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My Favorite Street: Quai de la Siene

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Musee d'Orsay
Rossellini says she loves to head up from the quai, cross the river and visit the Renoirs and other works of art at the Musée d’Orsay on the Left Bank, just for an hour or so. 1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur
rue de l'Universite
For shopping, Rossellini recommends the antique shops along the rue de l’Université, which runs parallel to the Seine on the Right Bank.
Hotel des Invalides
Go up from the quai and visit the Hôtel des Invalides, along the Seine in the 7th arrondissement (one of Paris' most “cool, arty, intellectual” neighborhoods, along with the 6th), which used to be a hospital for soldiers and is "very beautiful." Napoleon's tomb is located there. 129 rue de Grenelle
Seine River
Along the Seine there are peniches, or houseboats, where people live on the water. “It’s fun to see how people live in the river,” she says. Batobus runs a water taxi/tour boat that stops along the Seine. “You can hop on the boat and you can go on a loop that’s exactly the center of town.”

“I’m not really much of a shopper, nor a person who eats in many restaurants. I just walk and if I’m hungry and I see something I like, I stop by. I’m always asked, ‘Where do you shop? Where do you eat?’ and I never have much to say. I don’t really shop much nor have restaurants where I go continuously.”

L’Avenue (restaurant) is on avenue Montaigne, which is very 'in'—you have lots of fashion people there and you can eat inside and outside.” 41 avenue Montaigne
Cafe de Flore
“Sometimes I just walk and see the beautiful architecture of Paris. The river has been used throughout the centuries as the center of the city’s activity, and still is today. You can see all the great monuments, such as Notre Dame, and then you can go up to the street and stop at a café.”

Café de Flore was a favorite of writer Jean-Paul Sartre and is a fun place to enjoy a café au lait near the quai.
Grand Palais
“On both sides of the bank, there are  wonderful museums. The Grand Palais (avenue Winston Churchill) is a beautiful construction built at the time of the Eiffel Tower, when they were showing what could be done with iron, so it’s an enormous greenhouse in the shape of a church—it’s bold and gigantic."
Isabella Rossellini is well known around the world not only for her beauty, but also for her quirkiness, independence and intelligence. She has appeared in many movies and TV shows (including White Nights and 30 Rock), is a dedicated philanthropist and was the face of Lancôme for 14 years. Rossellini recently turned her sights to a scintillating new subject: the sex lives of animals. She has produced a series of clever two-minute short films for the Sundance Channel called Green Porno—now also a book—in which she dresses up as creatures ranging from a dragonfly to a starfish. (“Nature is infinitely scandalous,” she says.) Having spent much time in Paris, Rossellini says her favorite street is the pedestrian quai along the Seine: “When you walk along the riverbank, you don’t have the traffic, and you can lose yourself in thought.” —Sarah Elbert
Photos by Owen Franken

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