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Improbable Walks

Author: Lisa Pasold

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Welcome to Improbable Walks, the travel podcast that brings you to the streets of Paris, wherever you are. Every episode, we discover a new street in the City of Light, strolling into the hidden history and stories of Paris, block by block. Your host is Canadian writer and long-time parisienne, Lisa Pasold.
8 Episodes
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In this episode, we walk down one of my favourite shortcuts through Montmartre, which goes past the former house of tragic Italian-Egyptian pop diva, Dalida.  I talk about the atmosphere at the famous Bateau Lavoir, around the corner--where Picasso painted Gertrude Stein's portrait, Marie Laurencin painted Apollinaire's, and Cubism was launched on the world. What's more, the first crook of this elbow-shaped little route is always covered in colourful street art. Remember to visit my website for extra links & images.As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 
I'm posting this walk on Molière's birthday, January 15th (well, the day he was baptized--he may have been born a few days earlier.) We’ll step into the era of the Sun King to talk about the famous French playwright. Molière lived a rather short, exceedingly busy theatrical life (1622 - 1673.) We'll also talk about a dressmaker who worked in this same small street: Madame du Creux designed “robes de chambre” for aristocrats—which means some very elegant 17th-century Haute Couture was sewn here.“Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think.” - Molière As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 
In this special new year's episode, I chat with my friend Heather Stimmler, founder of Secrets of Paris. Heather's favourite market street is the rue Mouffetard, a street which goes back to Roman times. This is the neighbourhood described in the first pages of Ernest Hemingway's classic A Moveable Feast--this is where he bought clementines and chestnuts to eat while he wrote. Heather and I talk about bread, beer, and butchers, walking from the Place Conte-Escarpe down the street to SAINT-MEDARD church. As always, the accordion music is played by the wonderful David Symons.
Rue de l'ODEON

Rue de l'ODEON

2020-11-1613:18

In this episode, we'll stroll down one of the most literary streets on the Left Bank--where Sylvia Beach once ran Shakespeare & Co, opposite Adrienne Monnier's La Maison des Amis des Livres. We'll talk about Hemingway, Janet Flanner, James Joyce, and other friends of the bookshops. 
In this episode, we walk along two beautiful quays on Ile Saint-Louis, and visit the address of not one but two Nobel Prize winners! I get to talk about one of my heroines, Marie Curie, and I hypothesize about ghostly conversations in the Pantheon... As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 
The Village of Passy

The Village of Passy

2020-10-2410:43

In this episode of Improbable Walks, we stroll through a tiny old street where Balzac once lived...  Improbable Walks theme music performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 
In this episode of Improbable Walks, we stroll through the Palais Royal in central Paris, just steps from the Louvre. In this aristocratic garden, we'll talk about the astonishing life of the Chevalier de Saint-George, the Black French composer and internationally-renowned swordsman, who once conducted symphonies here. We'll walk beneath the windows where my favourite French author, Colette, used to write, and peer in the windows of a Directoire-era restaurant... Improbable Walks theme music perfomed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 
In this first episode of Improbable Walks, we take a walk down one of my favourite medieval streets, rue de BIEVRE on the Left Bank. When I first moved to Paris, this street was still guarded by gendarmes because former President Mitterand lived here. But this tiny street's history starts at least 800 years ago... 
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