Category Archives: Paris

A Sunday in Paris…street art, les soldes, and yes, the caged birds sing.


Mural found on Jan 12th walk around the Marais in Paris
Mural found on Jan 12th walk around the Marais in Paris

I’m still adjusting to my current time zone, so woke early, but didn’t climb down from my nest till noon.

I ran out of baguette and greens, so figured I’d have to hunt for an open market, since it is Sunday, and most of Paris is closed. Luckily, my flat is very close to Le Marais district, which is the one place in Paris that has many shops open.

I was very close to le Marais, much closer than I expected.


This was the first day I explored in the direction of the Seine and Notre Dame. I got distracted by the “Soldes” signs.

 This is the season of the winter sales in Paris. They only have sales twice a year. Once in the winter and once in the summer, for about 3-6 weeks each. Sales are city-wide, including the national/international chains like H&M, and the large super expensive Galleries Lafayette.  I’m going to explore the smaller boutiques in the Marais over the next few days, a little at a time.

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After taking a quick look at the shop sales, I made my way towards Notre Dame. Along the way I found a little market that sold caged birds, some “pet” rodents, lovely orchids, and other garden plants and decorations. While the bird/rodent market wouldn’t fly, pardon the pun, in the USA, the lovely birdsong certainly brightened up a dreary day.

Once I took a peek at the cathedral, I had my fill of damp cold, and made my way back home to find bread and other supplemental food stuffs. Along the way, I found the slightly seedier side of Paris. An actual “Love Hotel” and “Sex shops” sprinkled among the other shops and felafel stands. Mostly closed.

I finally found my baguette, as well as a pastry I’ve seen around, but had no idea what it was. They were selling like crazy, so I decided to go with a small one, just to see what it was all about. It was a “Kings Cake” Usually sold around January 6th. There is a small charm hidden inside puff pastry filled with a sweet almond paste. De-Licious!!!

The past few days I spent appreciating bread and pastries. I’ve found the grocery stores, and will be doing my best to commit to eating clean. I’m going to have to build in allowed cheat days, because otherwise I will snap like a dry brittle twig. Wish me luck!

Internet is spotty, so I will try to post some cool photos again later.

Personal tour of the Port de Vanves Flea Market & A day in the life

I do not own this photo:  By Demeester (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I do not own this photo:
By Demeester (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I got moving early for a personal tour of the Porte de Vanves Flea Market. This flea is focused on antiques. Claude, the gentleman who is letting the flat to me, is quite the expert on who has what, and the quality. Things are generally inexpensive if shown on the ground, and pricier if on a table.  Can you believe I didn’t take ANY photos of this!?! I’d be shocked at myself, but I remember being mesmerized by the stuff on display. The photo above is a creative commons photo of the market.

Claude also took me down a short side street/walkway that he said was all black-market. We had to take a quick look, because if the police come, the vendors have to grab their things and run.

There were so many fun things to look at, but I really didn’t need any of it, and couldn’t justify the postage home. We got there about 10 am, and the vendors started closing up shop at noon.

I grabbed a sandwich to go from a nearby shop, and made my way back to my neighborhood. Before I went back up to my flat, I stopped at the Monoprix for some veggies.

I do not own this.  This is public domain
I do not own this. This is public domain

Monoprix is a mix between a super Walmart and super Target, but really small, a little jumbled, with food on one floor, and personal items, clothing and housewares on another.

I just happened to see a silk scarf on sale. It was 50% off, aubergine and gold dots, 7 euro 50, so now it is mine. Silk takes no room in my bag.

I returned to the flat to straighten out my mobile phone situation.  When I was state-side, I asked the people at the mall kiosk if I had the plan that would give me what I needed.  They were very wrong. It took about an hour, some quiet cussing, some tears and begging, and talking to ten people, no exaggeration. Also, lost some $ in the deal, but now I have free texting and data, and .20 cents a minute calling while outside of the USA.

  Really, in reviewing this past paragraph….I was so much more frustrated in this process than I can apparently convey.

About 4pm some kind of peaceful protest went down my street. It was loud shouting over a PA system, and followed by lots of traffic. I think they timed it for rush hour. Once it passed, I made a quick run to get a baguette and some cheese. Oh, some macarons, too. I have found I love them.

Now I am going to settle in with some more tea, and work on my travel plans into February. Time is flying!