12 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

    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
    Street art & Dalida on the rue d'Orchampt

    Street art & Dalida on the rue d'Orchampt

    In this episode, we walk down one of my favourite shortcuts through Montmartre, which goes past the former house of tragic Italian-Egyptian pop diva, Dalida.  I talk about the atmosphere at the famous Bateau Lavoir, around the corner--where Picasso painted Gertrude Stein's portrait, Marie Laurencin painted Apollinaire's, and Cubism was launched on the world. What's more, the first crook of this elbow-shaped little route is always covered in colourful street art. Remember to visit my website for extra links & images.
    As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 12 min
    Tiny theatrical rue MOLIERE

    Tiny theatrical rue MOLIERE

    I'm posting this walk on Molière's birthday, January 15th (well, the day he was baptized--he may have been born a few days earlier.) We’ll step into the era of the Sun King to talk about the famous French playwright. Molière lived a rather short, exceedingly busy theatrical life (1622 - 1673.) We'll also talk about a dressmaker who worked in this same small street: Madame du Creux designed “robes de chambre” for aristocrats—which means some very elegant 17th-century Haute Couture was sewn here.

    “Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think.” - Molière

    As always, Improbable Walks theme music is performed by David Symons, New Orleans accordionist extraordinaire. 

    • 12 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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