Saturday March 14th in the Jewish Paris
Saturday is always quiet in the morning in the Jewish Paris because of sabbath, almost all jewish boutiques are closed. Parisians take it slow, and they begin their weekends at home, with a nice breakfast and coffee.
I was awake at 5am, which is very very early ! Because my baby daughter decided to enjoy life as much as possible 🙂
Paris was quiet in the Morning :
I went out for a jog around 8am, and the city looked like a ghost town.
It was so quiet and peaceful ! And there were very few cars around.
The sun was shining, and it felt really nice to have the city for myself !
I ran by the Ile Saint Louis, a beautiful area, surrounded by the Seine river and looking at the back of Notre Dame (still under construction since the fire), while thinking that, maybe, the virus was scaring people around, and that I should get used to see the empty streets and city around me. Finally, some fresh air in Paris !
But I forgot that it was Saturday. And that it is a quiet morning like every Saturday morning in Paris.
Because in the afternoon, people were back ! Crowds !!! I don’t know what I was expecting because of the recent situation, but the Parisians are living a busy and dynamic life, and they don’t let the virus take them down !
Today felt like a normal day in Le Marais :
New shops are opening, and attracting the curious trendy Parisians, the supermarkets are full with products, there is even a line at the bakery to buy some nice fresh baguettes, and the restaurants are busy ! –> Actually they closed the shops on March 16th
It is still hard to navigate around the narrow winding streets of Le Marais with a stroller. As usual.
Later today, I was trying to plan a nice evening with drinks with some of my close friends, but everybody is booked already, and they are going on with their social Parisian life !
However, I think that they are considering this as their last night out , a last “Au Revoir” because rumors say that they are shutting down the bars and commerce in Paris to slow the spread of the virus. this is not confirmed yet. More news tomorrow
Rue Dora Maar or Rue Pecquay ?
The name Pecquay is an alteration of Jean de la Haie, known as Picquet, a bourgeois from Paris, adviser to King Charles VI and treasurer general of French finances, who owned a Private Mansion here.
Dora Maar was a French Photographer, a painter, and a poet. She was the muse of Picasso and his companion …
The feminist movement of Paris published this “street name” in the name of Dora Maar as you can se in the picture … and They did the same everywhere actually, they altered all the men street names to french women street names wherever it is possible.
The Louvre on March 2020
The regret of the day goes to the Louvre, which is closed for an indeterminate period… I really like to wander around the museum during my off days, to discover some new art, and extend my knowledge in arts.
Too bad that this is not possible right now.So I will read instead. I decided to start reading this book, All the light we cannot see, by Anthony Doerr, that my visitors recommended.
A story set in occupied France during World War II.
I will open a new page on my website, with books recommendations, for those of you who like to read about French History or Jewish History.
Don’t hesitate to look it up :
List of books to read before the Jewish Tour of Paris :
For reading, I suggest a couple of books :
– Sarah’s key, about WWII in France, and the sadly famous Vel d’Hiv round up, when the children and mothers were deported, because of the french collaboration with the nazis
– the novel of Romain Gary , The life before us
– A bag of Marbles, by Joseph Joffo
Fun fact about this one : my grandfather played the role of the father in the book, in one of the movies made after the book. The movie was directed by Jacques Doillon
– The diary of Helene Berr, by Helene Berr. A young student at the Sorbonne in Paris during WWII. She was a very talented young woman, who describes very well her life in Paris in the beginning of the Occupation in Paris.
– a book of Patrick Modiano, for example La Place de l’Etoile. he writes a lot about the Jewish Life in Paris.
– Simone Veil, Une vie (A Life). Simone Veil was an incredible woman. Deported at 17 years old, she survived the holocaust, and lived a full life, as a lawyer, a minister, at the head of the fundation for the memory of the shoah etc.. I will right an article about her soon that I can read on my website.
– I heard many good things about The last of the just, by André Schwarz-Bart but I didn’t get the chance to read it yet
– Currently reading : All the light we cannot see, by Anthony Doerr
There are 2 books that I recommend, but not sure if they were translated to English. Both written by Pierre Assouline. One called “Le dernier des Camondos” and the other “Le Portrait” in French.
He wrote about the life of the Camondo family. The Camondos, a family of rich Jewish bankers of the 19th century. Moses and Isaac de Camondo are cousins, and they were both art collectors. Issac gathered a great collection of Impressionist paintings (most are in the D’Orsay museum today) and Moses gathered a splendid collection of 18th century artifacts in his luxury private mansion, which became the museum of Nissim de Camondo.The family sadly disappeared after the occupation of Paris, they were deported to Auschwitz.
and here is a link about the tour I do about the 19th century Jewish Life in Paris.