Relaxing in Paris: Friday

Wow, what an amazing time we’ve had on this trip! I can’t believe that tomorrow is our last day here. The week just flew by.

Yesterday, after what has seemed like a long week of traipsing all around the city we decided to take it super easy and sleep in, get an early lunch and visit a store that I’ve been looking forward to going into called Au Petit Bonheur la Chance (some photos and more info on the shop here). We had also planned for an early evening get-together with our friends Marianne and Chris and their friend.

We headed over to the Saint-Paul Village of the Marais district. After eating a delicious lunch of duck confit, haricots-verts, sauteed potatoes, petit salade and cafe au lait, I was feeling good. I have been eating quite well on this trip but it is bittersweet since most of the places we have to choose from do not offer meatless options. James has been eating a lot of bread, cheese and omlettes. Tomorrow we are planning on having dinner at the excellent vegetarian restaurant in the latin quarter again, since the food was so unique and delicious!

Anyhow, on our way to the kitchen store we stumbled upon a small vintage jewelry shop where I found some presents for friends and a gorgeous cocktail ring with a white rock crystal. Then we popped over to the small kitchen store I had heard many good things about. It was incredible!! Packed to the max with french linens, vintage kitchen wares and school supplies, notebooks, stickers, etc, etc. I found some amazing stuff. We had a very funny encounter with the shop keeper and chatted for a little while with her. There are things about Paris that I just adore so much and it stings a bit to think about leaving when I just now feel like I’ve begun to love it.

image of au petit bonheur la chance by “this is naive”

image of au petit bonheur la chance by “this is naive”

James and I walked around and then ended up in a cafe near the Louvre where we were meeting Chris and Marianne. We enjoyed a snack and coffees and then popped into a bookshop nearby while we waited for them. I found three vintage Vogue prints which I plan on framing when we get home.

We met up with the Hacketts and their very nice friend Declan from England. He is a Doctoral candidate studying French in Paris for the year. We all found a bar, ordered some drinks and chatted for a bit. We had such a great time we decided to continue on to another place for dinner.

After walking a few blocks, we chose a place that seemed good. Unfortunately for me it is hard to tell what is going to be good and what is going to be very bad. The spot we chose turned out to be a pseudo tapas restaurant. It was decided amongst our group that we would order the special which was some kind of sampler plate. We got two of them and James ordered a big salad. The platter included some quite funny little items and was a bit of a culinary stretch for me. Most of it was deep fried: deep fried baby-bells with chives, deep fried tuna “poppers” (forgive me for using the term “popper” but…really…that’s what they were!), deep fried calamari, and a big pile of deep fried whitebait with eyes, tails and all. I ate a few of them. They weren’t so bad. But I left hungry. James thought they were gray fried meat of some sort and didn’t know what they were until I showed him up close.

Despite the strange delights we were having a grand old time telling stories and talking. There were not many other people in the restaurant and by Parisian standards it was not late (probably about 8pm). There were about 4 people sitting at the bar and a couple ordering dinner in the back of the restaurant. Other than that, the rather large dining room was empty. Suddenly, without warning, the lights dimmed, the music was turned up to 11, and the room was turned into a dance club with some kind of crazy 70’s disco funk. A man in all black stood on a small ladder and flipped a switch on the ceiling. The lights went lower (but not very) and a contraption dangling by a cord began to sway and pulsate with rainbow lights creating a disco-ball effect around us. We all burst out laughing. The rest of the meal was spent shouting / talking.

After dinner, Marianne left to babysit her landlord’s children and Chris, Declan, James and I went to another place for a beer. We were on a street called the Rue de la Banque since there is a huge old bank building there. The restaurant was very chic and had a beautiful black and white photograph of a bank safe on one wall (see pics below).

Afterwords we headed back to the Hackett’s to hang out with Marianne a bit more. They have a really great set up here, renting an apartment just north of the Louvre. Their landlords live across the hall and Marianne is babysitting on a regular basis for the children. I hung out with her for a while across the hall and we talked about their time here in Paris and caught up. Their landlords have an amazing two-story place with a large balcony overlooking a gorgeous view of the city. It is really magical. The guys were across the hall talking about modern minimalist sacred music and the catacombs. When I went back over to the other apartment we got to chatting about some of the posters on the wall that the landlords had hung (the Hackett’s are renting a furnished place). Many of them were from some of our favorite French New Wave films. It turns out that their landlord is actually a huge film buff and has written a lot on French New Wave cinema including a biography of François Truffaut! Of course we were impressed with that because we are both very big fans of Truffaut.

We had a lovely time chatting with Chris and also meeting Sue 2.0. The owners of the apartment have a very pretty tuxedo cat who looked a whole lot like Sue. We were told the way the French call their cat is to say “whoosh whoosh whoosh” so we called him and both felt bowled over by how much we miss our Sue. Sue 2.0 did not compare. Also, he had a small blotch on his face and James cracked me up by saying something in a high pitched sweet voice like “Awwww you are like a flawed version of my Sue”…Ha!

After a very late walk home through the busy neighborhood of Les Halles, we got home and ended yet another wonderful day in Paris.

P.S. Somewhere along the way, James stepped in the largest pile of p*** I’ve ever seen in my life. What is UP with all the piles of p*** everywhere here? Barbaric!

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