Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

The short of it: Jean-Louis Hecht a French baker, tired of drunk people around the Canal Saint-Martin knocking on his door looking for baguettes after the brasseries and bars had closed, installed a baguette vending machine outside his bakery that will deliver a baguette into the inebriated hands of anyone willing to cough up the slightly-expensive-for-a-baguette-but-if-you’re-paying-Paris-drink-prices-it’s-not-that-bad 1 euro.

I know what you’re thinking. Bread from a vending machine? Yuck. EXCEPT because it’s France they’ve got this covered. The machine stores pre-cuite/mostly pre-cooked baguettes, then when you slide in your magical 1e coin, IT HEATS IT UP AND DELIVERS IT TO YOU WARM AND CRUSTY AND DELICIOUS I PRESUME.

Previously, unless you were willing to stay out until the bakeries opened shop at 5am, your late-night food options were pretty much limited to stale épicerie bread that even your drunk palate tells you is disgusting.


On the other hand, this Jean-Louis Hecht fellow thinks this is going to do for bakeries what ATMs did for banks, which just seems false. The money you get out of an ATM is the same as the money you get from a teller, but even medium-grade baguette snobs such as myself will, if given the choice, pick a baguette fresh from the baker’s loving hands over soulless industrial bread cranked out like a Snickers bar or that hot dog vending machine that was in Lerner for like a month. But as I, like most people, generally become less discerning between the hours of 1 and 6 am, I say bring on the sketchy poorly lit ATM and the vending machine baguette! Talk about convenience!

If you’re interested, the vending machine in question is on Paris’ Avenue Mathurin-Moreau, in the 19th arrondissement, a mere stone’s throw away from the French Communist Party’s headquarters and the landfill-turned-park at Buttes Chaumont.

Seriously, if they expand this to crepes and/or waffles I might consider moving back to Paris.


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Reflections on a capital city

I hate tourists. After a solid summer of pushing my way through Times Square at rush hour, everyone with a fanny pack and a huge camera is the enemy. When you live in a city, you outgrow its tourist tendencies, and if you’ve lived in a big city, any big city, really, the tourists, wherever you go, start to annoy you. (more…)

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In the continued saga that is my search for a home/living place/bed for the next seven months, there have been a lot of ups and downs and ridiculous encounters with various people who either want way too much money or who are trying to get rid of super crappy apartments. This is boring. I am not going to tell all those little stories because they are terrible and will make you never want to move to France, and above all they make me very very angry.

However, today was a first. While I searched frantically for accommodation in Martigues and also in neighboring Marseille, I was the intended victim of a fairly classic scam, and quite frankly it added a bit of spice to the supremely boring and frustrating task that is finding an apartment for such a short period of time. Thus I will share it with you.


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My arrival into France was heralded by some pretty stark reminders, both direct and indirect, of the French propensity for la manifestation, or protest.

In many ways which may seem foreign to outsiders, when the French are unhappy about something, they are not satisfied with blogging or complaining about the state of affairs on cable news. No, public dissatisfaction with lawmakers and governing officials can only be adequately expressed by taking to the streets. Or, by ignoring any attempts at imposing said regulations. (more…)

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