Monday, October 7, 2013

Edith Piaf Day

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Edith Piaf's death, and this week the Belleville neighborhood where she grew up is celebrating her life and career.  Our first stop this morning was the church where she was baptized.  Her baptismal certificate is supposed to be on display through the end of the week.  According to the event's brochure, it should have been near the statue of St. Theresa.  We looked carefully throughout the church and especially near the St. Theresa statue, but couldn't locate it.  Disappointed, we went to the patisserie across the street from the church.  They have designed a new pastry in honor of Piaf and will be selling it this week.  The patisserie opens at 9:00 a.m. and at 11:00 a.m. when we arrived they were sold out.  They expected to have more later in the day.

We decided to give up on Piaf and go to lunch at a restaurant in the Marais that Bill had discovered while walking home yesterday evening.  He had today's special, mussels and fries, and I had spinach quiche.  It was okay, but nothing to get excited about.

We decided to get our baguette early today and bought it from the second place winner in 2012.   Then we  gave the Piaf tour a second chance and returned to the patisserie where we were fortunate enough to find and purchase the special pastry - a bargain at 6.80 €, about $9.23.

Aux Folies, where Piaf sang in her younger days

After paying that kind of money for a pastry we were hesitant to take it on the Métro where it might get crushed.  Instead we walked home passing by several sites that figure in Piaf's life.  We passed by one of the apartments where she lived and the house on whose steps she claimed to have been born.  Her birth certificate shows she was actually born in a hospital.  We also passed by a couple of the places where she performed.  Piaf is known for her hardscrabble life, and Belleville is still a hardscrabble neighborhood in spite of its upscale pastry shop.

1 comment:

  1. As usual, I wish that I was in Paris too.