Relics of the Past

Am I the only one that visits places for silly reasons? Oh, you’d like me to define “silly,” would you? Well, you know, perfectly normal reasons like visiting a place because its name matches a fictional kingdom, or because it’s named after your favorite animal. What’s that? That’s not silly at all? Great, now that I know I’m in good company, I can proceed.

Café Kitsuné

Yes, you’ve guessed correctly! “Kitsuné” means “fox” in Japanese, and that is really the only reason why I decided that I needed to eat here while I was in Paris. The fact that the place is cute and that it had good reviews was certainly a bonus, but even a lack of those things wouldn’t have deterred me! Also, they serve Eggs Benedict in the afternoon, so they basically have my heart.

While planning for this trip, I saw photos of this beautiful covered passageway, and after digging a little bit I found that there are actually quite a few of them in Paris! Known as the Passagesouvert de Paris, they’re a relic of the 19th century, and an early form of the shopping arcade. There were once approximately 150 of them all over the city, but when Haussmann got ahold of Paris, the passageways suffered and many of them disappeared. Apparently only about a couple dozen of them remain today.

Galerie Vivienne

Covering a length of 176 meters (577 feet), this covered passage has been registered as a historical monument since July of 1974.

It was built in 1823 by François Jean Delannoy and inaugurated in 1826 under the name Galerie Marchoux, after its patron, though it was soon renamed after the adjacent rue Vivienne.

Passage des Panoramas

Built in 1800, this is the oldest covered passage in Paris. It is one of the earliest venues of philatelic (stamps) trade. Inspired by bazaars, it itself later inspired the city shopping malls of the 20th century, and was even featured in Émile Zola’s Nana.

Angelina

I didn’t really have the foresight to eat here, but walked by it and decided to get myself dessert. These little monstrosities are called Mont Blancs, and what you see here is basically sugar, sugar, and more sugar. Also, sugar. Jokes aside, they’re made of sweetened, puréed chestnut (the green one was pistachio and I regret not buying it) and filled with whipped cream. And I kinda really want one now.

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