A Multicultural Parisian Treasure Hunt
Updated: Aug 4
This is the fifth Queer Martha treasure hunt that takes you to some of the least French parts of Paris. Check out the Romantic Treasure Hunt, the Trip Through Time Hunt, and the Highlight Hunt, and the Death and Destruction Hunt, too. The hunts take about 4 hours each, though you are encouraged to stop to eat and drink throughout the trip. The treasure hunts don't actually lead you to a final pile of booty - the treasure is getting through the course and living to tell the tale.
You need 2 euros to complete this hunt. Do not do this on a Tuesday.
Paris may be the capital of France, but it is a pretty multicultural city. Around 310,000 foreigners live in Paris, accounting for 14 % of the total population. This treasure hunt will take you to sites that might just give you a little dépaysement!
1.) Leave the Luxembourg Gardens through the eastern gate. Head to the Pantheon. Find the statue of P. Corneille outside the building. Continue straight to the road named after the first king of the Franks. When it dead ends, head uphill. When you see a street made of cobblestone where James Joyce did not live, take it. At the end, descend the steps and continue straight. Follow the road to the right past the jazz corner. When it dead ends, turn left, then immediately turn right. Continue until you reach the moon and the star. Explore the building if possible, and have a glass of tea in the beautiful courtyard café.
2.) Stand outside the entrance to the café and face away from it. Turn left and continue down the street. You will pass through an intersection. On the side of the road with the woman on the lion, look for the door with a shield, a shell, and branches carved in marble above it. Note the house number. Continue down the street. When you see the metro station, enter it. Take the line that matches the house number you observed. Ride the metro in the direction of the terminus that is farther away. Ride for 13 stops – get off of the stop with two first names. When you exit the metro, you will see skyscrapers in the distance. Head toward the sky scrapers. You should pass a familiar restaurant on your left. Continue toward the skyscrapers. Continue through the shopping mall. Continue onto the bridge. Halfway across the bridge, take the steps down to the island below and visit the familiar figure – an exact replica, 1/10th the size. It’s a symbol of multicultural friendship – notice the dates on her tablet: 1776 and 1789, the years of the revolutions.
3.) Your next stop isn’t actually representative of another country. It’s actually quite French. But it is named after a different major city in the world, and you have a task to do here. From where you stand, continue up the island path. At the end of the path, take the stairs and turn left. At the end of the bridge, turn right (You can also descend the steps and turn right. Totally up to you.) Continue walking along the Seine. Look for the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Seine. Immediately after the bridge, there will be steps leading to a large white building on the left. Enter the building. This is an “anti-museum par excellence” – it was the pioneer of a movement of reconciliation between Paris and contemporary art. This place also has an excellent café. Feel free to stop and have a drink. Find the “photomaton” in the lobby. Do not leave until you have a photo strip to show off.
4.) Leave the museum through the exit farther from the river. The building should be between you and the river. Turn left. Continue until you see the metro. Enter the metro. Head in the direction of Montreuil. Get off at the stop named after the seat of the European Parliament and the Patron Saint of Paris. When you exit the metro, head to the big arch. Turn right and continue up the street directly behind the arch. On your right you will see several passageways. Continue until you see the Brady Passage. Enter the passage and check out the shops. Continue through the next segment of the passageway.
Take a moment to think about the amazing diversity of the world and how beautiful it is that we all coexist on this crazy Earth. Then take a moment to feel sad about colonization and imperialism :-(
Congratulations on completing the Multicultural treasure hunt!