Paris is a Moveable Petri Dish

Petri dish or Paris?
Petri dish or Paris?

Observation 11:  Hemingway once said that “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”  Alison once said that “If you’re lucky enough to live in Paris when you’re getting up there in age, then take a Z-Pac, for Paris is a moveable Petri dish”. We have been sick off and on for weeks as has everyone in school and everyone on the subway and–sorry, Marsha, Barb and Laura– everyone who has visited us.

In spite of the fact that I believed myself to be dying of tuberculosis, (see Observation 11), Saturday we visited Chateau de Vincennes located on the far east end of Paris. At some point it was converted from castle to prison. It was eerie to see centuries old names carved on the walls by former prisoners.

Carvings on the dungeon walls.
Carvings on the dungeon walls.
The dungeon at Vincennes.
The dungeon at Vincennes.
Joan at Chateau de Vincennes.
Joan at Chateau de Vincennes.
The building with the dome is BHV.
The building with the dome is BHV.

We’ve been doing a lot of “reconnaissance shopping” this week with plans to return to our favorite places another time for buying.

1.  BHV.  It sells everything from a hardware store items to women’s lingerie with more affordable prices than the Galleries Lafayette.

2.  Fabulous purse store, Maroquinerie Saint-Honore. It was recommended in a book I read and it did not disappoint. Joan bought a great purse that converts to a backpack and I bought a pair of gloves to replace a pair that I lost the week earlier– both reasonably priced.
3.  Bon Marche, another department store. Too expensive for my taste.
4. Grand Epicerie across the street looks to be a great spot to pick up dark chocolate bars for gifts.
5.  Fabric market near Sacre Coeur, specifically, Marche St. Pierre. This is my kind of heaven. Several floors of fabric, many in double wide widths, perfect for bedding, draperies and upholstered headboards.

6.  Consignment store called Reciproque. It was actually located in about five different stores along rue de la Pompe. Very haute couture women’s clothing, shoes, purses, etc. Though the clothes are still a bit pricey the shoes, some of which likely retailed for more than a thousand dollars new, were priced from around $100-$400 and all were all in nearly new shape.

We’ve both lost weight since we’ve been here (see Observation 11) but Joan is getting really thin. Her pants fit her so big that when she tucks them into her boots she looks like a Germain WW11 soldier, which probably isn’t all that fashionable here. I think she’s going to have to buy new pants.

This is how Joan's pants fit now.
This is how Joan’s pants fit now.
This is why the French are thin. This is what we had to share for chips and salsa!
This is why the French are thin. This is what we had to share for chips and salsa!
My teacher, me and Yuko on the last day of school for me. Yuko was so precious. She made me an origami goose and gave me a gift with a very sweet note. She was my favorite person in class.
My teacher, me and Yuko on the last day of school for me. Yuko was so precious. She made me an origami goose and gave me a gift with a very sweet note. She was my favorite person in class.
Joan, looking very French, on her way home from the grocery store.
Joan, looking very French, on her way home from the grocery store.
Cute idea for making a strand of lights decorative. This was at BHV (Bazaar Hotel de Ville).
Cute idea for making a strand of lights decorative. This was at BHV (Bazaar Hotel de Ville).
City Hall (Hotel de Ville) with a temporary ice rink in front of it. Do you think they copied OKC?
City Hall (Hotel de Ville) with a temporary ice rink in front of it. Do you think they copied OKC?
A 10K race took place in our neighborhood. The building behind the finish line is our apartment building.
A 10K race took place in our neighborhood. The building behind the finish line is our apartment building.

3 Comments

  1. You are killing me with the shopping. Do you not love the basement at BHV? Also look for a chain called Le Vaissellerie – there are several. Green and white awnings, fun basic french house stuff. Oh, and I love the makeup counter at the Monoprix.

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  2. Every time we go to Paris, every year lately, and stay through November for part of the concert season I come home sick. I can count on it, just part of the experience, I guess. Or maybe just part of using the Metro.

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