We're finally back from Paris and had a truly wonderful two-week trip. We are rested and happy and very well-fed. Here's a quick summary of the first few days...
We arrived early in the morning (9am) after sleeping too little on the overnight flight. We were soooo tired but delighted to arrive at our humble apartment in the Marais (4th arrondisement, central Paris). The buildings in this area, located a block from Place des Vosges, were originally built to accommodate palace stables almost 400 years ago!
We entered through a giant door on a busy street, passing through a long passageway before entering a charming stone courtyard. Our apartment was in the back, so we passed through the courtyard and into a second building, climbing four flights to our apartment!
This little kitty wandered in the courtyard every day...
The apartment was a one-bedroom with a good-sized bedroom and kitchen.
The living room was small but sweet:
The kitchen was spacious and well-appointed (by Paris standards) and the owner left us a bottle of wine (an excellent start!)
The bedroom was spacious and airy, with a third big window and lots of pretty antiques:
We had a great view over the interior courtyard and hardly heard a sound despite being in the heart of Paris:
Another view from our apartment:
The first couple of days we wandered our neighborhood. We were perfectly located between the Bastille and St-Paul metro stops:
Morning view of the Place de la Bastille monument (the July Column, which celebrates events of the French Revolution)
Our first stop on Saturday was the Vanves flea market (my favorite), which is like a giant yard sale with lots of delightful junk:
I bought a little Impressionist painting at Vanves (I will show it in a future post), from the 1920's. I also liked these two but only bought one!
The real antiques are at Clignancourt, but Vanves has lots of "old stuff" if you don't mind slumming it a bit:
The next day, we went to the Clignancourt market in St-Ouen, just outside Paris. This is where the really good antiques are (as well as some mid-priced stuff). It is divided into many smaller markets, all with different specialties.
At my favorite market (Marche Vernaison), David said I could buy one of these mirrors (he liked them too) but I decided against it. The smallest one was 250 Euros (~$340) and I didn't love it enough for the price:
We found an amazing booth where I loved everything (porcelain, art) and didn't want to leave:
We had a great lunch near Marche Paul Bert, at our favorite local spot, le Paul Bert in St-Ouen (not to be confused with the famous Bistro Paul Bert in Paris):
We got a seriously huge lunch (see the giant Staub pots it arrives in). I had boeuf bourguignon and David had Alsatian choucroute (yum!):
On the weekend, we hit some favorite spots. I like trying to take slightly atypical photos of common monuments. Here is Notre Dame Cathedral:
One of my favorite blocks in Paris (Ile de la Cite with Notre-Dame's spire):
Eglise (church) St.Paul St. Louis near our apartment:
On the weekend, I visited the first of my favorite department stores, Le Bon Marche. I loved their unique black & white hand-drawn displays celebrating their 160th Anniversary:
I walked along the rue du Bac, a favorite street, and visited a favorite store Blanc d'Ivoire. I loved this pillow (and regret I didn't buy it!):
And I also fell in love with this wooden lamp:
After walking along St-Germain, I visited a few shops, including the lovely Flamant, the Belgian retailer. The shop was busy, so I didn't take any photos in the store (sorry) but I grabbed this graphic, fun shot of their door on the way out:
Stay tuned for Part II and III!
Now...I have lots of blog reading to catch up on!