Sunday, August 12, 2007

Paris part deux


On Saturday morning we jumped out of bed bright and early at 11am (this was to become our typical rising time) and went to the markets. When Kipper isn't living in Tourcoing, she lives in the 12me arrondissement, which is apparently quite a posh part of Paris, so the market was rather expensive. That didn't stop us purchasing an immoderate amount of cheese ("the most expensive Roquefort in Paris", and two types of goat's cheese), and a variety fruit and vegetables and a bottle of rosé. We went back to the apartment (which definitely bears a small description) to gorge ourselves.

Bathroom chandelierThe flat is on the 7th floor (opposite a place called "Ladyfitness", which advertises itself as "Concept No 1 en France"), and belongs to an actor. It's decorated in a manner that may euphemistically be described as "eclectic". I only took one picture, and it doesn't quite sum everything up, but it made quite an impression on me: it's the bathroom chandelier and it's plastic. Every time I went in there I would whack my head, and it would make a cheap plastic noise (the chandelier, not my head).

After cheese and rosé we went into the Marais district to buy Kipper some new shoes and rugby socks to go with her new grey dress from H&M. The weather was phenomonally warm and sunny (and that wasn't just compared to Belfast!), though I was so cheerful it could have been snowing and I wouldn't have cared. We had to change at the Bastille Metro station (cue more pics), and wandered around for a wee while before we found the shopping part Kipper was looking for.

Bastille Metro station One of the things that I particularly noticed about Paris was the amount of dogs and bikes in the town centre. They have a great system where one can hire a bike from a docking station very cheaply (you're not going to catch me on a bike for any money - I have enough problems walking), and drop it off at another docking station when you've finished with it. Cyclists seem to own vasts tracts of roads, and they even have their own traffic lights set down very low (took me ages before I worked out why they were there). I took a picture on Sunday evening after we'd had Salad Niçoise at Cafe Hugo with Kipper in the foreground, so you can see how close to the ground they are. There's also a good shot of her famous boater.
Baby traffic lights

It took us forever to find any shoe shops, but along the way we came across all sorts of thurmaturgical delights. My personal favourite were the "baguettes magiques". I may have stopped and squealed when I saw them, in the time-honoured schoolgirl fashion. I had to have a photo.

It was the final day of the Paris sales, so we stopped in at numerous boutiques, at one of which Kipper bought a lovely green jumper. I was slightly taken aback at how tactile the young male sales assistant was - in a good way though, he wasn't at all sleazy. He fluttered and fussed around her like she was a model on a catwalk; it was nice (not to mention effective).

Magic baguettes After we'd finished shopping (I talked Kipper into a fantastic pair of strappy, but eminently wearable, silver sandals) we stopped at a café for a drink, some people/dog/bicycle/shoe watching, and to plan the evening. Kipper had some other friends over in Paris, and we arranged to meet them at "the most trendy and pretentious café in the whole of Paris". We started off at the bar over the road from it, but the service wasn't that great, and the mojitos weren't as good as they previous place they'd been in, so we chanced the pretentious place (Café Charbon) and found it to our liking - guess that makes us young, smart and bohemian. Kipper's French friend told us that we'd hit the perfect time for visiting it: down season in Paris. Apparently it's usually filled to overflowing and impossible to get into. We liked it so much we stayed for dinner - I had the most heavenly steak tartare. Afterwards we went into almost-Belleville (I was very excited, The Triplets of Belleville being one of my favourite films at some festival) for a post prandial drink. It seemed a bit odd, drinking in the 'burbs, but I guess that's what you get, in large cities - or even N.Z. for that matter: I've driven to Newtown for a drink, for heaven's sake! Catching the Métro home is not something you do there though...

A Métro station

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