I went to Rome today. No, not that Rome. The Rome that can be found on line 2 of the Paris métro. If my purpose had been otherwise, I could also have stopped off at Europe or Stalingrad. But Rome it was, since the mission was getting new piano books for my kids. You see, rue de Rome is lined with shops selling sheet music and all manner of instruments, many of them handcrafted. Other pedestrians clearly shared a similar purpose as I saw several folks toting guitar, violin, and cello cases.
Concentration of similar enterprises in a neighborhood is one of the endearing and yet sometimes frustrating parts of Parisian life. You want seeds for your window boxes? They're pretty much impossible to find until you go down to Pont Neuf and there concentrated on the Right Bank is one gardening shop after another. Looking for fabric? Go to Montmartre. Wholesale handbags, scarves, and accessories? Check out the streets just north of the Hôtel de Ville. Once you know where to look, it's a cinch.
The piano books cost a pretty penny so I won't be going back to Rome anytime soon. For my next destination, perhaps I'll try something a little less worldly or somewhat more prosaic like Gaîté (gaity) or Plaisance (boating), both on line 13.