Category Archives: Where Can I Find?

Running in Paris

In the past, breaking a sweat on the sidewalk or having to sidestep merde may have deterred people from running in Paris, but the Parisian running scene is as vibrant as in any major city. For those just getting into running or seasoned runners itching for a race, here’s our guide to running in Paris.

Where and When to Run
Early morning and late evening are when you’ll see the most runners, but runners are out and about all times of day. During the lunch hour you’ll see men and women of all ages doing laps around the Champ de Mars. But if you prefer to have peace, quiet, and empty sidewalks, then your best bet is to be on your way before 7AM. Any later and you’ll be sharing the streets with commuters heading to work and probably get a side eye from one or two. Despite Paris providing a relaxing, scenic atmosphere for a morning jog, it seems after work hours draw a larger crowd. Parisians don’t appear to be an early to bed, early to rise kind of crew so you’ll see them squeezing in a run pre-dinner. No matter what time of day you run, it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings. Most neighborhoods in Paris are safe, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be a target. For French and non-French speakers alike it’s recommended your carry identification and a few bills (enough for an emergency taxi ride or metro ticket) with you. There are a few companies, such as Road ID, ICE ID, and MedIDs, where you can customize an ID bracelet. These are especially important if you have any sort of medical conditions or want medical personnel to know which languages you speak.

Once you’ve worked out a time to throw on your sneaks, planning a running route in Paris has never been easier. Websites such as Map My Run, Walk Jog Run, Run Keeper, and Run Map allow you to search routes completed by other runners, use an interactive tool to map your own route, as well as keep track of your running statistics. Run the Planet and Running Routes also provide routes with commentary on directions and scenery. If hopping on the Internet isn’t your running style, it’s just as easy to head to one of Paris’s many parks or forge your own path through the city’s urban landscape.

Running Buddies
If you’re looking for company, Paris offers a range of running groups. There are those for native English speakers, those who want to run with locals, and even groups dedicated to running and drinking. Here are just a few:

Paris Running Tours
Paris Running Club
Paris Hash House Harriers
Nike Running Club
Les Moustiques
Paris Athletic
Good People Run

Getting Ready to Run
You’d think running in the fashion capital of the world you would need runway worthy workout clothes, but that is not the case. The majority of runners on Parisian streets are wearing yesterday’s undershirt and a pair of old sweatpants. Only a handful look the part of high school track star and three-time marathoner which goes to show you that being a runner in Paris is all about your attitude. If you want to run, run. A few folks of the non-exercising variety may stare or squawk but your confidence is what will propel you to keep jogging past them without a second thought to their obnoxious looks or comments. But, if you want to run in style or need to retire an old pair of Adidas there are several stores in Paris where you can find what you need. Here is a list of stores that carry running gear: 

Boutique Marathon
26 rue Léon Jost 75017 Tel: 01 42 27 48 18

Planet Jogging
80 rue du Fbg Saint Antoine 75012 Tel: 01 53 46 02 02
58/60 avenue de la Grande Armée 75017 Tel: 01 45 72 50 00

Endurance Shop
14 rue de l’Ouest 75014 Tel: 01 43 27 15 65

Au Vieux Campeur
48 rue Ecoles 75005 Tel: 01 53 10 48 48

Le Pape
39 rue Artois 75008 Tel: 01 53 75 00 03

Decathlon
23 boulevard de la Madeleine 75001 Tel: 01 55 35 97 55
26 avenue de Wagram 75008 Tel: 01 45 72 66 88
113 avenue de France 75013 Tel: 01 44 06 82 00
416 rue Louis Armand 75015 Tel: 01 45 58 60 45
2 place de la Défense 92053 Tel: 01 49 03 75 20
67 bis/79 rue de la Republique 93100 Tel: 01 48 18 29 00

Go Sport Tel: 08 25 10 60 60
Nouveau Forum des Halles Place Carrée 75001
Forum des Halles Niveau 3- 1 rue Pierre Lescot 75001
10 place de la Republique 75011
135 avenue Daumensil 75012
30 avenue d’Italie 75013
21/23 avenue de la Porte de Chatillon 75014
Centre Commercial Gaité- 68 avenue du Maine 75014
12/16 avenue de la Porte de Saint Cloud 75016
Centre Commercial les 4 Temps Casier 136 92092

