Tantalizing Tuesdays in Paris | Taking a Walk Through the Neighborhood

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I love this travel agency. I have taken probably four photos of their window. It is always inspiring to me, imaginative and beautiful; things flying around, seemingly suspended in time. I don’t see it often enough because it isn’t on my regular beaten path. But we ran across it Saturday in our dash to the “Shut Up and Write” group. And it hit me. I have never taken you on a walk around the city I love!  Shame on me.
 

If you remember from last week, I said we would explore this awe-inspiring (yes, I am partial) city together.

Today, our exploration will be in the 17th arrondissement, my home. I live in the northwest corner of the ciy, on the right bank; considered by a few Paris city bloggers to be the “most Parisian” arrondissement because it is almost predominantly residential. While this was news to me, I have noticed most businesses, even cafes and bistros do not speak English well, if at all, which is far from the truth in the other areas of the city where there is more tourism. It makes for good language practice! LOL  

And I also noticed, since moving here last spring, that I find myself becoming almost resentful when I venture into other parts of the city and am run over by the throngs of visitors. Shame on me!

Anyway, to continue, I live only a few blocks from one of the citites largest and busiest parcs, Parc Monceau, home to many special monuments and supposedly it was one of Monets favorite areas to go paint. It is always, as Christian refers to it, loaded with “Mary Charlottes” or at least their children (in the company of their au pairs). The specific area I live in is called Wagram, pronounced Va-Gram, with that notoriously rolled French ‘R’.

  Here is a map of the city to give you an idea. I live right between Parc Monceau and D’Arc de Triomphe.

Here is a map of the city to give you an idea. I live right between Parc Monceau and D’Arc de Triomphe.

Most days I spend a great deal of time at this desk, thinking about and writing to you guys. Sorry you can’t see my desk better. It is a beautiful Empire style we bought through the French version of Craig’s List, called Leboncoin for something like $200 Euros. It is crazy here to me that most Parisians, at least the younger generations, prefer Scandinavian furniture. You can purchase French antiques for practically nothing. Let me know if you are looking for something! Ha!

Of course, there is the daily trek to the market for the evening meal. Yes, everyone shops here daily.

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There are markets everywhere in this area, however, so it isn’t a hardship. There is one literally in the same building as my apartment! Three other markets are only a block or two away.

Franprix however, the closest, prides itself on carrying many American products (at substantially higher price, and sadly, with less nutritional value.)

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So here is the building I live in. It takes up an entire city block and houses multiple businesses, a bank and apartments of course.

And here is the market (it would be hidden on the side I didn’t photograph!

  But, if walking around the side of the building for fruit or veggies is too far, we have our own local farmers stand that sets up every afternoon around 3, just as school is getting out and the metro station starts pouring commuters from its escalator.

But, if walking around the side of the building for fruit or veggies is too far, we have our own local farmers stand that sets up every afternoon around 3, just as school is getting out and the metro station starts pouring commuters from its escalator.

  You can see his oranges right to the right of this photo. Notice his strategic location. Going or coming through this popular station, you simply grab a snack, food for dinner, a newspaper or magazine and you are set. They don’t have a starbucks close, but Gabrielle’s across the corner serves a hot cup of coffee in a hurry. You can just stand at the bar, down it and never stop.

You can see his oranges right to the right of this photo. Notice his strategic location. Going or coming through this popular station, you simply grab a snack, food for dinner, a newspaper or magazine and you are set. They don’t have a starbucks close, but Gabrielle’s across the corner serves a hot cup of coffee in a hurry. You can just stand at the bar, down it and never stop.

Their food is good too. I guess that isn’t surprising. I mean it is Paris after all.

I walk out my door, literally, 10 steps away is the fruit vendor, right in front of the metro station and across the street is a bistro, that pops up as a good place to go, if you type in my address.

But this is just the practical side of my intimate little block. Let me show you some of the beauty.

       A building I walk by everyday………..

     A building I walk by everyday………..

  The boutique I can see from my office window where I bought a mirror and photo frames, fabulous!

The boutique I can see from my office window where I bought a mirror and photo frames, fabulous!

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The Patissier where I just returned with a warm baguette………..

  Well, yes, of course I ate some, wouldn’t you?

Well, yes, of course I ate some, wouldn’t you?

And this is just a quiet day in the life. I walk everywhere, weather permitting (When I am not late!)

It gets colder here sooner and stays that way longer than my home town, but hey, we still have humidity, so I don’t feel completely lost.

Oh, and I almost forgot the exciting photo! If you walk past the Franprix to the end of the block this is what you will see……

  Recognize it??  Napolean’s Arc de Triomphe. It houses the grave and flame of the unknown soldier, and some of the most amazing sculpture you will ever see.

Recognize it?? Napolean’s Arc de Triomphe. It houses the grave and flame of the unknown soldier, and some of the most amazing sculpture you will ever see.

All in all, it is a remarkable life, every day holds new things to see, to learn, to write about, to dream about.

So, if you decide to come for a visit, let me know, we have a spare bedroom!

And yes, the challenge game. Can you look through these photos, pick one that speaks to you, and write 20 adjectives about it?

They can be nonsensical, dramatic, colorful, anything but predictable…..

This is a cool writing prompt to do whenever you feel a little stuck. You know, your story line isn’t moving the way you want……………writing 1600 words per day for your NaNoWriMo novel has tapped you out…………. Whatever. Use this to play with your words. Yes, like children play with their food. Push them around, use your fingers, get messy, throw them across the room – I am talking about your words here, not your computer. Don’t actually throw anything or anyone physically………….(smile)………..just your brain.

Dance to music, sing if you want. Imagine you are walking these streets everyday……… what would inspire you?

Learning to play is how we make our dreams come alive. Play some today.

And until tomorrow… Bises!