This area of Paris has an old world glamour, but has been considered past its prime for years now since there has not been any “buzz” about this neighborhood since about 1899. Boulevard Raspail and Rue de Rennes, are one borderline of this neighborhood. Left Bank by geography, decidedly BOBO, this area was taken over by the tall MONTPARNASSE TOWER built the 1970s period when everyone in Paris was totally crazy for tall modern things. I remember when the building of LA DEFENSE was supposed to be the “New Paris” and everyone marveled at the idea, except me. The MONTPARNASSE TOWER has a newly opened champagne bar with spectacular views, so maybe I can be converted to shiny “new” Paris, when handed a glass of champagne (I’ll need it after whizzing to the top in Europe’s fastest elevator). Discovering new things in an old neighborhood is always an adventure, especially when you are just arriving at the early stages of a renaissance. I can already see the “buzz” factor is happening with new bars and the recent addition of the CARTIER MUSEUM. Its arrival signals the area is going to increase in stature for art and culture as more people make this area a destination, rather than a pass through. MUSEE BOURDELLE (a pupil of RODIN) and the photographer Henri-Cartier Bresson (a personal favorite of mine) have institutions that have been quietly providing a cornerstone for this area. Nightlife is beginning to happen, the shopping is improving and we predict this dusty section of the left bank will be a newly minted neighborhood for The Adventuress.
PS: One of our favorite blogs on the subject of neighborhoods in Paris, is VINGT PARIS MAGAZINE (full disclosure) we have written for this magazine so we are partial to it! Here’s a link to one of their entertaining pages on “Paris Characters” to give you a more detailed idea of where you may wish to go in this area: