(click photos to enlarge)
It turned out to be a day of pilgrimages to shops and eateries we’d heard about, such as the cafe next door to the famous bakery Poilane.
The comic book district in the Latin Quarter.
Inside and outside the justifiably legendary bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
The notorious “love locks” along the Pont de l’Archevêché, adjacent to Nortre Dame on the Ile de Cite.
We’d heard about Ace of Falafel as THE Middle Eastern fast-food destination in Le Marais, the equivalent to the Halal Guys stand at 53rd and Sixth Avenue that perennially has lines down the block, while nearly identical vendors nearby stand idle. But it was Shabbat, and As de Falafel was closed, so Bruno and Alex took us to the (less observant) Jewish deli across the street for a delicious bagel with three toppings.
The much-beloved tea emporium Mariage Freres, where I went the same kind of crazy that American college students experience at hash cafes in Amsterdam.
Then there was Coton Doux, a store exclusively sells shirts in riotously patterned designs. We each bought four.
After days of rain and clouds, the sun finally came out and suddenly the buildings along the river didn’t look quite so drab.
For dinner, Willi’s Wine Bar — chic, high-end, tasty food and wine, full of American tourists like us whose friends recommended the joint.
And then a walk home through deserted streets past a gay sauna and a sex club.