Welcome to the World’s first shopping malls. These covered arcades were built in the early 19th century. Shops on either side, protected by glass supported on steel structures on top, and centrally heated. They’re filled with boutique stores, book shops, stamp and coin collectors, and cafés.
Reading Le Monde at a café is a pretty French thing to do.
This was something I’d had no idea about before arriving Paris, and picking up my super secret Paris guidebook. In the 9th, we’re quite close to many of the original passages: Jouffroy, Verdeau, and this one, the Panoramas. It’s these little things that you don’t get to see if you’re only here for a few days or a week. Quite rightly, you ahve to see the important stuff, whcih we’re only now beginning to do. But when stuff like this is in your neighbourhood, you go.