On my third day in Paris, I checked out from my hotel in Place Vendome and made my way into a new hotel in the 3rd arrondissement neighborhood of Le Marais. The metro ride between the two hotels took less than 10-minutes, but the vibe of the neighborhoods are so different that I might as well be in another city. While Vendome is expansive, site-heavy, posh, and touristy, Le Marais is cluttered, narrow, a bit gritty, and full of life.
Two highlights come to mind when I think of this day. Listed in chronological order rather than order of importance – the first is a store called Fleux. While wandering around in Le Marais, I stumbled upon this cute store. I still haven’t googled the company thoroughly to tell you more about it, but what I learned first hand while in it, is that it sells the coolest things. A tad danish, a tad kitschy, a tad mid century modern, it sells household goods, furniture, art, books, luggage, clothes, perfumes, and everything other than groceries from what I could tell. And the funny thing about Fleux is that it never ends. I had walked in and out of 8 stores and somehow they were all still Fleux. Just when I thought I had finally made my way out of the last Fleux, I saw Fleux Kids as if they had saved the best for last. If you are in town, swing by to feast your eyes. I found my soulmate of a couch here – a deep, velvet green number that was utterly comfortable and perfectly priced. I can already tell you that D. is extremely glad that there is an ocean between this couch and our home.
The second and way more important highlight is my friend Janet who descended from Amsterdam in the evening to spend a couple of days with me. She moved to the Netherlands with her husband Dan from Chicago shortly after we moved to North Carolina. It is always good to see Janet under any circumstance, but, let me tell you, after having no one to talk to for two whole days, I was ready to unload on her like never before. We found a neighborhood bistro called Au Petit Fer a Cheval and then never stopped talking. And as if all that talking wasn’t enough, we then made our way to a wonderfully cozy cocktail bar called Sherry Butt and had a couple more to continue the catching-up (cocktail bar list thanks to TopJaw ).
Other good things about the day include a raspberry tart which I ate while sunning myself in the large square by Hotel de Ville. A pigeon came by and I gave him a crumb, and then a second pigeon came by and I gave him a crumb too. Soon the entire flock seemed to be staring at my tart, so I stuffed it in my mouth and got the hell out of there.
I also met the sweetest old lady in the farmers market who made me a mushroom and cheese crepe. I badly wanted to take her picture but I didn’t want to ruin our moment, so after she handed me the most carefully and lovingly made crepe, I thanked her and stepped way back and snapped a picture of her stall.
It was a good day for a walk along the Seine too.