I remember visiting one of these “covered arcade” things in Milan, Italy, when I was in ninth grade. My father, our makeshift tour guide and an expert at making things up, smiled, gesturing at the sunlight streaming through the glass-paneled ceiling. “Don’t you wish our shopping malls were like this?”
My answer to this, only reinforced by our experience in Paris, is yes! Though I was reasonably convinced that my feet were going to fall off at the ankles after several hours in the Louvre, I was immediately enchanted upon entering the covered arcade in Paris. Splotches of golden light dripped from the shop windows like raining stars (or possibly Christmas lights). White daylight from the overcast sky filled the tunnel of stores, perfectly accentuating the intricate, curvy designs on the walls.
All in all, it did an exceptionally good job of making me notice things other than the fact that the items in the shop windows were more expensive than most of my belongings!
The shops were adorable, though. I don’t remember them incredibly clearly, because we weren’t there for particularly long, but I know the tunnel was lined with everything from cafés to toy stores. The air was filled with polite conversation and the faint odor of cigarette smoke.
It seemed like a typical Parisian sort of place. It was fun to wander around inside, staring at all of the displays. Time sort of slowed down; we leisurely made our way through the maze of businesses. It was a nice breather!