Some Changes in Our Paris Neighborhood
The first full day in our Paris neighborhood was met with change, some good and some quite sad. For reference, we are in the Marais area of Paris, known as the Jewish quarter and the gay quarter, but for us known more as an upper middle class area full of families, great boutiques, hundreds of street cafés, and incredible history. It’s a lively, busy spot and part of the fourth arrondissement. Marais means “swamp” in French and hundreds of years ago, that’s exactly what it was. More on that in a minute.
The saddest change for us is the retirement of our friend Patrick who owned the tiny little cafe beneath us. He is gone, and we will likely never see him again! It was not an eating spot for us but rather the evening soirée for Bernie and his French guy friends. They have spent hours there over many glasses of various “spirits.” It’s where Bernie has expanded his vocabulary and cultivated friendships he never gained after leaving at age 10. The new owners are not to anyone’s liking, it seems, and “the group” has found a new watering hole just up the street. Hopefully, tonight Bernie will join them. This association has meant the world to him!
The other surprising change is the disappearance of our taxi stand! It was right in front of the St. Paul Métro stop and so convenient. Supposedly, it was moved about two blocks. We plan to find it today because it’s our mode of transportation occasionally. We don’t use taxis often because of the expense. The area was redesigned to be a bicycle lane. The bicycles have taken over Paris!!! It’s great for the pollution problem, but these riders don’t obey any of the traffic lights so crossing the street has become an exercise in keen scrutiny and caution! This is all thanks to the new mayor of Paris who has made significant changes.
A good change is the placement of trash and recycling bins. Instead of cluttering the narrow sidewalks, they are now placed out in the middle of the street in special designated areas. We’ll have to see how that goes and nothing that we have to contend with. Our building concierge handles all of that.
Absolutely, the saddest change was seeing Notre Dame the first time after the fire. Truly heartbreaking for us. We’ll get closer and provide more photos with time.
Our day was quiet, easy, slow, and enjoyable after our marathon travel day. The weather is lovely in the mid to high 70’s in the day and much cooler at night. However, it’s very dry and much in need of a rain shower.
Last night, we connected with our beloved neighbor, Chantal, and had dinner at what we call the Cherries restaurant. It’s official name is Le Temps des Cerises. Here is a great photo of Bernie and Chantal in the evening light.
Chantal is a native Parisian and full of interesting information. She explained the history surrounding the name of our restaurant. During the reign of Charles V, the area outside the original wall of Paris (still visible a few blocks from our apartment) was a swamp. The king decided he wanted to grow fruit trees just outside the wall, many of which were cherry trees. Voila!
I tried out my phone last night for our first set of photos on our theme with Light. It’s going to be challenging but hope you enjoy.
We love to hear from you and so appreciate all the comments! When you take the time to respond, it gives us great pleasure.
Have a wonderful day,
L & B
Linda White Burris
September 17, 2019 @ 5:57 am
I so look forward to your posts every year. I try to take the vacation with you and research the places you go and look at the maps when I can sort of guess where you. You really bring Paris into my home. This is my favorite time of the year to travel and will be off to Basel and up the Rhine to Amsterdam. Hopefully next year back to Paris and Burgundy.
September 17, 2019 @ 8:47 am
Merci beaucoup. Glad you enjoy our posts!
September 17, 2019 @ 7:10 am
Dear Linda and Bernie,
I read with interest the latest instalment of your travelogue this morning and the changes you have encountered. It reminds me that we will also find changes in Place de la Madeleine when we visit in October, although I am hoping that that some changes will be more positive and less saddening.
The cycling and e-scooter problem that has affected London and Paris is also affecting other cities we have visited around Europe this year including Madrid and Valencia. On the one hand as you say it is a welcomed change for the environment, on the other it is chaotic and dangerous, involving riding on the pavement also, aspects that will no doubt need to be addressed soon. But the law inevitably lags behind change. The other challenge is how to safely accommodate this changes in old historic towns and cities with very limited space.
We look forward to seeing more photographs, illuminated architectural features look so striking at night.
We hope Bernie enjoyed the drink with his friends last night.
Malcolm and Antonia X
September 17, 2019 @ 8:46 am
I just told Bernie that I’m afraid I’m going to be hit outside on the streets. We have gotten so familiar with traffic patterns and now all has changed. The bikes and scooters go in both directions even on one-way streets! Love to you both!
September 18, 2019 @ 6:35 am
Be careful I feel the same way about London X
September 17, 2019 @ 8:23 am
Interesting changes! I hope they are all positive. Time will tell. It looks like Notre Dame has gained more reinforcements while we have been gone. They are probably trying to protect the remaining structure as much as possible before taking down that tangle of scaffolding. See you shortly!
September 17, 2019 @ 8:45 am
We’re going back over to Notre Dame and examine things more closely. It is so unbelievably sad when you look at it. Our neighbor Chantal said that she’s truly like an “old lady” now. She gave us some interesting info in regard to the night of the fire. Her thought was that a disaster of this magnitude is a confluence of multiple events going wrong, the most significant being that two firemen are assigned to Notre Dame every day, but on that fateful day, one was on vacation and the other was on his second day and didn’t know the structure very well! Amazing! Yes, we are so excited to see you in a few days. I’m really curious to hear your comparisons between your jaunt in Italy and your love for Paris.
