Paris without rain is like a cake complete with its icing, Paris with a lot of rain is like finding a needle in a sack...if you know what I mean? Well let me illustrate it for you.
This morning I started the day visiting my favourite bookshop, Shakespeare & Co. at rue de la bucherie to get a new book for the week. The rain started to pour in and people made excuses to stay inside longer, I didn't mind the crowd, it feels warmer.
Opened in 1951 at this new address. So it's been half a century...too bad the old address never re-opened...I would love to have felt what Hemingway would be feeling at that time stading infront of S & Co, a struggling writer, poor, an foreign living in Paris...yet he loved to read and spends his time reading. A good opening quote which I think deserves to be written here from Peter Mayle's Toujours Provence "Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living" Gustave Flaubert, a french writer.
A stroll in the second-hand dept, I found two books, Maynard & Jennica by Rudolph Delson (purely because I liked the cover of red and blue, reminds me of my brother: art-deco, vintage-eclectic and he seems to always use both colours in his works... and lastly after a second look after reaching home, it is very Potato Head)
The second book I picked is Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle, about an English guy who lived in Provence and tells about his sometimes funny and unexpected life in France. A brief read at the intro about his experience at the french pharmacy sealed the deal.
New books are actually very expensive in Paris, no matter how old the bookshop is. So I always try to find an old second hand version usually stacked at the very end of the list of books by the same author. Anyway I was glad I got some books for the weeks ahead.
The interior inside Shakespeare & Co., transport you to a different timezone, although it has become a tourist destination, it is still the literary hang-out in Paris. Although it was not the original bookshop (used to be at rue de l'Odeon), Sylvia Bleach's daughter now runs the bookshop.
Books as old as who knows what, stacked up to the ceilings, stacked down to the floor, cased in glass cabinets, books coming out of your a*&s wherever you go :) i love it.
After the rain stops, I walked across the left bank to check out the 12th arrondissement. Then the rain started to pour in again, this time without hesitation. Now this is where it gets interesting, I thought I was having a really bad day, raining and all. So I turned a corner to rue Saint Louis en l'Ile cursing and all,
then I spotted Berhillon!
it is voted as the best ice-cream in the Paris or probably in Europe by well... french people, Hah! they're handmade, their cocoa specially ordered from Cote d'Ivoire and vanilla from Madagascar. Then I realized I am in the area where a lot of cafes and places sells Berthillon or the area to get their famous glaces! I was so happy. I got a single scoop of Caramel and even though the weather was cold and wet, I felt that was truly an experience of Paris. The city is so abundant with hidden jems.
The many flavours of Berthillon. The Almond flavour is best so far. You have to go to Ile Saint Louis to try Berthillon when in Paris.
Walking back to the left bank, the Sun was out again, this time it was so sunny that I had to propped my sunnies, passing the Notre-Dame, I was amazed at the huge crowd lining up to go inside. The beautiful Hotel de Ville where Le Petit Nicolas exhibition is showing at the moment. Next time!
I had a very...uum...my mum would call it "cats and dogs rain kinda-day"