On Sunday morning I dropped our son off at a birthday party in the 2nd arrondissement. I had two hours to kill and decided to head towards rue Montorgueil, a lovely road full of restaurants, cafés, specialised food shops, charcuteries, cheese shops, chocolate shops, amazing looking bakeries, florists and more. To get there I wandered down Rue Réamur which is a large boulevard to the north of Rue Montorgueil. It was so quiet, hardly a car or pedestrian in sight. When I turned right into rue Montorgueil, however, that all changed. Suddenly I was amidst a throng of people, the small cobbled street was heaving. Claude Monet painted Rue Montorgueil in 1878 Rue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of June 30. It was heaving then too.
When I worked in rue Montorgueil 20 years ago they repaved the road with white marble cobbles. As the years passed these blocks were quick to crack and break and I noticed that they have now been replaced with granite cobbles. The white marble blocks remain on the pavements.
I was alone with no children tugging at my arm begging me to stop being weird, so I was able to walk slowly down the road looking up at the shop fronts at my own pace. Some are beautifully intricate but in need of restoration.
In contrast, some of the facades have been recently restored and look very crisp and clean.
There are small interesting details to be seen the whole way along the road. Notably at 'La Fermette' where there's a cow observing the goings on from the first floor.
I love this sign.
Wrought iron with gilded details.
And then one of my favourites, a giant escargot at the infamous L'Escargot Montorgueil, a restaurant that has been serving snails for 200 years!