Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Montparnasse

Today, I went to visit another of the interesting areas of Paris. Last year, I visited the Montparnasse area almost every day on my way to my class at Reid Hall. I passed by the fountain at the end of the Marco Polo Square. The Fontaine de l'Observatoire is very interesting: four women of different continents holding up a globe with the signs of the zodiac surrounded by fishes and turtles (one of which has been spray-painted a bright green). The Jardin de Marco Polo is surrounded by a fence.

Last year, I had a class on French culture that was held between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  My friend, Janet was meeting me after my class. Janet,who does not speak French, was intent on the fountain and did not notice the gardienne locking the gate at 7:00. When I arrived to meet her, she was locked in the park.  Eventually, we caught up with the gardienne and Janet was sternly reprimanded and released.
A very interesting fountain

Today, I went to Montparnasse shopping centre. The C&A store is good for buying inexpensive items of clothing, hosiery and accessories. I made a couple of small purchases and left to find a restaurant for lunch. There are many restaurants on Blvd Montparnasse ranging from pizzerias to famous restaurants:La Coupole, Le Dôme and La Closerie des Lilas. I chose a Lebanese restaurant called Noura

I have walked past this restaurant often and did not know that it is the original restaurant of a famous chain of Lebanese eateries. If you want a splurge, they also operate Zyriab on the 9th floor of the Institut du Monde Arabe. I ordered the vegetarian plate which came with hummus, dolmades, tabouli
and some other vegetarian treats. There was freshly baked pita and I had a Lebanese beer. There was more than I could eat for under 20 euros. I ate inside but there is a lovely garden for a sunny day.

The Montparnasse tower does not fit in the neighbourhood at all but last year Monsieur and I went up to view the city. You get a great view on a clear day. It doesn't cost much and there are not usually lineups. In La Cimetière de Montparnasse, you will find the graves of many writers, composers and philosophers. Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Baudelaire, Camille Saint-Saëns are all interred here.
The tour is very visible.
On Saturday and Wednesday, you can visit the Edgar Quinet Market. This market has all kinds of produce, charcuterie, traiteurs as well as some items of clothing. Last year, when I was here longer, I bought household items, hosiery and some very inexpensive articles of clothing at street markets.


Shirts for 15 euros is a good price
The Boulevard Montparnasse is now an unpretentious mixture of movie theatres, restaurants and small shops but during the years between the world wars, it was the quartier of those who enjoyed the freedom and creativity of Paris life.


Childen's programmes
All sorts of children's book
My favourite children's bookstore, Tschann-Jeunesse, is at the corner of La Chevreuse and Montparnasse. If you are looking for a wonderful selection of French children's books, this is the place.














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