Living in a small neighborhood of the Bastille, the hardest phrases to hear over the last year have been: “We’re closing and retiring” and “They have sold the shop for their retirement”: Holmes, the stationery store, and now à la Petite Fabrique, the chocolate factory. Holmes was transformed into an upscale Italian restaurant and word is that Alain Ducasse is buying the Petite Fabrique…. The neighborhood in the area of Hugo’s Les Miserables and the French Revolution has gone upscale.
Bring Home France on rue de Birague in the Marais offers unique Paris and French souvenirs designed by a street artist, graphic designers, fashion and home designers. Some products are made by long-standing French firms in Gien, Limoges, by Duralex and Laulhère-France.
In the store and for shopping online they have a wide selection of products ranging from gastronomy and jewels to fashion, decoration and toys. Nathalie Crouzet tells you some stories and legends behind some of the souvenirs in my first video story.
Update for Paris Plages: Clémence from the Seine-Saint-Denis Office of Tourism contacted me with information in English about the Basin de la Villette section of Paris Plages. Paris Plages takes place in two locations every year: along the Seine (Parc Rives de Seine) and in the Bassin de la Vilette. Bassin de la Villette is the new hoping part of town in the northeastern section of Paris.
Paris Plages began July 8 and continues to Sunday September 3. As they say on the Mairie de Paris’ webpage: “What would summer be without Paris Plages”.
For maps of where to go swimming (baignait) what’s happening along the basin and what’s to eat and drink (rafraîchir et grignoter) visit Que Faire à Paris and about river shuttles, “Bals pop” (popular dance balls), etc. along the Ourcq.
Pierre Cardin goes to his studio everyday, continues working with his stylists and leaves a notebook next to his bed to make notes and drawings…. In 2014 the fashion designer told his closest assistant and former apprentice, Renée Taponier, that just in case no one pays homage to his legacy of work after he passes on, he might as well do it himself. He opened a museum on rue Saint Merri. What a collection! This visit opened a new world for me about someone who I thought just designed men’s suits and the Beatles collarless jackets. Ingenuity and a view to the future with no pang of nostalgia are alive and well at the Museum Pierre Cardin.