Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A stroll down rue Daguerre

Well, my master's exam is finally over (yay!) and my summer has passed with it (wah!). My feeling was that the exam went pretty well, but I'm still waiting on the results. In the meantime, I'm back at work at the study abroad company full-time until we get through new student orientation, when I will scale back to part-time to accommodate a couple of classes and some tutoring on the side.

As always, I'm struck by how tiring it can be to just sit at a desk for 8 hours. It's also a little annoying, after a year as a carefree student, to not be in control of my own schedule--to no longer have the ability to eat at odd hours or to take mid-afternoon naps. However, one thing that IS nice about a "real" job is knowing that when I leave the office, I'm done--no speed-reading novels, no 3am essays, no studying for exams. Throughout my years in university, the time I've spent on work outside of class has always far exceeded the time spent in class, and very few of those hours fell within the window of a regular workday.

Another benefit of my job is that it's located on the cutesy rue Daguerre, which is about a 15 minute walk from my front door and a microcosm of all shops/businesses that could be considered typically French. In celebration of my (relatively) new job and neighborhood, I thought I would treat you to a virtual "promenade" around the "quartier".

Here's the Tour Montparnasse, looking over the Montparnasse cemetery, just a block away from my work:

Rue Daguerre itself begins with a series of markets. First up are foie gras and cheese markets, as well as a handful of bakeries and pastry stores not shown. Next is a fish market:

(we actually bought a pair of those giant crabs, or rather Tom did, to try and cure my hankering for Chesapeake blue crab. Conclusion: tasty, but MUCH harder to open than my thin-shelled bluies, especially considering our lack of proper crab-cracking equipment. I had planned to impress Tom with my know-how of lifting the tab, popping the back off and cracking the body in two, but apparently that doesn't work so well with monster crustaceans. It took a good hour of butter-knife and rolling-pin chiseling to pick those suckers, which made a mess of the kitchen--and of me! Good thing they were delicious.)

Next is fruit and veggie markets:
And then Amorino's, my favorite gelatto chain, which does good business in the summertime (also, rollerblading is still popular in a big way in Europe):
This menu marks a cute crêperie that I've probably taken you to/will take you to if you visit(ed) me in Paris. At lunch time you can bask in the sunshine on the terasse (just visible at the end of the alley) and enjoy a "menu" of a meal crêpe, a dessert crêpe, and a ceramic bowl of Breton cidre, all for 10 euros:
Florists shops:
Epic stacks of ancient-smelling tomes in a used book store:
Rotisserie chickens, for sale to-go in front of kebab stores or quick-stop cafés:
My favorite little tea store, where you're invited to smell (and sometimes taste!) before you buy. I've been slowly tasting my way through their collection of (surprisingly inexpensive) loose teas. Current favorites are a grapefruit green and a chocolate and blood orange dessert black:
One of several wine stores, with bottles starting around 2.50 euros, staffed with wine enthusiasts who are only too willing to provide recommendations based on extensive personal experience:
A cute toy store, called "Alice's Cousins", whose decoration is based on characters from the popular Lewis Carrol books. It's one of those toy stores that sells eclectic little treasures. My favorite was a book called "Pablo le spermatazoïde" (Pablo the sperm) that was in their front window for several weeks, featuring the adventures of a little anthropomorphized sperm and his eventual victory in the big swimming contest...
A man smoking in one of the street's many brasseries (it's been illegal to smoke indoors for several years now in France, although as you can see, sometimes people barely make it past the threshold). If you look carefully you can also spy one of the graffiti Space Invaders, who has fallen victim to a street sign:
The shop across from our office, which is--I kid you not--an accordion store:

Its musical wares:
And finally, the two sets of iconic, ubiquitous yellow arches that mark the end of the street.

The Métro:
And the Macdo':

1 comment:

  1. Is the vacuum store still there??? If so, why no photo?? Best store EVER!