Bonjour mes amis,
After a great night’s sleep, we awoke to a little rain this morning and cooler temps. Aha, an opportunity to wear some fall clothes, if even for the morning. It has been so much like summer that wardrobe has been challenging. It’s the “catch 22” of Paris, always wondering about how the weather will be and how to respond with the clothes you have available.
Our morning consisted of a visit to the newly remodeled BHV or Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville, the largest department store in this area. We had several observations and one surprise that we didn’t know. The store is much nicer, much more expensive and with the word Marais now in its name and branding. The Marais is a magical, chic section of Paris, and I’m sure the store’s marketing folks are striving to capitalize on that. Also, my take was the store is attempting to convince Marais residents/tourists that they can find everything they need in the BHV without having to go to the truly grand stores like Les Galleries Lafayette and Le Printemps. Prior to the remodel, there were absolutely no shoes in the BHV; now their shoe section is from Les Galleries Lafayette. Odd, but true! We had planned to eat lunch on the top floor which we did, but were disappointed that the remodeling there was minimal. I think perhaps they had new chairs, also a new Starbuck’s and an Asian side restaurant. We had a good but not great lunch for 30 euros. I would compare it to eating at Picadilly Cafeteria. It’s a multiple buffet choice of salad bar, fruit bar, meat ‘n 3, pasta and quiche, desserts and drink stand. Lots of old folks, ha!, who probably don’t want to cook anymore. The new surprising information we learned was that after the store closes in the evening, there is an outside elevator which will take you to the top for a great view! Charles Gattis, too bad we didn’t know this until today! We’re off to find it tonight.
This afternoon, we went across the river to the Paris sensation called Picard’s. I wrote about it right at the end of our trip last year. Bernie just read that it has surpassed Monoprix in its share of the grocery store market. That’s pretty significant. Their niche is that everything is frozen, all the wonderful French cuisine and traditional dishes plus desserts in one big frozen food freezer after another. We tried the Cordon Bleu tonight and it was very good. Bought frozen fruit and green beans, enough for multiple servings at very good prices. There was no salt in the veggies and very little in the main course. We’ll see if it becomes a part of our daily life. Food is undoubtedly our largest expense.
Quick update. After walking back to the BHV after dinner, we found out that our information was not exactly correct (happens a lot in Paris). There is an elevator on the back side that goes to the top floor but it is not a look-out but a very popular, loud bar for the jet set. So we passed on that and instead went for coffee across the river.
Our pics are few today but one is astounding of
a lady with green hair and another lady you might recognize.
A tout a l’heure,