Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Goldenberg, the famous Jewish caterer on Rue des Rosiers, was dead as a restaurant long before a fashion store took over in 2010. The former owners weren’t able – or willing – to streamline their kitchens according to new rules imposed – and so Goldenberg, target of an infamous anti-semitic attack in 1982, had already closed in 2006. But the magic shines on.
Photo: © MAP
The new shopkeepers have been wise enough to keep the outer shell, out of respect or out of capitalist instinct, who knows. But when you pass by nowadays, the walls and scriptures still remind you of the past. They remind you that this neighbourhood was once a center of Jewish life, the heart of the Parisian diaspora. It is no longer.
Like Little Italy in New York, Rue des Rosiers in Paris has survived only as an idea. Yes, there’s still a Jewish library. And yes, you can still find hebrew letters here. You’ll cross paths with the orthodox Jews in black-and-white (who might just be tourists, like you) and you can still have lots of falafel. But don’t misread the signs in this narrow street, already mentioned in the 13th century. It’s more about business than about everyday life. Which is fine. It’s the way life goes.