Yesterday I went to the American Library monthly book sale. It sells a paperback for 2€ and a hardback for 3€. This is my third visit and I am still not disappointed. The American Library is located in the 7eme, one of the most expensive arrondissements in Paris. Views of the Eiffel Tower are seen from many angles and the shop windows that line the little streets are what one imagines when thinking of Paris. A lovely street, Rue Cler, is closed to cars and is must see. A more cynical person might say this street is a cliche, but I love it.
After exiting the bus yesterday and figuring out which direction to go, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a kitty cat face that stopped me in my tracks. The little face was enjoying watching the foot traffic meandering in it’s view. My cat as well spends hours looking out our window surveying the comings and goings of scooters, motorcycles, and garbage trucks. My friend’s cat, Bruno, has a panoramic view from the top of Montmartre and she claims is far happier here than in Los Angles where he had more square footage.
Discovering the city is still one of my favourite pastimes. The other week, I went to a lovely little museum, Nissen de Camondo. It’s a private home that was left to the State in 1935. Here’s an exert from the museum’s intro page:
“Moïse de Camondo, a reputed Parisian banker during the Belle Epoque, was a passionate collector of French furniture and art objects from the eighteenth century, ans he amassed a collection of unusual quality. In 1911, he hired architect René Sergent to build a private mansion next to Parc Monceau that would be worthy of this collection and suitable for his family. The design was modeled after that of the Petit Trianon in Versailles, but behind the handsome décor of wood-paneled apartments were hidden the accoutrements of modern life, including kitchens, offices and bathrooms. The home, which is fully preserved in its original condition, offers an opportunity to discover the taste of a great collector and to get a glimpse of the everyday life of an aristocratic home.”
It’s a rare opportunity to be able to walk into the original kitchen, bathrooms and china cupboard. I went during the holidays and I was one of maybe 25 people in the entire place. It’s proximity to Parc Monceau makes the trip to here an easy decision. I got lost wandering the parc and had to search for a metro as I exited onto unknown streets. More often than not, I completely turned around in this city with it’s winding streets thinking I’ve been to this intersection before, with it’s 1902 architecture, tree-line streets and beautiful shop windows, but in reality, it’s just one of hundreds. I wish that when people visit Paris they take the time to create an adventure that is just not the typical sites, but goes to the smaller and out of the way museums and cultural sites. This is one of the things that makes all the hard work of living in Paris worthwhile.