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Lilia’s Paris Trip #2 - Day 4 & 5

 
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Lilia’s Paris Trip #2 - Day 4 & 5 Reply with quote

Here's chapitre deux..........

Day 4, November 2 – Oh, no! Another grệve (strike) was announced for November 13 to November 30. We are going home on November 14. So far, Air France is not included. We were praying that it remains so. After visiting the Air France Office at rue de Rennes, we veered toward the West. This is a great walk going through the narrow streets of the 7th arrondisement with their government buildings. I love rue de Grenelle. There are little boutiques and enough people watching for me. I also love peeking into side streets and see the little commercants that I love about Paris. There was the Rodin Museum gardens. There was the Invalides with the perfect dome of the Eglise de Saint Louis. On the Seine side, there is the most beautiful bridge in Paris, the Pont Alexandre III. Can you find a more beautiful setting than that?

Crossing the Esplanade, we take rue Saint Dominique and enjoy watching the everyday life of residents and tourists alike. We turned left on rue Cler with its famous market made memorable by Rick Steves. It has changed a lot since we lived in this quartier (can you tell that this is becoming a nostalgic walk? You bet!) Even my butcher has retired. It is now a bank, can you imagine that? I miss the time when he will stop everything when I came to visit after going back to the States. He will chat and being the gregarious person that he is, we would be laughing and changing stories – take pictures of each other. I love the way they shake hands, they offer you their elbows. There used to be more produce markets – smaller ones. I’m glad to see that Café du Marche is still there serving reasonable meals. They occasionally offer a roast pig with the crunchy skin. Usually in the colder months. And the Italian deli, the smells and bustle of Italy.

Hunger has not knocked at the door. Weren’t interested in L’Ami Jean on rue Malar. Neither the Fontaine de Mars, Les Cocottes de Christian Constant nor the Le Café Constant didn’t invite enough appetite. Could it be that it is too early or is it this greve thing……..

Sat on a bench at Champs de Mars, looked at the ET and watched the thousands lined up to go up to the tower. Guess what, we had several of those ladies who want to know if we read English. We even got a couple of gold rings found by our feet. We just broke out laughing! That was such a kick!

We can’t leave the quartier without visiting our old apartment, 4 rue Sedillot. No one was home! Even the volé was covering the windows – it is the only apartment in the building that looked sad! The year before I took a picture of my two girls in front – at least someone was home at the time.

We went back the way we came but made a turn at rue du Bac and decided a light lunch is called for today. Of course, I couldn’t think of a better place than La Grand Epicerie at Le Bon Marche. The sights and smells in this place would make you salivate. I love this place – I shop for my supplies of all kinds of sea salt. My daughter loves the diamante rose from the Himalayas. Light lunch was Iberico ham from Espana and jambon di Parma et parmesan. Ate at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Great weather, perfect Fall day!

All that walking calls for a nap. On the way back, I bought three beautiful scarves for 58 euros. Will they go for gifts or will they stay in the collection? Time will tell.

After a 4 hour nap, we must have been really tired, got up and thought about a lighter dinner. Would a Vietnamese dinner be just perfect? Off to Au Coin des Gourmet at 5, rue Dante. Here’s the meal :
- Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Raviolis
- Rouleaux Jardinier (Spring rolls made with 12 veggies)
- Dorade Royale for 2
- Riz Nature
- Totie de Mangue aux Orange et glace de vanille
- Perle de Jasmin The
- The total bill was 70.50 euros

The night was beautiful – the weather perfect. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a stroll along the Seine? Le feé de Paris dit “Oui”.
Notre Dame was still lit. The dinner cruises on the Seine were full. The people were happy. There is a so-called jazz band playing on the banks of the Seine, the music bouncing back from the brick walls. The view in front of Notre Dame was fantastic. What a perfect ending!
It was still a few minutes before midnight. It led to a very restful sleep. Goodbye, jetlag!

