Here's another good round-up of food feasts in Paris, many in our neighborhood, and old favorites like Pierre Hermé and La Durée (though we've soured on the last given prices and crowds). ... Stop by Pierre Hermé on rue Cambon on the right bank or rue Vaugirard or Bonaparte locations on the left bank for mouth watering macarons – these are the best in Paris, seconded, perhaps by Ladurée (skip the macarons at Paul). Another worthwhile stop for an afternoon pause gourmande is the Grande Epicerie du Bon Marché, where you can sample many top shelf products, from cheeses, to meats, to a shellfish bar, more types of water than you have ever seen, and speciality products from Fauchon and Hediard.
Of course, as I read this article in NY Times , I was reminded once again, the democratic pleasures of Paris... that the Proustian aspects of Paris need not be costly.... IF YOU GO HOW TO GET AROUND The Vélib’ bicycle-rental system has become exceedingly popular. ... Le Bar à Soupes, 33, rue de Charonne; (33-1) 4357-5379; www.lebarasoupes.com, offers an excellent lunch deal: a fresh market soup, two types of cheese, bread and a glass of wine for 9.90 euros.
That marks opening day of this year’s winter “soldes” (sales), five weeks of frenzied bargain-hunting for the perfect Azzaro cocktail dress or the normally unaffordable monogrammed Noël bed linen — at between 30 and 70 percent off.
...Sales occur in Paris, of course, year around, but under French law, retail stores can only run public sales with big "SOLDES" banners only for several weeks in January and July.
...With charm and some good luck, you may be able to persuade the sales person to extend you the discount on the eve of the sales, or at least to set the longed-for item aside.