Thursday was all about the food…the markets, the culinary stores, and some eating and drinking of our own. On our way to the Metro, we stopped at a boulangerie and I grabbed my personal favorite breakfast food – pain au raisin. There was an older guy still making baguettes for the day and behind him were ovens containing dozens of them. Creepy experience in the Metro…a lady squeezing in with me on the turnstyle, effectively using on my ticket. The line we were on had the above ground thing going on vers la Place de l’Italie.
We exited at one of the Guimard Metro stops: Richard Lenoir. I haven’t spoken of him yet, but I think his art nouveau work in wrought iron is just a thing of beauty. The coolest stop is Chatelet, but you can see his work on stop south of Richard Lenoir, at Blanche near the Moulin Rouge and others. He also did home decoration…doors, armoirs, window frames, etc. You can see some of that at the Musée d’Orsay.
The Marché Bastille was bustling. Molly’s future husband(so he says!) was feeding her strawberries & melon, a little boy sampling du pain, another little boy and his mother, a flower seller, a friendly shrimp guy who gave us samples, which necessitated my washing my hands in a fountain a block north of the market. There was also une femme pas gentille, who had enough of tourists taking pictures that morning of her wares and shooed me away. I walked away, but 10 yards later turned to photograph her. Les hommes next door s’amusent, and were yelling, “smile Yveline, look pretty for the camera,” in French of course, laughing. That struck up a nice conversation. It’s the vendeurs as well as the fabulous looking produce, fish, cheese, meat, breads, etc. that make the markets so wonderful here.
The Bastille Opera is house looking like hell – truly a visual blight. Les Halles was too, but that came later in the day. They are modern things that won’t stand the test of time, while I think IM Pei’s pyramid will. At this point, it was drizzling, but we never needed an umbrella.
Next stop was the St. Eustache statue Rich wanted to see. When did this arrive, I wonder? I swear I don’t remember it, but the date etched in its side says 1986. The kids really love climbing it and they made me want to sit dans l’oreille, but with my still hobbled state, I figured trying to do that was pushing my luck. After we went to Au Pied de Cochon for the onion soup, but I also enjoyed the little meringue pigs and rose petal ice cream from Molly’s “La Coupe Vie en Rose.” Oh…and another bottle of rose from Provence.
After lunch it was the kitchen supply stores:
– Mora – macaron cookbooks and all things baking. There was a chef outside peddling Kenwood ovens who made Molly a fruit filled cookie in one of those silicon cookie molds…looked like a round madeleine aux amandes.
– Store across the street whose name I can’t remember, begins with a B – deep fat fryers, crepe makers, giant strainers
– A. Simon – onion soup bowls, menu chalkboards, my china that disappeared during one of the moves (Pillyvuyt), wine label placemats, other resto supplies
– Dehillerin – copper pots, a steel pot I could cook you in (or maybe boil you in oil if you’re not good), cute little candy molds, cast iron pots, and the guys who told Molly don’t get married (“bad deal”) or at least spend some time with them first
Next we headed into the Beauborg madness…only place in Paris so far that rivaled the Champs for crowds. Rich, thinking we’d never make it to a café, grabbed a Starbucks shot to go, but next we hit a café where we could sit and watch the Niki de la St. Phalle fountain. The lips are my favorite part. Post coffee, and four cheese pizza for Molly which had blue cheese on it (kinda strange with tomato sauce), we came across soccer match with the little French dog who did a mean header and took on five boys without fear. Reminded me of that kids TV show with the dog who travels thru history – what’s his name? Then we found the sample sale – jeans for Molly & Rich (and maybe Hilary when she arrives). Molly also bought a cute Chloe blouse in peach and blue.
The weather continued to decline and we were in need of being stationary for awhile, so we decided to head back to our neighborhood where there are lots of movie houses and see if we could catch a French film. First though, we got music in the metro … Cosmopolitan Metropolitan, classical symphony in Chatelet. They are sort of an underground chamber orchestra and were wonderful.
We saw the movie, Aux Personne de Deux Personnes with Daniel Auteil (kind of the French Dustin Hoffman). Woody Allen could have made the movie and Hugh Grant could star in the English language version. Cute concept, but not sure of the execution. Maybe I can find a review at some point.
We had dinner at La Coupole, the huge brasserie with its changing colors dome. There was an exhibit/tribute there on the Jardin des Tarots by Niki de la St. Phalle. Dinner was good… un bon Sancerre, coquilles St. Jacques in a creamy risotto, profiteroles et fraises du bois. Rich had his foie gras fix. At one point, the restaurant lights dimmed and it was time…the whole restaurant chantent Bon Anniversaire a quelques personnes, sparklers on dessert. Our waiter, Hugo, was charming…telling us that the French Laundry in the US is his absolute favorite, even better than anything in France. While I’m enjoying my food here, it may be true. But then…there’s always the picque-nicque…
Time for bed…have to be up early the next day for the TGV to Lyon.