Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 7, 2013- A Flea Market; finally, Aldi's; Promenade Plantee

Density of bakeries:  The Boulanger around the corner from us was closed this morning, so I had to go 2 blocks to the next one to get our breakfast baguette.  A home is not a home in Paris without at least 1 baguette in the house.

First, to the Porte De Vanves Flea Market (14th Arrondissement).  I’m not sure how many flea markets there are in Paris- I know there are a bunch. The flea market is on both sides of the sidewalk (which fortunately is much wider here than in St. Paul), with an incredible variety spread out on tables and blankets.  One writer described it as like peering into the windows of elderly neighbors about to move into a retirement home- dishes, linens, furniture, painting, bric-a-brac. My favorite was the old post cards- ranging in price from 1E to 50E. Some had been used, with the usual vacation messages on the back and an interesting old stamp.  Many had amusing cartoons. My only purchase was a greeting card. Al purchased 2 cd’s of 1950’s French popular music.

We journeyed on to Aldi’s, and found it a few blocks from the Porte Ouen train station.   Aldi’s is about ½ hour by train from the Eiffel Tower. 
 Our apartment has a shopping cart. Hooray- as this was a stocking up trip for toilet paper, canned goods, soda, and cheese.  

                                             Al approaches Aldi's pulling our cart.

The Paris Aldi’s (which is actually in the suburb of Clichy), had the same layout as the Midway Aldi’s, where we usually shop.  The content is better.  Like all other grocery stores I have been to here, it has a large wine section.  Prices on many things were actually cheaper than in Saint Paul (e.g. spaghetti was .39E or about 51 cents ). A nice selection of cheese- including the “Petit Brie.” We did not see a “Grand Brie.”
We purchased “Faux Filets,”  (fake fillets) which appear to be steak.  We will find out tomorrow night when we eat them. A successful shopping trip.  We will make another trip in 2-3 weeks.

On to lunch at a nearby bakery.  The French have, in my mind, perfected the lunch combo- a salad or sandwich, beverage, and DESSERT.  Much better than the chips or fries in the U.S. combos.  Al had a hot dog- consisting of a frankfurter in a baguette covered with cheese.

To home to put away our purchases. 

Then off for an evening at the Promenade Plantee (Bastille Metro stop, 11th Arrondissement). An old train viaduct about 2 stories above the street which has been re-used as a park.  The park is about 20 feet wide, with an overlook at each street.  Lots of rose bushes, trees, benches, and very clean.  A few joggers.  The park is almost 3 miles long. We enjoyed a quiet evening stroll and beautiful sunset, cut short by the  park’s closing at 8:30. Al speculates the early closing is so they don’t have the expense of lights.


They have nice flowers along the way.

There was a rainbow.

Typical Paris apartments along the way.

An interesting tree from above.

A Paris sunset.

Some Metro stations are interesting, and some are plain.  Gare de Lyon is pretty interesting.

What you are looking at is one platform.  The track is closed off from the platform by a clear plastic wall, with parts that open to let people onto the train.  The yellow columns in the far back, are on the platform on the other side of the track.

 The Bastille is gone. Contrary to what I had always heard about the “Storming of the Bastille” to release its many prisoners, there were only 7 prisoners there when the citizens took over the prison on July 14, 1789.  Many of there were nobility.  Fortunately, the Bastille Metro station has a huge mural depicting in a rather romanticized version the events of that date.



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