice on this last Sunday of summer. This little garden, with its modern sculpture fountain, is apparently open just to pigeons. The rue de l’Échaudé (Scalded Street), looking south, diagonally across from the fountain. Back to Seine Street, still looking south. One of many quaint, small hotels in the area. Now let’s step over to Dauphine Street. We’re strolling south, towards Buci Street. There are people here all the time, but the nice weather brings out even more. Dauphine, Buci, Mazarine, Saint André des Arts, and Ancienne Comédie Streets all meet here. Two of the many, many shops along this and other streets. Let’s weave through the crowd over to the pedestrian Buci Street. We cross Mazarine Street first. Some of the restaurants around the intersection, with their busy terraces. Now we’re walking west along Buci Street. This well-located café always has every table filled. The adjacent, pedestrian Grégoire de Tours Street (looking south), also chock full o’restaurants. Many of the restaurants have very reasonably priced fixed menus. For one fixed price, you get a choice of appetizer, main dish, and dessert. For €10.80, mussels, French fries, and your choice of drink. This is just a small card and magazine shop, but it’s still charming to look at. You want to go in just to look at the decor and architecture. Looking back north towards Buci Street and a popular ice-cream shop. And looking west again along Buci Street. How about another swift stroll along this street, eh? The street is always crowded, except in the wee hours and just after sunrise. Another restaurant with all tables filled. It can be hard to walk around at times. Looking back the other way, from the popular Paul bakery (all tables filled!). Continuing around the bend of Buci Street, westbound. A side street, Abbey Road, which we were on earlier north of the church. Looking south on Buci Street towards Saint Germain Boulevard. Let’s walk west on Abbey Road and get away from the crowds a bit. The trees you see way in the distance are the park north of the church. That’s where we were a while ago (with the Apollinaire statue). This is a secluded little roundabout and plaza just north of the street. And this is an Oscar-worthy travelling shot without a Steadicam. I just want to give you an idea of how it looks and the streets nearby. Abbey Road straight ahead. The skyline from this street, in late afternoon. Now let’s walk over to Odéon, a popular spot in the neighborhood. There’s a Métro station right in the middle of it. There’s this little snack bar on the pedestrian median. There are several movie theaters nearby. And, oh yes, more cafés, all filled or nearly filled. Looking east in this panoramic shot. This stand sells a huge variety of sweets and candy. Across the boulevard, still more busy cafés and restaurants. There’s a handy bus stop at Odéon, too. This café is outside the Cour du Commerce Saint André. And here’s the photogenic Cour du Commerce, on which I have a separate video. Stuff to see in every direction. The restaurant on this corner serves Sunday brunch. Another entrance to the Cour du Commerce under the arch, Ancienne Comédie Street. Looking in towards the Cour du Commerce and a 1900s-style bistrot. Some of the appetizers on the menu. This is Le Procope, the oldest café in Paris (over 300 years!). People like Robespierre and Ben Franklin dined here. Looks like they have a fixed-price menu at less than €13. These days you’re not limited to French food, though. Japanese, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian, anything you want. Back at the corner of Buci and Ancienne Comédie Streets. Pear crumble or baba with rhum—mmm. One last look up Ancienne Comédie Street, and we’re done. Thank you for watching my video.

64 Replies to “Sunday Evening in Saint-Germain-des-Prés”

  1. I don't know if all of France could qualify (although most of it is very photogenic), but Paris is definitely as you see it depicted here. If anything, videos don't do it justice. It's much nicer in person. I just shoot footage and edit it into a video, so what you see on the screen is just how things appear in real life, for better or for worse.

  2. I think it depends on the city rather than the country. Any time you have a city that packs a lot of people into a small area, there's a tendency for them to go out for strolls and socialization. In cities that are very spread out (as in parts of the western U.S.), you can't go anywhere on foot, so you have to take a car, so street scenes like those in this video are completely unknown. I love Paris!

  3. Very lovely, think i'll stop watching the usual trash on Utube and stick with the scenic for a while, it is much better for my outlook on life.
    Beautiful video and so artistically done. It is a like a pleasant dream, and when it's over i want to go back and stay there.

  4. I think it's because many U.S. cities were built after automobiles became common, so they just spread out … like Paris suburbs. European cities were already well established before cars came along. I prefer the European model. Unfortunately, too much space is given to cars in Paris right now, although hopefully that will change.

