Hey, look who I found!
My cousin Kara posted on Facebook that she was spending the weekend in Paris, so naturally we had to meet up. She’s studying abroad in Prague and traveling virtually every weekend–last weekend was Oktoberfest in Munich, then I think she said next weekend is Barcelona, then Krakow, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. I’m so jealous–but then, I have not-so-secret Brussels plans up my sleeve for a few weeks from now. Stay tuned.
Anyway, Kara and two of her friends met me in Le Marais, the historically Jewish district. It reminded me quite a bit of one of the small winding cobblestone streets in Jerusalem, especially with all of the falafel shops and “Yiddish” bakeries.
We had lunch at L’as de Falafel, which is apparently Lenny Kravitz’s favorite falafel joint in Paris. To be perfectly frank, I thought it was a little too expensive to be fun, food-wise–to me, falafel is supposed to be one of those cheap street-food things that is nevertheless heavenly. But I enjoyed chatting with Kara and her friends, both of whom are studying abroad as well. Kara described their program in Prague as practically a Teen Tour. Tee hee.
After lunch I took pictures of the restaurant, but couldn’t get close enough to get the whole thing.
Yes, the French spelling of “kashrut” is “cacherout.” And “kosher” is “cacher.”
The four of us stopped into one of the incredible bakeries and bought a “roule chocolat,” which was like a giant rugelach. Actually, I’m not sure that rugelach is what it was evocative of, exactly, but I can’t come up with the right Jewish dessert. Anyway, they look like this, and we split one four ways.
We wandered the streets of Le Marais for a while after that. I really like the area because it’s got some great shopping, but none of the big chain stores–Zara, Promod, Etam, et cetera. Not that there’s anything wrong with those stores, but it’s more fun when every store has something a little different, but all absurdly “on trend,” as they say. I could easily replace my entire wardrobe in Le Marais alone, with a little help from Rue de Rivoli and Champs Élysées. As it was, I bought a dress at the Sandro outlet–but it was truly parfait (raspberry-colored silk, with exaggerated shoulders, short sleeves and ruching at exactly the right place in the middle), not to mention marked down from 185 euro to 40, which became 30 at the register with a pair of lacy leggings thrown in for 4. It was really satisfying.
We parted ways at the Saint-Paul métro station. It was so good to see Kara–it had really been forever! And then when I got to Châtelet, where I should clearly just set up camp to save myself the trip, there was a string orchestra. No, for real.
I gave them what little cash I had left. They were really very good, and I know something of the young musician’s plight. (By God, I do know about that!)
Time to spend the rest of this rainy Sunday in Paris relaxing, reading, and eagerly anticipating the new Downton Abbey!