...Continued from page 1

I have left out a couple of Italian delis, a so–called Moroccan deli, a couple of chocolate shops, two other bakeries – there's six on Daguerre – a fastfood, another cheese place, a foie gras emporium, three cafés, another bottle shop, several sushi joints, a Pho soup fastfood, Zango, some restaurants, drying and cleaning, hairdressers, real estate agents – what is this? – you can't eat them.

Well, toss in a toy shop, several florists, a bank, a post office, several hotels and two bars – ooh, I'm forgetting the other end with its café Baghdad. And in case you are too disorganized there's three or four tiny groceries open on Sundays and when everything else is closed. Did I mention clothes? There's even a hat shop, and I bought a blanket the other day.

I did take a flower shot at the florist but I'm not posting it here. Like a lot of the food sitting out on the pavement, I can't tell one flower from another. All I know is we aren't having any funeral and although some people eat them, I think they are overpriced.

If you consider that you can use a phone to order pizza, this is what the rue Daguerre lacks. For all that it has there is still no phone boutique and there's no place calling itself a pizzeria. It must be one of the rare streets in the world like this. Yes, you can buy phone cards to call home in Africa, and you can pay phone bills at the post office. It is not total boondocks.

There's no funeral parlor in the street either. Maybe it's because the cemetery is only a block north. There's an architect and some kind of strange church – nobody talks about it much, except to say there was a riot there once. I think everybody is leaving it alone.

A lot of people are very curious about the street's nightclub, the Bélière. Back in 2001 I might have mentioned that the 14th's mayor got reelected with a platform to save it because it was a funky neighborhood place with a real piano, and that's what happened. The mayor got reelected and the Bélière was saved, kind of.

photo, bread shop, boulangerie, marche daguerre Staffs of life – daily.

To save it they demolished everything except two walls, and then they built a thing from celler to second floor, all new, lots of concrete, and when it was finished they transformed the two walls they'd saved so they looked exactly like the rest of of place – like a brand–new klotz with a red–tile roof and with some apartments and clubrooms for associations, but it has taken them a bit longer to restore the nightclub part.

In fact, a brand new five–star hotel on the Champs–Elysées has been built from scratch in less time. Now there are workmen swarming all over, putting in triple–glazing, installing kitchens worthy of the Queen Mary II, and, who knows? gilding the bar that used to be made of recycled apple–crates. I guess it will be finished by the time the next election rolls around, and we can vote for the mayor again.

All in all it's 600 meters of shop–type shopping and neighborhood entertainment. Frankly, what's missing on Sundays when they close it to cars are the smells. But folks can walk up and down in the middle of the street and burp in peace.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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