There is a story going around that the Hungarians are responsible for the croissant – that it was created in 1686 in Budapest by a courageous and watchful baker, at a time when the city was being attacked by the Turks. According to Ochef:
Working late one night, he heard odd rumbling noises and alerted the city's military leaders. They found that the Turks were trying to get into the city by tunnelling under the city's walls. The tunnel was destroyed and the baker was a hero, but a humble hero — all he wanted in reward was the sole right to bake a special pastry commemorating the fight. The pastry was shaped like a crescent, the symbol of Islam, and presumably meant that the Hungarians had eaten the Turks for lunch. The problem with this story is that it's all made up.
|Happy shopper pleased with herself.|
arrondissments? They are the administrative divisions of Paris, roughly translatable as ‘municipal districts’. In Paris each seems to have its own neighbourhood character, mostly very different. The 16th is elegant, relatively moneyed, ex-pats, elderly ladies in their high-ceiling apartments. The 1st, on the other hand, is the vibrant heart of old Paris, centred around Les Halles, which used to be the main city market before they moved that out and replaced it with a hideous underground shopping centre. But the little streets all around are full of street life and character.
Paris has 20 arrondissments, arranged in a spiral pattern fanning out from the 1st on
the right bank of the Seine. There are some interesting population and density figures here.
This site describes each one, with a few pictures. Of the 1st and 16th, it says:
Arrondissement 1 - Louvre
The least populated of the 20 arrondissements in Paris is at the geographical centre of Paris, hence the area is crammed with historic sights. The Louvre Museum, Royal Palace, Tuileries Gardens, Forum les Halles, Bourse du Commerce and the upscale Vendome Square are all located here. The 1st arrondissement also comprises the western tip of the, Ile de la Cite, including the magnificent Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie.
Arrondissement 16 - Passy
Even if the 7th arrondissement may be even more exclusive, the 16th arrondissement has the reputation of being the richest, and only the better-off are able to pay the high rents here. The arrondissement is bordered by the enormous Boulogne park on the west. Its only tourist attraction of sorts is the Palais de Chaillot, from where you can have a great view of the Eiffel Tower. The Palais de Chaillot is also home to several museums.
|And what's that at the end of the street?|
And then of course, when the mild evening falls, there's always the opera....lots to choose from in Paris. But that's a story for another day. Bon nuit.
Images and info from: