Thursday, July 16, 2015

Les Passages, Paris

Do you know of the Passages of Paris? Early versions of shopping malls -- covered shopping streets from the 18th and 19th centuries.
John and I started our tour of the passages at the courtyard garden of the Palais-Royal. Any excuse to visit those gardens! I like to think of the ghosts of Colette and Jean Cocteau looking down at us from their fabled apartments here.
 I sat down to compare the map of a passage tour I'd clipped from our Paris guide book with my trusty little Knopf fold-out Map Guide. 
It's all very civilized and relaxed in that space. But off we go!
 We enter the doorway of Passage Vivienne and discover the most luxurious of the passages
-- an elegant world of shops and cafes.
 At this arch we find a bookstore -- the Librarie Ancienne & Moderne.
 John was mesmerized by the books in the windows. Unfortunately the shop wasn't open but we will return one day.
It was Colette's favourite bookstore.
 A short walk along another street brought us to Passage Choiseul.
 A much more pragmatic, spare feel to the halls.
 Lots of Middle Eastern and South Asian eateries.
When we got to the exit from the Choiseul
we stopped for espressos at a bar beside the exit doors.
 The Passage Jouffrey was right across the street from the Choiseul.
 It had art galleries
 and nice looking restaurants.
We'll come back one day and try some of them.
 When we left the Jouffrey passage we were confronted by a huge Netflix ad for Orange is the New Black, featuring live models in orange outfits.
 Our next doorway led to the Passage Verdeau, the last of this tour.
 This passage was funky and nicely lit
 and was a haven for bookstores
 and little cafes.
 This is Librarie J.M. Danton.
 We'll definitely come back to Passage Verdeau.
The Verdeau hallway opens into Rue du Faubourg Montmartre. There are several metro stops nearby.


  1. I have stayed at Hotel Chopin in Passage Jouffroy.
    Not new but very convenient. You can squeeze your own orange juice with the magic robot machine at breakfast. That's a luxurious start to the day.

    On exit from Passage Verdeau, if you cross the street you will see rue Cadet. This is a street with so many kinds of food purveyors. It is a mix of old and new. It seems to be pedestrian-only at times. The wine bars looked fine!
    This blogger lists some of the specialties:

    Passage du Grand Cerf was also lovely. Somehow these articles do not mention the very good yarn store - no idea why not! hee hee

    Will have to make sure to go back

  2. Thanks for the extra info, Lisa. Cool that you stayed at Hotel Chopin!