Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mad about the Marais - Paris



After leaving the Place des Vosges, I walked briskly up to the Musee Carnavalet. My combat boots thudded on the pavement for I was dressed to make the most of my very short time in Paris and not to catch the eye of Mr. Cunningham


But, as always, when I turned into the gardens, which, kindly are available for the gander before the museum's entry, time did what it always does in that particular spot: pirouette, curtsy, stop.


I must have had that goofy smile on my face for I could feel one of the gardner's gaze swish across me like a shadow. She was about my age and also a redhead, just a more miniature Parisienne version of me. Yes, she even had that certain panache despite her bright green "Jardins de Paris" jumpsuit.


"You have an amazing job," I blurted out with a vaguely show-girl arm sweep towards the topiary surrounding us.


She laughed, startled by my directness but nodded her head in agreement. "It isn't always so glamorous though," she added and I responded with "I am not so sure about that" head shake. We chatted a bit more and then wished each other a Bonne Journée.


As I continued towards the rue des Rosiers to sate my months-long craving for a felafel with all of the fixings (truly one of the great take-out options in Paris at only 5.50 Euros a pop), I thought, "That is why I am still mad about the Marais and always will be."


For despite that every. single. storefront has been transformed into a clothing boutique featuring cool goods the likes of which I could never begin to afford...


...it is in this neighborhood that I feel the bonhomie that often eludes me elsewhere in the City of Light. And that makes the city not quite so big after all. I sat down on a bench in one of my favorite little squares and munched happily, shivering slightly while I did so and sighed a little valentine to the beautiful Marais.



41 comments:

robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I Dream Of said...

Heather, I can always depend you to take me somewhere. Sadly I didn't get to set one toe in Marais this last trip, and missed it so. A virtual return via your lovely words and photos is the next best thing. There is a funny thing about time in that part of Paris, isn't there? I remember standing in the Place de Voges the first time I visited Paris and getting a wee chill - a sense that I'd been there before. I've never been able to shake that feeling of somehow living in all times when I wander through the Marais...

A wonderful thing to have care for the garden at the Carnavalet!

So glad you got to revisit Paris - one of these days, my friend, we must spend some time there together! XOXO

Emilia Tremante said...

Lovely Heather! It was just like being there with you! I love that place and that atmosphere too. Thank you for your description and photos! Wonderful!

Karena Albert said...

Heather this is where I want to spend some time when I finally go to Paris. Taking in all of the wonder yet intimacy of the Palace Marais!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
Artist Nathaniel Galka

Jennifer Connolly said...

I felt like I was walking right beside you! I love going on excursions with you, Who can afford all those clothes, I wonder? They're pretty, but insanely priced!

robin said...

I made a wee mistake in my earlier post - I wish there was an "edit" button (and maybe I should think twice about posting before coffee!). But love your happiness at returning to an old friend, love that you satisfied your months-long craving for a falafel, and love that you still have your combat boots. Looks beautiful there - love the manicured hedges as well! Voila!

puppyfur said...

Falafel! Yay! Marais...super! Beautiful, Heather.

George Snyder said...

The Musee Carnavalet is one of my favorites places in Paris, not as well known as some of the other sites but so worth a visit. Oh how I wish I could visit it with you! xxxxx

Loree said...

What a wonderful part of Paris. Unfortunately, we had missed it. Maybe next time ...

Judith Ross said...

Thank you for the vicarious field trip and the vicarious falafel.... This piece made me feel like I was sitting right on your shoulder and left me wishing that I had been by your side.

Bill Facker said...

Sounds like the perfect day .. The mystery, the majesty, and the Falafel. Oh yeah! Merci, Heather, for taking us there. For me it is six weeks and counting .. muddling along the best I can on Kauai, but seriously needing my biannual immersion within wonderful France. Merci Beaucoup !

Aloha et Au revoir,
Bill

www.kauai-to-paris.com

La Contessa said...

DO you know I use to make and sell FALAFELs when I lived in Ellie's HOOD!Yes, I did I worked at a snack shack basically called MALIBU MUTTS owned by a BETTY..................I ADORED Those things and that yogurt sauce.............delicious.I would like one now please............
You and your words.......pirouette,curtsy, STOP!I love that!XOXO

Judi of Little House said...

Your last photo was so exciting to me as the door to the left of the Boulangerie is the door to the apartment were we stayed last May and had such an amazing time in Le Marais!! I'm going to send you blog to Patrice, the owner, he will be pleased I'm sure. It was such a great location, so many shops, markets, restaurants, and a nice walk to a main Metro station, Le Chatelet, near the Hotel de Ville. Close to the River - what a beautiful place! I was so glad to read all your posts and how much you, too, enjoyed this area of Paris. With a curtsy and a bow to you and a promise that We WILL all return!! I'll send you a snap of the 'door' - it's a wonderful bright red!

