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September 2019

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ysilme in photo_scavenger

Shops

One of the most famous places to shop doubtlessly is Paris. I've lived there for three years and came across the most fascinating and interesting shops in my life. Sadly, I don't have pictures of many of these, like the pest control shop with rows upon rows of taxidermied rats in the window, or my most favourite bookshop of used, English books who doubled as a tearoom and had a really good and affordable deal on tea, or the delicacies of the now-abandoned, famous Jewish bakery in the Jewish quarter, to name just a few. But I have a couple of my last visit four years ago, like this paint shop which is actually situated in two houses - the two most narrow houses of Paris.
Probably well-known to most English-speaking folk is Shakespeare & Company, and I took some shots of the interior this time. I confess I've never really caught the appeal of it, since in my time (1992-1995) it was and is a bookshop among several of new and/or used English books, but Shake&C is the only one where you need a shower afterwards because you get so unbelievingly dirty in there.

And finally, one of the posh delicatessen stories - or rather two - at the Place de la Madeleine in the 8th arondissement. Straight ahead Hédiard where the posh Parisian shops for tea, vinegar, mustard and so on, bordered to the left by the Maison de la Truffe which specialises, as the name says, on truffles. The house it's in is very special to me, because I lived there for two years, up under the roof in one of the maid chambers, doing half-au-pair (room against some hours of babysitting) while studying at the Sorbonne. To my delight, today the other half of the building houses a Mariage Frères store, the fourth branch in the city today.

This is perhaps a surprise for many, but the French actually have a high quality tea drinking culture, and Mariage Frères is the Mecca for tea lovers like me. Their main store in the 3rd arondissement also has tea rooms to die for (where you can get, for example, Cream Tea with jellies made from tea - nothing beats their Earl Grey Impérial jelly - or the most delicious Petits Fours I've ever seen). It is lucky the shop wasn't there during my time, I suppose, or I would have been broke all the time. *g*  They're having the whole price spectrum of good and high quality tea, though; from the regular-priced to the ridiculous.

Comments

Oh my, those narrow houses are fascinating!

Browsing dreamily through all those books.... *happy sigh*
*hands you a pair of gloves* To be honest, for me, W.H. Smith was much more interesting at the time, but it was a) quite close to my room, and b) had all kinds of naval fiction novels I haven't seen before. I have to explain that in the early nineties it was difficult and expensive to get English books in Germany; and most naval fiction - a huge passion of mine - hadn't been translated and was impossible to find in Germany. I've come back from my few trips to the UK with huge amounts of books each time. *g*
I love that paint shop. And despite the threat of dirt, I'd love to go bookshopping.
Oh, I couldn't pass any bookshop, not back then (I have grown a bit more reasonable since then *g* ), but there literally was a huge choice even of shops with English books. Shakespeare&Co is really more of a tourist attraction, or has been for a long time; but it's fun to see it in any case, if you browse the books or just enjoy the chaotic fun.
Wow. These are really interesting. Thanks!
Thanks! I really wish I had a picture of this pest control shop, though. *g*
What a wonderful place to have lived for some time!
Absolutely! I enjoyed it thoroughly, despite also living through the most lonely time of my life. There is a lot of truth in it that living in this city is for writers. I've learnt a LOT about human nature, and had the most amazing opportunity to observe people. And despite being a true village/country girl, I never stopped being homesick for the city.

Edit: The pic for this icon was taken in the main store of Mariage Frères at the same trip. :o)

Edited at 2014-03-07 09:15 pm (UTC)
All of those lovely books! And the Old Smokey reading room? Did people smoke in there or does it refer to something else?
I honestly don't know, but I suppose it might indeed have been a smoke room in the original days.
What fascinating pictures, with such wonderful memories and stories to go with them. I've only ever been around Paris on the Peripherique, or under it on the Metro crossing from Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord. One day I'll get to spend actual time in the city!