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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

November 5-8
The boutique charity organization Emmaüs (105 Boulevard Davout, 20th) is having a "Kilo Sale" where mens, womens and childrens used clothing are sold for €10/kilo (that's a lot of clothing). Daily 11am-7:45pm. 

November 8-16
The 39th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €9, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010. 

November 8-11
The Château Vaux le Vicomte is hosting its annual Palais au Chocolat. The palace will be decorated with chocolate artworks created by some of the biggest names in chocolate. Tickets are €16.50 (€13.50 for kids 6-18), which includes access to the château and gardens and exhibits throughout the estate; you can reserve them in advance online. Open 10am-6pm.

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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