Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Paris for Two Weeks

Wednesdays in France
is back today
After a bit of a Christmas and New Year break, the usual posts are returning with Wednesdays in France, Funky Friday and Melbourne Weekends. It will be interesting ti see what 2013 brings us all in Blogger World. I've just returned from a few days in Maryborough, Queensland with the Australian Scout Jamboree - a great event with close to 12,000 participants.

We arrived back at Paris by TGV from Tours after our week in the Loire with friends. The apartment was on Rue Marie Stuart off rue Montorgueil. Sue picked the apartment in the 2nd due to it being a bit of a foodie area with lots of produce shops and a weekly market, but it wasn't always so.

Rue Marie Stuart was in fact named after Mary Queen of Scots however the streets in the area all had lurid titles of which is explained below;

From Wikipedia:
Louis IX in 1256 designated nine streets in which prostitution would be allowed in Paris, three of them being in the sarcastically named Beaubourg quartier (Beautiful Neighbourhood)[8] (Rue de la Huchette, Rue Froimon, Rue du Renard-Saint-Merri, Rue Taille pain, Rue Brisemiches, Rue Champ-Fleury, Rue Trace-putain, Rue Gratte-cul, and the Rue Tire-Putain) (see below)[9][10]

Today this area corresponds to the 1st–4th arrondissements clustered on the Rive Droite (right bank) of the Seine (see map). These streets, associated with prostitution, had very evocative if indelicate names including the Rue du Poil-au-con (or hair of the con, from the Latin cunnus meaning female genitalia, hence Street of the Pubic Hair, or Poil du pubis), later altered to the Rue du Pélican, in the 1st arrondissement, near the first Porte Saint-Honoré,[11] and the Rue Tire-Vit (Pull-Cock, i.e. penis, later the Rue Tire-Boudin, Pull-Sausage) now Rue Marie-Stuart, in the 2nd arrondissement, near the first Porte Saint-Denis. It is said that Tire-Boudin was a euphemism invented for Mary Queen of Scots when she asked after its name, and the street is now named after her.[12] The nearby Rue Gratte-Cul (Scratch-bottom) is now the Rue Dussoubs, and the Rue Pute-y-Musse (Whore can hide there) the Rue du Petit-Musc by corruption. The "rue Trousse-Nonnain" (fuck nun), later became Trace-Putain, Tasse-Nonnain, and Transnonain; then in 1851 it was amalgamated into the Rue Beaubourg.[13] The Rue Baille-Hoë (Give Joy) is now Rue Taillepain in the 4th arondissement near the Porte Saint-Merri.[14]

On our initial arrival at the apartment, we deposited our bags and decided to explore the area. Unknown to us at the time, we arrived on the afternoon of the street market which took in the end of Rue Montorgueil near Saint Eustache church and wound it self back up Rue Montmartre. As we walked down Rue Montorgueil, we passed La Maison Stohrer, the oldest continual bakery in Paris which has operated since 1730. Further down was the restaurant, L'Escargot where we ate on our last night in Paris - the restaurant is said to have fittings from Sarah Bernhardt's apartment.

I'm not quite sure if Sue was surreptitiously leading me down the general direct or did we just stumble upon a famous foodie utensil shop. E. Dehillerin was on rue Coquilliere and Sue dragged me in to see the wares sold by this still family owned business from 1820. She was in heaven.

What do these two have in common - hairstyle?
Since 1730

Chocolate just around the corner - a real temptation.
L' Escargot, where we decided would be our last meal in Paris before returning home to Melbourne on this trip.

To Sue's delight, we stumbled apon E. Dehillerin, a shop for any obsessive  Foodie.

She's happy
The apartment had quite a nice kitchen and Sue not wanting to waste a minute decided she was going to cook our first meal in Paris.

One of the better kitchen's in Sue's opinion
A comfotable living area.
View from the apartment window looking down to rue Marie Stuart.

The next two weeks were about blending within the fabric of Paris, enjoying the food, riding my bike with my two cycling friends and taking in the sights. Hope you can join us.

Wednesdays in France to date has taken in our very first 2006 trip, then 2008, 2009 and now 2010. Last year, May 2012 was Sue's 60th birthday trip and it looks like we'll run out of "Wednesdays in France" before our planned trip back to France in 2014. If the plan eventuates, we have thoughts of an extended time in 2014 of maybe two or three months living there. We'll see.


  1. Recently I have been thinking a bit about Mary Queen of Scots. She was neither sensitive to others, nor self-preserving in Britain, and eventually led a miserable life. But clearly they liked her in France. She should have stayed!

    While we are talking about street names, do prostitutes still hang out in their 9 designated streets? In many trips to Paris I have never seen working girls, but they may be more sophisticated now. Or they may work from home :)

    Happy 2013!

    1. Hels, not sure about ladies of the night in the area but there were a few "Adult Shops" a few blocks away and "lurkers" hanging about.

    2. The filles de joie worked mostly on the rue Saint-Denis, not far from Montorgueil and where you were staying. I used to live in that neighborhood, as you know.

  2. I don't remember if I have been to rue Montorgeuil. It looks like I probably should spend 2 or 3 months in Paris to reconnect. Your apartment looked rally nice.

    1. Nadege, in our 5 trips to Paris, it was probably the best however they all have their good points. This one had the great kitchen where the previous one had a great personal leaf courtyard but terrible kitchen.
      We usually rent from American owners with our currency being at parity.

  3. Glad that you are back - I just about made it today as well but I still have a backlog of other things to do so I may well be slow!
    Great photos and take care Diane

    1. Diane, enjoyed the part 1 of Casablanca - so different,

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  6. My memories of the rue Montorgueil date back to 1979-82, when I lived there. It was very different then, but I do go back once in a while to see what it has turned into. The kitchen supply shops are still there as they were back then. Most of the old food shops have been replaced now by cafés and restaurants.

    We had dinner with C. and M. before Christmas, as you must know. It was a lot of fun.


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