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American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

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Calendar of Paris Events

June 4
The 16th annual Carnaval Tropical parade with 4000 dancers celebrating French West Indies cultures as well as other dancers from Brazil, China, Colombia and other nations around the world. They start at Hôtel de Ville at 2pm, up to Place de la République until 6pm. Come see the dancers and try out the exotic foods on sale! 

June 19
Get out your fancy hats and picnic baskets for the annual Prix de Diane races at Chantilly Hippodrome (just 45 minutes north of Paris from Gare du Nord). Read more about the event from previous years here. 

June 24-26
Solidays is one of the best summer music festivals in France. This event unites more than 150 musicians (including Cypress Hill and Keziah Jones) and 160,000 attendees every year in the fight against AIDS, and this summer is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Day passes starting at €39.  

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

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Sunday
Jul092006

Wepler Brasserie

Brasserie Wepler
14 Place de Clichy, 18th
Tel 01 45 22 53 24
M° Place de Clichy

www.wepler.com

The Place de Clichy, a busy crossroads between the 9th, 17th and 18th arrondissements, is dominated by this historic brasserie which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1992. I just like going there because it's one of the few remaining non-chain places to eat in the big intersection (there are McD's, Quick, Léon de Bruxelles, etc.).

It has a small terrace (you'll be sucking car exhaust fumes if you sit out there), but I prefer the retro decor inside. There are huge murals on the walls, big booths and funky chandeliers...the whole atmosphere reminds me of the old Woolworths cafés (although this is much nicer).

The Wepler is air-conditioned, and once inside you can barely hear a peep of the traffic outside. I ordered a Croque Madame (open faced ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg on top). It's served on Poilaine bread with a roasted tomato, a bit of salad, basket of bread and all of the necessary condiments (mustard, S&P, olive oil). Everything is so well-presented I wished I'd had my camera. I even got a little carafe of water without asking.

The snack-type food (sandwiches, salads, soup, fries, etc.) is served 8am-1am. They also have a full Brasserie menu of seafood and traditional dishes like foie gras, oinion soup, Sole Meuniere, steak tartare, etc. Menus are €25, à la carte is about €40. My croque and a café crème cost me €11.20.

The bathrooms are more than adequate (particularly for a historic place). The service is polite, but as my friend who lives around the corner correctly pointed out, "a bit quirky". I think they're just good at amusing themselves, despite the clientele, LOL! Or maybe they're inspired by the winners of the annual "Prix Wepler" litterary prize for books that celebrate "audacity, excess, and a singularity resolutely apart from commercial literature". Read the list of past winners on the website.

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