Step #2 into the Marais

What’s it like to take Step #2 into the Marais? Well, you can stretch way beyond the well-known Merci, the all-encompassing concept shop that I spoke about in my last post, and you will discover a flattering neighborhood of charm, whimsy,IMG_0138sophistication, and endearing artistic pieces of all mediums in more ‘bite-sized’ shops. Here are just a few that might tempt you:

From well thought out body products…


To striking looking, yet functional stationery products…


To mouth-watering pieces of art…

To Caravane’s sought after home design products…

To bangles and baubles for art projects…

And circling back to more of the mouth-watering…



These photos represent just a touch of what there is to see in the Marais. As mentioned before, I am such a visual person I find comfort and calm; excitement and enthusiasm; diversity of old and new, all coming at me from the window stylists’ creative still performances. I often dip inside the shops for further stimulation, even occasionally, making some purchases, although the suitcase can only tolerate so much bulging!

I am not sure why my photos don’t represent the Marais clothing and accessories too. But, I promise, those shops are there to be enjoyed as well. I suggest a day or two or more of putting on your explorer’s cap with your most comfortable walking shoes and lean on that wandering spirit of yours that makes you a proud participant in the travel world.

Now I am HIGHLY directionally challenged so I have added, just over the last couple of years, an arsenal of directional tools as they have become available. I have always carried a paper map (‘Streetwise Maps‘ are my favorite, as they fold for convenience and are sturdy due to their laminated surface), and I was never shy at grabbing a passer-by to ask directions (although my ‘study’ on this suggests they are correct only about 50% of the time), and I kept a stash of metro/bus tickets but now I’ve added Uber ‘just in case’ and source out on ‘google maps’ my upcoming destination or keep it handy for ‘on the spot’ referencing when ‘lost’ suddenly comes into play. I’ve gotten familiar with the use of the language translation app (Google Translate is what I use) on my phone too. Now, all these tools are no  guarantee I don’t get lost but I’ve noticed they allow me to feel more freedom and less fear when I travel. After all:

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neal Donald Walsch

A few years ago, before I had all the new directional tools understood and in place, I was lost soon after a visit at Merci (See Step #1 in the Marais blog post.) I had taxied over there and just thought I could walk out and find a metro or bus to head me home. Well, that wasn’t coming together.  So wandering I went, even up and down the same street and then the rain started on one of those “No, I don’t need to carry an umbrella” days. Hmmmm-mm! Yet, my lost status landed me right in front of Maison Plisson and what a find! Read about it here:

And they now have a 2nd location:

I love reading the backstories of how a ‘brand’ is conceived, is discovered and then flourishes. On the owner’s website, you will see she was inspired by Dean and DeLuca . Although I have been to Dean and DeLuca in NYC, I am more familiar with the sprawling one in Saint Helena in the Napa Valley (607 St. Helena Hwy/Saint Helena, Ca. 94574). Although the grocery shop of Maison Plisson could probably fit into just one of the departments at the Napa Valley Dean and DeLuca, this doesn’t make it less appealing:


If you are near Merci and wanting a meal, a snack, a drink, do a little grocery shop, or just plain drool, here are some of their organic fresh look products:


To fresh pasta…


To vegetables….



To meats..


To bread and pastries…


I had time to have a refreshing drink on their glass-enclosed outdoor seating area one day and, on another, I made time for lunch–this salad dotted with seeds and underlying hummus and chicken with organic colorful vegetables ensured me a healthy day…


Bon Appetit at Maison Plisson!

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