32 episodes

Welcome to Improbable Walks, the travel podcast that brings you to the streets of Paris, wherever you are. Every episode, we discover a new street in the City of Light, strolling into the hidden history and stories of Paris, block by block. Your host is Canadian writer and long-time parisienne, Lisa Pasold. To support this podcast, please become a patron at Patreon

Improbable Walks Lisa Pasold

    • History
    • 4.8 • 6 Ratings

Welcome to Improbable Walks, the travel podcast that brings you to the streets of Paris, wherever you are. Every episode, we discover a new street in the City of Light, strolling into the hidden history and stories of Paris, block by block. Your host is Canadian writer and long-time parisienne, Lisa Pasold. To support this podcast, please become a patron at Patreon

    Back to the Grands Boulevards

    Back to the Grands Boulevards

    In this episode, we continue our stroll along the Grands Boulevards, exploring some wild stories, literati, and even an assassination attempt that resulted in the brand new Garnier Opera house being built. And I get to chat about some of my favourite Parisians from the past, including General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, the Revolutionary hero & father of writer Alexandre Dumas. For photos, check out my website! Thanks as always to Bremner Fletcher for technical expertise, and general know-how. The Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 20 min
    Belle Epoque Spectacle: Grands Blvds (part 1)

    Belle Epoque Spectacle: Grands Blvds (part 1)

    In this episode, we celebrate the holidays with a stroll past the Opera Garnier. Bright department store windows, glittering performances, and even cinema lights: the Grands Boulevards has it all. This is where the Lumiere Brothers introduced film to Paris audiences, and where Nadar ran his 19th-century photography studio. As always, for more info, links, and photos, check out my website! Thanks as always to Bremner Fletcher for technical expertise, and general know-how. The Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 24 min
    Mme de Pompadour, the French President, and me

    Mme de Pompadour, the French President, and me

    Today's podcast visits the French President's palace, L’Élysée.  The 365-room mansion has a history that oozes personality: once the home of Madame de Pompadour, Napoleon Bonaparte's sister Caroline also lived here for a few years. Caroline was described as "having the body of Venus and the brain of Machiavelli", which was probably not intended as a compliment, and yet, I'm sort of impressed. Visit my website for some images of the history we discuss. As always, Improbable Walks is grateful to the technical expertise of Bremner Fletcher and to David Symons, the New Orleans accordion player who performs the Improbable Walks theme music. (And yes, for you regular listeners, I have a darn November cold, so I do sound a little congested... sorry!)

    • 19 min
    Rue Bonaparte, a Left Bank classic

    Rue Bonaparte, a Left Bank classic

    Visit the street where New Yorker writer Janet Flanner lived, where the Beaux Arts school still stands, and of course, where de Beauvoir and Sartre once held court... The rue Bonaparte is a Left Bank Saint-Germain classic. For photos, check out my website! Thanks as always to Bremner Fletcher for technical expertise, and general know-how. The Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 12 min
    Zola's complicated life on rue de Bruxelles

    Zola's complicated life on rue de Bruxelles

    Writer Emile Zola was once so poor, he pawned all his clothes and kept only a single bedsheet to sleep in. But by the time he moved into the quiet rue de Bruxelles below Place de Clichy, he had become a respected member of the middle class, a well-known journalist and a prolific novelist. Paris-born, Zola was a complicated man, and in this podcast, we talk about why he had two apartments simultaneously in this neighborhood, as well as his brave stance for justice. His defense of Captain Dreyfus led to his temporary exile--and possibly to his murder. Visit my website for some images to give you a better feel for the history here. As always, Improbable Walks is grateful to the technical expertise of Bremner Fletcher and to David Symons, the New Orleans accordion player who performs the Improbable Walks theme music.  

    • 20 min
    The Library on the Left Bank

    The Library on the Left Bank

    In this episode, we visit the American Library in Paris, on the easily-overlooked little  street of General Camou. This is a very short street, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and it's worth visiting both for the library, if you're an English-language reader, and for the architecture--both extremes of the 20th century are represented within one block, from Art Nouveau madness to stiff-upper-lip Minimalism. As always, for more info, links, and photos, check out my website! Thanks as always to Bremner Fletcher for technical expertise, and general know-how. The Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

mohawkmohawk ,

Paris Gold Standard

Pasold talks Paris like no one else. Her pacing of the stories and her crystal clear, accurate, enunciation of French words, names, streets, etc. with her ever so melodic voice is unparalleled, albiet with a slight Canadian influence. She digs deeply and reliably into the history of Paris and its prior inhabitants and progress. For anyone with a developed familiarity with the history of Paris, Pasold's podcast, like her "Next Stop Paris" video series, is the next best thing to being in Paris itself.

Adillon ,

More please!

I’m wishing I could visit Paris again and who knows how long it will be before I will be able to do that again. I’d love to be able to take a walk through the city through your podcast.

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