Friday, February 05, 2010

Chinatown


Tang Freres on a Sunday-My favorite supermarket in Paris.

One of my favorite areas of Paris is Chinatown. It is located in the 13th arrondissement and while there is little there to make it a tourist destination, it is fantastic for finding strange cooking ingredients or if you happen to love the Asian flavor, whether it be the food, the atmosphere or the people. It is particularly fantastic if you go in the Spring when the horse chestnut trees along the main rues are blooming.

I particularly enjoy going on Sundays. Well, I love and hate going on Sunday. Most grocery stores are closed on Sunday, but not the ones in China town so toute la monde is there, dining, shopping and wandering around. I love it because it is one of the few areas of Paris that does not feel absolutely dead on Sunday. Often my laundry does not get done because I opt for a trip to the 13th instead.

I usually take my shopping caddy (I resisted buying one of these things for 4 years because I thought I would feel like a 90 year old lady with it but now I am ever so grateful to have it.), eat some delicious pho, stock up on lots of cheap fruits and veg and end up cursing like a sailor when I have to drag that damn caddy up the zillion steps of the metro. And no my metro does not have an escalator or elevator.

Anyway, I braved the awful weather last Sunday and went with a friend to Chinatown; we ate pho, did the normal rounds of shopping, indulged in lots of fantastic desserts and enjoyed the normal long walk to price check different items at different stores (miss Wal-Mart so much). Along the way, we noticed that the crowd was larger and more aggressive than usual. Finally we figured that it must be because the Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Neither of us had the courage to fight the crowds too much so we gave up sooner than we normally do and headed home.

Apparently if you are Italian and/or drive a Porsche, you get to park on the sidewalk.

3 comments:

buffalodick said...

I don't think of a Chinatown in Paris! Good to know...

Zhu said...

Nice parking! What's the license plate? Italian or Swiss?

I love Tang frères. We also have Chinese supermakets in Ottawa and I go there every week to get some food. Now, I find the 13th to be a confusing arrondissement though, I'm always lost there for some reason.

Angela in Europe said...

It is awesome BD, especially for a foodie like you. All sorts of wonderful, delicious things.

Zhu-I get lost in Chinatown too. I figure it is kind of like the Marais, very confusing, but once you figure it out, it is okay. And the jerk on the sidewalk had an Italian plate.