A Travellerspoint blog

October 2015

Paris: The Covered Passages 2

Passage Jouffroy and Passage Verdeau

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Posted by teethetrav 07:23 Archived in France Tagged passage_verdeau passage_jouffroy galerie_lafayette grand_boulevard books_in_paris covered_passage_in_paris Comments (0)

Paris: The Covered Passages

Les Passages Couvert

My flanerie (aimless wandering) got a bit of guidance in a walking tour of some of the many covered passages in central Paris. These delightful, nearly secret--at least to tourists--places hide lovely boutiques, bookstores, restaurants, and even apartments. Many of them have exquisite architecture with archways, steel frames, and glass ceilings. The first passage was attached to the Petit Palais. You could spend an afternoon here just enjoying the large square, the stunning gardens, and the upscale shops under the passage.
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The beautiful Galerie Vivienne across from the National Library has intricate mosaic floors, a rotunda, a cupola and decorative details such as painted wreaths. D0594FC1C6593EC57871627DEB010383.jpgD056538803DF6A440C91275760A4E2D8.jpg

Galerie Colbert has no shops, but is known for its columns and architecture. Lately, it's been known for being next door to Le Grand Colbert the restaurant which is featured in the Diane Keaton, Jack Nicolson film called "Something's Got to Give." In the movie, Nicholson crashes a date Keaton is on with Keanu Reeves in the restaurant. He ends up eating with them and paying for dinner. D05A90D2F8FDC2DCB757A1B42C6F59BB.jpg
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The Passages des Panoramas has browse-worthy shops galore. It also has restaurants with to-die-for aromas permeating the passage. I had plans for dinner so I resisted the urge to eat, but will definitely return to give one or two of them a try.
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Posted by teethetrav 05:59 Archived in France Tagged galerie_vivienne le_grand_colbert diane_keaton jack_nicholson passage_choiseul passage_des_panormanas Comments (0)

Why Paris?

Why Not?

Last year I spent a month in Paris. Now, in the fall of 2015, I am here for two months. I am continually asked, "Why Paris?" Even though I'm a writer, I can't really explain or answer in words. Sunday I was out for a walk and headed to the Tuileries. This photo essay explains "Why Paris?" Octoberflowers2.jpgoctoberflowers.jpgart9.jpgart8.jpg180_art7.jpg90_art6.jpg90_art5.jpgart1.jpgart2.jpgart3.jpgboats1.jpgboats2.jpgpigart.jpgchandelier3.jpgchandelier1.jpg

Why Paris? Why not?

Posted by teethetrav 08:46 Archived in France Tagged tuilerie_gardens art_in_paris why_paris installation_art Comments (0)

Paris Markets: Part 4

Rue Cler

All the days I have spent wandering around aimlessly in Paris, I never knew there was a name for it. I am apparently a flaneuse: a woman who wanders in Paris with no particular destination in mind. Edmund White wrote a book about this called The Flaneur. Who knew? Although to be accurate, I've been wandering to different market destinations. But those walks generally take me off course to, well...wherever they take me.

My latest exploration took me near the Eiffel Tower to the American Library in Paris where I got a library card and applied for a fellowship to a writer's workshop. Only twelve will be accepted and I barely made the deadline, so I'm not holding out much hope. But since I was in the neighborhood, I strolled over to the market street Rue Cler. Technically speaking, I don't consider this a market since there are standing shops that exist all the time. But Rue Cler is well known and well documented as being one of the best food streets in Paris, along with Rue de Mouffetard and my all-time favorite, Rue Lepic. I confess that as I wandered, I kept an eye out for Ina Garten. She is in Paris filming her show and where else would Ina hang out, but in a market, right?
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Rue Cler is everything I've heard it was. I spent over an hour ogling the fromagerie, les fleurs, the wine shops, the produce stands, and the gorgeous, enormous heads-on shrimp. The smell of carbohydrates permeated the air from the boulangerie. Who doesn't love the smell of carbohydrates in the morning?
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But the shop that pulled me in and pulled my wallet out was Juesselin. I had to remind myself I didn't have to buy everything I saw all at once. I can return. So I limited my purchase to les haricots verts, les champignons, un melange des vegetables and some kind of veal meatballs. With my baguette in my bag topping off my purchases, I returned home satisfied I had finally found a market worthy of its reputation. Even if I didn't spot Ina and Jeffrey.

Posted by teethetrav 02:20 Archived in France Tagged food france french_markets rue_cler flaneur flaneuse juesselin ina_garten ina_and_jeffrey Comments (0)

Paris Markets Part 3

St. Eustache Les Halles

Les Halles was a legendary market that no longer exists. It was once the most popular and thriving market in Paris. The area now is a combination of old and new. The architecturally controversial Pompidou Center straddles one side of this district and an enormous construction project is smack in the middle of Les Halles across from the ancient St. Eustache Church which dates back to the 1500s.
I caught the market on a quiet afternoon. Many of the stands were open, but the vendors weren't even visible. There were clothes stands, fish and meat, and a cheese stand that had a wonderful sample of many different hard and soft cheeses. Of course I bought some along with my baguette. This market is not far from my apartment, so I'll go back for more cheese and see if there are more vendors on a different day. This seemed sparse considering the history and reputation of the original Les Halles.
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The beautiful window displays at E. Dehillerin, an amazing cookware store, were my favorite part of this walk. Sadly, I can only look not buy. But I'm wondering if they ship. I think a copper pot would look perfect in my kitchen.

Posted by teethetrav 05:10 Archived in France Tagged markets paris les_halles paris_markets st._eustace_church st_eustace_market Comments (0)

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