Discoveries and Adjustments in Paris
After 18 years of spending summers/autumns here in Paris, you might think we’ve seen it all. But the experiences of living woven into those years is always changing as is Paris. For example, we’ve never been terribly fond of riding the bus, but this year, it’s usually our best option. The buses are tight, hot, crowded and always at the mercy of stop and go traffic, which is a challenge for those of us with motion sickness. Availability is unpredictably whenever they show up and much of the time, we have to stand once inside. It’s a bumpy, unstable ride. That’s a significant adjustment from the ease and reliability of Metro Line One. BUT we are acclimating to it.
The distaste of our immediate neighborhood makes me feel like I’ve been plopped down in the middle of a bad movie sometimes as reflected by these photos. It’s a very ethnic area with people from all over the world, unlike what we are used to. At the risk of sounding like a snob, it’s just a much rougher crowd and I don’t always feel as safe. The bus stop is right in front of our apartment and this is what we see. Shabby, shuttered, littered, and uninviting. Believe me when I say that we are trying really, really hard to acclimate. Bernie is better at it than I am. Surely, you’re not surprised. BUT the good news is that just a few blocks away, everything changes and the surroundings are quite nice.
Our walk to Le Marché des Enfants Rouges yesterday was interesting and not what we envisioned. We had been once before years ago, and I only remember being slightly disappointed; that was the case yesterday. It is not a market like the Bastille, but more a place for ethnic food at lunch. We were there at 10:30 and it was barely open, but we were able to get some interesting café chairs.
On our stroll, we also discovered a spot much like Miss Manon, our favorite patisserie and other interesting café chairs.
We spent our afternoon on the Left Bank, starting at the Shakespeare bookstore where I found 3 books outside for a total of 14 euros. It’s the best bargain in Paris. The line to get in was still 25 people long, so I sneaked in the sorte or exit to pay at the counter at the suggestion of a fellow shopper who had just done the same thing!
We walked through what I call the “Food” street or rue de la Huchette, the street of the butcher. Always lively and jammed with tourists.
Our ultimate stop was to check out the reopened and renovated Cluny Museum, or Le Musée de Moyen Age. It’s the museum of the Middle Ages and contains the breathtaking Unicorn tapestries. It’s a must see, and we will offer it to Sharon and Johnny Tyson on their visit.
Our evening with dinner in the apartment was quiet and cool. It was 59 degrees this morning going up to 77 later. Thankful, thankful for the cool weather. It plays havoc with the wardrobe but who cares!
Have a great day,
L & B
July 27, 2022 @ 10:18 am
We like The Abbey Bookshop 29 rue de la Parcheminerie.
July 27, 2022 @ 12:01 pm
Oh Linda, so sorry. It does look awful. But their are always gems around. Hang in there!
July 27, 2022 @ 1:54 pm
Food Street photos were my favorite ones today. Enticing, artistic and colorful !
July 27, 2022 @ 2:21 pm
I’m not sure exactly where your apartment is. Hopefully not far from Rue Bretagne which is a lovey street. Cafe Charlot is on that street and very popular with great food. The Enfant Rouge is tres busy around lunch time. Many times hard to find a seat once you’ve chosen your meal. But lots of funl I see what you mean with lots of tourists everywhere. We recently stayed in the Hotel Jule and Jim on Rue Gravilliers which was wonderful. I love the Upper Marais .area. I read there is a wonderful exhibit of the clothing of Shiaparelli in Paris now. But I don’t remember the musee where it is.
Anyway, enjoy all that Paris offers. What a blessing to be able to have so much tine there
July 27, 2022 @ 2:23 pm
Rue Bretagne is a lovely street and we have discovered it. About 3 long blocks from where we are. We’ll check out Cafe Charlot! Thanks for the info.
July 27, 2022 @ 2:26 pm
The Shiaparelli is at the Musee Des Arts Decoratifs. Wish I had been able to see it!
July 27, 2022 @ 3:11 pm
Merci beaucoup. They always have wonderful exhibits. I’ll have to try to interest Bernie!
July 27, 2022 @ 2:38 pm
Why is the Shakespeare Bookstore so popular — price? Are the buses crowded at all times of the day? One advantage of the bus vs. subway is that you get to see the areas and sights as you travel through. Have you noticed lack of maintenance/cleanliness in other parts of the city? I wish I knew enough about the Roman architecture to ask questions — was what you showed bricked over after original construction or is that just an ornate wall. You gave us much to look at today. Thank you.
July 27, 2022 @ 3:18 pm
Well, the Shakespeare bookstore is quite famous and one of the few bookstores in Paris with books in English! If you purchase a book from them, they stamp it with their logo which is kind of neat. Over the years, I have noticed other areas of Paris that were dirty and unkempt but we haven’t stayed in them for very long. For example, the area around the big Flea market is much like our area. I am always uncomfortable there. Undoubtedly, we’ve always been in one of the premiere areas though rich Parisians would say that Le Marais is very colloquial and where many people live and work. Very middle class but not low class. The Roman ruins I showed today are original and built by the Romans. I’m quite sure they are untouched through the years.
Paula Donahoe Steigerwald
July 27, 2022 @ 3:28 pm
the Food Street looks so interesting with its narrow street and some wonderful window dressings! I always love the attention to the food and window display, ENJOY!
July 27, 2022 @ 3:29 pm
Beautiful vines & flowers, great selection of cafe’ chairs (love the stools!), and lovely yummy food! As always, I am transported there. Such a gifted write you are!
July 27, 2022 @ 3:47 pm
Deborah S. Taylor
July 27, 2022 @ 4:48 pm
I am always amazed by how many different cafe chairs there are! All different and you have managed to capture new ones everyday. And..I have to chime in with everyone else that traveling through Paris with you has been such a joy! And, you are so truthful with your feelings as you discover new aspects of Paris that you had not seen before. Thank you for taking us along on this adventure!
July 29, 2022 @ 1:40 am
I love reading your blogs. It makes me feel like I still apart of Paris. Loved spending time with you and Bernie!! Thank you again.
July 29, 2022 @ 4:19 am
It was our pleasure! You were the absolute perfect guest. Glad you’re on the blog now.
August 1, 2022 @ 1:12 am
Looks like so many people!!!!