June 16, 2009

Down the Street

Take a walk with me. Let's start chez moi on rue du Faubourg St. Martin, the yellow road on the map above. We'll walk around the corner to go down rue des Récollets.

On the left we pass an entrance to Parc Villemin, a lovely urban lounging space. The big tree-d/green space above.

And then a children's clothing store Anais & Martin, which sells only the most well-crafted little bodysuits and booties.

Right next door is an art atelier called Affinite Terre by an artist named Emmanuelle Wittmann, whose ceramic pieces look like their existence hinges on a very delicate equilibrium.

Then we pass by a new restaurant in the neighborhood, which is our current favorite: Les Enfants Perdus. Their Pain des Enfants Perdus (pain perdu = lost bread, or french toast in English) is to die for. And if you go, you will most certainly run into the lovely waiter featured above, as he is almost always there, standing in that doorway.

Inside Les Enfants Perdus

Cafe Bonnie, the festive joint next door, is perfect for its hipster/bobo crowd, its bright blue exterior/pink wall interior. Fun.

And then, a doleful tale. There was once a restaurant named, "Le Sporting." Le Sporting was a restaurant with a ridiculous name in French (a name which was even more ridiculous in English). Well, Le Sporting was the venue of many fond occassions: visits to Paris by friends and brothers Marc and Stephen, dinners with my students half-way through the semester, weekend brunches, walks along the canal culminating in risotto, joyous reunions with friends...and then they decided to end it. They have turned Le Sporting into a mutation of itself. Who is 'they': good question. Some man apparently bought the restaurant and wanted to revamp its image, making it more 'brasserie-esque' (as if Paris wasn't already flooded by such a concept). Its prior image was a lovely one, with grey everything and funny gold leafing and big, wide-planked wood floors. Well now its awning is red and brazen and features some strange name: "Ari Café & Restaurant." What is the world (or my corner of it) coming to? ... I'm only half serious. This weekend we'll go check it out and then I will give a real review of the situation.

And then we have the classic Antoine & Lili, the all-French brand that feels so Frenchie. Check out their site, you will giggle.

And of course the best ending of all (of both this street and this story): Canal St. Martin. Water gem in Paris. And even if they look like they are pouting along the bank (they are), they are also relishing those choice rays of sun.


Anonymous said...

I was along the canal today! We're American & visiting my dad who lives here for the summer, so we're getting out & about. I took my kids to the Jardin Villemin where we had a picnic lunch & played on the pirate ship. Lots of "guys" hanging out there, saw one get arrested--what gives? My sister visits later in the summer, so we'll get back to visit the Canal area again--thanks for the recommendations...(ps. I've been combing the 'net a bit obsessively in anticipation of this trip for a while & discovered your blog--thanks--you have an eye for great photo images & I've enjoyed your site!) -mn

Emilie said...

Ah interesting. The 'guys' are actually Afghan refugees, who hang out in front of my apartment building all the time. At first, I was a little bit put off by what seemed like a swarm of young guys without jobs or occupations. Then a neighbor told me that they are actually Afghan refugees who are awaiting visas to other countries or are trying to figure out their next plan. They are never aggressive; they keep to themselves. They actually sleep in that park at night. They wait until the officers close down the park gates at sunset and then climb the gates (or they hide in the park) and spend the night there. Now, in summer, this is ok, except that it rains so much in Paris. Anyway, the point is I've been thinking about these guys and they often get harassed like that by the police. Shame. I think they've had a hard time of it.

Glad you found my site. Cool.

Melanie said...

I love hearing about your wondderful adventures that happen in Paris, you are so funny. Thank you for the wonderful tour. I love you all,

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