Two gay men who were burned alive in 1750 in Paris as punishment for the “crime” of homosexuality were honored over the weekend with the unveiling of a plaque marking the spot on the city’s popular Rue Montorgueil market street where the couple was arrested. After a sham trial in which prosecutors said they wished to make a public example of the pair, Jean Diot, a 40-year-old domestic employee, and Bruno Lenoir, a 20-year-old shoemaker, were burned at the stake at the Place de Greve, now the Place de l’Hotel de Ville–the site of Paris’s City Hall. Their executions marked the last time gay men or lesbians were sentenced to death in France due to their sexual orientation. Continue Reading →
One of the chief joys of Paris is simply relaxing in one of the city’s cafes. And a cafe terrace can be particularly fun on a spring or summer weekend when you’re with a group of friends, the weather is warm and breezy and Parisians are in buoyant spirits. If you’re ever near the Rue Montorgueil shopping street or Saint Eustache church, a perfect spot for a weekend coffee or cocktail is Lezard Cafe, with its huge, shaded and enormously popular terrace. Continue Reading →
An extremely popular 2nd Arrondissement destination for both tourists and locals is the Rue Montorgueil market street, a five-block long lane between Rue Etienne Marcel and Rue Reaumur. Home to more than two dozen specialty food shops, cafes and bistros, including a patisserie founded nearly 280 years ago by the head pastry chef to king Louis XV, Rue Montorgueil is a real treat even if you’re just window shopping (called faire du leche-vitrines in French, which oddly translates to “window licking). Continue Reading →
It’s a cliche for sure, but escargots (snails) really are a staple of French cuisine, usually served as an appetizer. You can get them at any Paris bistro, brasserie or restaurant that serves traditional French fare. But if you’re interested in making a meal of snails, head to L’Escargots Montorgueil at the base of the fantastic market street Rue Montorgueil. The 182-year-old restaurant is an institution, both for Parisians and visitors alike. Continue Reading →
Nestled among the many wonderful fish, butcher, cheese, produce and other fine-food shops on the market street Rue Montorgueil in Paris’s 2nd Arrondissement is one of my favorite pastry shops in the entire world – Stohrer. Technically called a patissier-traiteur because the shop offers a range of delicious meal and snack items in addition to desserts, Stohrer is best known for its fantastic pastries and its unbelievable history that stretches back to before the French Revolution. The shop’s two most-famous confections are the baba au rhum (a rum-soaked brioche) and the to-die-for Puits d’Amour (wells of love). Continue Reading →
Parisian officials have reportedly rejected a bid by McDonalds to open up a shop on the fantastic market street Rue Montorgueil, saying that the international fast foodery would drive up rents and squeeze out character.
While I’m thrilled at the city’s efforts to prevent its historic core from turning into another Americanized mini-mall, I wonder if the change of heart has come too late. Continue Reading →