Passage Jouffroy and Passage Verdeau
15.10.2015 - 15.12.2015
There are more passages to explore than there is time in one day. Two that follow the Passage des Panoramas are just off the Boulevard Montmartre not far from the Opera Garnier and the Grand Boulevard where the wonderful Galerie Lafayette is located. A stroll through Passage Verdeau and Passage Jouffroy in the 9th Arrondissement can trick you into feeling as though you time-traveled back to the 1800s.
With no cars, there is little to remind you that you are in present day Paris. It is easy to imagine the awe that Parisians must have felt in these glass and steel covered arcades with dozens of enticing windows and restaurants whose only job was to lure you in. They still do.
For me, one of the more seductive elements are the book stores with rows and rows and boxes of old books that smell as only an old book can smell.
My olfactory memory kicks in and I recall libraries of my youth and the distinctive smell the library, the books, and the pages within those books had. For a moment, as I stand looking at a water color of women from another time, I am lost in the dream of what these passages must have been like a hundred years ago.