Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/12/09 Le Marais, Jewish Quarter, Pompidou Centre

Walking across Boulevard Beaumarche, there was a lineup outside a boulangerie. We didn’t try any bread, but it’s a good indicator of quality.

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In Le Marais, most of the stores were closed on Sunday. We saw an interesting display in this window. They look like shoes, but they’re actually chocolate.

20071209_Marais_chocolate_shoes.jpg

The other window the store seemed to display leather goods such as cases and boxes. They were also chocolate. (Who buys these?)

20071209_Marais_chocolate_boxes.jpg

The convenience store was open on Sunday. The windows are packed with merchandise, the shelves were full of wine.

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It was a still a bit early for the bistro to be open for Sunday lunch.

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A major landmark west of the Bastille is the Places des Vosges. Are the gates to keep animals and children out or in?

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This urban park illustrates how Paris was a planned city.

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On the north side of the square, art galleries have taken over some of the spaces on the ground floor.

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Continuing west, there were fewer apartments and more commercial storefronts.

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The Hotel Carnavalet dates back to the 1500s, and is now a museum.

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The high walls hide a large courtyard with a statue. We decided not to join the tour — aside from the guide speaking in French.

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I was amused that a fire station could be hidden behind similar high walls.

20071209_Marais_fire_station.jpg

At the end of the Rue de Sevigne, walking south was the Eglise St. Paul St. Louis.

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On Rue St. Antoine, the church is an imposing building that shows its age.

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Since this was Sunday, we shouldn’t have been surprised to find a service in progress.

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Leaving the church, we headed west on Rue St. Antoine, a major and busy street.

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The streets are wide enough for a carousel to be set up on the sidewalk.

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It’s hard to believe that cars could squeeze onto small side streets such as Rue de Prevot.

20071209_Rue_de_Prevot.jpg

Walking back north from Rue St. Antoine back into Le Marais, we continued west into the Jewish quarter. We found yet another boulangerie.

20071209_Jewish_quarter_boulangerie.jpg

A delicatessen offering pastrami is next to the falafel cafe.

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The patisserie painted in bright yellow stands out on the street.

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Inside the patisserie, we spoke to some customers who highly recommended their products. I’m not really a dessert person, though.

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Continuing further west, a community space in Blanc Manteau was having an organics market.

20071209_Blanc_Manteau.jpg

More than a few stalls were selling wine. In France, it seems that they don’t have an issue with buying wine in boxes.

20071209_Blanc_Manteau_winery.jpg

I didn’t really want to eat a hot dog, but like watching the server impale long buns on a warming spike. This produced a hole into which a sausage could be stuffed.

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Down the street, the Blanc Manteau nursery shows the area is residential.

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Inside the building with the nursery is a hidden garden.

20071209_Blanc_Manteau_garden.jpg

Continuing west up the narrow Rue Simon Le Franc, we approached the Pompidou Centre.

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The east side of the Pompidou Centre shows the brightly coloured tubes.

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Walking around the south end of the complex, the west side is all stairs and escalators.

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The entry into the building is at the north west corner.

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We went inside to buy tickets, and then rode the elevators up to the galleries on the top floor.

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From the top floor of the Pompidou Centre, the Eiffel Tower was visible in the distant southwest.

20071209_Pompidou Centre_view_southwest.jpg

To the northwest, Sacre Coeur is uphill.

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We made a tactical error by going to see the special exhibits, which I didn’t like. Coming down one floor, I wish we had more time to spend in the permanent collection, which included some design exhibits. I liked the Brueuer chair and the Kandinsky Gelb Rot Blau.

20071209_Dell_Breuer_chairs_Kandinsky_Gelb-Rot-Blau.jpg

As jet lag started to set in, we took the metro back to the hotel. It surfaces above ground at Chatelet station.

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The station spans the Seine. We made it back to the hotel as the rain started.

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After a relaxed Sunday in Paris, we retreated to our beds to be fresh for the next day’s work.

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