If I could title this trip to Paris it would be the "What we've never done before" trip because we've spent a lot of time discovering new parts of Paris. That is outside of going to the Eiffel Tower and Pompidou Center.
The shopping mall which seems like a trully American thing actually existed long before we started building them. In the middle east there are large indoor markets (grand bazzaar in Istanbul is one) but in western terms it was probably the French that introduced them to us. They started out as passageways between buildings called galleries which were covered with glass and lined with shops. At one point there were hundreds in Paris but now I believe there are only about 16 left if my guide book can be believed. Our aim was to go see some of these galleries.
It's kind of sad to see them go because they're really a part of Paris and unless you're looking for them you'll walk right on by because they look like grand entrances to buildings. Inside they're elegant and so period Parisien. They ooz style. Unfortunately by the time we got out and about to see them it was dark and we could only look in through locked iron gates. This one however was open and we were able to walk though. Even though the alley is covered it's still somewhat open above and I imagine that there is no heat in the center hallway. Notice the "street lights" on the walls.
I'm glad I got to see a piece of history before they're all possibly removed. I don't know if that will happen but who knows?
Another passageway that we saw on a different day (Passage Brady) is an all Indian street with sellers and restaurants on it. Still interesting but not what I think of when people mention the Paris Galleries.