Tuesday, November 27, 2018

More of the rue St.-Jean

When we found the rue St.-Jean, we had walked up a slight incline toward city hall. The street slopes downhill, back toward the center of town, so that's the way we went. My camera says I took these photos around 10h30. Morning coffee time had passed, and it was too early for places to serve lunch.

The street is calm between the morning "rush" and lunch.

Most places in France, especially in rural areas and smaller cities, adhere to a specific schedule for mealtimes. You can't get breakfast all day, lunch isn't available until at least 12h30 and usually not past 14h00. Dinner service doesn't start until around 19h30. Some years ago, Ken found a McDonald's restaurant out in the Norman countryside that closed between lunch and dinner time. Twenty-four hour restaurants are rare.

There are exceptions, of course, especially in Paris and the larger cities, where the 24/7 lifestyle is becoming more common. It's interesting to remember that for several years after we moved here, our local supermarkets closed for two hours at lunch time. Today they stay open through the day, from 08h30 or 09h00 to 19h30, but they are closed on Sunday afternoons. There are no twenty-four hour supermarkets or groceries anywhere in our region, that I'm aware of.


  1. I remember traveling Italy in the 79s and learning about siesta. Even markets closed. I had forgotten that detail. Here most little markets now stay open for siesta. Most.

  2. Oh, I remember that lunchtime closing even in Paris, for La Parisienne and other small, neighborhood grocers. We had trouble returning a car, once, because we planned to return it around 1:00, and take a train right after that, but the office was closed! We had to drive an hour to the next town on the train route, to use up the time, and return the car there, and catch the train. It's a difficult thing to plan around!

  3. On my first trip to France in '61 when I spent six weeks in Montpellier everything closed for siesta after lunch.

  4. The SuperU stores I've been to have all had closings on Sunday afternoons, which seems not a bad thing. Gives everyone some time off. Little shops in villages seem to close at midday for two or three hours.
    Years ago, when Gucci first opened in Manhattan, people were shocked because the store closed at midday for the employees to have lunch. They were soon informed that was not the New York way.

    1. Back in the early '80s, there was a supermarket over near Beaubourg called As Éco that was open 24 hours a day. It had an underground parking lot, so I could drive over there and park, fill up the car, and drive it all back home (near rue Montorgueil).

  5. mitch, the old ways are dying, of course, but slowly. That's probably good.

    judy, we Americans are so used to everything being open all the time, but even that is relatively recent. When I was a kid, most stores were closed on Sundays. Then, when grocery stores started staying open on Sunday, people weren't allowed buy beer until after noon (at least in NY). And to this day, wine and liquor are not available in grocery stores in NY!

    evelyn, I wonder what it's like now?

    emm, the city that never sleeps!


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