Sunday, June 2, 2019

Flânerie - the act of strolling - - (or the art of loafing)

Flâneur, from the French noun flâneur, means "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", or "loafer". Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations. (from Wikipedia). 

Flâneuse  (plural flâneuses), female equivalent of flâneur.

There's no better city in the world as perfect for sauntering than Paris.  

Start walking with no plan and you'll find surprises along the way.

Start walking with a plan and you'll still find surprises along the way.

This day we left our hotel early after our delightful daily hotel breakfast.  

Scrambled eggs, bacon, croissants, fresh fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Or yogurt.  Or cereal.  I loved our little breakfast room.

Today we're hunting out some of the covered passages of Paris.  

From Wikipedia:  The Covered Passages of Paris (FrenchPassages couverts de Paris) are an early form of shopping arcade built in Paris, France primarily during the first half of the 19th century. By the 1850s there were approximately 150 covered passages in Paris but this decreased greatly as a result of Haussmann's renovation of Paris. Only a couple of dozen passages remain in the 21st century, all on the Right Bank. The common characteristics of the covered passages are that they are: pedestrianised; glass-ceilings; artificially illuminated at night (initially with gas lamps); privately owned; highly ornamented and decorated; lined with small shops on the ground floor; connecting two streets.

We found a few, along with some other places we hoped to see, along with some lovely surprises, of course.

The first we happened on was Passage des Princes which is full of toy stores.

From the Paris Tourist Office:  "The history of the Passage des Princes has been very eventful. Built in 1860 and then destroyed in 1985, it was finally rebuilt to look exactly the same in 1995. A stone's throw from the Palais Garnier opera house and the large Parisian departments stores, its architecture goes perfectly with the beautiful Haussmannian buildings found in this district. Considered as the Mecca for games, this covered arcade houses numerous shops dedicated to toys, scale models, video games and more. A delight for children but also for adults who are still children at heart. "

Passage des Panoramas.

From Paris Info: "A tribute to strollers and curious strollers, the Passage des Panoramas is considered to be the first covered passage in Paris. Built in 1799, it has retained its cachet of yesteryear and its shopping spirit. Each showcase reflects a historical part of the capital; from the Bourse district to the Grands Boulevards, sheltered by a superb glass roof, the shopping street is listed as a historic monument. At the turn of its 133 meters of intense activity, shops mouths succeed and art craftsmen. They rub shoulders with many collectors of postcards, coins, autographs and old stamps. Admire the period decorations still present, such as those of the old chocolatier Marquis and Stern printing, symbolizing the ambitious urbanism of the late eighteenth century. Inaugurated in 1807, the Théâtre des Variétés is still active; programming shows and comedies, it animates the passage for two centuries, celebrities there."

Passage Jouffroy

From Paris Tourist Office: "Since it was built in 1836, Passage Jouffroy has been one of the most visited covered arcades in the capital. Situated on the Grands Boulevards and in the continuation of Passage des Panoramas, it owes its charm to its beautiful iron and glass architecture (the ogive glass roof immediately catches the eye) and its marble paving, renovated in 1987. The other asset to the Passage Jouffroy is the variety and originality of the establishments which it houses. The children and adults visiting the Musée Grévin and its famous waxwork models. The Salon des Miroirs is a former 19th century brasserie which, today, is only used for private hire and transforms into a club on Saturday nights. The Hôtel Chopin is an original place to spend the night. Some of the most original shops add a special touch to the visit: old canes and walking sticks, old books, paper specialists and many others. It's worth a visit for the window displays alone! Gourmets can take a break at Valentin, the unmissable tea room. It is also accessible via 9 Rue de la Grange-Batelière."

One of our very favorite places!

I had read about this little shop, Galerie Fayet, and was hoping we would find it.  It was worth the hunt.

I really wanted this walking stick with the cute little stiletto . . .
alas, prices for all these amazing pieces that we fell in love with were a little (Ha!) out of our comfort zone

Passage Verdeau

From the Paris Tourist Office:  "The Passage Verdeau, in the Grands Boulevards district, takes the name of its creator. Built in 1847, it is one of the most charming covered arcades in the capital. It is the continuation of two other well known arcades: Les Panoramas and Jouffroy. These sites are great for enjoying an original walk. A number of antiques dealers and unique shops (old books, postcards, collectors' cameras, etc.) have set up in the Passage Verdeau. Visitors' eyes are caught by the beautiful shop fronts bathed in light thanks to the high glass roof designed to look like fish bones."

Always lovely to stop, rest your weary feet and have a cappuccino - along with some old fashioned people watching

Galerie Vivienne

There was renovation going on which was fascinating to see, but the shops were still open as usual.

From the Paris Tourist Office: "Galerie Vivienne, built in 1823, is one of the most iconic covered arcades in Paris. In a peaceful location, behind the Bibliothèque Richelieu and near the Palais-Royal, it's definitely worth a visit. Visitors can admire the colourful mosaics on the ground and then lift their eyes to appreciate the beautiful glass roof which lets in the light. There are many of shops: ready-to-wear boutiques, tea rooms, gourmet food boutiques, wine cellars, grocery shops, old bookshops and much more."

Next we wandered through the Palais Royal

The Palais-Royal, originally called the Palais-Cardinal, is a former royal palace located in the 1st arrondissement of ParisFrance. The screened entrance court faces the Place du Palais-Royal, opposite the Louvre. In 1830 the larger inner courtyard of the palace, the Cour d'Honneur, was enclosed to the north by what was probably the most famous of Paris's covered arcades, the Galerie d'Orléans. Demolished in the 1930s, its flanking rows of columns still stand between the Cour d'Honneur and the popular Palais-Royal Gardens.

And look what we found!

An adorable little 3 month old Corgi whose mom allowed us a few minutes play time.  And, of course, had to hear all about Annabelle while we played.

Passage Potier

From "This private passage takes its name from a comedian, Charles-Gabriel Potier (Paris, October 23, 1774 - Paris, May 20, 1838), who lived at the corner of this passage and the Rue de Richelieu from 1820 to 1825 famous under the Restoration. In 1799, it was known as passage Beauvilliers .

Potier is buried in the Père-Lachaise Cemetery."

And we continue our flânerie enjoying seeing the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the fountains in the Place de la Concorde, Jeanne d'Arc, Churchill, de Gaul, Wallace fountains . . . 

Arriving back at our hotel room for a sweet surprise.


It never gets old.

Seeing my Whimsey in any bookstore tickles me and makes me proud.

Seeing it in Paris at WH Smith makes me jealous that my book, and my characters, get to live in Paris while I am only able to visit.  😖

How nice was it to come back to our room and find this?!

We love Hotel Le Relais Madeleine

More Tomorrow !

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