February 4, 2012

Day 32 : Part 2 - Out and about in Le Marais (again!)

Because I clearly loved it the first time around, I decided to spend another weekend exploring more of Le Marais! and let me just say that each time I come here, I fall more and more in love with the old charm and character of this neighborhood... Hopefully by the end of this blog post, you'll see why :-)

For your viewing pleasure, I've decided to share a few great finds from my afternoon stroll today... Of all of them, I'd have to say that, by far, my favorite highlight would have to be Place des Vosges! For my history buffs out there, you'll be intrigued to hear that this beautiful Parisian oasis happens to be the oldest planned square in Paris!

Bienvenue au Marais. Pavillon du Roi. Love the architecture. | Rue de Birague, 3e arrondissement

Place des Vosges  | 3e arrondissement

Being the nerdy little me, I've always been fascinated about hearing the stories behind people, places, and things--and so  after I came home tonight, of course, I had to give myself some fun, extra little homework to brush up on my Jeopardy trivia about this place :-) Quite an interesting story indeed--I must say reading up on its background definitely brought the beautiful old square more back to life!

Admittedly, many times at school I've been called the "Queen of All Nerds." So, rather than bore many of you with a full history lesson on what I learned about Place des Vosges today, I shall resist the temptation and leave my fellow nerds to rely on my best friend Mr. Wikipedia to educate you all. Meanwhile, without any further delay, I'll let the rest of you go on and enjoy my visual delights below :-)

Statue de Louis XIII | Place des Vosges 

Pavillon de la Reine. Il fait du soleil! | Place des Vosges 

If only it wasn't winter, I'd spend my weekends reading here... | Place des Vosges 

 Hmm, I've noticed that the French love to trim all their trees flat... | Place des Vosges 

 Maison de Victor Hugo in the far corner. | Place des Vosges 

Arcardes lining the park. Feel like I've travelled back in time... | Place des Vosges 

A few more lucky gems I came across this afternoon!

To start with, this cool concept store Merci, which my sister actually told me about a few years ago. Tucked away in a courtyard off Boulevard Beaumarchais, this lovely, quirky magasin solidaire was launched awhile back by the founders of chic children's brand Bonpoint and would be what I'd describe as the perfect one-stop shop for cool little things to make life more fun :-)

Merci  | 3e arrondissement

J'adore cette voiture rouge! | Merci

Inside you'll find a delightful selection of books, fashion, shoes, kitchen accessories, furniture, bikes, etc.--all artfully displayed to tempt even the most casual window-shopper to come in and take a peek :-) The best part about this store, though, is that 100% of profits from your purchases at Merci all go to charities! Hmm, now with a good cause like that, how can you resist indulging in some retail therapy?!

Grand entrance. Pretty cool bicycle theme. | Merci

Ooooo. love the glass ceiling. | Merci

French rustic. If I had a Facebook "like" button here, I'd click :-p | Merci

More French rustic. | Merci

 Ah, I'm in love with this chandelier! | Merci

Hmm, if only I could pack this in my suitcase, I'd totally get it! | Merci

 love them all. really want a bicycle :-/ | Merci

I want the whole rainbow. | Merci

Fun marking tapes... interesting. | Merci

Very J.Crew-esque catalogue for marking tapes, don't you think? | Merci

 endless wall of books + cute coffee shop = i am in heaven.|  Merci

Meet my favorite street in Le Marais--rue Vieille du Temple. So many cute finds here!

 One of my favorite streets in Le Marais. | Rue Vieille du Temple, 3e arrondissement

  My favorite find of the day: a pepper green vespa!  If only I could take it home with me... | Rue Vieille du Temple, 3e arrondissement

  The French sure do love flowers. Love this flower shop.  | L'Aritsan Fleuriste

Feels like spring already :-)  | L'Aritsan Fleuriste

 So charming.  | L'Aritsan Fleuriste

Awesome delivery station wagon. Flower power indeed!  | L'Aritsan Fleuriste

Great little shop for fun, minimalist LBDs.  | Art's l'art du Basic

 Archives nationales.  | 3e arrondissement

 Another beautiful courtyard. | Archives nationales

The perfect ending to a lovely afternoon in Le Marais--a stop at Berko Bakery for what I will have to admit is one of the best cupcakes I've ever tasted in my life!!

Okay, I have to give it to them--the French tied for best cupcakes in the world! | Berko Cupcakes

Who knew cupcakes could come in so many delicious, ultra-unique flavors! | Berko Cupcakes

Yummy! | Berko Cupcakes

"Gosh, how do I decide??" | Berko Cupcakes

Meet Violette. One of the best. cupcakes.ever. | Berko Cupcakes

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