Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DATELINE: Paris (10)

It pains me to say it but our revels now are ended.  Tomorrow morning we leave this most magical of all cities and head back home.  We are on the stand-by list for a 10:30 AM flight and although I could stay another month, I guess it's time to go home.

But today I had a fine time out and about with a little bit of sun, a little bit of really icy wind over by the river (the Seine, that is) and some light rain.  I was not deterred in my search and enjoyment, however.

I headed down rue des Rosiers toward the Village St. Paul.  I passed by the old site of Goldenberg's, now an upscale outerwear shop. 

This was probably the most famous Jewish deli and restaurant in Paris until it was attacked and shot up in 1982.  A sad loss.

On to the Village St. Paul, only about 3 blocks away, across the rue Rivoli toward the river.  This beautiful church, St. Paul and St. Louis, is just about at the junction of rue Rivoli and rue San Antoine.

The red doors of the Church of St. Paul and St. Louis
Down the block I found this sign.

 The area has changed greatly, however.  At one time this was THE center of antique stores and of workshops where one could order handmade furniture, fabrics, find a designer to advise you on redoing your hôtel particulier or buy beautiful objects, both local and imported, to help decorate that grand manse.  But they are mostly gone new.  Gone are all the workshops  in the various courtyards at the St. Paul addresses.  I went in to many of them but the ateliers are shuttered and vacant.  There were just a few antique shops still operating but the real workshops are gone.  A sad note to progress.

I walked down St. Paul to the river, across the Pont Marie  bridge and into the 4eme arrondissement to have a look around.  This area is tucked into the southern corner of the Right Bank  and includes the beautiful Ile St. Louis.  Now that's a place I would like to stay.

I still hadn't found what I was looking for but it was starting to rain so I headed back.  But lo and behold!  I looked in the window of this little ~ and I do mean LITTLE ~ shop and found just what I had been seeking  In fact. I found several but didn't have enough euros for more than one.  (I would show you what I bought but the recipient reads this blog and I don't want to give it away!)  As an aside, it's very easy to run out of euros in this city.  Everything takes a lot of them and what I'm using for exchange ain't worth squat!  In fact, the cost of the euro has gone as high as $1.40 and only as low as $1.32.  I have no idea what's propping up the euro; every country using it is going broke.

Passed a gorgeous bakery on the way home selling these tasty treats.

All yours for 24 euros

Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries
This little flower shop caught my eye.  So trim and modest and beautiful, tucked away on a tiny street.

This doorway is just down the street from the flower shop.

There is a wonderful bicycle service in Paris called Vélib'.  You can rent a bike at one of many stations  of them throughout the city.  You'll pay €1,70 for a day ticket or €8 for a seven-day ticket, which lets you take an unlimited number of 30-minute journeys. Trips longer than 30 minutes incur small additional "usage charges."  You pay by time instead of distance.  You  pick up a bike and cycle off to do your errands, drop it at a station in the area where you'll be, then pick up another one at some other spot and cycle on to your next chore.  The bikes are sturdy and have baskets to hold your packages. This is the "station" around the corner from us.

On a bit further are these splendid doors.  I have no idea what's behind them but I think they're a great addition to the street scene.

We went out to dinner this evening to bid our farewells to this marvelous place.  We found a lovely place called Tresor tucked back in a little walkway called rue Tresor.  I had a piece of grilled sea bass worthy of a rave review; Mr. C opted for a hamburger with a poached egg.  The fries were fantastic.  A good "last meal."

And now, folks, that about wraps it up for Paris this year.  It's time to go to bed for a few hours; the alarm is set for 4:30 AM and it's almost 9:30 PM now.  I will have a few more things to say about this trip later on but right now all I can say is I don't want it to be over but it is.

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