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Paris in Pink

Photo by Chris Card Fuller ©2008dsc03586.jpg
Photo by Chris Card Fuller ©2008
Springtime in February? Unseasonably warm this first week in February 2008, those that decided to sneak away for an ‘escapade’ in Paris to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Years (which began yesterday) or simply to take advantage of the winter sales will have little to complain about this week – when it comes to weather. Ideal, cloudless skies and brilliant sunshine have brought out premature spring blossoms on some of Paris’s avenues.
What better time to do a little souvenir shopping? Although our goal was to replace a broken lid to a porcelain coffee pot, anyone interested in picking up a Limoges set of dishware at an exceptionally good value would be happy to stumble upon Porcelaines M.P. SAMIE at 45 Avenue General Le Clerc, 14th Metro: Alesia
I wasn’t too surprised to bump into the wives of two American embassy officials doing a little browsing here in the 14th (which is a long ways from their 16th arrondissement residence). “We learned about this shop in the embassy newsletter” they explained as their reason for showing up in the Alesia neighborhood – which is also well known for discount designer clothes all along Rue d’Alesia.
Porcelaines M.P. Samie assures that their porcelain is ‘Made in France’ in the Limoges region. You’ll find here very serviceable day-to-day dinnerware, as well as an assortment of more ornate patterns. There are plenty of smaller table ornaments that will pack well for travelers.
On the subject of souvenirs, I’m always on the lookout for new takes on the old monuments. A new souvenir shop has opened on Rue Delambre (Metro: Edgar Quinet). Here you can buy handcrafted porcelain Eiffel Towers, created specifically for the shop. The owner Charles is an artist also. He lives in the 13th arrondissement. His paintings bring the neighborhood to light for those who havent’ had the opportunity to stroll through some of its less well known streets (such as Buttes aux Cailles).
What is the typical price for a copy of the Eiffel Tower -small enough to carry home in your suitcase? You can take home an Eiffel Tower for as little as 2 Euros if you do your souvenir shopping with the bouquinistes bordering the Seine River. The range goes from 2 Euros to 25 Euros.