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Certain experiences shape and enhance our memories during childhood. I was very lucky to have moved around and traveled. But…If I had grown up in Chicago, I think my family would have gone to Marshall Fields every year to see the Christmas tree, or not have gone to Wrigley Field for the first time *cough* this year. If it was NYC, I would have wanted to go ice skating or to Coney Island and be much more skilled at eye liner. If I imagine my make believe childhood in Paris correctly, our parents would have taken us (Laura and I) for chocolat chaud at Angelina, we would have been enrolled in “Les Petits Cordons Bleus” classes on les weekends, picked out toys at Si te Veux, and gone to this store…

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Going into Deyrolle, felt like entering another world. I sort of forgot who I was too, or at least how old I was. It brought out all those feelings of curiosity without neuroses…sort of. 😉

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Well, ok…not quite. I mean, it’s not like I am running to the zoo (um, no) to test my safe distances between certain animals. However, there aren’t many times you can safely stand underneath a giraffe without perhaps getting pushed, or being face to face with a tiger. Although, it is sad, and touching that they aren’t actually living. But, they will live here forever.

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You almost didn’t want to turn your back on them, just in case they were actually still alive, waiting for nightfall. Very Night at the Museum.

The first floor has very posh gardening supplies from the Prince Jardinier line, as well as champagne bucket looking pots, vintage school room maps and playing cards, candles and perfume.

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(And very helpful sales clerks 😉 )

The second floor was devoted to taxidermy and curiosities. All of the animals reside upstairs, and I am sorry there are not more pictures of them but they weren’t allowed. ( I bought postcards to take photos from those. Really didn’t want to be kicked out!)

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Have you ever turned a corner and almost run into a small bear? How about when you gasp aloud and you hear a little French petite say to her mother, “Maman, hehe, elle a peur!” (She’s scared!) *ahem* Run along there kiddo.

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There were cabinets upon glass cabinets of curiosities, starfish, full skeletons of lobsters and other crustacea painstakingly assembled and meticulously placed in glass display boxes.

I was not interested in the back room on the second floor which were butterfly (again, *shudder*, why??) collections and other insects. However, the drawers you see in these photos hold glass eyes needed for taxidermy. Yikes! 🙂

After a devastating fire swept through the store in February of 2008, everyone came together to assist the owner, Prince Louis Albert de Broglie (the private collectors, celebrities, museums, fashion houses) to raise money for restoration. People took it quite personally that their beloved memory was gone.

Deyrolle has been returned to its amazing imagination igniting state. If you are in Paris, try to get here…but maybe not after dark. 😉

Deyrolle
46, Rue du Bac
Metro: Rue du Bac (#12)

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