Ice skating until beginning of March at Hotel de Ville plaza, Notre Dame in the background
Children and Teens,  Life in Paris & France

Living in Paris on a January Saturday Morning

Ice skating until beginning of March at Hotel de Ville plaza, Notre Dame in the backgroundEver wonder what Parisians do on the first Saturday of the Paris sales? Go shopping. On this particular morning around 10:30, it was sunny, crisp and comfortable for our walk from the right to the left bank over the Seine.

Ahead of the shopping crowd, we found our replacement Grohe shower hose with the surprise 20% sale price at BHV. It was a surprise, because it wasn’t marked as a sale item. We used our BHV card for the discount and decided to return later for more goodies. We proceeded across the plaza past the skating rink.

The skating rink on the Hôtel de Ville’s plaza (until March 2) has a cordoned-off children’s area. The children are in charge of laughing, the adult is in charge of pushing. Everyone wears skates, including the gliding animal figurine toboggan. The child can sit in the cart or push the cart. The activity area is a peninsula of slowness among the twisting and turning skaters. The ice skating rink at the Hotel de Ville is an annual affair. It is free if you have your own skates or five euros to rent.

Ice skating until beginning of March at Hotel de Ville plaza in the children's rink

Ice skating until beginning of March at Hotel de Ville plaza in the sunshineWalking across the Pont d’Arcole where all the wash boats were once moored, we found house décor in two souvenir shops. Souvenir shops line rue d’Arcole facing the hospital under siege. Hôtel Dieu might be closing, but he souvenir shops will continue to flourish. Our renovated kitchen acquired a couple of those Paris souvenirs: a hand towel and two placemats to cover our new induction cooktop to alternate with the current square Beauvillé. (Vehicle bridges and foot bridges in Paris, toilettes Arcole 10 rue d’Arcole 75004 – all Paris toilets/sanisettes)

Ice skating until beginning of March at Hotel de Ville plaza, Notre Dame in the backgroundHave you ever heard of Au Vieux Campeur? It is the ultimate Paris shop for outdoors activities: hiking, camping, skiing, water sports, accessories, clothing, diving, sports glasses, etc. It is a shopping adventure. The store is spaced out in a rectangle. between the north/south Boulevard Saint-Germain and rue des Écoles and the east/west Rue de Cluny and rue des Bernadins.

You need a map (photocopies available in each store) because your adventure search covers 30 stores. Some have a sales corner (“coin des affaires”). Erik tried on a gorgeous black, off-white and grey Norwegian sweater. The fit was perfect; the surprise was the 30% off tag. Yay sales (soldes).

Ice skating until beginning of March at Hotel de Ville plaza, Notre Dame in the backgroundThe FNAC store on Boulevard Saint-Michel is now closed but the Darty across the street is tucked between a café and a brasserie. We found the perfect radio, speaker, iPhone holder. Out of stock, we’ll buy it up at Republique (another day).

And so it went, just another shopping day and home for lunch.

Ice Skating until March 2, 2014, Monday to Friday from noon to 10 pm – Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from 9 am to 10 pm – Free access – Skate hire: 5 eurosFree carousels during holiday season in Paris, Hotel de Ville plaza Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
75004 Paris – Hôtel de Ville Metro station (lines 1 and 11)
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This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!