A Travellerspoint blog

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)

Paris Markets Part 2

St Germaine Marche

This is a lovely indoor market. It is small and, like all things in St. Germaine des Pres, classy and pricey. A short walk from Boulevard St. Germaine, I love the arches and the look of the architecture. If you live in St. Germaine, you can pretty much find everything you need in this market. There is poultry, a butcher for your meat and charcuterie, beautiful fish, pates of all kind. I am not a fan, but there is even a pate fois gras! Did I mention St. Germaine is tres cher (expensive)?
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Even if you not are staying in St. Germaine it's some where everyone should visit. Just wander, leche les vitrines (window shop or literally, lick the windows) and enjoy the cafes.
I stumbled on my new favorite perfume here last time I visited. It's by Hayari and it's called "Just for Her." When I am home every time I inhale the scent, I feel like I'm in Paris.

Posted by teethetrav 01:04 Archived in France Tagged france paris_markets st._germaine_des_pres Comments (0)

Paris Markets

Marche Saxe Breteuil

I love Paris. I also love food, food markets, indoor and outdoor markets of all kinds. In my younger days, one of my favorite shopping experiences was going to the Englishtown Auction in New Jersey in the early hours of a Saturday morning and wandering. There were rows and rows of outdoor tables to see first, then it was on to the indoor buildings to warm up and find coffee. Outdoors, the best stands and finds were the independents. You literally never knew what you would find. I once found a copper sculpture of a Paris cafe for $3 which I still own. I refined my haggling skills here. Indoors, the Amish had a booth every week where you could buy fresh and amazing cheeses. As the years went by, Englishtown became more of an indoor mall with no true bargains and the outdoor tables were more commercialized with vendors who sold socks, jeans, and other outlet-type goods.

After the old Englishtown Auction, my all-time favorite market is La Boqueria in Barcelona. That is in a class by itself and sets the bar for all markets everywhere.

Since this is my second long stay in Paris, I have decided to visit as many markets as I can in no particular order. On a Spring trip to Provence a few years ago, I went to as many of the Provencial markets as I could. I loved them all. There were flower markets, flea markets, and food markets galore. Many of my favorites were in Aix-en-Provence. So Paris markets are going to have to be something special to meet my standards.

My first Paris market trip was to the Marche Saxe Breteuil which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays. I had read that it was part food, part flea market and is known in particular for kitchenware and linens. Although I found pots and pans and a variety of clothes, the ubiquitous scarves, and an abundance of fruits and vegies there were only a handful of other food vendors and no linens at all. There were a couple of poultry vendors and I opted for a cooked, rotisserie chicken. I also bought cheeses, olives, and my mandatory baguette. All in all, the produce was the highlight of this medium-size market. I discovered an heirloom tomato called coeur de boeuf . The tomatoes and the olives were the best products here. The French pumpkins were pretty and shaped differently than those I am used to.
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Posted by teethetrav 01:29 Archived in France Tagged provence la_boqueria marche_saxe_breteuil englishtown_auction_nj aix_en_provence french_markets Comments (0)

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