Monday, 7 April 2008
A tourist recently arrived in Paris passes a shop with a large boulangerie sign outside and feeling hungry to try some of the famous French patisseries he wanders in and approaches the assistant.
"Bonjour I'd like a pain au chocolat s'il vous plait" he asks in his best French.
"Non, monsieur we don't have any" comes the reply. The tourist is disappointed but he persists.
"Ok, I'll have a croissant au beurre"
"No we don't have any of those either"
"alright, a chocolate eclair?"
"Tarte au pomme?"
The tourist is getting rather irate now "That's ridiculous! all over the world I hear how great the boulangeries are in Paris and I come here and you don't even have a damned baguette. How is that possible?"
"Because, monsieur, this is a shoe shop"
If you walk around the streets of Paris you'll find many shops fronts with old signs indicating "boulangerie", "Charcuterie" etc when in fact the shop inside sell something quite different. The photo above for example is a "Boulangerie/Patisserie" on rue Francs bourgeois in the Marais which currently sells clothes. This isn't because the shops are too lazy too change their signs but rather that many of these old facades are protected by the Patrimoine de Paris.
If you want to investigate more of these old fashion shop fronts in Paris (and elsewhere in France) then you can consult this list - Old shop fronts in Paris