Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Exploring the 6ème

Giant hazelnut-chocolate macaron.
I'm finally all settled into my apartment in the 6ème arrondissement. Everything is unpacked, the fridge is stocked, and I'm slowly learning my way around the neighborhood. I've been going to quite a few ultimate frisbee practices/pick up games and classes start next week! It feels like normal life is going to return at any moment.

I took advantage of my free morning to finally go to one of the renowned French markets! I was worried I would have a little difficulty finding the Marché Raspail, but actually ended up almost running into it. Oddly enough, the market took place along a single strip of median sidewalk between two streets. It seemed tiny at first--just one section of pavement with 3 or 4 vendors on either side--but as I continued walking I soon discovered that the marché continued on for the next block or two.

It's currently the tail end of stone-fruit season, so the wonderful smell of ripe peaches lingered in the air. There were tons of different vendors who sold items ranging from silk scarves to sea urchins, foie gras to chèvre pastries, and SAMOSAS (what) to produce. The majority of shoppers were old French women in black pea coats and pastel scarves pushing around small rolling shopping carts.

I got super excited when I saw the famously delicious little mirabelle plums going at one stand for 2E a kilo. I also saw little egg-shaped purple fruit labeled "quetsche" and had no idea what they were so I bought a couple to try them out. Spoiler alert: they are damson plums.

Marché spoils.
On my way back home I decided to stop by the Patrick Roger chocolate shop near my house. His website calls him a chocolate artist and I couldn't agree more. I literally circled the shop three times gawking at all the delicate truffles and the giant chocolate sculpture on display--some of the chocolates literally looked like works of art. I bought five small chocolates, which cost me an absurdly decadent 5E, but I unfortunately can't tell how they taste yet because I haven't worked up the courage to eat any of them.

Still can't believe that these are actually chocolates.
A little squished from being in my bag.
Right before returning to my apartment, I did some window shopping along my street. I'm no statistician, but I think if the buildings near me were categorized, it would look a little something like this:

Iconic buildings include: the Odéon Théâtre (one of France's six national theatres), the Luxembourg Gardens (not technically on my street but less than 10 minutes walking away), and the Restaurant Polidor, the iconic hangout spot of writers such as Hemingway, Kerouac, and James Joyce.

Miscellaneous includes: three Indian restaurants, one Vietnamese restaurant, a few minimalist and expensive-looking interior design stores, and a shop that I thought was an Einstein Bagels but is actually a "Bagelstein."

Tomorrow will officially mark two weeks in Paris for me! I've finally gotten over how picturesque everything looks, but here are a couple photos from day 2 when I was still geeking out about it:

Paris metro--some of the stations are super artsy and cool. This is not one of them.

This guy pulls off the classy-on-a-bike look perfectly.
Canal Saint-Martin. Pretty sure Amélie skipped rocks here.

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