Tuesday, March 26, 2013

St. Eustache, Les Halles, Au Pied du Cochon

Today, I stayed in the apartment to do a little laundry and to do some research. I always like to know what I am seeing and to understand the historical context of a site.  The study of French Literature and Culture has always interested me. As an undergrad years ago, I was keen to learn all that I could about La Belle France and now I have the opportunity to view the churches, palaces, and neighbourhoods and to imagine.  History is a just another great story.

Today, we took the 67 bus from Pigalle to Rivoli-Louvre and started with a stroll past the tourist shops with their displays of scarves and Eiffel Tower ornaments. I never visit them unless I have visitors. We strolled along Rue St. Honoré to the  Les Halles area which is undergoing another facelift which will not be complete until 2016. Since the food market was moved in 1971 and a shopping mall developed,
the area has lost much of its charm.  It is being revitalized and hopefully, according the plan, will re-emerge as a hub of Paris.

After skirting the hectares of construction, we entered L'église de St. Eustache, an imposing Gothic church. Louis X1V received communion at St. Eustache and the Grand Ministre Colbert is buried there.
Colbert's tomb
The organ of St. Eustache is the largest in Paris .  The paintings in the individual chapels are dark  and imposing retellings of the martyrdom of early Christians.
We strolled along the Montorgueil pedestrian zone and I noticed a Jean Louis David salon where I got my hair glazed for la brilliance and had a blowout.  In France, you come out of the salon with casual-looking hair that just has more shine and volume.

We had extra time before meeting friends at Au Pied de Cochon so we stopped for drinks and tapas at a corner brasserie. What a great place to people watch!  We especially like men with full hair and coloured jeans.

We met our friends at Au Pied de Cochon where we ate pieds farcis (stuffed pigs' feet). This is Paris and we will try anything. As a solo traveller, I like to travel in taxis at night so we walked to rue Montorgeuil, hailed a cab and returned chez nous in time for sleep.

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