Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Part Three of Three

Living in the Marais is a pretty good choice for easy access to anywhere in Paris whether by foot, by bus or metro. 

The photos in this section of the blog are a collection of images that caught my eye. Only some of them were taken in the Marais.

Paris fashion, 2012

  one of the many gay bars in the Marais

We lived only a couple of streets away from a terrific boulangerie, a Carrefour (market) for our wine and groceries,  and of course, a great many bistros and restaurants.

Jewish Heritage Museum


The Pompidou Centre was also just down the street and we frequently used the public library there for its free wifi.

A few more streets to the south and we arrive at the Hotel de Ville and the Seine ... 

Beach on the Seine. Sand is brought in for July and August

... Notre Dame Cathedral is just across the Pont d'Arcole ... continuing on across the Seine again, over Petit Pont to the Latin Quarter, past the Sorbonne and swinging to the right is the spectacular Luxembourg Gardens.

On most days we breakfasted in and planned our day. Lunches were usually le picnique with a fresh baguette, cheese and paté, fruit and wine. There are so many great parks in Paris that lend themselves perfectly for this kind of casual lunch. Somehow this doesn't really work on park benches in cities back home.

Even with the summer crowds there are always chairs available to relax on at the Tuilleries.

The Marais was home to the Knights Templars in the Xllth Century. We would take Rue du Temple to get our way down to the Jewish sector then over to Place des Vosges where we toured Victor Hugo's house. Hugo was a literary giant. He may be most known for Les Misérables, or in English, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The home of the famous author looks out over the southeast corner of Place des Vosges. In the painting below, Quasimodo abducts Esmeralda.

For the history student, Paris is an unending study. There are a million stories in the architecture alone. Don't forget to look up too when walking around Paris, (and secure your wallet or purse).

These two men really caught my eye. They are reading on the bank of Canal St Martin, perhaps a stereotypical scene in Paris. But notice the older man is reading a hard copy book and the younger man is reading his iPad. An interesting juxtaposition.

On Aug 8 we celebrated our 43rd anniversary in Paris. Had a great dinner at L'Auberge de la Reine Blanche on Ile Saint Louis.
Anniversary Yogurt
for breakfast


The next day we got up early to catch a train from Gare du Nord to Brussels to visit our friend Edith. Before boarding the train the conductor punched our tickets then looked closer at them, and said (in reasonably good English),

"You leaving tomorrow, not today. Today is August 8. 
Your ticket are for August 9."

Joanne and I both said at the same time, quite emphatically, "No, today is August 9!" After all, we knew about August the 8th. Our  anniversary is always that day and we celebrated it yesterday, with a degree of romance, I might add. 

Because we were both so adamant about the date, he pulled out his pocket calendar.  We were sure we had him convinced of his error until he reaffirmed, "See, today is the 8 not the 9." 

We saw that he was right. He initialed the tickets, handed them back to us with a smile and said, "I see you tomorrow."

We were both quite astounded, sat on a bench to collect our thoughts and burst into laughter. 

"This was just a rehearsal then, finding our way to the train like this and all," Joanne said.

"Yes," I replied. "And so was yesterday's anniversary celebration." 

More laughter.

So, we had two anniversaries this year. We ate in and had an even better bottle of wine than we had at the restaurant the night before.

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The Marais is also know for its Jewish community - a very interesting, kind of happening place.

One sees wealthy Jews and poor Jews walking around amongst the tourists, whom they are pretty skilled at ignoring. They also share the streets and businesses with brown people of undetermined origin.

never before have I seen Hasidic hawkers

I had my first Jewish beer - a Maccabee - at the King Falaffel Palace in the 4th Arrondisement.
Sure beats Mogen David wine!

We were seated by a multilingual Indian who reminded Joanne of Dev Patel (Slum Dog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and we were served by a busy blonde French woman. 


For more travel photography with local information visit Gary Karlsen's website.

Gary Karlsen's website


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