Friday, July 1, 2011

Of Rats and Men

We're coming down to the wire here and I realize that there's not time to write about my visit to the royal palace at Compiegne, Anish Kapoor's Leviathan installation at the Grand Palais which I visited twice, dinner at Spring (after they cancelled our lunch reservation....grrrr), and half a dozen other things that I never got around to saying much about.  So it goes.

But I could not leave Paris without taking the time to pass by the shop of Julien Aurouze on rue des Halles where it runs into rue de Rivoli.  I can't remember where I first read about Aurouze but I was reminded of this firm, which has been in the business of exterminating rats and other vermin since 1872, when reading David D. Downie's book Paris, Paris.  It actually had a cameo appearance in the movie Ratatouille in a memorable scene in which the main character Remy is taken by his father to the shop (where dead rat trophies hang in the window)  to illustrate the point that humans can't be trusted.  And yes, there really are dead rats, captured and stuffed around 1925, hanging in the window.


Even though I've never actually seen a rat in Paris, I looked at that window and thought, "Done.  My Parisian experience is complete."  The funny thing is though that of all the things I've since read about Aurouze's shop, no one ever mentions the fact that the business next door is a boulangerie.  Yummy.



17 comments:

theaccidentalparisienne said...

Rats - Creepy! I know they are here and my husband has spotted some in the park behind Norte Dame while I bravely hid my face in his shoulder. You'd think the boulangerie next door is the least likely place in the world to see a rat :)

I also just want to thank you for your blog. I am sad to say I only found you in your last month or so here in Paris but I have very much enjoyed your perspective on the city of light. Best of luck in the future and I hope you will keep writing it down and sharing!

Anonymous said...

saw one near the Musee d'Orsay

CBR

Ann said...

The Quai de Grenelle might be the rat center of the universe. But the image of those stuffed bodies in the window will haunt my dreams. Ahhh!

Linda said...

Ann I have each and every one of your posts with my morning coffee. It is hard to believe 4 years have passed by so quickly. You have provided me with so many insights to Paris and they have made my visits that much more enjoyable. Best of luck in your new adventures and I sure hope you will post about them.

Janet said...

il est grand temps de quitter le navire !...

vicki archer said...

Bizarre and kooky... definitely Aurouze is interesting, xv.

Lisa said...

That shop was part of our bike tour when we visited. Ick! Comic relief?!
Best of luck on your move and return to the States. I'm sad to say goodbye to my little bit of Paris with my morning tea. Au revoir.

Starman said...

I don't remember whether or not I've seen that shop, but it's hilarious that someone would ope a boulangerie ext door.

g said...

anne -thank you once again for all that you shared over the years and more importantly safe and happy travels to all of you....stay well and until next time.....

Amy said...

Au revoir, Anne. Thank you for such lovely insights into your Parisian life. Best wishes, too. - Amy

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

What a fantastic way to close out your Paris experience, Anne -- very original, fun, and with a twist of the macabre. I love it. :)

Thank you for all you have done to give people your unique perspective on Paris, with your wonderful photos to accompany your posts. I'm glad we got to meet while you were in Paris! Bon voyage & looking forward to (I hope!) posts about re-entry into the US and all that can happen with that experience.

Be well!
Karin

Anne said...

My husband, who is a runner, says he sees rats all the time along the Seine. I'm just as glad not to count those sightings as part of my experience of Paris.

Thanks all for the lovely comments. But I'm not done yet. I've got one final post lined up for tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at your countdown clock and got a little teary - ONE more post! How quickly time flies. I've loved 99% of your posts and just "liked" the other 1% :-)
You have kept many of us out here in the homeland entertained with our daily dose of Paris, and it will be sorely missed. Best of luck to you in the upcoming days which are sure to be filled with many twists and turns. If you decide on a new blog, please put it here for a while and re-direct us.
Bonne chance!

Mary Kay said...

Bon voyage and best wishes, Anne. I hope that you're able to board the plane without too many tears. I still remember when my daughter threw herself on the ground and refused to leave Indonesia. My heart was bursting when I picked her up and told her that life would be good in our new home -- and it was, just different! I would love to hear how things go as you settle back into life in D.C. but can easily imagine that you'll be busy taking care of all kinds of other things. Good luck and thanks for being such a consistent part of my mornings!

Harriet said...

Thanks for the many wonderful posts -- have enjoyed your blog so much. Wishing you and your family all the best!

Ysabelle said...

Wow, It looks lots of fun, I'm scared from rats but in this shop they look so cute ahah..


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beurre de cacao said...

No wonder Ratatouille was a hit! Creepy shop indeed.

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