It’s been raining. A lot. Spring showers have brought flowers and occasionally blue skies promise better days. Instead of picnicking in a park, I went to Beaugrenelle, the new shopping center along the Seine, a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Having the option of a warm dry indoor space in case of rain turned out to be a great idea because even though it was cloudy but dry when I left the metro, by the time I walked the three blocks to Beaugrenelle, wind and rain both came out to play.

This is the newest shopping center in the 15th arrondissement, divided into three areas, two of which are connected by a covered bridge. The “Magnetic” building was completed last year; it’s the main area with shops and quality quick food options like Eric Kayser and Exki (which is opening a branch in NYC).

The covered bridge leads to a nearly finished second area called “Panaoramic”, which houses a multiplex Pathé movie theatre, the nightclub/restaurant Bermuda Onion, and more fast food options, like Chipotle.

Since the center is brand new, everything is high tech with touch screen maps and free wifi, not to mention a very modern look.

I first went to Exki in Brussels for dessert and coffee with my friends, but lost the pictures I took there. Luckily I do remember that everything was wonderful, so I was glad to find one here stocked with the same items. Besides all organic coffees and teas, they offer salads, quiches, soups, and sandwiches to either take away or eat there for under 10€ ($14 US) you can get a menu of soup or salad, sandwich and dessert or drink. Coffee and dessert for an afternoon snack will run under 5 ($7 US). If you want something healthy, are vegetarian, or simply want a quick inexpensive meal, this is a great place to go. It reminds me of Tender Greens in Los Angeles.

There are microwaves you can use to heat up your meals

and salads come with a choice of dressings, ranging from balsamic, to raspberry vinaigrette.

You can get your fruit in fresh juices like this delicious strawberry and apple,

or if you want to indulge your sweet tooth, there are desserts which range from classic muffins, to cheesecake and tarts.

I may move in, at least until it stops raining 🙂