Day 5, November 3 – No rush! It is, after all, samedi matin. It is time for a leisurely petit dejeuner francais and the salle was full. The weather was overcast and the forecast was for cool and showery day. Can’t deter us from our market days.

But there are other markets to explore so on we trudged the streets of Paris. Had to oogle the vitrine of La Tour d’Argent Boutique which is fortunately closed and that made the Tom happy, very happy. Traversed the Pont de Sully and continued on bd. Henry IV to the Place de la Bastille. Spent time at the Richard Lenoir Creative Arts Fair (every Saturday) and looked at the different stalls of paintings, small sculptures, fabric design until it started raining. This calls for a coffee break to do some people watching.

On to the Place d’Aligre. This is the biggest and liveliest permanent market in town where one should go for middle eastern specialties and spices. We saw street after street of vendors advertising their fruits and vegetables. The market was bustling with great produce. A real feast for the eyes! I looked around for the spices as I was interested in getting some authentic Raz-al-Hanout for my tagine dishes. I’ve been getting buy with my own concoction of the spice which turned out quite good. There is also a stall of Bourjois make-up that I wanted to visit; and let’s not forget the beautiful glazed madeleines at Blée Sucre. I found out later that the permanent stalls are inside the covered market. Just walk until you reach the tin covered building and continue on inside. WHAT A LOSS FOR ME! Please don’t make the same mistake I did if you are interested in going through the whole experience. As for me, I will have to wait for my next trip. Boo, hoo, hoo!

It is nearing feeding time – the beasts will be growling soon. Slowly walked back so we can be at the Marais. Less looking at windows and concentrate on getting as fast as we can to Place des Vosges. Felt like grilled meats are called for so off we went to Ma Bourgogne at Place des Vosges.
- Bavette aux echallotte avec frites (for Tom)
- Grilled lamb chops avec frites (for me)
- Un pichet (45 cl) de Fleurie
- All at 55 euros (CASH only, no checks or credit cards accepted)
Eating at the terrace/arcade overlooking the place was quite pleasant. Luckilly, the rain has stopped and we kept dry. There were even little bits of sunshine peeking through. Back to the hotel to rest the weary legs and aching feet. Have you noticed that we have not taken any means of transport since the taxi ride from the airport.

Left the sleeping husband to catch Pierre Hermé before closing. Had to stand in a long line for over half an hour. Is it worth it? You bet! Got a Desirée (layers of pate a sablé, lemon cream, compote of strawberries and banana, a soft cake, decorated with strawberries and wild strawberries in season), a Plénitude (macaron chocolat, little bits of dark chocolate with a sprinkling of fleur de sel, mousse and ganache of bittersweet chocolate and topped with a crispy coating of caramel), 6 petit macarons and a couple of Pierre Hermé’s confitures (Envie with pears, violet and cassis and Ispahan made of framboise, rose and litchee) made by the famous jam fairy, Christine Ferber (from Alsace). When I got back to the hotel and unpacking my beautiful Pierre Hermé shopping bag, there is an extra box with my favorite Ispahan in it. The young man who served me remembered me saying that Ispahan is my favorite dessert. Am I a lucky woman? You bet and happy to boot.

Now that dessert has been secured, it is time to think of you know what. This is, after all, a foodie report (LOL). I feel like fish tonight. Off to Bistro du Dome, I rue Delambre in the 14th arrondisement (just behind bd. Montparnasse near bd. Raspail):
- 2 coupe de Champagne
- Salade de haricot vert
- Salade de Saint Jacques grille (for Tom)
- Rouget grille au basilic et tomate (Rouget is a firm white fleshed fish with red skin which is a member of the cod family, I believe)
- Saint Pierre grille au beurre salee de Breton servi avec pomme de terre et potiron cuire au four (Saint Pierre is an eastern fish with real great flavor and is plentiful in the Nova Scotia coast. The vegetables were roasted in the oven and sprinkled with fresh thyme)
- 2 expresso et quelque petit four frais (remember that dessert is waiting in our room)
- Un bouteille de Mersault (my favorite white burgundy)
- All for 151 euros
A brisk walk back to the hotel. Too bad, can’t go through the Jardin du Luxembourg at night but a stroll on boul Mich is quite pleasant.

