Une Journée à Pied

l'automne (almost) in Paris
In the last few years, I have not logged as many walking miles as I once did. I am inspired in Paris because I am very much an urban walker. I love windows, signs, cafés....all of those trappings of a cosmopolitan environment. Today, I decided to walk from the 14th arrondissement to visit the 6th, home of elegant shops and cafés.

I consulted Google maps and found that it was only about 3 kilometres along Boulevard Raspail.
The Boulevard Raspail used to be called Le Boulevard d'Enfer (the Boulevard of Hell).  In the 14th, it links up with Denfert-Rochereau a very large and confusing square. My morning stroll passed without incident and I soon reached my destination.

The windows in the 6th are gorgeous.

I'm not really shopping in Paris. I've already bought a couple of items of clothing and I've sent some small gifts home with daughter but I love to look. I make my way to Les Jardins de Luxembourg where I find myself a chair.

a place to read in Paris

I'm reading Elizabeth George's The Punishment She Deserves on my iPhone. I'm trying to carry a lighter bag so theoretically my phone works better (except I didn't bring the little gizmo that Monsieur loaned me to store up power). I read until my battery is at 50% and I decide to move on.

a brand new (reopened at a different site) bookstore run by a woman from Hornby Island

The Red Wheelbarrow opened last week on Rue de Medici. The owner, Penelope Fletcher operated a bookstore in the Marais and has just reopened after several years. The shop is new, the collection
well curated and the owner friendly. When I remarked on the Mavis Gallant book in the window, she told me that the author had been a personal friend. I bought a book by MFK Fisher, a sometimes American expatriate and a sometimes Napa Valley dweller.

A poster informs me that there is a new exposition of caricatures of Victor Hugo at the Place des Vosges

There's also a production of Madame Bovary.

There are so many exhibits and productions that I would enjoy in Paris. At home, I live in a predominately Chinese suburb with a husband who does not speak French. Did I forget to mention that I consider the private automobile the curse of the 20th century? Mavis and MFK and Edith Wharton and a host of other literary ladies chose Paris for good reason.

I wander off the main street to the Rue Cujas where distinguished-looking older men (probably in their 70's) are dining in a Corsican restaurant. I decide to try the roasted summer vegetable lasagne with a glass of house red wine.

photo from YELP
After all my wandering and wishing and eating, I must make my way back to the 14th. I could take Metro 4 or I could walk uphill. I have eaten quite a lot so I decide to go à pied again. The walk for the most part covers well known territory but once I get back in the 14th, I'm going around in circles. So close and yet...Google maps keeps rerouting. Not a good sign! My battery is at less than 20%. I wish I'd changed SIM cards because I'm eating up data. Oh well, I did make it home to another evening with the crazy neighbour.


  1. Loved reading about your perambulations through Paris. A woman from Hornby Island runs a bookstore in Paris! Wow! A few years ago, I met a woman from Paris who ran a restaurant on Galiano Island. We do live in a small world.

    1. It is these serendipities that make travel interesting. Penelope, the owner, said that her girlhood dream was to work for Duthie's in Vancouver. I worked in a small art and architecture bookstore on South Granville 30 years ago. I have no plans for my days so I never know who I might meet..

  2. It is bookshops that I always want to visit anywhere I go. You must have been in heaven there!


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