Saturday, May 22, 2010

An ode to Odeon

I love Paris' dark sculpted doorways and passages. Quaint crooked facades and quaint crooked cobble stoned rues leading to lovely courtyards or laneways sealed from the rumbling streets of the city. Simple discoveries seem extraordinary. In particular this is rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, within the walls of the Cour Du Commerce Saint Andre. Location: Odéon - in the 6eme on the left bank of Paris.

When I discovered this romantic laneway in O'deon my day plan flew out the window as I become utterly mesmerised with the magical ambiance I found myself in. I completely lost track of time. That’s the magic of Paris, I stumble across a beautiful area, I fall in love and I get stuck there. It's a very small lane way no more than 500m in length (im guessing) but it took me about 2 hours to get to the end...

Admiring the beautiful peeling buildings with their little balcons I wonder who dwells inside and what life is like here. Is it as romantic and idyllic as it seems?

I marvel at the teeny tiny footpath on either side.

Lucky it's no longer an access route for cars. Pedestrians only.

Brimming with bistro's, cafes and restaurants on either side, i take a moment to enjoy the quiet calm with a warm coffee an admire the fine details

I found Café Procope here. One of the oldest resturants in Paris which opened in 1686. It actually originally started as a café – the first coffee house in fact.

I imagine gentlemen of fashion drinking coffee. The exotic beverage of the day, served up in porcelain tea cups. And the escorted ladies who were known to dwell here also.

The meeting place of the intellectual establishment, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Voltaire – who drank 40 cups of coffee a day.

Today Procope is renovated into an elegant restaurant. Pompeian red walls, crystal chandeliers, eighteenth century oval portraits of famous people that have been patrons, and a tinkly piano.

Half way down the lane is a little hidden courtyard Jardin just off the rue l'ancienne comedie. Its magnificent.

I spend quite some time in this green painted pretty boutique. One of many. Its a children's toy and collectibles store. Gorgeous rare childrens toys, books, and items of interest. Rummage through boxes for the best bits - old papers, letters, pictures and books.

Brightly signage brings life to the grey buildings

I find a bistro clearly catered to the tourist

But instead i opt for the super inviting, cosy little place that concludes the little parade. Authentic french, no english menus, no english speaking. Perfect!!

Note to self: must return one evening with a bottle of vin and a lover. Im sure when lit up rue l'ancienne Comedie at Odeon is a romance novel backdrop waiting to happen.

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