The best of Paris: Café

From Fragments to Ob-La-Di - the best coffee the French capital has to offer

Photo by Lea Brds

The world revolves around Paris - at least, mine always did. I first came to the city when I was seventeen years old before returning as a full-fledged college student to spend a semester in the ville de lumière. I slowly started to make a home of the city, one that was all my own, adopting all the ways of life so ingrained in the daily routine of a Parisian. One major aspect, transcending time, that goes all the way back to those of the lost generation (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stein): cafés.

Cafés in Paris have always been a liminal space for writers - a place of transition, where time is neither here nor there, where the veil is thin. Take the Cafe de Flore, for instance: one of the oldest coffee shops in the city (located in the 6ème) that hosted a variety of greats, such as Picasso to Jean-Paul Sartre, the latter of whom reportedly spent so much time there he eventually had his own phone line installed. Many of your favorite books from French writers have probably been penned in cafés - that is the common thread they all share, in a world of so very few.

As a foreigner, I stumbled into these spaces and found small inklings of comfort and familiarity - they all carried the same scent of warm, roasted coffee beans and vinyl crackling in the background. It was a constant at a time where there weren't many. Time moves differently in these tucked away corners of Paris - not necessarily slower, but in a way that allows you to pause. A mindset very deeply embedded in French culture, cafés are the spaces where it's important to linger. Coffee is not the quick stop on the way to work - it's the destination. At any time of the day, you'll find people ever-presently scattered on the outside tables of rue du Temple, trying to absorb one more sip of their espresso before returning to work.

I invite you through the most magical coffee spots the city of Paris has to offer. Not only patrons of their craft, but spend enough time in these warm home-away-from-homes and Paris will become a part of yours, too.

Fragments

via Fragments Paris instagram

via Fragments Paris instagram

via Fragments Paris instagram

WHERE: 76 rue des Tournelles, 75003 (3ème arrondissement)

WHEN: 8AM - 6PM, except opens at 10AM on weekends

HOW MUCH: espresso 2.5€ - cappuccino 4€ - avocado toast 9€

HOW TO: 8 Line, Chemin Vert

CONTACT: Instagram

Located in the inner heart of Le Marais, Fragments remains one of the neighborhood's crowning jewels in all things caffeine and pastry. It is tucked away in a closed-off rue des Tournelles, before inviting you in to it's warmth curated by it's visionary and owner Youssef (the former owner of Black Market). The vinyl stacked behind the counter as well as the eclectic collection of artwork all create the atmosphere of home, something that will definitely tempt you to stay here with a good book for hours (if you do - don't forget to tip well!) The baristas at Fragments are never anything but kind, gracious and welcoming, even if your French doesn't go past a couple sentences. As I went to school a short ten-minute walk away, I would always find myself here after a long day with the promise of a safe space and espresso - I still consider it my most favorite spot in Paris.

Ob-La-Di

via Ob-La-Di instagram

via Ob-La-Di instagram

via Ob-La-Di instagram

WHERE: 54 rue de Saintonge, 75003 (3ème arrondissement)

WHEN: 8AM - 5PM, except opens at 9AM on weekends

HOW MUCH: espresso 2€ - latte 5€ - poached egg 9€

HOW TO: 8 Line, Filles du Calvaire

CONTACT: Instagram

Famous for their blue tiling that will surely pop up on your Instagram feed every now and again, the best part of Ob-La-Di is their locally-sourced coffee. The café uses Lomi beans and specializes in vegan/gluten-free products, so if you're a foodie looking for some organic goods this is definitely the place for you. Even though anything you order will be delicious, definitely try the avocado toast - using homemade purple potato bread, chimichurri sauce and pomegranate seeds, Ob-La-Di managed to create the perfect addition to your morning coffee. I always seemed to come out of here humming the Beatles song of the same name, too.

Café Oberkampf

via Cafe Oberkampf instagram

via Cafe Oberkampf instagram

via Cafe Oberkampf instagram

WHERE: 3 rue Neuve Popincourt, 75011 (11ème arrondissement)

WHEN: 830AM - 430PM

HOW MUCH: espresso 2.5€ - americano 3€ - green eggs & feta 7€

HOW TO: 5 or 9 Line, Oberkampf

CONTACT: Instagram

A sweet little café in one of the hippest parts of Paris, Cafe Oberkampf is a eutopia of good shakshuka and dirty Chai coffee. The owners always have a smile on their face and are eager to help. The coffee roast changes every week, so every time you pop in here you're likely to enjoy a new selection to choose from. It is not the most notable coffee in Paris, but the atmosphere, baristas and people make it one of the warmest places to be. A tip: as the place is a little bit on the smaller side (as all things in France), we recommend going early if you wish to have a spot to do some work.

Strada

via @amazing.france / instagram

via @declancheuse / instagram

WHERE: 94 rue du Temple, 75003 (3ème arrondissement)

WHEN: 8AM - 6PM, except opens at 10AM on weekends

HOW MUCH: espresso 3€ - cappuccino 5€ - croissant 3€

HOW TO: 11 Line, Rambuteau

CONTACT: Facebook

The first of two Strada's in Paris (the other is located near the Sorbonne in the 5ème), this café has a bit more of an American flair than most but particularly cozy. The coffee is always freshly-roasted and always served with a smile. This is a prime study spot for me, whenever I need a little bit more peace and quiet to get things done. Strada is inviting and unassuming, which makes it a perfect fit for your every-day coffee needs.

For more in Paris, stay tuned for the next part of the series: museums. Turning away from the essentials for a moment (like the Louvre), we're going to bring to you the smaller gems you might easily overlook.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.


What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!

Travel

Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.