A to Cray-Z 2017 –
All about the week that I nearly drove my husband crazy. In Paris.
Last October, my husband and I spent a month in France. Nine of those days we spent in Paris. We sought out a street in Paris for every letter of the alphabet, and we set foot in every arrondissement de Paris. This is not for the faint of heart. Or anyone who fears lots of walking. Or stairs. Or trop de baguettes. Or le Métro.
Ça veut dire — Do not try this at home, folks.
Alors, mes chers lecteurs…have you been to Paris? Have you walked on this street? Does this street make you dream or think of a story? Tell me in the comments!
French verb for this street: chérir (to cherish)
Quel beau couple! Qu’ils chérissent leur vie ensemble et que le jour de leur mariage soit gravé dans leur mémoire à tout jamais.
C is for Impasse du Cadran
Rue : Impasse du Cadran
Arrondissement : 18e
C’est où ? (where is this?)
What was it like for us?
This is a tiny tiny little street in Montmartre, not too far from the Sacre Coeur and the famous Abbesses Métro station. I chose it from my Dictionnaire des noms de Rues de Paris before we left for our trip because I knew we’d spend some time in Montmartre. I also liked the name.
The street was just off a bigger street in Montmartre where one can find all manners of fabrics and sewing notions. On Impasse du Cadran, however, there is only one thing: a wedding store. It looked huge, like it had three stories! Very impressive and colorful store, at least from the outside.
What’s in a name?
An “Impasse” is by definition a dead end road, that is, a road at which you are at an “impass!” I expected it to be small, but I also expected to see a sundial, or at least a clock because a “cadran” in French refers to some sort of clock face. Un cadran solaire is a sundial, and I have seen many of these in Paris. There was no sundial on this street however, no clock of any kind! According to my “Paris – Dictionnaire du Nom des Rues”, there was a sundial there at least up until the nineteenth century. It says, “Au fond de cette impasse se trouvait, encore au XIXe s., un cadran solaire.”
Alors, tant pis. Oh well, it was a nice excursion anyway. Besides this, I have since discovered that there is a book by Claude Izner (this author is really a collaboration between two sisters who are booksellers along the Seine – they are bouquinistes) which is called “Minuit, impasse du cadran.” It is one of a series featuring a bookseller/amateur detective in nineteenth century Paris. Perhaps the sundial will make an appearance in the story ? I have ordered this book and hope to read it soon!
Rue du Chat qui Pêche – 5e Arr
“The Cat who Fishes”. What a great name for a street! I was hoping to see an actual cat while I was there, but alas, no. Perhaps next time! The Dictionnaire tells me that there was at one time on this street a traiteur (a deli/catering type business) whose logo was a cat in the act of fishing. I have read that this is considered the narrowest street in Paris, which, if true, is quite a trick because there are a lot of narrow streets in Paris!
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