Nike
12 rue des Hospitalieres Saint-Gervais 75004 Tel: 01 53 01 23 27
24 rue Aubry le Boucher 75004 Tel: 01 42 78 15 00
67 avenue des Champs Elysées  75008 Tel: 01 42 25 93 80
104 rue de Provence 75009 Tel: 01 40 16 00 57
2 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine  75012 Tel: 01 43 44 25 95

ProDuSport
Passion Running
Sportri

Running a Race
Paris hosts a variety of races throughout the year. There are 5Ks, marathons, and everything in between. But before you can dash across any starting line, there are a few basic steps for signing up to race:

1. Visit the race website and review the registration requirements. If you are not a member of an athletic association or do not have a current medical certificate, visit your general practitioner to get up-to-date medical clearance to run. French law requires all competitors to have a medical certificate from a doctor proving they are fit to race. When you visit the doctor to get your certificate, he or she can write you the certificate or you can bring a form (usually downloadable from the race website) already filled out with the correct wording. Some race organizers are strict about the wording so be sure your doctor writes the correct thing!

2. Print out and complete a registration form OR complete the form online.

3. Pay the registration fee online OR write a check to mail in.

4. Mail in your completed registration form, a copy of your medical certificate, and registration fee OR submit your registration form with a electronic copy of your certificate attached.

5. All set! Within a few days you should receive confirmation of your registration. As the race date approaches you’ll get more information about how, when, and where to pick up your race number.

If you’re looking for a race, Paris Running Tours and Agenda du Sportif have calendars with race dates.

Helpful Vocabulary

to run courir
to go running faire du jogging
race la course
race route le parcours
to register s’inscrire
registration la inscription
medical certificate le certificat médical
training la préparation
start le départ
fuel points les points de ravitaillements
finish la arrivée
results les résultats
timing chip la puce électronique
sneakers les chassures
socks les chausettes
laces les lacets
lace lacer

Fire Safety

Despite several highly publicized fires in the City of Light, it was only recently that French legislators passed a law mandating smoke detector installation. By January 2016 all living facilities in France are required to have smoke detectors (détecteur de fumée). Paris’s beauty makes it easy to forget that Haussmann didn’t have safety codes in mind when renovating the city. Nor did medieval architects consider how difficult it would be for a firetruck to race down a narrow, cobblestone street. Several hundred years later, despite the services of the city’s brave firefighters (les sapeurs-pompiers de Paris), many of Paris’s buildings remain not only fire hazards, but fire traps.

Whether you are moving to Paris permanently or relocating for the long term, it is important to check if where you’re staying is equipped with at least one smoke detector. When you’re planning a move and packing your suitcases, smoke detectors aren’t the first thing you think of, but they might be the most important thing you pack or buy on arrival. Paris brings to mind baguettes and bistros, not fires, but the reality is that such dangers can occur anytime, anywhere. Considering a fire breaks out every 2 minutes in France, a smoke detector is an essential purchase. For as little as 20€ you can make your space fire safe. Even though smoke detectors aren’t mandatory yet, they are relatively easy to find. Major home stores, local hardware shops, and even some bigger grocery chains sell smoke detectors. For a sure bet though, visit one of the stores listed below. These stores also sell everything you need for a quick and easy installation.

Mr. Bricolage  (Click here to see the store’s presentation on installing smoke detectors. The slides are in French, but a website like Google Translate can help you get the most important information from the presentation.)

166 Rue St Maur, 75011 Paris

21 Rue Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris

Castorama

C C Les Arcades 1/3 rue de Caulaincourt, 75018 Paris Clichy

11 Cours de Vincennes, 75020 Paris

119 Avenue Flandre, 75019 Paris

BHV Rivoli

55 rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris

Where Can I Find……

Don’t pull out your hair.  We’ll keep a running list of those things you may be searching for but just can’t seem to find.  This list will be updated regularly, adding items previously featured on the top right hand side of the site.

Dental floss:  Yes, dental floss exists in France but you won’t find it in the supermarket with the toothbrushes and toothpaste.   Stop by your neighborhood pharmacie.  You will find it there.

Fresh tortillas: Take a trip to the Latin Quarter to stock up at Mexi and Co., 10 rue Dante (5th arrondissement).  These tortillas freeze well.

Rice Krispies:  Kellogg’s products are widely available in Paris and you’ll easily find chocolate flavored rice cereal as well.  But for some reason, only two of the major supermarket chains carry Snap Crackle and Pop:  Auchan and Super U.  Unfortunately neither has a store in the city of Paris.  Check their Web sites for an outlet in a suburban community near you.

