Common facts ;
This area is small in size, about 250 acres. Back home – that is called a farm. The nickname for the area is called – the financial arrondissement, but don’t expect to see a French version of Wall Street. Its has the Financial Bourse as the anchor. Which is the French version of the NYSE, but the French do not have the capitalistic instinct that is common in the USA. I sat in front of the building, to look at the people entering the building. And sad to report – most were, not worthy of pictures.
There were no,“power suits”, the men dressed in “slim suits”, so I can only guess, men in Paris, want to look thin too!! What kind of city has men & women, both consciousness of being thin ? The jackets and pants both are cut very close to the body – no muscles allowed here ! I think, it’s a throw back to the fashions of the 1960’s – when men wore these style of clothes, maybe it never went out of fashion here ? . As for the women, not too many passed me. So maybe the NYSE & the Bourse have that in common.
Walking away, I started to wander around. There were lots of apartments around here, and one thing I liked very much – it was “quiet “,for being in Paris.
This is the jewel of the area ! No chain stores, or fast food here – its traditional Paris. Here you can find ‘Passages’, which are old, covered sidewalks for shopping. Of course, they decorticated them very nicely ( they are Parisians) This is a logical solution to a city, that has to bears long winters and lots of rain.
As I walked into Passage Chorsel, I looked up, saw all the cut class with the metal frames, to allow natural light to cover the ‘lane’. Each lane had a several overhead lighting – which looked like it was gas – back in the days. So I instantly knew– they did this for the upper class, to create a dry shopping ‘mall’.
Walking down the ‘lanes’, I look at the shops – no tourist traps here. All are art stores or cafés, or food specialties and “beauty shops’. Yes, this is what old Paris must have looked like. Before China took over the world’s manufacturing. Things were different and unique – nothing looked like each other, and they were not produced in mass number either.
my little favorite shop was this one, which sold the most incredible looking cards !! These were like mini art works, in paper – perfect t pack in the suitcase , no weight!! added, and does not break !
This boutique was very French chic looking, including the door handle !
I decided to rest from all my walking, and found a classic French café, called The Petit Choiseul, all characters included.
There was the owner, who served and knew everyone by name, except myself. The business man, who had a break from his day- and stopped off for a café & cigarette. (very typical here) He was dressed in a black dress pants with a white shirt – but I noticed his shoes. Very nice, they looked like calf skin, very classic tie with a point toe in black. (yes I am a shoe nut too). Looking at him, I would bet, he spent money on them, and they looked very soft, like butter.
There was another man- a blue collar man- with a co worker, sitting at the bar – talking to the owner about politics. From the fragmented French I understood, they were not fans of President Holland. ( true stat- Holland is the 2nd most unpopular President in French History- the 1st was under the Nazi Occupation).
When they heard me order my “petite breakfast”, they knew, I was not French (I wonder if my southern accent gave me away? ). The owner changed into his little English that he knew. I am sure, not too many tourists come to his café- which is deep in the back of the lane. He shared my nationality to his blue collar men, and everyone said “ Hello “ to me – it was a group effort . I responded ‘ merci ‘. He went on to tell me, when he was young, he wanted to move to America, but could only afford to visit – Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angles, and New York City. He had to help support the family, so his dream died too.
I felt compelled to ease some of his disappointments, and told him – America is a great place to visit – but you ( French people) have no idea, how hard we work, and if we don’t, get fired very quickly. I told him, I use to work 45 hrs a week, with no extra money. He was shocked by this, and then I expanded to the medical insurance issues – that HMOs, or Insurance companies, put money caps, on how much they will pay out for a year in medical bills. This is illegal in France- and he was shocked by this information, his face registered the disadvantage it was to the worker.
He placed my little meal on the table, and went over to his buddies, and shared the news.. that sent them off, on an endless chat. I finished my café, and thanked everyone, as I departed the café. I kept the receipt – to write down the address, so I can return back when I am in the area again.
So now, I was on the way to the 3rd- highlight – the church. On my way, I passed this beautiful restaurant, which was decorated in the Art Deco style, (which in one of my favorites).
They were closing, due to it was after the lunch time. I asked if I can just take pics, due to the beauty of the resultant, they granted my request. This place was beautiful – with wall tiled art. Mirrors reflecting back the afternoon light. This café, was perfect – not too little, not to much – classic & chic.
Walking down the rue, I checked my map — yep , lost again ! Its a constant with me, but sometimes, you find things, like that café above, when you get lost .. so it even outs .
To my surprise, I found another one of the covered ‘malls’, and this one, was decorated even more. I think, it was not as old – but they put a lot more money into – maybe, it was the profit of the first one, that created more to be built. In this one, it had the same glass ceiling, but now, the floors were designed tiles.
The walls had lots of molding work , the shop glass was taller, with styled molding too.
The shops were the same, in the practice of selling unique – and quirky things. The bookstore, that looked like it was 100 years old ( and may have been too)
I just loved the sign -little Poriot -lol
The hot air balloons is a very popular icon here, because the French are very proud they were the first to go UP ! This store, carried all sizes of balloons, and some were lights too.
The cafes here, were a higher class too ( and price) .
Feeding the Spirit;- Notre-Dame des Victories
I found the church, I saw this massive stone building, with limited windows. From this – I guessed, the church was old – and was built for the lesser royals – Nobles ..
Walking in, I found all of these plaques? attached to the stone walls – I have never seen this before. These plaques rose up 2 levels, and were all different.
Walking silently on the stone floor, you can see, the worn areas – from many years of Christians, coming to pray , or to grive, or to celebrate .. this has not changed for
hundreds of years .I crossed over to the candles, now, it was my turn, to practice the ancient traditions. I kneeled , and said prayers for all my family , living and gone.
The alter, had beautiful oil paintings, all amazing to look at.
The church’s masterpiece is a staute of Mother Mary with baby Christ. Decorated in gold leaf, both wearing a crown. Mary looks more mature with a normal body – and Jesus, wearing his crown, reaching out. Their faces serious, their crowns almost too heavy to bear.. maybe to remind everyone, of the huge problems that are to come …