Paris Part 2

I could spend hours just gazing up at the Parisian architecture. The contrast of dark, curved window balustrades against light-washed stone is not only romantic, but mesmerizing. I can now say from experience that waking up on the other side of a beautiful Parisian facade is equally charming.IMG_1018 copyWe stayed in the 16th, and although our flat was small, it had some stunning views.
IMG_1034IMG_1020Waking up to warm blue skies was a delight, but paled in comparison to our crystal clear view of the Eiffel Tower. Good morning Paris!! When you have a view like this outside your window, you get dressed FAST. Watching the city is beautiful, but such a tease. B and I threw on clothes quick and hit the streets of Paris bright and early, eager to explore and discover a new city.IMG_1177The sunshine was on full force, and all of the trees were in bloom. Although our visit was in early March, the temperature was in the mid-60’s and we ended up carrying our jackets around most of the time. So much for the hats and scarves I packed!
IMG_1184IMG_1074IMG_1066IMG_1067Our first stop of the day was Les Puces de Saint-Ouen – the world’s biggest flea market. IMG_1059After an evening of cabs, we decided to brave the metro, which turned out to be quite underwhelming. It wasn’t packed, the trains ran regularly, and we quickly made a game of trying to guess the pronunciation of each stop before it was officially announced over the train’s speaker. We lost almost every time!

When we arrived at the market, we were greeted by miles of century-old knick-knacks. Stalls and long alleyways were lined with treasures and junk – old postcards, vintage linens, crystal decanters, fur coats, and broken cameras. Couches, dolls, doilies, and shawls. Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is a hoarder’s heaven. It’s like a massive French yard sale  – and it’s one of my new favorite places.
IMG_1049IMG_1058We were a bit intimidated at first, but once we got bartering, we found it hard to stop. Everything is for sale, and all of the prices are negotiable. Aim low, bargain hard, and you can leave with some lovely treasures.
IMG_1055IMG_1050B and I scooped up a vintage cake knife for our wedding, and a glass candy dish for our home. I also bought a wool kilt and a leather fanny pack. IMG_1096Soon our pocket cash ran out and it was time to head back into central Paris. IMG_1085IMG_1103IMG_1104 IMG_1116 IMG_1110 IMG_1108We strolled around until hunger hit, and we then went in search of falafel. A friend had recommended L’As Du Fallafel, where the crispy garlic chickpea fritters, creamy hummus, and fried eggplant have a deliciously awesome reputation. IMG_1133You can sit in or take away, but take away seemed to be the more popular option.Paris LinesDespite the long line leading up to the window, we only waited about fifteen minutes before being served. Before you hop in line, make sure to go into the store and pay first. You’ll be given a receipt, and then directed into the line outside. We saw a few people get turned away at the window, after waiting in line for some time, because they hadn’t yet paid inside. So remember to pay inside first!IMG_1148Which is dangerous, as the shelves are stacked with delicious looking treats.Paris TreatsIMG_1144We debated finding a park bench or grassy area to plop down on, but in the end we really couldn’t wait, and dug into our Middle Eastern bounty right there on the sidewalk.  Paris FalafelIt was delicious. The falafel were crisp and gently seasoned. The hummus was creamy and the harissa had just the right amount of spice. Underneath it all was a light and crunchy bed of slaw, rounding out the meal in a way that almost made you feel healthy. Almost.

After eating a falafel the size of my head, it was time for more walking. IMG_1070I think the neighborhood area of Le Marais was my favorite in Paris. There were beautiful buildings, but also a unique blend of art and culture. I would compare this neighborhood to Shoreditch in London, or maybe even de Pijp in Amsterdam. Most cities have one – a lovely-artsy neighborhood with hip shops, interesting street art, and interesting galleries. Just the kind of place you want to spend a weekend, or grab a coffee in the sun with girlfriends. IMG_1162 IMG_1163B took this next photo – I have to say, he somehow manages to always get the best one in the bunch!IMG_1169IMG_1186We curved in and out of shaded streets, and even debated an ice cream cone. At one point we even got lost-lost, which was actually kind of fun – not knowing where we were, or really caring, in Paris.IMG_1187We were disoriented for maybe ten minutes, before hitting La Seine. We watched boats pass by, and I swear to you, I waved at every single one. Paris has this funny effect on me. . . where I want to smoke a sexy cigarette or dance in the streets to the buskers. Paris makes me feel carefree. Or maybe it’s just the first warm, sunny day of spring ;)IMG_1193That’s enough Paris for one evening. I have two more Paris updates to share, but you’ll have to wait another day or two for the next installment ;) Until then!

xo ali

2 Replies to “Paris Part 2”

  1. Hubs and I are going to Paris for a week this August!!! We’ve been once but only for a day and a half so I can’t wait to have the time to explore like this. Loved your pics and post!


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