Graham crackers for making graham cracker crust: You can probably find graham crackers at one of the markets catering to Americans but for one-quarter of the price, grab a package of Speculoos cookies at your local supermarket. These Belgian treats, nicely spiced with cinnamon and cloves, crumble well and are the perfect foil for cheesecake, Key Lime pie, and pretty much any treat calling for a graham cracker crust.

Bread crumbs:   Take yesterday’s baguette, let it sit out another day until it’s good and hard, and then smash it with a rolling pin or put it in your food processor.  If you don’t have the time or the patience, you can usually find boxes of bread crumbs in the supermarket next to the flour.  Look for the carton marked chapelure.

A decent hamburger: Okay first of all, the beef tastes different in France so it’s never going to be like a burger back home. And second, let’s just say that neither France nor the U.S. can really do each other’s cuisine justice. That being said, there comes a time in the life of every North American expat when a decent burger is just what the doctor ordered. Le Figaro did an article on this awhile back but it’s been so long, you now have to pay to retrieve it from the archives. So take a look at blogger David Lebovitz’s post: Where to Find a Great Hamburger in Paris.

A place to rent a tuxedo:   Two good sources are: www.jjloc.fr and www.lesdeuxorsons.com.  Bear in mind that you cannot rent accessories so be prepared to buy ties, shoes, pocket squares, even shirts.  Thanks to Anne at Fête in France for the info.

Dried sweetened cranberries:   Although you may find them elsewhere, you might be surprised to learn that the ubiquitous urban supermarket Franprix carries dried cranberries.  Look for a display of green or orange plastic packages with various types of nuts, dried fruit, and popcorn.    You can also sometimes find them from the fellow selling nuts, dried fruit, olives, and spices at your local open air market.  And the word in French for cranberries is…….”cranberries.”

Aluminum foil that doesn’t feel like tissue paper:  Look for the package marked papier aluminum renforcée which has roughly the same durability as the regular aluminum foil sold in North America.  Stay away from the regular variety which tears at the slightest provocation.

Aveda hair care products:  Joel Villard at 16, rue de Saint-Simon in the 7th arrrondissement (Metro: Rue de Bac) is the only licensed Aveda salon in France.  Its stylists are trained at the Aveda Institute and familiar products like Rosemary Mint Shampoo, Be Curly, Shampure, and Hand Relief are for sale.  Call 01 45 55 85 69 for hours.

Information about what’s going on in Paris this week:  Pariscope is the definitive source for all things cultural — art shows, theater, concerts, movies, special events.  It comes out every Wednesday and is available for only 40 centimes at every press kiosque.  (And if your French is limited, check out this on-line guide  to how to read Pariscope!) Figaroscope, a weekly supplement to the newspaper Le Figaro. also comes out on Wednesday and includes feature articles as well.

A playground that suits my kids:  There are tons of playgrounds in Paris, ranging from a tiny seesaw and a sandpit in a pocket park to full fledged affairs for older kids.  The city of Paris has a complete list on-line arranged by arrondissement.  Click on the text “toutes les infos” on the right hand side for a detailed listing of the offerings.

Fabric, notions, and everything else for sewing:   Take the metro to Anvers, head up the hill towards Sacre Coeur, hang a right and you’ll find everything you need for sewing whether you’re making clothes or decorating your Parisian apartment.  The two biggest stores are La Reine and the Marché Saint-Pierre but there are also a dozen or more other stores selling material, buttons, trim, and the rest.

Musical instruments and sheet music:   All musical roads lead to Rome, in this case, not the city in Italy but the metro stop on the border of the 17th and 8th arrondissements.   Some of the stores rent musical instruments but get there too late in the school term and you may be out of luck.

Plants, seeds, window boxes and other gardening gear:  Paris is thick with florists and you probably won’t have any trouble buying geraniums, vases, and small pots in your neighborhood.  If your needs go further, check out the stores along the Quai Mégisserie in the 1st arrondissement.  There’s also the Marché aux Fleurs on Place Louis Lepine on Ile de la Cité (Metro: Cité).

A cheap but decent manicure: There’s no equivalent in Paris to the $15 manicure you find in the Vietnamese nail salons in New York or LA. For the most part, a full manicure will set you back 30 to 35 euros. But if you can trim your own nails and deal with your ratty cuticles, you can get nail polish applied expertly for around 6 to 8 euros. Ask for a pose de vernis rather than for a manucure.