Monday, September 10, 2012

Curiosities from Paris

This sign is the window of the doll hospital near the Canal Saint Martin in Paris.
'Here we replace the bad heads'. Now if it only were that easy with humans. I would be the first volunteer
 But the doll hospital is a bit scary. On the inside the sick and injured dolls are strewn about. I took Stuart Neville there and he wanted to leave in a hurry. Vowing he wouldn't show his little daughter the photos he took.
 Supposedly Absinthe was outlawed after the 1900's but it's served à la traditionelle at Cafe Fée Vert - the green fairy cafe. Modgliani called Absinthe his fée vert and danced on the table at La Rotonde and kicked a newspaper from Lenin's hand. Of course the one below doesn't contain wormwood or rot your brain, it's the tame stuff made in Spain these days.
 If you're travelling down to the south of France and hunger strikes you at Gare de Lyon pop up to Le Train Bleu this amazing resto/bistro which deserves a visit even if for Jus d'Orange. In the 90's Luc Besson film La Femme Nikita - Nikita is taken here for dinner - her graduation dinner from intelligence school - but her dessert involves doing a 'hit' on a diner and escaping to earn her diploma.

In the 10th arrondissment there's a shop - on the site of an old forge - only a bit of the oven left but the shop still specializes in metal work and wrought iron decoration - balcony railings, those intricate iron net like enclosures for trees on Paris streets. Now the heavy work is done at their factory in the countryside. But if you're inclined to put a royal insignia from Versailles in metal on one of your walls or in front of your fireplace you can purchase this or others forged from the REAL molds at the Versailles iron monger before the Revolutionaries looted the iron forge.

Up the street from this store is an electronic fix-it shop the size of a large closet. The man who works here will re-wire your lamp, repair your old radio, hair dryer or toaster. For decoration he's got his supplies and posters all over the ceiling.

At the bouqiniste stalls on the quai you can find old copies of Paris MATCH. Here's one from 1939 and below 1940.

But you won't find these two - our own award nominated duo Stan and Michael - unless you come to Cleveland and join us  - most of us except Leighton and Dan, sigh - at our panel at Bouchercon moderated by the most excellent Monsieur Rozovsky.

Cara - Tuesday


  1. Cara, Thank you for another great visit to Paris. I will put this fascinating post along with many of your others in my folder for my next trip there. See you at Bouchercon!

  2. I actually think I was in that Doll Hospital once, Cara. Or maybe it was the Absinthe that had me thinking I was. One thing for sure, we'll all look dolled up in our MIE tee-shirts at Bouchercon--thanks to Stan:)).