The first time I ever visited Paris, my family stayed on Rue Mouffetard. We knew nothing about the neighborhood or the city, but when we arrived on the small, steep street, it totally enchanted us.
When I moved back to the city years later, I was lucky enough to live 5 minutes away. Known as "the oldest street in Paris," Rue Mouffetard is vibrant and friendly, lined with affordable shops selling bread, fish, clothing, cheese, Chinese food, ice cream, chocolate, books, souvenirs, and more. At night, it's mostly a student crowd that gathers in the Contrescarpe (where George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway once lived) and its bars. I love this street with my whole heart; I think it's one of the city's best kept secrets.
I studied in Paris a few years ago and I fell in love with the city, becoming especially fascinated by the history of American expatriate writers and musicians there.
So, one of my favorite "Paris moments" is browsing for books at Shakespeare and Company, an English-language bookstore that holds an important place in American literary history. Founded by Sylvia Beach, the shop was frequently visited by American expatriate authors like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Djuna Barnes. The inside of store whisks you back in time, and from the upstairs window you can gaze out at Notre Dame and the Seine. You can also spend hours reading in the adjacent café, which serves smoothies and pressed juices in addition to espresso.