Carre d'Artistes: Lovely art and ultimately accessible
This shop is a sort of art gallery with a difference.
Instead of being a huge hollow space with strategically places canvasses, this is more like a modern poster shop.
Under an artwork by a particular artist, will be a stand, containing works of different sizes. 5x5, 10x10 and 20x20cm. All the work on that stand will be by that one artist.
What to buy: There are perhaps 20 stands and artists in the shop in an interesting range of styles.
All are priced the same for each size. The back of each piece has the price, and the price including frame.
The piece that I bought was by an artist named Francoise Amadieu. This sweet and pretty piece is painted and carved from cardboard, and although that just sounds odd, the final piece truly is very lovely.
I think that the way that this shop is set up is brilliant. It gives artists good exposure and makes art extremely accessible to the public.
What to pay: The 20 x 20 artwork I bought cost 122 euro, 144 with a frame.
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Shopping in Lyon
rue Victor Hugo and rue de la Republique are the 2main shopping streets in Lyon, there you can find the small typical french shops but also some big department stores like Fnac.
What to buy: Shops are open till 19h30 !!!!
Venissieux: b1bob's Lyon shopping tip nº2
In Venissieux, there is a small area with French and multi-national chain stores, rather like the one at the Southpark shopping complex in Colonial Heights, Virginia. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Wal-Mart there next time I come. We took lunch inside the Carrefour super store at a Brioche Dorée coffee shop (there's one at every stone's throw because I saw one at the Part Dieu shopping centre downtown). Luc had a sandwich. I took quiche Lorraine.
After lunch, it was off to Toys 'R Us. Things got interesting before we even darkened the doorstep of that international toy store. Finding a parking slot was, for a time, a task akin to finding grits in New Jersey. Several times, when we would approach a parking slot, some woman would cut out in front of us and get there first. Luc had to go shopping for baby Florian and his countless nieces and nephews. Therefore, I knew it was going to be a long, long afternoon. I shop in just as organised a fashion as I travel. I can get most of my shopping done within a half-time interval of an (American) football game.
The next stop was for groceries at Auchan, another one of those super centre stores where you can buy everything in one stop. I am glad that among the items on the list was bread as those hard and stale zwiebacks (called biscottes) were getting old real fast. I remembered to buy some of those herbs from Provence for my mama who loves to cook.
What to buy: Anything and everything. You have two hypermarkets, Auchan and Carrefour; a Toys 'R US; and even an Office Depot. If you come from the States blindfolded and they take off the blindfold here, you would doubt you were in France or any place outside the U.S.A.
Carrefour: b1bob's Lyon shopping tip nº1
Carrefour is rather like a French Wal-Mart. Like Wal-Mart, you can find Carrefour in both Argentina and Brazil. We don't have Carrefour in the USA yet, though.
What to buy: The first time, Luc and I were searching for a Christmas tree star, which by 7 December, were as rare as Democrats in Hanover County. We finally found a sorry-looking specimen, but you can't be choosy when you pick your Christmas tree star this late in the game.
The second time, Luc and Isabelle were buying things for Christmas and fixins for Florian's first birthday party the following Saturday (16 December). I thought it would be an hour or so at the Carrefour (meanwhile, I would exchange my francs into dollars and get James Ayres some herbs from Provence- the only reason I went along with them) and that would be the lot...like Gilligan's Island was supposed to be a 3-hour tour.
Although I had changed all my paper money back into good old American currency, I had enough coinage to buy those herbs for James. As I was looking for the herbs, I ran into a stewardess named Leslie who, it turned out, was to be part of my crew on the following day's trip over the big pond. At first, I thought she was French, so I asked her how to find the herbs from Provence in French. She must have thought I was French too. It was the first American voice I've heard since landing 8 days before. They fly from New York to Lyon every Tuesday evening, land on Wednesday morning, have the rest of that day free, and fly back on Thursday mornings. Leslie had to go meet up with the rest of the crew which included Calvin and Ruth from the flight over.
Luc and Isabelle bought enough groceries and whatnots to feed all of Rhône Alpes and parts of Isère. Since the grocery section of Carrefour was on the 4th floor and we parked in the bowels of the underground parking deck, I wondered about the logistics of getting that buggy full of groceries down to the Peugeot. It turns out, there is a freight lift which is big enough to hold two full buggies of groceries and right many people to boot.
What to pay: Like Wal-Mart, Carrefour is reasonably priced.
Part-Dieu Shopping Centre: b1bob's Lyon shopping tip nº4
Part-Dieu is a big shopping centre in the middle of downtown Lyon. Instead of spreading it out like Virginia Center Commons and Regency Square back home, they have the same amount of stores, they just build them up into a compact 4-storey building. I went here twice. The first time, I had to change my traveler's cheques into French francs. The Thomas Cook change kiosk was outside the shopping centre and across the street. Luc was afraid I would fall into a hole on the way. Now, why would I be up to doing something so daft? I was more worried about my travelers cheques or my paper money blowing away in the strong wind. I managed to hang onto it as I got a good rate of exchange (7 francs to the dollar). The second time was nearly a week later when Luc, Isabelle and I were looking to buy a whole buggyful of fixins for baby Florian's first birthday.
What to buy: Anything and everything is available...
What to pay: ...in all price ranges.
Galeries Lafayette: b1bob's Lyon shopping tip nº5
Galeries Lafayette is a French department store chain. Each storefront looks decisively different. That's why I have a tip for this in Paris, Nice, and here in Lyon.
What to buy: All I planned to buy on this particular outing was some scented soap for Grandma Atkins. I found just that at the Galleries Lafayette department store, scented in vanilla, chocolate, and orange vanilla.
What to pay: Everything that Luc and I bought seemed to be reasonably priced.
Over-the-top Candy Stores: Visions of sugarplums
We noticed all over France, and particularly in Lyon, that candy shops go crazy with amazing and tempting displays. This one demanded we stop and take a picture! My son has an unquenchable sweet tooth...if he'd seen a place like this around age 8, he'd have gone wild.
What to buy: Actually, I did stop at a lovely toy store in Vieux Lyon and bought some of those dear little elastic-stringed wooden toys -- with square bodies and arms and legs you can move into multiple positions because of the elastic string which runs through the body. They have made great touches to tuck into baby shower gifts. This was just down the street from the Guignol Puppet Museum.
Galeries Lafayette is a huge department Store for women, men and children clothing, toys, make-up, parfum, .... you name it they got it. They also have all the brands.
Tati: i love this shop !!
this is such a great place, they also sell some of the brands in cosmetics like Nivea, the childrens clothing is great.
Mandragore: Medieval Shop
This is a small shop in Old Lyon in one of the Traboules full of old jewelry, old furniture, leather,.... all celtic and gothic inspired.
Open from thuesday till sunday from 14 till 19h
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