Have you been to Pompidou Center? The locals call it Beaubourg because of its location on Rue Beaubourg. It’s the most outrageous looking building in Paris, right in the heart of the Right Bank at the Rambuteau metro stop. It was built in the 1970’s when George Pompidou was President and is considered “Brutalist architecture, or Post Modern Architecture.” It’s basically a pretty ugly building, with all of its heating and cooling ducts and pipes on the outside of the building, all brightly colored. Don’t let any of that discourage you from visiting it, though, for a couple of reasons. First, it is the home of a Modern Art Museum that I’m told is the largest modern art museum in Europe and really has some great art all the time, as well as interesting special exhibits. Secondly, it has a KILLER view from the top level. There is a restaurant up there called “Le Georges” which is actually pretty snooty, and expensive, so instead of eating there, just go up there around 6:00 PM (remember the French don’t eat dinner till after 8:30 or 9:00) and have a drink. The escalator to the restaurant is right off of the plaza and is different from the regular museum entrance, so you have to look for it. It IS expensive- a glass of champagne will run you 15 euros or so, but from there, you can see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and lots of Paris. If you time it right, you can also see the sunset and watch the Eiffel Tower light up. If you’re there during the day, the plaza just in front of the building, in good weather, has jugglers and/or singers looking to make a few bucks and I highly recommend Creperie Beaubourg at 2 Rue Brisemiche, right nearby. It is a Breton creperie, and the crepes are delicious. Order a “menu” and you get a glass of hard cider, a savory crepe (egg and ham, for instance) and a sweet crepe (butter and sugar). I think when we were there it was 9 euros for all 3 and well worth it! Enjoy!!
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