Our neighborhood: Marais

Our apartment is kitty corner to the elaborate Hotel de Ville, which isn't a hotel but the city council building. It seems ironic that the square in front was once the site of executions (like Henry IV's assissin who was ripped apart by 4 horses). These days, it's a delightful place to sit and people-watch, especially at night.

Our first morning, we put E in his stroller and walked west along the Seine river, past the Louvre museum and thru the Jardin des Tuilleries (garden), then turned around and meandered thru little side streets. We noticed a crowd at a boulangerie (bakery) selling several different kinds of baguettes. There are LOTS of bakeries here (like Starbucks in Seattle), but whenever we see a crowd, we have to stop and investigate! The baguettes were still warm and the "traditional" variety was the best we'd ever tasted. When we got home, we looked it up and sure enough, the bakery had won several awards. It's called Gosselin (125, rue Saint-Honore, Paris). Their pan au levain is also suppose to be great.

In the afternoon, we strolled around the Marais, east of our apartment. The narraow streets and buildings here are very cool. We had the best fallafel we've ever had at L'as du Fallafel (34 rue des Rosiers, Paris). Again, we noticed a line up and had to try it. Amazing. The Jewish bakery across the way was also great. The shop window with the words "La Grand Tradition du Miel" caught D's eye because we both love honey. Les Ruchers du Roy (37, rue du Roi de Sicile) has something like 50 different kinds of honey and they had something we'd never seen before... jam-with-honey -- incredible stuff. D wants to go back and get more.

The next day, we strolled thru the Il de la Cite, a small island in the Seine. Notre-Dame is here as well as Sainte Chapelle wiht its spectacular stained-glass windows. We spent a little time exploring the Latin quarter, only enough to know that we have to come back. We had a great lunch at the Ze Kitchen Galerie (4 rue des grands augustins, paris), known as one of the few restaurants in Paris doing innovative and modern french cuisine (rather than faithful execution of the old standards)

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