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April In Paris 2

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I thought it might be fun for you to see some of the less glamourous parts of Paris, the Paris that the ordinary citizens see on an every day basis. The Metro which they use constantly goes to every area of Paris, is spotlessly clean, bright and very efficiently run. The shops they shop in are really quite different than our huge supermarkets. They are small individually owned shops that specialize in selling just a narrow area of food or goods.The French still do their marketing in a very personalized way. They purchase their meats, pork products, and the like at La Boucherie, The Butcher Shop, their grocery products at a similar little shop and their cosmetics and perfumes also at a tiny shop. Within a given neighborhood you find dozens of small shops and nary a supermarket. I don't recall ever having seen a supermarket in Paris, truthfully, but the streets are lined with tiny shops and each one is like a jewel box. The way they display their food and clothing and flowers, whatever, is always so lovely. It makes everything so tempting.

A. The Paris Metro Box.
(There have been several boxes made of the metro but none of them compares to this one, in my opinion.) If you've been to Paris then this has to be a familiar sight for you. It is exactly how the Metro entrances look. The protective railing is done just the way it actually is even to the archway entrance and the lights over the entrance. The stairs going down to the station look just like this. Notice the detail of the flowers planted at the base of the railings, Only in Paris do they do things like that. The base of the box is made to look like cobbles and standing in front of the Metro entrance--Monsieur reading his daily La Monde! I love that he is wearing spectacles and a hat. Open the box and the surprise is the actual station, painted, with two trains and passengers waiting to board them. Is this the funnest box? I just love it! It is so French! The clasp says Paris. Retail: About $263.00. Our price: $236.90. NEW

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B. Les Bouquinistes Box.
The Paris bookstalls that line the banks of the Seine immortalized here in porcelain. Is this marvelous or what? The bookstalls are so much a part of Paris, everyone in Paris frequents them. You can find used copies of books long out of print, sometimes rare books, always thousands of books and always it is fun to spend a few hours browsing there. It is one of my very favorite things to do. Walking along the quai is fun, in part, I think, because almost every Hollywood film ever made in Paris has a scene or two played on the river bank. I always expect to see Audrey Hepburn or Leslie Caron when I am there. Both of those ladies played innumerable scenes, usually love scenes, on the quai. Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly all did their bit in making the banks of the Seine familiar to movie goers all over the world as well. Here, a Parisian gentleman from the early 1900's is seen walking his dog in front of one of the bookstalls. The little fellow is availing himself of the light post. Such a typical Paris scene. The box, by the way, is the actual bookstall. It opens and inside are the books lined up on shelves. The clasp says Paris. Retail: About $271.00. Our price: $243.90.

C. L'Epicerie Fine Box. This is a grocery shop. Beurre, Oeufs, Frommage. Butter, eggs, cheese and assorted other things that one used to find in groceries, BS--before supermarkets.
They display their foods in the windows of the shop very beautifully , artistically you might say. It makes everything look so good.Unlike our supermarkets, they handle the food not the customer and I loved that. They carry a huge selection of French cheeses many of which I had never heard of. Their cheeses are different in various parts of the country, each area that produces cheese produces their own varieties. If you are a cheese lover you feel as though you have died and gone to heaven. I wanted one of everything. They also carried a lovely selection of crackers and biscuits and very thin wafers that were perfect for the hard cheeses. Nothing inside the box and the clasp is unimportant to it Retail: About $285.00. Our price: $256.90.

D. La Boucherie Box. This is a butcher shop and they sell all kinds of meat, pork, veal and chicken and an assortment of things whose names you would not recognize. They use parts of animals that we do not, The French are a very thrifty people and they let almost nothing go to waste. As you can see, the meats are displayed in the window and they are prepared in their cuts for certain types of recipes. The shops are very clean and well cared for and the food is never handled by the customers. You cannot pick things up to look at them, the grocer does it for you. Inside the box is nothing and the clasp in unimportant to the box. Retail: About $285.00. Our price: $256.90.

E. La Parfumerie Box. The first time I walked into the perfume shop to which I had been recommended by a friend, I was amazed not to smell any perfume at all. When I asked the young woman who was helping me how this could be she told me that they did not want a customer's "nose" to be dulled by any one scent because then they could not smell and judge the actual scent that they wanted. A bit different than going into a cosmetic department in a department store and being assailed by dozens of different fragrances all at once. Like everything else, there is an art to selling perfume and the French know it. As you can see, on the cover of the box, there are dozens of perfumes displayed in the window. Inside the shop I would venture a guess that there were hundreds of different scents. Inside the box, nothing and the clasp is a flower. Retail: About $285.00. Our price: $256.90.

NOTE: Did you know that Grasse, in the south of France, is the perfume capitol of the world? The City of Grasse is surrounded by fields of lavender, mimosa. jasmine and roses still, even though they make most perfumes today from chemical essences. Perfume was made fashionable by Catherine de Medici who would have her fine leather gloves scented before wearing them.

F.The Flag of France Box.  There were many flags used in France prior to the Revolution but  in 1794 the current flag was chosen as being representative of liberty, equality and fraternity, the principles for which  the Revolutionists had been fought. Interestingly, it became a model for flags of other nations in Europe and, of course, has remained ever since as the standard of France.  Inside the box, crossed French flags, painted.  Retail:  About $151.00.  Our price: $136.90.New

G.  The L'Opera de Paris Book Box.
 The book is open to a painting of  L'Opera Garnier, The Paris Opera House designed by Garnier it opened in 1875 and has been in use constantly since then excepting for the period of remodeling not long ago.  Today it is the home of all ballet and dance companies in Paris.  The  Phantom of the Opera was written with this building as its background.  Inside, the Phantom's mask, dimensional and removable. Retail: About $141.00.  Our price: $127.90.  New


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