Paris: Wandering the Marais

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Every time I go to Paris, I have to allot some time to wander the Marais district, which is full of unique shops and restaurants. Back in the day (and I mean far back), the king decreed it a place for the aristocrats to live, despite it being a swamp (marais means marsh). The people took the area and built it up to be a beautiful and prestigious place to live, and it remains a desirable area to this day.

It became a popular and active commercial area after the nobility started to move to the Faubourg Saint-Germain, as many Eastern European Jews flocked here. Little known fact: it was also a haven for the gay community. Because of this, during World War II, Hitler targeted the area for his ethnic (and, apparently, lifestyle) cleansing. It remains a popular area for Jewish and gay businesses and residents today, although for the most part is very mainstream.

As it turns out, my apartment was located just on the edge of the Marais, so instead of just a few hours of wandering, we took all day. Here it was, the Sunday before Christmas, and the place was bustling.

Changs take Paris

Brunch is a relatively new concept in France, as are brunch buffets, but it's picking up. Adrian suggested one of the better places for this on Sundays, Bar du Marche des Blancs Manteaux.

Bar du Marche des Blancs Manteaux
53 rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 Paris
01 42 71 14 14
www.bardumarche-marais.fr

Picture 1 of 40

These are just the highlights. If you want to see the rest of my photos from this day, click here. For some reason, my videos aren’t uploading to YouTube, so I’ll have to figure out another way to share them.

6 comments
turkfontaine
turkfontaine

you are packing much doins' into little time. i can't imagine why you would ever leave. it's all so beautiful and patina-y. 

Annoddah_Dave
Annoddah_Dave

Delicate Blossom:  Is that not Lancelot du Lac that you met on the street?  Cute kid...he will slay the girls once he reaches knighthood!  Has European food reached the level of "plating" that we see in high end restaurants in the US and in Japanese cuisine?  I know it never looked real pretty but you can't beat the taste.

M
M

Hello Melissa!

I'm enjoying the pictures!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @turkfontaine well, as mentioned in the last blog, it was too expensive to stay longer and I have been there many times before. So I don't actually have to stay long to get my fix, although I wish I could afford to.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @Annoddah_Dave Like American restaurants, the real plating is done at fine dining establishments more than anything!