Another Paris Surprise
Tucked away on the edge of the Marais, just off rue Saint Martin, close to our apartment at the time, is a passageway giving access to various shops and apartments leading off it. The passage is not always open to those who don’t have the code for the gate, but whenever it was open we used it as a short-cut to the nearest Metro station. It was wonderful to be able to have a glimpse into one of Paris’s many hidden passages and to savor a sense of time past.
The stores are small and quiet—one sells old books, another bric-a-brac, and another old utensils and tools. But, the one that really caught our attention was Pep’s, which repairs umbrellas (parapluies) and parasols. This is a lovely old-fashioned touch, a store harking back to bygone days, to times with small artisans before the era of huge factories and mass production. It’s a reminder of the days when people would still repair things, rather than just toss out the broken item and buy a new one.