14 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 • 4 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

    Architects of the Modern

    Architects of the Modern

    Today's episode walks into a neighbourhood of wonderful Modernist villas in the chic western residential arrondissement of Paris, the 16th. Welcome to the rue Mallet-Stevens,  designed by the delightful architect, Robert Mallet-Stevens (who I refer to as "RMS" during the podcast, because his name is such a mouthful.) RMS is undeservedly forgotten, unlike his contemporary, Le Corbusier--whose Fondation runs two villas just a few minutes' walk from the rue Mallet-Stevens. So we get to visit both architects' work, in one elegant stroll.  As always, Improbable Walks is grateful to the technical expertise of Bremner Fletcher and to David Symons, the marvellous accordion player who performs the Improbable Walks theme music.  
     

    • 13 min
    Bertie's Belle Epoque (King Edward VII in Paris)

    Bertie's Belle Epoque (King Edward VII in Paris)

    Today's episode explores the beautiful hidden courtyards of Place Edouard VII, near the Opera Garnier in Paris. We'll talk about the Fragonard Perfume Museum, the gorgeous Athenée Théatre Louis-Jouvet, and we'll discuss why Bertie--Queen Victoria's heir, Edward VII--really preferred the city of Paris. We'll also talk about why I believe Bertie should be commemorated wearing a smoking jacket, not a military uniform. Visit my website for extra links & images. Improbable Walks is grateful to the technical expertise of Bremner Fletcher (though even he couldn't fix my stumble in this episode, where I refer to an ENTIRE BUILDING as a painting. Listen for it, and forgive me. I had a cold while doing this episode, and I was stoned on cough syrup. All better now!)
    As always, the Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 18 min
    Village Suisse & the Fields of Mars

    Village Suisse & the Fields of Mars

    Today's episode walks into the strange history of the Village Suisse. We'll talk about the great battle on the Champs de Mars between the Romans and the Gauls (spoiler alert: local tribe, the Parisi, lost against the colonizing war machine of Caesar.) We'll remember Napoleon Bonaparte when he was just a scared teenager, reading to avoid bullies; and we'll talk about a giant ferris wheel, that eventually became a place to browse through history--because today the Village Suisse is an antiques mall. Visit my website for extra links & images. As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 15 min
    Volatile rue Vivienne

    Volatile rue Vivienne

    This episode features remarkable Montrealer, the soldier-conman Jean-Baptiste LeMoyne, Sieur de Bienville, along with two 19th-century inventors AND a moody proto-surrealist... all crammed into a few small blocks of the rue Vivienne. Meet the founder of New Orleans; discover one of the very earliest sound recordings, made by Scott de Martinville; meet the inventor of the dentist drill (um... Eureka?); and enjoy an angsty moment with the author of the "Contes de Maldoror." Remember to visit my website for extra links & images. As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 14 min
    Dance, scandal & spectacle (Ave Montaigne & Pont de l'Alma)

    Dance, scandal & spectacle (Ave Montaigne & Pont de l'Alma)

    This episode starts out on a bridge with a view of the Eiffel Tower, then heads over to the Right Bank and glamorous Avenue Montaigne. We'll talk about the Zouave & river flooding, Diana Princess of Wales, the Ballets Russes, and Josephine Baker, star & secret agent.
    Remember to visit my website for extra links & images. As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 19 min
    Books & Ice Cream, rue SAINT-BENOIT

    Books & Ice Cream, rue SAINT-BENOIT

    Welcome to the very short Left Bank street of Saint-Benoît, which runs from Blvd Saint-Germain to rue Jacob. This episode is mostly dedicated to writers--including Apollinaire, Taras Shevchenko, Marguerite Duras and Ted Joans, plus two literary cafés, two beloved bookshops... and one of my favourite ice cream desserts.
    Remember to visit my website for extra links & images. As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 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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