Oct 28, 2009

Rue des Barres

The Marais is one of the only areas that preserves the narrow streets and architectural styles of Medieval and Renaissance-era Paris. Most of Paris was overhauled in the mid-19th century under the direction of Napoleon III and architect Baron Georges Eugène Haussmann. The neighborhood spreads across the third and fourth arrondissements. With the medieval and renaissance style made me feel like I live in that era. So far imagining but it's fascinating.

The wide, sweeping boulevards and grey, classical-inspired apartments that characterize places like the Champs-Elysées and Montparnasse are the work of Haussmann, who also modernized Paris by installing sewer and water systems. The Marais has a much different flavor. Its dramatic residences (hôtels), artisan’s boutiques, galleries, lavish squares, and fascinating history are worth reserving at least a half-day of exploration for.

Station on Paris metro: Hôtel de Ville

Oct 25, 2009

Crossing the Boulevard de Sébastopol to go to rue du Caire, then turn right, I entered the long passage du Caire (still in 2 nd arrondissement), parallèle to rue du Caire. It is not the only road in the quarter which reminds one of Egypt. In the immediate neighbourhood, I can also find the roads of Aboukir and Alexandrie as a testament to the Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt in 1798. The most interesting aspect of the passage is the façade on the building at number 2 with its representation of the goddess Hathor by three giant heads. Some hieroglyphs can be seen on upper floors. Specialising in the lithography business and shop display mannequins, Passage du Caire is today only of real interest for customers of the clothing wholesalers there. The Egyptian exoticism is hardly visible as the passage has become so dirty.

Oct 21, 2009

I was in 1, Boulevard Poissoniere, 2 nd arrondissement, to watch and enjoy Disney movies. This is the biggest movie theatre still operating in Paris, the Grand Rex opened on 8th December 1932 with "Les Trois Mousquetaires"(The Three Musketeers). Built for independent operator Jacques Haik, who already operated the 5,000 seat l'Olympia music hall, and was the man who made Charlie Chaplin famous in France.

The Rex Theatre Jacques Haik was designed by architect Auguste Bluysen in an Art Deco style, both externally and in its foyers, dance hall and restaurant areas. The Atmospheric/Moroccan style auditorium was the work of architect/interior decorator Maurice Dufrene, styled after the work of noted American theatre architect John Eberson. Originally seating was provided for 3,500 on orchestra, mezzanine and balcony levels. It is in a perfect shape a big screen called "grand large", a screen behind the stage that can be removed, is used for some movies and every Christmas. Disney movies are a tradition with a waterfall on stage. There is an additionnal attraction called "Les Etoiles du Rex", looking like a Euro Disney attraction, which took me on a 'self conducted' backstage tour which describes the history of the theatre and the movies with plenty of thrills and special effects.

Station on Paris metro: Bonne Nouvelle

Oct 18, 2009

You can only find the tallest 12 metre-high windows in Passage du Grand Cerf. Located in montorgeuil area 145, rue Saint-Denis and 8, rue Dussoubs, still in 2 nd arrondissement. It open at 08.00 to 20.00. The wrought-iron work, glass roof and plain-wood shop front have all been cleaned, attracting stylish arts, crafts and antiques shops.

You will discover an interesting universe among the creative workshops of Bei Style, the home decorating shops of M.C.M. La Parisette, a small boudoir-pink space at No. 1, sells fun accessories, and Marci Noum, at No. 4, riffs on street fashion. Silk bracelets, crystals, and charms can be nabbed at Eric & Lydie and Satellite.

Station on Paris metro: Etienne-Marcel

Oct 16, 2009

Three blocks west of the Bibliothèque Nationale, just like a regular high street, the passage Choiseul, between rue des Petits-Champs and rue St-Augustin, has takeaway food, cheap clothes shop, stationers and bars, plus a few arty outlets along its two-hundred-metre tiled length.

Lavrut Papeterie, where I picked up some "moleskine" notebooks

Station on Paris metro: Quatre-Septembre

Oct 12, 2009

Nowadays, the Passage des Princes interest children even more than adults: it has become a mall entirely dedicated to toys, all kind of toys, the “toy’s village”. If you travel with your little children, it's nice to go to Passage des Princes, located at 3/5 boulevard des Italiens and 97 rue de Richelieu, 2 nd arrondissement. It open on Monday to Saturday 10/20.

Station on Paris metro: Richelieu-Drouot

Oct 8, 2009

Crossing rue de la Grange-Batelière, I entered the passage Verdeau, where a few of the old postcard and camera dealers still trade alongside new art galleries and a designer italian delicatessen. It was started at number 6, in Rue de la Grange-Batelière. Designed by M. Verdeau in 1847, in a fairly unoriginal style, using the same architectural team as its neighbour, Passage Jouffroy, led by Jacques Deschamps. However, it did not have the same ambiance and owes its "survival" to the proximity of the Drouot Auction Rooms.

Station on Paris metro: Grands Boulevards

Oct 5, 2009

The Passage Jouffroy opened in February of 1847, at its present location between 10, boulevard Montmartre and 9, rue de la Grange-Batalière. Aside from its brilliant location on the boulevard, it was the first heated passage and was much appreciated in winter.

Spending my short time while waiting the other class, my destination almost Passage Jouffroy. Sitting and enjoying some cup of tea with my friends in salon de thé. On the right there is the Segas shop, which has canes, both new and antique. Beside Segas, there is Thomas Boog, which features unusual objects of decoration for the home, from all parts of the world. This shop has its original turn-of-the-century decor.

On the left-hand side, are three shops with toys; two branches of Pain d'Epices where I could find everything related to dolls. Pain d'Epice sells traditional toys hand made with wood and paper.There are several doll houses and an incredible collection of tiny furniture. If you are in love with the wooden toys go there : the wooden rocking horse is great. There are also a large range of mecanisms for music box. I bought some material to build a house of doll for my friend. She likes to build the house of doll.

The older Boîte à Joujoux, which has expensive chess sets . This shop was installed here in 1930. The two-star Hôtel Chopin is at the right, just where the passage shifts left to the narrower 'attic of books' which is the Grange-Batalière section. This section has Cinédoc, which specializes in books about movies, stars, movie posters. Each of Cinédoc's seven windows has a theme. Biot Artisanat has miniature animals for collectors, in porcelain and metal and has the Paris exclusive for Bossons figures. Don't forget to visit Musée Grevin. There are many wax of famous actress, actors, politicians and other personalities. (see my post in january 2009)

Station on Paris metro: Grands Boulevards

Oct 3, 2009

Since my school's in Boulevard Montmartre, I used to walk in the Passage des Panoramas to go to the other school in Rue Cléry. It's like the shortcut. I had only short time to change the class in Rue Cléry.

The Passage des Panoramas was the very first passage in Paris, which opened in 1800 when Bonaparte was First Consul. Like many others, this passage is very near the Bourse (Stock Exchange).It don't have the fancy mosaics of the other arcades. Most of the eateries here make no pretence at style, but one old brasserie, l'Arbre à Cannelle, has fantastic carved wood panelling, and there are still bric-a-brac shops, stamp dealers and an upper-crust print shop with its original 1867 fittings. It was around the Panoramas, in 1817, that's the first parisian gas lamps were tried out.

Station on Paris metro: Grands Boulevards