Thursday, 13 January 2011

Random Parisian oddities

I wrote a post recently on beautiful strangeness, odd yet beautiful things I had seen in my travels round Paris.

Here, I've gathered together a plain ol' oddities collection.

Here's a scenario that is not at all odd if you happen to be a Parisian. But if you're not, then you maybe a little taken aback. The spaces at the other ends of both these cars were not big. I wonder how they managed when it was time to move.

I'm rather partial to these urban hay bails.

Here is a FANTASTIC shoe shop, KATA, on boulevard Barbès. There are quite a few of these KATA shops but this one is the biggest and the best. It is located in an old theatre. I don't know how long this shop has been here, but they haven't even taken down the velvet curtains since it was a theatre. There are white tiles on the floors and wire basket crates of shoes piled high with anything from filthy broken ancient shoes you wouldn't touch with a barge pole, to designer 'chaussures de marques' that you can pick up for a song. This is one of those places you have to go to regularly. Sometimes they have amazing bargains, and sometimes they have nothing. They may have something you adore, but will only have it in one size. I mostly get the kids shoes here, why pay 80euros for a pair of kids shoes when you can pay 10? I only managed to take this one photo because I was quickly asked to stop, but you get the gist. Unfortunately I didn't get all the elaborate gold mouldings on the ceiling.

On the subject of footwear, there seems to be a few street artists in the Montmartre neighbourhood who like shoes. I have now seen about 4 pairs of trainers strung up on a wire, round and about the 18th.

Some people prefer slippers.

Which brings me to the slipper factory, 'fabrique de pantoufles', out by Porte de Montmartre, which always makes me smile when I walk past.
As do these chairs. You can't fault their logic.

This shop also made me chuckle (it is now a hairdressers). It reminded me of my brain. Cluttered.

These doors to an 'école maternelle' (kindergarten) left me confused. How on earth can you justify putting rifles on the front door of a school for 3-6 year olds? A school that was designed to be a school?

In contrast, I LOVED this bath we spotted at the Marchés aux puces at St Ouen. It's not even one of the 'sabot' baths that have a step/seat in them. We have a pretty small bath, but not this small.

I was a little perplexed by this sign.

This shop confused me as well. What is it you people are selling?

I found this chair in a entrance way to an appartment block on rue Durantin. 
'If you're tired before going up the stairs. SIT DOWN. But don't take the chair'. NB-enormous red chain to prevent such a thing happening.


  1. Believe it or not, that is the same size bathtub we have in our Paris studio (original)! I still haven't figured out how it even passed for a bath?! On the plus side, as use for a shower it never overflows :)
    ...and don't even get me started on the bumper parking in France, mostly Paris, and the inability of car manufacturers to NOT put painted bumpers on French cars for this very reason! ugh.

  2. Yes, I'm all for bath and shower combo. I would hate to be without a bath, especially in winter. Nothing wrong with dangling your legs over the edge.
    Yes I can get quite ranty about parking in this fair city. I love the zebra cossing parking too, epsecially when you're trying to navigate small people with buggies/bikes/scooters across the road.