Wednesday, 12 March 2008
A highlight to any visit to Paris is a stroll through the historic Marais district to the Jewish quarter around rue de Rosiers with its cafes, restaurants, bookshops, and kosher supermarkets.
This neighbourhood is well and truly on the tourist trail. The once impoverished area has been spruced up to such a degree that it's beginning to become just a little bit too chic with trendy fashion retailers and souvenir shops taking advantage of the deluge of monied foreigners in search of that special gift.
However, there are other Jewish neighbourhoods in Paris such as the one in the 9th arrondissement centred around rue de Richer and Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, Metro Cadet or Bonne Nouvelle. It's far less chic than the Marais but no less vibrant and interesting.
The Jewish community started moving to this neighbourhood from Eastern Europe in the middle of the 19th Century. Today, much of the community is made up of Israeli and North African Jews. (the photo is of Chez Bob de Tunis rue de Richer). There are 12 synagogues in the area.
So one of these days you might want to abandon the hoards of tourists in the Marais and head for the 9th. Especially if you don't like crowds.