A Weekend Recap + The Sunday Vide Grenier
This weekend, we moved around the city quite a bit, from Rue de Pot de Fer in the Latin Quarter for a few bieres up to Montmartre for fireworks and wine and back to our brand new apartment in the Marais - mostly by bike. Both of us finally signed up for Velib, the bike share program in Paris (only 30€ per year), and it turned out to be our main mode of transportation this weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, we brought a few suitcases to our new apartment. But next time, I will avoid walking from the Chatelet metro station to our street in the Marais; the 11-minute walk that felt like a half an hour. We dodged people and bikes while eyeing the streets to avoid getting our tiny suitcase wheels stuck. We finally made it and lugged our two bags up three flights of stairs. We unpacked a few things and took a little break before heading out to set up internet and TV for the new place. It was much easier this time since we are now Orange clients, but you still need a passport and bank information to get it all going.
On Saturday night we met up with a new friend, Lisa, at a wine festival in Montmartre - fête des Vendages. The streets were packed to the gills with people drinking wine, eating food and socializing, all at the foot of the Sacre-Coeur. It was a gorgeous night out, to say the least. We started off strong with a bottle of wine and found a little nook between two stalls; it was our refuge while all the crazy passed us by. There were so many people on the walkways, the crowd was barely moving. Steve eventually ventured out to get a jambon & raclette sandwich. I opted for a few bites of his, but I should have gotten my own. The gooey, melted cheese was so delicious.
Another bottle later, we moved toward the Sacre-Coeur to try to see the fireworks. The crowd wasn't the best - lots of jostling and pushing - but the whole experience of watching explosions in the sky (heh) while in Paris and with a few glasses of wine in our bellies... très incroyable! Soon after, we decided to head back home - we biked and navigated the streets of Paris with ease (they were empty). The crisp fall air was pretty nice, too.
On Sunday, more time with Velib! As we approached our neighborhood, I remembered a "festival" I had seen posters for over the last few days. I wasn't sure what the poster said, but I could tell that it was an sizeable event...
It turns out that a vide grenier is essentially a garage sale. And right after we turned in our bikes, we ran right into it. There were rows of vendors on each street selling their random collection of wares - clothes, books, globes, glassware, toys, wooden trinkets, Smurf figurines and more. Steve and I decided to peruse the stalls and see if we could find anything for our new apartment.
In the end, it was too overwhelming. We didn't have a specific list of what we might need and there were just so. many. things. After a lot of looking and a couple near-purchases, we left empty handed.
Here are a few pictures to give you a feel for what the neighborhood vide grenier was all about.
I definitely want to visit another in the future. Perhaps I will have more patience next time! If you're in Paris and interested in visiting a vide grenier or brocante, check out this calendar.
Vocab for today:
- vide grenier - garage sale
- acheter - to buy
- vendre - to sell
- combien ça coûte? - how much does it cost?