SHOPPING UNTIL DROPPING IN OLD PARIS

Strolling along quaint old glass covered sky lit lanes that Parisians have done for more than a century is an experience I can savor over and over again. Long before enclosed shopping malls became the norm in America, the idea of covered shopping avenues was alive and well in Paris. In the first half of the 19th Century, approximately 140 such venues, called “Passages” or “Galeries”, were developed in the Paris city center mostly in the 2nd arrondissement located on the Right Bank just north of the Royal Palace. Today only somewhere around 20 Passages have survived and many have been carefully restored to their previous glory. Colorful mosaic floors, cast iron trusses and gates, period suspended light fixtures and pole lamps are some of the characteristic embellishments that display an ambiance of old Paris. There are all kinds of cool and funky shops, bookstores, specialty shops, and candy stores. One shop I recently visited specialized in high end and custom walking canes. Another store utilizes stuffed wolves as manikins in their storefront window. Some of the Passages include a nice collection of cafes and restaurants, some with dining tables right out in the passageway. These food havens are not at all like American mall food courts—you won’t find any fast food stuff here.
The photos are from Passages Colbert, Vivienne, and Panoramas in the 2nd arrondissement, and Passages Jouffroy and Verdeau in the adjacent 9th arrondissement.

2 comments

  1. Julie Sullivan · · Reply

    So beautiful…Gary, you are a one-man tourist bureau for France!

    Like

  2. Thanks Julie! It brings me great pleasure to travel and share!

    Like

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