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Saturday on Saint Germain

Marcher et parler, parler et marcher – walkin’ and talkin’, that’s Madame et moi.

Saturday began at our favourite Marché d’Aligre, a food market and a marché aux puces – flea market. It’s not touristy, definitely the real thing, an adventure. We first went to one of our favourite stores nearby, where we’d both bought scarves two years ago and did so again this time, the patronne a charming friendly woman who showed Lynn new ways to tie her scarf.

At the puces, I ended up buying a beautiful little bowl that I don’t need but could not resist for 8 euros, and then we bought dinner – roast potatoes, paté, sausages, a half bottle of champagne, and of course, a baguette. We went back to the apartment to leave the food; Lynn made us lunch, sandwich jambon, ham on crunchy fresh bread, and then we were off.

The plan was to get the excellent #91 bus to the Saint Germain area and walk around; the bus ride was an adventure, as it was so crowded, the doors wouldn’t close. Turned out, because of the gilets jaunes who were planning the usual huge demonstration Saturday afternoon, various busses had been cancelled, so our route was jammed. And then the driver announced that someone’s wallet had been stolen, there was a pickpocket on board.

But we got there and spent the rest of the very cold but sunny day wandering, looking, enjoying. Poking about in shops, looking in art galleries in the tiny winding streets between the Blvd. Saint Germain and the Seine – rue Jacob et al. Crowded, fascinating, fun. The gilets meanwhile were marching on the right bank, though at one point police cars and water cannons careened through the streets near us, sirens blaring, on their way to quell some disturbance. The shop owner earlier told us her business has been impacted; people aren’t out on Saturdays now, the way they were.

At last, the bus home, where we had an aperitif – champagne with paté on an even better baguette, this one bought around the corner at the Kayser bakery I’ve frequented also in New York. We toasted our years of friendship and the important birthday coming up of Madame, though it’s impossible to believe she’ll actually be that age. And then dinner of sausages and roast potatoes with a Crozes-Hermitage I’d bought us earlier, absolutely delicious, one of my father’s favourite wines.

So much to celebrate. The weather is startlingly cold, as cold as Toronto. Lynn says on previous trips to Paris in April , she didn’t even bother to bring a winter coat. And I am frileuse, always chilled, so I’m bundled up, including wearing a second beret beneath my beret. But no matter, the city is as always a feast. And then there are our actual feasts.

After dinner we watched a series called Special on Netflix, about a young gay men with a mild case of cerebral palsy negotiating independent adult life – very sweet, funny, enjoyable. And then I read Educated and Lynn All the Light We Cannot See, and so to bed.

Another heavenly day.

(click to enlarge) From the day before – a photo Lynn just forwarded of me in the middle of an artwork from the Fondation Vuitton – a thicket of blue streamers, surreal.

 Marché aux puces d’Aligre – piles of junk – fun!

L’Eglist Saint Germain and a redbud tree

One of the most elegant shops in the quartier – Fortuny, of the famous narrow pleats

 the famous narrow streets

our fave – aperitif! Madame in her new scarf, my birthday present to her.

And so – it’s Sunday. The Paris Marathon will clog many streets, so our job will be to avoid it and somehow manage to have an interesting day. I think we’ll succeed.

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2 Responses to “Saturday on Saint Germain”

  1. Julia Z says:

    Boulangerie Kayser is one of the very best! They really pull out all the stops right before Easter, too. Esp the brioche praline…You should start a travel consulting business! (or maybe I'm just suggesting that since you've been going to all my favorite places and I am the one who secretly wants to be a travel curator/consultant!) It's been so fun following your travels.

  2. beth says:

    Julia, I do have a document called "Beth's tips for Paris" that I send to people who're on their way there. I will add this note about Boulangerie Kayser. Glad you have enjoyed coming on my journey with me – only three more days and it's back to reality.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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