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Rue Cler, a Très Parisian Neighborhood (4:37)

Paris, France

Paris has a small-town charm that complements Parisians’ knack for the art of fine living. On the market street, Rue Cler, we gain insight into daily life from a local friend as we assemble dinner at various shops with advice from experts.

Complete Video Script

Paris was born — over 2,000 years ago — on this island in the River Seine. And many of its highlights can be seen from popular sightseeing boats. There’s the Notre-Dame… and the Louvre Museum. And, of course, the Eiffel Tower, built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Paris glitters with history. Even the bridges — bestowed on the city by kings and emperors — tell a story.

Beyond its glorious monuments and buildings, Paris is a city simply in love with life. Delightful parks let commoners luxuriate like aristocrats. Here in Luxembourg Gardens there’s a tranquility, and refined orderliness — enjoyed by young and old. The gardens are impeccably tended. And for generations, children have launched dreams on this pond.

To establish a foothold in Paris, I like to choose a neighborhood and make it home. Strolling market streets like this, Paris has a small-town charm. For those learning the fine art of living Parisian-style, market streets like Rue Cler are ideal.

With the help of my local friend Delphine Prigent, each shop provides an insight into Parisian life. Delphine’s planning a dinner party, and she’s taking us along.

Rick: Shopping on a street like this is just a delight, isn’t it?
Delphine: It’s really nice. We are very lucky to, to be able to walk on the street and have all these very different shops, which are very good for shopping.
Rick: Because in America there’s one-stop shopping. We go to one big place.
Delphine: We have one-street shopping here.
Rick: One-street shopping — it’s like a market street.
Delphine: Yes. It’s a market street, it is. I think for the first course it would be nice to put some shrimps and mayonnaise.
Rick: OK…
Delphine: And so you see you have different types of shrimps. You have like different colors, different sizes as well. So I think we’ll go for the moyenne, for the medium ones, which is very flavorful.
Rick: It looks very fresh.
Delphine: So we’ll have some meat tonight, as a main course. And we know the neighborhood butcher. You know, my mom used to come here.
Rick: So, you can trust the quality.
Delphine: You can trust the quality. You know, you know that they give you advice as well. So I’m going to have rôti de boeuf and I’m going to have, uh, to ask the man for, for some tips. Nous prévoyons, un rôti boeuf? Ça c’est combien de temps au four?
Butcher: Au four…25 minutes.
Delphine: D’accord; très bien. Et…combien de kilos pour six personnes?
Butcher: Pour six personnes…1,200 grammes, comme ici.
Delphine: D’accord. Très bien. Merci, monsieur.
Rick: So, what did he say?
Delphine: He said, like, 25 minutes, and for six people, 1,200 grams.
Rick: 1,200 grams. For six? Big people!
Delphine: So, Rick: The dinner without the cheese course is not complete. So we have to go and pick some cheese. Before dessert, after main course, and we’ll have some, an assortment of different cheeses.
Rick: So, you create a variety.
Delphine: Yes. I create a small plate with different cheese. So we’ll have some, this one looks good, some good cheese and some bleu, some Camembert, and some hard cheese.
Rick: Good socially, I think.
Delphine: It is very good because you have more wine.
Rick: More wine, more cheese, more wine, more cheese.
Delphine: So, once we know what we are eating, we are going to choose the wine.
Rick: Beautiful shop.
Delphine: Yes, it’s really nice. Bonjour, bonjour. We are going to talk with the expert and we are going to tell him what I’m going to have for dinner and he’s going to pick the wines for us.

In France with so many wines to choose from, expert advice is welcome. He recommends a white for the shrimp, a full-bodied red from the Rhône Valley for the beef, and another white, this time from the Loire Valley, for the cheese plate.

Rick: It’s nice to have the advice…
Delphine: Yes!
Rick: …for the little details of the menu.

In France, any good meal comes with fresh bread. And that requires a visit to the local boulangerie.

Delphine: So, we’ll have some bread for dinner. No meal without today’s bread.
Rick: Today’s bread? No bread, no party!
Delphine: No fresh, no party! So, we’ll have some baguettes, and we will have some special bread as well, for the cheese.
Rick: Oh, so it’s a variety of bread with the cheese course. Nice.

And the final touch? Flowers for the table.

Delphine: It’s very bright. And they’re going to be beautiful on my table. It’s great.