dimanche, décembre 18, 2005

Shopping Sunday

Normally, when Sunday comes around, you'd have a hard time finding any store open for business in Paris. This includes the grocery stores. Big department stores. Most pharmacies. I mean everything. These guys have a strictly enforced 35 hour work week, so they believe Sunday really should be a day of rest.

All that goes out the window when Xmas is just a week away.

Dear Wife and I took advantage of a beautiful Sunday (still damn cold, though) to walk through the city. I wanted to witness for myself the sight of so many stores open on a Sunday. We made it all the way to the BHV. Fun to see it packed on Sunday. Here's the view over to the Right Bank from the Ile de la Cité.

We walked to the Hôtel de Ville, the City Hall that looks like it could house Cruella deVille (and does, from what I've read of the French beauracracy contained within).

The entire square in front of the building had been turned into a winter carnival, with ice skating in multiple rinks, carousels, and a phony tobogan run for the kids. A giant igloo, too. I don't know if the igloo was made of real ice, but at the temperatures we've been seeing lately, I doubt they'd have too much trouble maintaining the ice. A little sad that the sound system was playing American female hip-hop, sung by a performer I wouldn't even dare to guess. For most of the 20th Century there existed a utopian belief that national identities would one day melt away, and we'd all become residents of the same small "Global Village." Evidence I've seen here takes the shape of Mariah Carey and baseball hats worn akew. Is this what those optimists of yore envisioned? French families ice skating to Missy Elliot?

Check out the cotton candy vendor.

Here they call it "Barbe a Papa" or Papa's Beard. The Fruedian implications are staggering.

The tower at St. Germain-l'Auxerrois looked lovely in our late afternoon light.

All in all, very good to get out and take a ramble through the streets of our adopted home. We will be leaving soon, and we want to enjoy these last days before our January vacation (yes, a vacation from our vacation).

It's a good life.

(About the quiet Sundays: it's really nice that everything is typically closed, except when it's annoying, and it hasn't been all that annoying yet.)