TO BE CONTINUED………………
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! Such a delight!!!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lilia, such a wonderful description of your trip! Wish I'd had it before we left!

We also had gold rings found at our feet on two or three occasions! All on rue de Rivoli! Sam was all concerned and started to talk to the woman the first time (A Gypsy?) until Ben dragged him away and scolded him for being a "mark". The second time it happened, Sam knew better!

I love your descriptions of the patisseries! For myself, I am not a big patisserie fan - I prefer simpler things, in most cases. So we just window shopped at most of the patisseries - leche vitrines (lick the windows) is certainly a good description in this case! Laughing Laughing Laughing

Yes, I'd love to get together with you now that we are having such nice weather!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will somebody explain about the gold rings at your feet??
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it's some sort of con. We saw women, walking near us, suddenly bend over and come back up, holding a gold band in their hands - looking astonished. I'm guessing they would try to sell it to you or suggest that you give them some money and then keep the reward, something like that. We didn't stop any of the three times it was tried on us (2X by the same woman), so I don't really know what the con is. (I also don't have an especially felonious turn of mind!) The second time it happened, I could see it was some sort of sleight of hand they used. I know there wasn't a ring there when she bent over! I am guessing it's Romas (gypsies).
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GP - The ring scam works like this. A person would bend and find a ring right next to you. He/she will try to palm if off to you and try to extract some form of payment. If you say no, sometimes he will insist on leaving the ring with you and then try to come back to ask for some kind of money or whatever. I never let it get to that point and have only encountered it during our last trip. I really just concentrate on my nostalgic walks, eating and oggling all the beautiful pastries and visiting with friends.

At the Champs de Mars near the ET, there are a group of gypsies (mostly women and young folks) who would ask you if you speak read English, waving apiece of paper at your face. I always speak to them in Tagalog so they generally leave me alone. I heard they can be a little more aggresive than that - they will distract you and another person will then pat your pockets or your bag. I also heard that happens a lot near the Sacre Coeur.

All in all, it is just a minor inconvenience - if you ignore them, no trouble results from it. It is another thing one can laugh about after the trip......
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna,

I caught a really bad flu during the holidays and was in bed for over a week and to think that I got my flu shot before going to Paris. I guess this strain is too strong for the shot. Otherwise, I would have had translated my scribblings into a proper form before you left. Then, I had another one of those quarterly Tribal meetings. That one was at the Lake Country - 3 days of rain and light snow but we got a lot of good work done.

Read your report and saw the pictures Ben took. They are wonderful photographs. You and Sam certainly had a great time. The weather seemed quite nice as well. Lucky you, I've heard the weather turned a colder and rainy after you came back!

PM me when you can get away. I don't drive and Tom had given up driving so we are really living "green". We take the train when we go to Mountain View to see the granddaughter.

-Lilia
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finding gold rings at your feet sounded like some lovely Parisian custom. I was curious. Confused

Donna and Lilia, thanks for the explanation--it seems odd that anyone would actually fall for such an obvious ploy...it must work though, or they wouldn't do it.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerpale,

It's the double-bluff: so obvious that nobody would fall for it... so maybe it's actually genuine... and then you do fall for it.

Tho' as any fule kno, it's London whose streets are paved with gold... at least that's what that nice Richard Whittington says... and his cat!

I suppose you could pick up the ring and take it to the nearest police station... then tell the con-er that they could pick it up from the police! Heh, heh... the biter bit!

Lilia,

I get hungry and whimper when I read your descriptions of stuff from Pierre Hermé! Now I know how a cat feels when somebody's having fish!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... I thought it was the streets of America that were paved with gold--at least many immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island had heard this. The Israelites were led to a land flowing with milk and honey. What disappointment for children and the literal-minded!
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