My 9 year-old godson’s favorite food is sushi, so off we went to Japantown on a cool and sunny Thursday afternoon.
After eating at a sidewalk table at Sushi Gan, 41 rue des Petits Champs, we walked over to AKI, a popular Japanese bakery at number 16 rue St. Anne for dessert. Lining both sides of the rue St. Anne in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements, you’ll find sushi and ramen restaurants, bakeries, bubble tea shops, Japanese supermarkets and a Korean butcher.
Unbeknownst to us, and as we sat at a small table enjoying our mochi and my double espresso, my godson’s 17 year-old sister was on the other side of town hurtling down the boulevards of Paris on an electric scooter with three girlfriends who had come down from Lille for the day. They were four: two standing on each scooter, the one behind holding onto the one in front who steered. No helmets and scant knowledge of the city. I was horrified when she told me later in the day. They had rendezvoused on the Champs-Elysées before scooting (scootering?) over to the Eiffel Tower and back. I mentally plotted what route they might have taken: avenue George V to the river, across one of the bridges, and then along the Quai Branly? Rue Pierre Charron to Trocadero and then across the Pont d’Iéna? It’s quite a hike. She didn’t know how she got there, she said; it was their Smartphone that guided them.
After dessert, my companion and I ambled down the narrow street of the rue des Petits Champs, popping into shops along the way, towards the Place des Victoires which used to be a great shopping area. Sadly, most of the boutiques are shuttered permanently due to Covid.
Here’s the Bistrot Vivienne below which sits at the entrance of one of my favorite passages in Paris: the beautiful Galerie Vivienne. A must-visit for tourists and residents alike; at Christmas it’s all lit up with fairy lights. We went inside and popped in and out of the boutiques. La Marelle: a designer second-hand clothing shop I’ve been buying from (and selling to) for two decades. Legrand Filles et Fils: a pristine wine shop and restaurant in which I purchased a nice bottle of Chinon, my favorite wine from the Loire Valley. They also sell old-fashioned candies which my godson didn’t want because they looked ‘bizarre‘.
From there we backtracked and headed to another must-visit place: the Jardin du Palais Royal. At its far end you can catch the metro on the rue de Rivoli directly across from the Louvre museum. I’ll never tire of these beautiful arcades and the hidden garden within. Never ever. The Jardin du Palais Royal is my most favorite spot in all of Paris.
Earlier in the week we went twice (with his sister) to my local swimming pool, ate Five Guys burgers late at night on the Champs-Elysées, went twice to the funfair and did a bunch of other things. A good time was had by all. I put them on the train Friday and their father picked them up at the other end in Lille. Today is Saturday afternoon and I’m in relaxation mode. Now, where’s that nice bottle of Chinon?