If one word were used to describe Maubert, it would be charm. Everything is charming in this neighbourhood that looks like a picture postcard, but it is as just alive and restless as the Seine whose curve it embraces. Like the students who have lived here for a millennium, this area is known as the "Latin" quarter (because classes were taught in Latin) – but it has managed to retain an almost mutinous youthful air despite its great age. It is just like the acacia tree (actually a false acacia) which has occupied square Viviani since 1602. Planted under the reign of Henry IV, this venerable tree is proof that Paris can survive anything. And just like the adjoining, ravishing Saint Julien le Pauvre church (the smallest and oldest in Paris).
How delightful it is to stroll around "Maube" - dear to poets and lovers in Paris. Beautiful phantoms haunt its tortuous, friendly, and familiar streets. La Bievre - a phantom river - little sister to the Seine which once crossed Paris and joined the Seine at the foot of Notre Dame. The phantom of the Lady with the Unicorn - a tapestry that fascinates visitors to the wonderful Musée de Cluny, built on the site of the ancient Roman baths.
In fact, the Marais is on the left bank, with more charm, more magic than its cousin on the other side. The crossroads of rue Frédéric Sauton, rue maître Albert, rue de la Piercherie enchants. It reflects the cheerful chaos of the Saint Séverin district, rich with of all kinds of restaurants - always sleeping with one eye open. Living in Maubert means being an eternal student...
The proximity of universities and grandes écoles gives a cheerful youthful air to these venerable streets. Haunt the Shakespeare and Co bookstore and sip a carrot juice; eat delicious scones at the Tea Caddy, the most English tea-room in Paris; devour pressed duck, with a striking view of Paris in the legendary Tour d’Argent; go to the sports mecca known as Vieux Campeur; ferret about among the extravagant stuffed animals in Claude Nature; unearth the most intoxicating candles at Diptyque; or have the tarot cards read in the mysterious bookstore Leymarie, where people have been reading the future since the 19th century. Anything is possible here!
In this film-lovers' quarter where plenty of independent cinemas still exist (marvellous Champo and Grand Action), on a Saturday evening go to a screening of the famous Rocky Horror Show at Studio Galande: the show is really in the room because the (real) fans come dressed up and mimic the film. Mythical!