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Matt and Chris are born flâneurs. Though this is their first time in Paris they feel absolutely no need to check off tourist sites. Instead they are atttracted by every little alley and stairway. “Where does that go?” They are insatiably curious! This, needless to say, suits me down to the ground. I enjoy nudging them towards interesting places, and pointing out features that they might have missed. But just as often they have suggested unfamiliar routes that have opened my eyes to something new. Walking with them has reawakened my love of Paris, which had dozed a bit this year before they arrived. This post is a collection of photos and stories from our first week of wandering together.

During my first two weeks I had always turned left on rue des Jeûneurs or gone straight ahead whenever I left my apartment door. Those directions lead to the Montorgueil shopping district and the Grands Boulevards, while the only thing I knew of in the other direction was a straight nightclub, Silencio. When Matt suggested that we turn right I realized that I had never been that way in daytime. We discovered three cute local lunch places, serving office workers and graduate-level students rather than the bobos of rue Montorgueil. We ate lunch in this place and I plan to try the other two after Matt and Chris go home.

Lunch hour rush at Pur, on rue des Jeûneurs.

Lunch hour rush at Pur, on rue des Jeûneurs.

Quirky cake decorations. I want to be invited to that party! Looks like I’d fit right in…

Cake decorations, we think.

Cake decorations, we think.

This scene was in lower Belleville. It looked like something from a war zone. We couldn’t tell whether it was an accident or arson, but we found it astounding that there was no police tape or indeed any indication that anyone was even aware of what must have been quite a conflagration.

A bunch of incinerated motor bikes. There were no police tapes or indeed any indication that anyone had noticed what must have been quite a conflagration.

A bunch of incinerated motor bikes.

Passage des Panoramas.

Passage des Panoramas.

Really remarkable terrines.

Really remarkable terrines.

Glassware in Café Le Baron in the 9e.

Glassware in Café Le Baron in the 9e.

Outside a tattoo shop.

Outside a tattoo shop.

Perfect if you're into Michael Jackson memorabilia.

Perfect if you’re into Michael Jackson memorabilia.

Chris with an enormous whisk in an industrial cookware shop on rue Montmartre.

Chris with an enormous whisk in an industrial cookware shop on rue Montmartre.

Matt in mustard heaven, at the Maille shop at the Madeleine.

Matt in mustard heaven, at the Maille shop at Place de la Madeleine.

The first time I've seen a cobblestone street being laid down. This replaces an earlier version that had been partly blacktopped.

The first time I’ve seen a cobblestone street being laid down, near Étoile. This replaces an earlier version that had been partly blacktopped.

We’ve encountered various model shoots and movie teams. This fellow gave us the best photo op.

A photo shoot in posh Parc Monceau.

A photo shoot in posh Parc Monceau.