A sweet despedida treat

We are driving back to our home in the south tomorrow and I  thought we should never leave Paris without treating ourselves to Fauchon’s divine patisserie! Too bad they don’t have a branch in Nice but as the saying goes, the less frequent you taste it, the more you look forward to the next one ! They’re not too expensive but even if one finds the 6euros tag for each as too much, it’s worth every centime because it’s the type that will make you go “oooohhh” and “aaahhhhh”!

The red one on the left is the “charlotte framboise” with its sublime creamy filling encased in raspberry gelatine a la “oh-how-did-they-form-it-so-perfectly!”

The chocolate on the right is called “megève” which is purely and heavenly mousse au chocolat encrusted with cocoa and meringue a la “oh-so-beautiful!”.     It’s our favorite, actually..

There’s also a third one, the millefeuille vanille, but it was the first one we attacked, sorry, when you are salivating, you don’t think anymore of the camera!

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The Montparnasse District

Everytime I see the building icon of Montparnasse in the Metro map, I always ticked it off mentally as “seen-it, climbed-up the 56th floor, no need to do a repeat” kind of thing. But yesterday, we stumbled upon a very interesting road just a stone’s throw away from the tallest building in Paris, that which gave us the feeling that we were walking through the “Edith Piaf” era of cabarets, theaters, bars and all.

The truth is, never have I seen a single road with a high concentration of theatres, bars, a 4-star hotel on the side and establishments that cater to the sensual delights of the Parisian, i.e., turkish spa, peep shows, sex shops, massage clinics.
But you would say, how about the Boulevard de Clichy where the famous Moulin Rouge is! There must be close to a hundred similar establishments: sex supermarket, sex shops, peep shows, sex so and so…but this is a boulevard, mind you..and I am talking only of a road, the rue de la Gaite! Besides, there is a very “Parisian of old” feel in this road! Take for example the facades of the theatres:

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La Comedie Italienne, founded in 1980, is the only Italian theatre in France. Shows are exclusively of Italian origin – classic and contemporary – majority of which have not been shown in France. Performances are in French.

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Theatre de la Gaite-Montparnasse founded in 1867.
A drinking soda seller recovered the materials from the demolished Exhibition theater of 1867, to put up a Cafe-concert hall in the very popular road at the time, the rue de la Gaite. The Concert de la Gaite, or now called Theatre de la Gaite-Montparnasse opened its doors in September 1868 with the grand performance of divas and dancers a la folies bergere.

La Butte aux Cailles

Our itinerary yesterday was the quaint villagey atmosphere of La Butte aux Cailles near Place d’Italie. Quiet as it is but the walls, and space, seem to be the favorite easel for many street artists:

Space like this one:

Whoever thought that hanging shoes above, in a public place is a form of art, but it definitely attracts attention:

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The plaque on the left says the establishment is a property agency. I like the theatrical effect those curtains create! If I were given a choice between the cold and uninspiring Roman blinds they sell nowadays, I would rather make something like this one with my own hands…

Miss.tic

I found the highest concentration of Miss.tic’s stencils in La Butte aux Cailles.

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 After 25 years of dabbing her sexy silhouettes on Paris walls, the artist who is frequently arrested by the police for messing up walls – it costs a fortune to re-paint them clean – has finally published two books. Not just any ordinary street artist, she has worked for the houses of Longchamp and Louis Vuitton and creates posters for theaters.

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the two books of Miss.tic

Street Art in Paris

Some graffiti, caricatures or stencils you see on Paris walls or sidewalks were drawn by artists who leave their mark which, to a street art enthusiast, are easily recognizable by the style or signature affixed. 

Take for example below which was created by NEMO whose style is that of a stencilled man in a coat.

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Found this spot one day in the peak of winter where the coated man is trying to learn how to ski but ends up falling all over the place!

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The graffiti’ed rue denoyez along Blvd Belleville is so darn colourful it’s even attracting media reporters

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superb artwork off Metro Pyrenees..

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Seen at the Marais district

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In Belleville, the Chinese district.
The time was late Sunday afternoon when suddenly hoardes of Chinese residents came strutting by. Could they be heading to the church or just off for a Sunday dinner …

Dimanche Gras in Paris

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Just as Mardi Gras will be celebrated tomorrow Tuesday  in some cities in the world notably in the more famous Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans,  Paris held her own yesterday,  on a Sunday, thus called Dimanche Gras or Fat Sunday (as opposed to Fat Tuesday for Mardi Gras). 

We were actually expecting a more festive and colourful parade but it was obvious that the organisers kept with the times of recession hence with the improvised costumes ranging from recycled halloween-christmas-birthday suits to suit  this year’s theme, “Monsters and Monstrosities”.  In fairness, the carnival was organised by only one arrondisement, the 20th, but it was delightfully festive nevertheless owing to the lively beat of African drums which got everyone dancing along the parade route.

 Boulevard Menilmontant

The carnival took to the long boulevard of Menilmontant populated mainly by Arab, Jewish and Chinese communities.

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This kosher restaurant, although long abandoned and left to rot, still gives a trace of what must have been a gloriously-designed Jewish architecture. I still prefer old world architecture like this one over what they build nowadays as cold and character-less boxes.