So, now we are back in our rental at 40 Rue Descartes so we decided to take a little walk down memory lane.
Our market was at Place Maubert. It was open tuesday, thursday and saturday. Judy still remembers the first time she bought a kilo of peas and spent the afternoon shucking string beans. She would go out to shop most every day as we had a very small fridge and not much storage. Sometimes it took a couple of trips to the market to get what she needed. For the most part, she had to interact with the man behind the counter.
We lived at 24 Rue des Bernardins. This street runs from Blvd St Germain to the river and crosses the Seine just behind Notre Dame. It has changed a lot in the past 40 years. The little restaurant that was next door, Chez Paulette, is no longer there. It has been replaced by an upscale place. The store front that sold the bags of coal and wood is long gone and replaced by a fancy kitchen supply store. The Tabac on the corner is now a nice little cafe.
Our apartment was very nice. After coming through the front door, we would walk down a short hallway, passed the concierge's apartment, and cross a nice courtyard to our place. It was on the first floor, or street floor. We had two huge French windows that opened on to the courtyard. The apartment was basically a large studio. The floors were parquet and the wallpaper was made of silk. Most of the furniture was antique Louis XV or was it XIV? It cost a lot but considering we didn't have a car and we were in the center of the city, it was worth it. The fixtures in the bathroom were gold plated fish heads. Quite the place.We lived very close to Notre Dame. We visited the church many times with friends and on our own. One year we went to Christmas Midnight Mass. It was a moving experience, especially the drunk street person staggering down the aisle with his bottle of wine spilling out of his pocket as he made his way to the front of the church. The park behind the church is a great place to just relax, read or people watch. If you climb the towers, you get a great view of the city and a close up look at the gargoyles.Of course, all our time wasn't spent in the city. We did venture out from time to time. After a couple of years, we decided to buy a car. We picked up a used Dyane 6 which was the ugly brother of the Citroen 2CV (deux chevaux). I drove it to work in Paris sometime, mainly to move it from one legal parking place along the Seine to another. But, it did come in handy to take some trips to country side. There is so much to see in France. Paris is great, but there is also Brittany, Normandy, Provence, Loire Valley, Alsace, etc.
That's why we enjoying coming back here so much.