- Paris and its Parisians
What to say about Paris ? Paris will always be Paris, there is this inexplicable romantic atmosphere in Paris that makes you want to fall in love.
The Parisians ? I don’t know really, they have this reputation of being arrogant, pretentious… I know a few, met a few and apart from a rude taxi driver and a waiter who seemed desperate or sorry for us as he sells a vulgar beer 7 euros (yes 7), I have been surprised to meet a lot of people who don’t confirm this rule..
Apart from that, just a few dog poops, not that much, I even saw two old ladies to pick up after their dog’s droppings… so where that reputation is coming from ? It’s true that there is no smoke without fire and when we say that Spanish people are loud, Portugese are short, German girls don’t shave their legs and French are dirty it must be based on something, meanwhile, me, I shower everyday and prefer to think that Parisians are like everybody and can have bad days.
I had a long list of ‘to do’ things, we ate a lot and discovered great places.
‘L’Atelier de l’Eclair’, my first stop in Paris, they do savory éclairs. Suitcase still in hand I passed by and grabbed the chicken-curry one and the ‘caramel au beurre salé’ for dessert. I love choux pastry so I will try to be objective, it was delicious !
You can also personalize your éclair (the shape, the taste and even the message on it), don’t miss it if you go to Paris.
‘L’Atelier de l’Eclair’, 16 rue Bachaumont Paris 2eme or 66 Ave des Champs Elysées, 8eme.
Then, rue des Martyrs, I FINALLY went to ‘Rose Bakery’. For years (since the opening) I wanted to visit that place. No need to introduce this ‘English kind’ of café. In a city like Paris, full of patisseries, lemon tart and other delightful choux à la crème, it was not a very original idea from someone like me who lives in London, to go to eat scones or carrot cake, but it’s something I wanted to do and it’s now done and I loved it !
Rose who is English cooks home made soups, buttery quiches, pistachio sponges… So it doesn’t matter if it’s French or English !
‘Rose Bakery‘, 46 Rue des Martyrs, Paris 6ème, a few other addresses in Paris and one in London on Dover Street.
While I carried on building my ‘to do’ list, a few people told us to go to the ‘Canal St Martin’. A few adjacent streets are in expansion and a lot of eateries and cool places are growing there.
First ‘Rue de la Grange aux Belles’ (such a cute name for a street), ‘AOI Creations’. They do clothing a lot, tableware a bit. They reuse ‘obi’ (massive traditional Japanese belt) to create amazing dresses, kimonos, jackets… (please remind me to go to Paris with more money next time as I wanted to buy the whole shop).
So pretty handmade painted tea cups, bento boxes… You will be warmly welcomed by a charming samourai, eager to talk, explain, give informations about what they do.
‘Aoi Creations” 6 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, Paris 10ème, they are present every year at the ‘Animcon’ exhibition in London on 7th and 8th of February.
Lunch break at ‘Sol Semilla’ where I turned vegan for a few hours. Vegan, superfood café selling and cooking with plant from an amerindien heritage and particularly from Peru. Their adventure started in 1992 when they began to sell their herbs on a bio market (you can still find them there every end of the week). They import, process and distribute, they also cook in Sol Semilla. The lovely staff and the Colombian cook Carolina are happy to explain you the process and the recipes, they give yoga class and organize yoga week (the next one in Normandie) and creative cuisine class at the café. As a French, eating frog legs and pig trotters I was actually so surprised as those people are so creative. They make so cute and yummy dishes. You can buy herbs at the café or online, I bought my first Urucum seeds, full of antioxydants and beta caroten. I have started today, half a bottle of water a day, with seeds inside. It has an earthy taste but with a bit of lemon it’s ok and it’s for a good cause, the youth of my skin. Peace and love !
‘Sol Semilla’, 23 rue des Vinaigriers, Paris 10ème.
A friend talked about a crazy, strange place in Canal St Martin, obviously I wanted to find out more… Behind a house gate surrounded by tags is the ‘Comptoir Général’ – Museum Ghetto, genialissime, just crazy, African, Alice in Wonderland home with an exotic touch and I want to live in Paris just to go to work there ! A snack with African food, exhibitions, concerts, children activities on Sundays, library, garden and ‘office’ to rent daily in an open space with a no-style-at-all-but-great decoration. This magic-abandoned looking house promotes arts from poor countries all over the world and especially Africa. All the benefits are reinvested into financing more artistic projects.
The bushcinema, ‘secousse’ their radio-record shop, the cabinet of curiosities, a music label, a sooo African hair dresser… I can’t tell how much I loved this kitschissime place, me fan of Alice, lover of African people. Just go.
‘Le Comptoir Général’-Museum Ghetto, 80 Quai de Jemmapes, Paris 10ème.
Also a place not to miss is ‘Le Petit Marcel’ bistrot (4ème) very nice typical French food like ‘Blanquette de veau’, ‘Bavette à l’échalotte’ home made and affordable food as bistrot are expensive in Paris.
So regarding Parisians, I think it’s like every city, every country, we have to adapt ourselves to them and not the opposite, people told me the same for Tunisia and Caribbean and I met there charming people only. We have to be open, smile and be polite and there is no reason for us not to be warmly welcomed. I know I am a dreamer but that’s the way I feel it and remember I am a friend of Alice in wonderland… I had such a good time that Parisian can be pretentious and haughty for true, it doesn’t make any difference for me, I don’t mind, I still want to go back to Paris and fall in love again and again.