October 8, 2005
We felt like the proverbial bugs in a rug; I didn’t have the crawl-and-squeeze-out problem I had encountered with the bedroom in the Marais apartment, and there was just enough space to exit near the side wall at the bottom of the bed in this apartment.
Although billed as accommodation for four since there’s a nice sleeper sofa in the parlor that can be closed off by double doors from the rest of this 485-square-foot pied-a-terre, this apartment is better for three and best for two. The bathroom off the kitchen contained a small shower and delivered welcomed hot water, and the toilet was the grinder type we had found in Marais. The bed was comfy; the apartment was quiet, as our next door neighbors killed their TV before 10pm as we did; and the kitchen was well-equipped for cooking.
We didn’t cook, as we found the area was full of restaurants, and two doors away was a traiteur with a variety of meals for takeaway, which we patronized twice after exhausting days of exploring. Since this area had been the site of the Les-Halles market, photos of which were featured in the Paris segment of Anthony Bourdain’s series "No Reservations," which we viewed recently on the Travel Channel, the area still abounds with numerous restaurant supply houses. My husband prowls these stores the way I do bookstores; the French seem to have a kitchen tool for every kitchen task imaginable. In the 1960s, when the market was torn down, it was replaced by the still-standing, but rather seedy-looking, shopping mall across from Saint Eustache. Renovation plans for this mall are in the works, but when we were there, just adjacent to the mall, vendors of food and arts and crafts had set up booths for the Christmas season only. We browsed but didn’t buy, but many shoppers did, and it was busy each time we passed by it. www.parisholidayapts.com
From journal PARIS PERFECT- December in LES-HALLES