  5. Your videos of Paris are the best I've seen…have watched some of them quite a few times. I like that you have started captioning to let us know where we are and what type of stores and cafes you're filming. Only one complaint…by the time I've read the caption you are off on to another area and so I'm constantly having to backtrack. Slower please, thank you.

  6. Thanks! A problem with having optional captions is that the pacing for a video with captions is different from that for one without them. YouTube doesn't tell me what percentage of viewers turn on the captions, so I have to edit with intermediate pacing. Unfortunately that means that if the viewer has captions off, the shots in the video might seem to drag, while if the viewer has captions on, the shots might seem to short to allow reading of the captions.

  7. I found this video very atmospheric, perhaps on account of the audio which seemed a little more noticeable than in some of your other videos.

  8. Thanks. Maybe it was because of all the people around and the sounds of their voices. Plus there wasn't any wind in much of the video, so wind noise was mostly absent (fortunately).

  9. i love your videos i have seen them all i'm from mexico and i'm going to go to paris and i'm so happy!!! please continue doing your videos please!!!

  10. oui j'adore cette vidéo, vous didi im des Etats-Unis et mon roon est français, il veut la maison déménagement ce qu'il appelle sa maison de sa famille est la zone

  11. i love your videos. Simple and authentic. It's like going there without going there. Thanks for filming and sharing.

  12. Great video! What time of year was this filmed? I will be there in late September 2013. Just curious about the weather that time of year.

  13. This video was shot in late September of last year. The weather is usually excellent, comparable to April in Paris, except that it is gradually cooling off rather than gradually warming up. But it's still pretty warm in September, as you can see in this video.

  14. Very nice, it's like being there ! I've seen many places where I used to go when I was living in Paris, thanks a lot!

  15. Was the place at 9:23 indoors? The leather chairs in the alley (facing Un Dimanche a Paris) looked so comfortable, and quite posh, too.

  16. It's a bistro with both indoor and outdoor seating. In the video you're looking at the outdoor seating from a covered pedestrian street. The pedestrian street in the background is the Cour du Commerce St. André, one of the oldest streets in the city. So the people you see seated are actually outdoors, but it's an enclosed area.

  17. Great video, thank you, just like being there, and thanks so much for NOT including a music soundtrack. Those are annoying, and take away from the realism of the experience. Thumbs up!

  18. Wonderful and we saw our hotel on the video!! We love Saint-Germain-des-Près, it's so lively even on Sunday! Hotel De Seine

  19. Wonderful footage. Congrats! A little breathtaking piece of this amazing city.
    Sensacional Paris! Cafés, Gaufre/Crèpe Kiosks, Pâtisseries, and much more.
    Best regards from Rio, Brazil

  20. The quietude of the people is nice. Unlike other places people in Paris don't constantly bother other people around them with loud demand for attention. They don't demand that you listen to their life story.

  21. this is the place where you ll also find the famous Sorbonne University  where I studied a long time ago. Student liife is incredible there . A shame that Grumpy Parisians and I 'm probably one of them cannot seem to appreciate the open sky museum they are living in.
    your footage is outstanding it captures the spirit of this city  in  many many ways

  22. I really enjoyed your video. It captures the authentic street life of Paris that many tourists miss in pursuit of seeing every museum, monument, etc.

  23. Wow! Five years later after your shooting! You did such an amazing job with that video! One other thing i love about it is that you don't put any disturbing music like they usualy do now. We really have the chance to feel the place! Like others said, you have a great talent! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Hey mxsmanic, I hope all is well with you (health wise and financially). Are you still in Paris?

    I enjoy your authentic videos.

  25. Great video, i like it very much. Thanks for making and sharing it to everyone. Pls make more videos like this. I love French style, French food & wine, Churches, Chateaus, Museums, natural view…Thank you.

  26. I used to drink my morning coffee in a cafe in Paris saint German called le matin….it was the best coffee I ever had ,still remember its taste

  27. Ah, but I wanted to see that marvelous crepe kiosk by the Eglise and the St. Germain des Près Metro Station.
    Their Grand Marnier crepes are TO DIE!!!!

  28. Gracias me encantó el vid! es un sector muy variado; y recomiendo comer unas ostras frescas en el Atlas que sale en una parte del vid! mayo pasado estuvimos con mi marido y las abren en el momento excelente el barrio! merci beaucoup 😊

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