Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September 18, 2018


September 18, 2018

A dream trip to Paris is more poignant when you develop back pain.  Le French Chair does not fit the needs of my body, and therefore there is some suffering involved on this trip.  Oddly enough I'm not complaining because I'm happy here in Paris.  Still, I plan to go to the bookshop at Pompidou Centre, which is less than a mile from my headquarters.  A beautiful walk, but now the stroll will add a certain amount of awkwardness and pain.

Yesterday in a higher state of pain I walked down Rue Vieille du Temple, which is the street for independent fashion boutiques, bistros/cafes, restaurants, and specialty shops of all sorts.  The stores around the Louvre are crap, but here on the road, it is nothing but refined chicness and beautiful fashion. 



One of the stores I admire greatly is Au Petit Bonheur la Chance (13 rue Saint-Paul 75004) which is an antique store, but focusing on 20th-century pop culture items and objects from one's youth.  This perfectly named store is jam-packed with sewing material, notebooks from another era/generation, and most movingly a whole section of photographs taken of family trips and get-togethers.  Why these photos are not in some family's collection is a tad depressing, but also has an emotional charge when you look through these images.  I found a box of 7" 45 rpm singles that included a Jacques Dutronc record, but alas, I have the same copy at home.  So its a shop full of French toys from the 1950s, old fabric, napkins, statuettes, old playing cards, games, and old retail signs plus postcards from another time and era.  The shop is very much a second-hand store, but beautifully curated with real soul and feeling.  A very charming way of going into the past, but alas, it is not my past, but the history of someone of my age, who is French.  




As I struggled toward home (here in Paris), I went to Muji France to purchase two striped shirts - both cost under $40, and as anyone who knows me personally, I have a sizeable striped shirt collection.  The best high-quality shop for strip shirts and shoes is St. James, which is a traditional French clothing company and the ground zero for striped shirts and sweaters.  I suspect that me and perhaps hardcore TinTin (although not French technically) fans will see this spot as a shrine.  I do treat the store in such a manner, but alas, the clothing here is beyond my budget, which is basically between a few euros and entirely broke.  But to walk into this small shop and breath in the strip shirt inventory is as good as sex.  I would give you the address, but I don't want any outsiders coming here!  Although with the help of Google you will find it quickly enough. 

I was going to have dinner out, but instead, my wife went to the Pharmache de la Place Republique to get a can of cream for my aching back, and therefore we had Chinese food-to-go in our petite rented apartment.   All holidays have a sense of tragedy, and you need that to appreciate the good things that one experiences on a trip to another land. 
- Tosh Berman


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