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: Narrer
La jeune femme marchait dans la rue étroite quand l’homme en noir lui approcha furtivement et lui narra une histoire mystérieuse.
N is for Rue Nicolas Flamel
Rue : Rue Nicolas Flamel
Arrondissement : 4e
C’est où ? (where is this?)
What was it like for us?
Rue Nicolas Flamel is not too far from the Centre Georges Pompidou, and although we did not visit the Musée National d’Art Moderne this time around, we did walk by it. As it turns out, Rue Nicolas Flamel is a rather quiet street, and there at the corner on the right side of the picture, there is a red awning over what happens to be one of several places in Paris where one can take a cooking class with L’atelier des Chefs. This is on my list for my next visit. The courses are in French, which might or might not leave mon pauvre mari to entertain himself in Paris for a couple hours. Oh dear. Do you think he’d survive?
Just behind me, as I took this picture, was the Tour Saint-Jacques, just another of the things that we happened upon as we haphazardly explored odd corners of Paris… and another thing to visit next time. You can climb the 300 steps to the top only as part of a guided tour on the weekends. They take 5 people at a time. The tower is the only remaining bit of a church that stood here and was destroyed in 1797. It used to be a meeting place for pilgrims on the Route of Santiago de Compostela.
What’s in a name?
Nicolas Flamel (1330-1418) was a scribe, manuscript seller, and philanthropist. He and his wife owned several properties in Paris, including an auberge or inn, which they apparently ran for the poor. This house is not on Rue Nicolas Flamel, but rather on Rue Montmorency several blocks away. It is the oldest stone house in Paris and is now home to the Auberge Nicolas Flamel which is a restaurant. It actually looks pretty good!
According to the Wiki page, the historical Nicolas Flamel has absolutely nothing to do with the stories that began to be written about him a couple hundred years after his death. He is still a popular character in modern stories and movies. He was notably mentioned in the J.K. Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Maybe you’ve heard of that one?
The Nicolas Flamel of literature was an alchemist who discovered the Philosophers Stone, which gave him both the power to turn lead into gold, and the Elixir of Life. I guess he just didn’t want to live forever since he apparently died in 1418. He was in his eighties, though, which was a decently long life, especially in the 14th century.
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