We have been home for a week. We brought back a lot of pictures, Christmas gifts, memories, and two stubborn colds. New Year’s Eve was a blur, as we unpacked, filled the fridge, picked up Hailey Le Dog and Felix Le Cat at their respective hotels, and found the time to go look for Junior’s new furry friend, Hammy Le Hamster (a promise is a promise, after all). We toasted the New Year with dear friends, barely standing, and finally collapsed early on 1.1.11— Ouf! Phew!
|Colette, French novelist, Gigi (le Musical), Chéri (le novel)…|
What are the names most commonly found on French street signs? I am tempted to answer “République” or “Charles de Gaulle“– even though this is just based on personal observation, not on official statistics. I am pretty certain that e.v.e.r.y. French village/town/city has at least one rue (street), avenue, place (square) named after the glorious French Republic (born after the Revolution in 1789), or after the famous French statesman and war hero.
Before you start imagining this French girl walking around Paris taking pictures of blue street signs, I must add that I am interested in many other signs, like, par exemple, restaurant signs.
|“At the Three Little Pigs” — How cute is that?|
|“The White Wolf” sits immediately across from
“The Three Little Pigs”
|A great name for a restaurant, a simple, laid-back meal enjoyed pot-luck style|
If, like Moi, you like signs, a great place to visit while in Paris is the fabulous (and free!) Musée Carnavalet. This is a favorite of mine, and it is dedicated to the history of Paris and the French revolution. The building itself is, quite simply, gorgeous. Built in the 16th century, the Hôtel Carnavalet was a private residence (some people have all the luck!) until it was turned into a museum in 1880. Two former hôtels particuliers form the museum, actually, but that’s another story.
|Musée Carnavalet, le Marais|
A popular display at le Carnavalet is a model of La Guillotine. Invented by Dr. Guillotin, the machine was put to good use during the years following the French Revolution and remained the main method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981!
|La Guillotine… in action!|
My favorite part of the museum is very different and somewhat light-hearted. I give you: “La Salle des Enseignes“, the room of signs! A dream for sign lovers. Old signs, some dating back to Medieval Paris, boutique signs, office signs, advertising signs. Heaven, quoi!
A suivre… To be continued here.