a journal of a researcher

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A la Maison de Paris

I am in Paris again. The city is on its regular rhythm. Pied de Cochon is still full of people day and night. Its seafood counter is facing the street. You can see the chefs open the shells and prepare the big fruit de meer platters for the well dressed people in the hall. Bisto Roman is besides Pied de Cochon, a successful restaurant chain. Then, several 7/24 bars. People are walking, eating, and drinking. Out of Fredericton, I feel the contrast of Paris. Montougei’s little shops are so different than the spacious super store in Fredericton. You can’t image how the little shops can survive in the expensive area and hire so many people. Well, you can find the best quality food here and a lot of varieties -- Jambon cur from Italy and Span, fruits and vegetables from Africa and South America.

Galeries Lafayette: decoration below glass dome (1910-1912, architect Ferdinand Chanut) (from http://www.cambridge2000.com/gallery/html/P40214377.html)

Galeries Lafayette is preparing for Christmas season. The shopping windows are dressed like fairy tale world. The animated animals and puppets attract the children and parents. Each time I come to Galeries Lafayette, I see more Chinese, the Chinese from main land China to visit Paris. They like to spend money in Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, the two names they know in China. The first floor is their best love. They like purses from the best brands, like Lancell, Gucci, Luis Vinton, and Christian Dior. They buy these brands so much that all these stores hire Chinese speaking sales. They also like Parisian perfumes and jewelries. Clothes are second to the Accessories. From this year, Lafayette has regularly greetings in Chinese.

Galeries Lafayette is a place for Chinese to bring Paris to their home. In Paris, there is another place where the Chinese bring China to Paris. The newly emerged Chinese district is near Metro Art et Metiers, where the Chinese from Wenzhou sell their products of purses, accessories and small electronic applicants.