September 17, 2019 @ 9:37 am
So glad you made it safely! Interesting changes! I hope Bernie gets settled again with his group. Can’t wait to see more!
September 17, 2019 @ 1:05 pm
Hope you three are doing well. We remember our times together last year!
September 17, 2019 @ 9:53 am
Merci Linda , enjoyed reading all about your first full day in paris !!! Merci love reading all about your day and seeing all your photos enjoy you two . I agree with you Linda it’s so sad to see the Notre dame church ⛪️ but the good thing is she’s still standing and in no time will be herself again !! Have a fabulous time paris my heart and soul
September 17, 2019 @ 1:04 pm
September 17, 2019 @ 10:55 am
You make me long to return to belle Paris so very much. Thank you for sharing this lovely city with us all. Know that I look forward to the morning “mail” to catch up with you and Bernie. Have a splendid stay!
September 17, 2019 @ 1:04 pm
Such a nice comment, Beth!
Marlyn & Monica
September 17, 2019 @ 11:01 am
Linda, absolutely beautiful photo work. This year’s theme is going to be a great one!
September 17, 2019 @ 1:00 pm
September 17, 2019 @ 11:59 pm
Let me agree with Marlyn and Monica — Bernie’s late afternoon pics are a great start and may set the mood for a little different kind of trip. Thank you.
September 18, 2019 @ 4:03 am
September 17, 2019 @ 11:08 am
It sounds like a secondary focus could be change. I am certain that as you anticipate your trip each year, you do so in anticipation of the familiar people and spots you cherish. I hope you gain some new people and places that will grow to be prized memories.
September 17, 2019 @ 1:03 pm
Like the Parisians, we’ll adapt. We just really liked Patrick! He was a character. The new owners seem all about making money, not building a neighborhood bond. Do you think we’re getting old?
September 17, 2019 @ 12:03 pm
Notre Dame looks so sad; breaks my heart. How are the gardens? I took so many pictures of the flowers there and have enjoyed going back to them over the years.
As to the bikes, I am recommending you join the new Paris craze and get your own. Then everybody will have to watch out for you. That also solves the taxi problem. Whatdaya think?
Oh, I love the picture of the arch, if that is what it is.
Much love to you both.
September 17, 2019 @ 1:02 pm
The gardens are closed. We’ll go back over in a day or so and take more photos. I was a zombie when I took that first shot on our day of arrival.
September 17, 2019 @ 1:17 pm
I completely understand “Zombism.”
Lynne Berry Vallely
September 17, 2019 @ 12:31 pm
Learn the Uber app. We used Uber so much and the cars were always very nice and spotless. Love the light photos!
September 17, 2019 @ 1:01 pm
Yes, I have the Uber app. Tried it once and was a mess, but we’ll probably try again!
September 17, 2019 @ 12:46 pm
Linda, thanks for your posts. Really enjoy reading them.
September 17, 2019 @ 12:58 pm
Thank you for reading and joining us!
September 17, 2019 @ 1:16 pm
I’m excited to be living vicariously with you and Bernie again. Thanks for taking the time to make Paris come alive each year.
September 17, 2019 @ 3:13 pm
I do so enjoy your posts, Linda, and your daily travels throughout Paris. I have only been there once and what a lovely experience that was. I’m hoping I can make it again, but in the meantime, I will enjoy it through your beautiful eyes. Merci!
September 17, 2019 @ 4:54 pm
Delighted to hear from you, Pam! I understand it was 99 in Hsv today; our high was 72 and going down tonight to 52! Let us hear from you again!
September 17, 2019 @ 3:30 pm
I truly enjoy reading your daily post. It’s like I’m there with you, seeing Paris through your words and beautiful pictures. I don’t know if I will ever be able to visit Paris so this is the closest for me for now. You capture the beauty and the not so beautiful, but in a good way. Thank you for sharing your adventures through Paris.
September 17, 2019 @ 4:52 pm
Gloria, are you in Huntsville? I’m terrible with names so tell me how I know you!! Did you just find the blog or have we met?
September 18, 2019 @ 4:55 am
Oh no, Patrick! But very glad the “gang” is still around…I was worried Bernie lost his guys which would have been even worse.
Can’t imagine walking up to Notre Dam in person to see it burned and damaged…I had forgotten to ask you about that yesterday!
Hello Chantal! I loved seeing your cat in the window during my stay last year 🙂
NO, CHARLES, mom definitely needs to stay off those scooters…she wouldn’t risk her knees anyway – I’m sure of it!
September 18, 2019 @ 5:53 am
Natalie, you are right on all counts!
Carmelita and Rick
September 18, 2019 @ 5:44 pm
We will enjoy sharing each of your days in Paris through your blog!
September 18, 2019 @ 6:59 pm
Did you survive your travel home? It’s a real bummer, oui?