Wandering the neighborhood at night, but totally staying out of trouble

You can't read the caption, but it says "special machine for couettes."  "La couette" turns out to be a quilt; it can also mean "pony tail."
You can’t read the caption, but it says “special machine for couettes.” I was a little worried that the scary-looking guys inside this laundromat were going to come outside and beat me up for taking their pictures, so you can imagine my surprise when I got home and learned that “une couette” turns out to be a quilt; it can also mean “pony tail.”

During the summer time, it stays light really late in Paris.  The sun didn’t set until around 10 PM in June, and I tend to go to sleep early, so I never really saw my own neighborhood in the dark.  Now that it’s December, the days are quite short, so when I went outside early yesterday evening for a stroll, I saw the entire neighborhood lit up, for the first time.  With the electric signs shining in all of the storefronts, I noticed places that had never caught my attention before–even within a block or two of my apartment!  Zipf’s Law strikes during an evening stroll as often as it does any other time–here are some pictures of signs with words that I had to look up.  Scroll down for the full range of words that I just didn’t know.

You've gotta love a country where the news kiosk by the taxi stop advertises a philosophy magazine, right?  "Subir" has a bunch meanings related to suffering (probably the intended sense in a philosophy magazine), putting up with, dealing with, undergoing, and enduring.
You’ve gotta love a country where the news kiosk by the taxi stop advertises a philosophy magazine, right? “Subir” has a bunch meanings related to suffering (probably the intended sense in a philosophy magazine), putting up with, dealing with, undergoing, and enduring.
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Two words here: la remise, which can mean a number of things, but in this is “discount, reduction”; and effectuer, which is to make, perform, or carry out. I bought a lamp here, which required me to ask the word for “lightbulb”–it turns out to be “ampoule.”
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“Raquer” is “to pay,” or colloquially, “to cough up.”
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“Oser” is “to dare.” If it has a complement, it will be a verb in the infinitive–there doesn’t seem to be a preposition.

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