Next we were off to the big department stores, Printemps and Galleries Lafayette, but we realized that there was no need to go shopping in Paris when we have the same shopping grandeur right here in New York. So we didn’t stay long. Galleries Lafayette had cool lights outside.
A block to the west is Printemps, which has an impressive facade that lures shoppers in search of lower prices than Galleries Lafayette. I thought both were kinda pricey. But you have to go to Printemps to see the amazing glass dome.
Strolling around, we spotted a really amazing bakery with very artistic pastries. Check out the little marzipan pigs!
Paris has a lot of Passages, i.e. arcaded shopping streets. More than 200 passages crisscrossed Paris, providing shelter front he rain. The first were built during the American Revolution. Today, only a handful remain to remind u where shopping malls got their inspiration.
Next on the agenda: Rue Mongorgueil for lunch. This is a popular cafe-lined street. It used to be the home of big warehouses and wholesale places to support the once-massive Les Halles marked, which was nearby.
The place was adorable. Small, with a main floor and a lower level. I’m not sure what this place was before it became a cat cafe, but the interior was like a little cave, with little rooms and small nooks. The ceilings were low, and there was lots of exposed brick. The decor tended to be cat oriented.
A dozen cats live in the cafe. They were adopted by the cafe from various animal rescue groups. They were chosen for their friendly personality towards cats and people. This girl was pretty friendly and jumped right in my lap.
Across from me was a window ledge. One of the cat was jumping up there pretty often and looking out the window.
He ended up parking himself on the woman’s lap and sleeping while she ate lunch. The tortie below was just mellowing out on an ottoman while diners ate nearby.
The cats are not up for adoption. They live in the cafe permanently.
The cafe has rules. Do not interrupt their naps. (I broke that one). Do not feed them. Pictures are allowed, but no flash. And my favorite: “Do not forget that the cats are free. Do not force them to do anything.” I like that attitude.
Downstairs was an adorable girl cat sleeping on the sofa. She didn’t mind a little affection.
I like photography, so we checked out The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson. I learned about this photographer from my instructor, Stephanie, when I took my digital photography class.
They were great, but the gallery itself was very small. We breezed through the place in about 30 minutes. At 7 euros each, it was sort of a price half-hour.
There was a school trip, and the teacher really had the students enthralled at this painting. I was trying to eavesdrop, but it was all in French, so it didn’t matter.
After being indoors for a couple of hours, it was time to get back outdoors. Here in Manhattan, we have the High Line elevated park. Paris has their own version: a two-mile long, narrow garden walk on an elevated viaduct that was once used for train tracks. It’s the Promenade Plantée (aka the Viaduc des Arts).
This was really a lovely walk. An oasis of peace and serenity in busy, bustling Paris. Nicely landscaped. Really a pleasure.
There were several spots along the way where to you can go off to the side and look out over the Parisian streets.
There was also a shop in the market with hundreds of old photos and paintings. The photos were amazing. I could have flipped through their inventory all day.
On the street outside the market was a big flea market, with all sorts of stuff for sale. It’s a good thing I had will power (and no more room in my suitcase) or I would have bought all sorts of stuff.
We headed back to our hotel, passing another veterinary clinic on the way. They had a cool logo stenciled on the window, and a really adorable cat looking out through the glass.
It was general admission, and we were there early, so we got excellent seats, right up front. A festival like this is great because you’re seeing the concert with the locals. Not touristy at all.
The concert was spectacular. Very talented band, great seats, and really good acoustics. It really capped off an already terrific day.
Sigh. Trip is coming to an end. Tomorrow is our last day.