Shopping in Francs in the Marais. Flashback in 2002.
February 18, 2002: Last day of the Franc. Let's take the opportunity to pay our purchases in Francs. In New French Francs, the one from 1960. The New Franc which was equivalent to 100 old Francs, now cents of New Francs. Knowing the Francs remains essential if only if you cross the Swiss border where the currency is still the Franc (Swiss), which is worth about 0.90 euros in 2022. You still follow?
Well then a little shopping at Dom rue St Croix, the neo-baroque trashy decoration store made in Germany. A huge silk patchwork bedspread for 499 francs: peanuts... We cross the street to go to Les Mots à la Bouche, the international gay bookstore in the Marais, where you can find, among others, in the Tachen collection, a whole series of arty books for only 49 francs each, including the reissue of Tom of Finland's masterpieces. Of course, we can't miss the very media-friendly 99 Francs by Frédéric Beigbeder, which tells the story of his glory years at Young Et Rubicam and the spending madness of the 90s advertising world. A quick Croque-Monsieur at the Coffee-shop, with a coffee and a brownie for 24 Francs, and let's go to the basement of the BHV, which is the happiest brothel in existence for do-it-yourselfers, but also a place off for unexpected meetings!
The salesmen of the BHV with their little green jackets... it was one of the recurring subjects of jokes " But they are all like that? " asks Murielle, a Strasbourgeoise who discovers Paris. "The gardening department is particularly chic with low prices on pretty old-fashioned earthen pots from Italy starting at 120 francs. Home delivery is offered to customers who spend more than 2000 Francs, the average price of a washing machine or a quality mattress.
For the aperitif, the terrace of the Open Café or the canapés of the Swing at the corner of the rue des Rosiers between 8 and 12 Francs depending on the brand for a 33 Cl. Otherwise, for those who accompany their grandmother to a cultural exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, there is the very fashionable "Lait Chaud Vanillé" of the Café Beaubourg served in a Porzamparc design pot at 22 Francs. It's expensive, but it's so chic. We come there to show off, to flirt with the waiters and to leaf through the hype magazines like Égoïste sold at auction for 100 Francs. Limited edition, so we fight to get them!
It's getting late. But where to go for dinner? Well, at Christophe Moulin's, of course, at the Gai Moulin on rue St Merri, a friendly family-run cantine with a small menu for only 119 Francs, rue St Merri. Or more chic, at Fond de Cour, which later became Jaja. Other trendy restaurants: Les Chineurs, le Piano dans la Cuisine, the bistro Amisphère in rue Charlot...
A little late drink, a dance bar? The choice is yours, Gin Tonic for 40 Francs at Yono for example and its labyrinth of cellars in the movida style. Did we forget the fashion? Of course, the store for yuppies and new alternatives is Boy's Bazar. Electric blue biker jacket in gendarmerie style on sale at 1600 Francs instead of 3200 Francs. It's overpriced, but we love it, and nobody will have the same one, that's for sure! Finally, tell you that if you had the chance to buy an apartment in Francs in the Marais, you have a chance of cuckold. At its highest level in Francs the square meter in a beautiful historic building was selling for an average of 25,000 Francs per square meter in 2000. That's about 5,000 euros, 3 times cheaper than the price in 2022!
All this makes you nostalgic and how we understand you. It's not only the Franc that has disappeared, it's also a bit of the spirit of the Marais of the 90s. The Marais of the pre-globalization period when all the social conquests bore fruit and allowed for the freedom of the most inventive lifestyles.
Did you know the Marais of the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s? Tell us your memories, publish your photos from that time to contribute to the memory of our neighborhood. Write to us: https://www.parismarais.com/fr/contacts