Lorrie said...

pure loveliness in words and photos

RebeccaNYC said...

since I live in a big city, I never want to spend my vacation visiting another big city...I always opt for the quiet of the village. Sounds like I need to change my ways! I have only been twice, and it was a long time ago...I don't remember if I was in the Marais or not. (terrible, I know!)

I can't be the only one who wants to see a photo of those combat boots!

mferrie said...

Thanks for sharing this vignette of your wonderful day. Can hardly wait to walk around the Marais when I get to Paris some day. It's at the top of my list! Amities, Jill

Heather Robinson said...

Happy to oblige, Rebecca! You can see them here in a piece that I wrote a few years back (and still love) for the wonderful DA Wolf at Daily Plate of Crazy:
http://dailyplateofcrazy.com/2013/02/28/french-chic-and-shock-transitioning-to-life-in-france/

I like that you come to the country. Uzes has just enough elegance to be like a touch of Paris with far more peace...

Heather Robinson said...

Oooh, that happened to me the first time that I visited Florence! And it was more than a wee chill, it was a big old wave of "yes."

You and me in Paris? heehee Oh my we would have fun...

Heather Robinson said...

Grazie mille, Emilia! :)

Heather Robinson said...

Perfectly said, Karena! And I was in such a hurry...one could spend days just in the Marais alone!

Heather Robinson said...

Jennifer, it is kind of crazy. Especially as it isn't the Avenue Montaigne we are talking about. These are all hipster boutiques. Who are all these really wealthy young, hip people that are buying these clothes? There was a lot that looked amazing though, I have to admit...

Heather Robinson said...

Heehee. I liked your first comment Sister!! We went to the Marais with Mom and Dad for brunch at a really funky restaurant all those years ago. Wow has it changed since then!

Heather Robinson said...

Of course you would understand. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Oh my! We would have had to have passed at least a day together talking beforehand so that I would be able to divert my attention to the visit. But yes, that would be wonderful indeed...it too is one of my favorites.
Gros Bisous,
H

silkannthreades said...

Yum, is all; just yum.

Heather Robinson said...

Ah, there is always too much to see in Paris, Loree!

Heather Robinson said...

We would have had fun Judith!

Heather Robinson said...

"Muddling along the best I can on Kauai..." Bill Facker! Don't make me angry! ;)

Heather Robinson said...

I can not BEGIN to imagine you working at a snack shack! I just can't!

Heather Robinson said...

Yes, I know exactly which building you are talking about! I LOVE that little square and it is such a fantastic location. Feel free to put a link to Patrice's ad here - it is always good to know of a rental that has been Judi-approved. :) Especially in the Marais...

Heather Robinson said...

Merci, Lorrie!

Heather Robinson said...

Jill, I am going to write about one other museum in the Marais but it is chock full of really good small museums...so much to see!

Heather Robinson said...

It was SO good. :)

Janey and Co. said...

I also like the Marais. We will be there next April. There is something about Paris.....a feeling that comes over me. I don't experience that same feeling anywhere else. Wish I could put it into words like you so easily do. Janey

simpleimages2 said...

The little things-the glimpses, the taste of luxury, seems ordinary in another time. I have to imagine these things since I have never been to Paris, thank you Heather for your Marais promenade and the other places.

Inspired by your suggestion I’ll be having falafel for lunch at our local Small World Cafe.My son works today in Napa instead of SF and invited me for lunch.

Silke Bauer said...

As already with your "Place de Vosges-post", your black and white photography of Paris reminds me of certain books I read... 'oohhh' Maigret (uhm, Simenon) and even more 'ooohhh' Modiano, just recently.

Whats that black surface in your felafel? Aubegine? Looks delicious!

simpleimages2 said...

"like my boots. I stood strong… a deep contentment welled in me… to have remembered the strength in being true.” I love it.

simpleimages2 said...

"like my boots. I stood strong… a deep contentment welled in me… to have remembered the strength in being true.” I love it.

Damon Dominique Joanna Franco said...

Paris in black and white is just WOW

Judi of Little House said...

Here's a link to Patrice's rental in the Marais - the door next to the Boulangerie in your last photo:
http://www.housetrip.com/en/account/bookings/1297140 --- His apartment is always in big demand and may be booked for the next couple of months, not sure! Loved staying there & the host, Patrice, is excellent - shows you all around the neighborhood, etc.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Heather I have eaten my fair share of those very fafalas! I love them. This post personifies all that Paris is about and the fact that you do not have to spend a fortune to enjoy it and see it.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip to the Marais!