31 hours in Paris

-- August 23rd, 2015 --
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What a spoilt-rotten title for a post that is, to be sure!

But it’s true.

We’ve been plan­ning this trip for months — a chance to meet with our Famous Archi­tect in Paris, and increas­ingly for me to express some of the wishes I have for our even­tual dream house.  It was time, after John has put in end­less months and now years work­ing on this project, for me to think seri­ously about what mat­ters to me, and to artic­u­late it for the cre­ative people.

I’m get­ting ahead of myself, though, because before that meet­ing hap­pened, I had 24 hours in Paris to do with what­ever I liked!

We popped up out of the Gare du Nord into one of those per­fect, warm, blue-sky days in Paris, the kind of day that reminds you to look around, crane your neck at the inim­itable angle of the tourist, to appre­ci­ate the extra­or­di­nary beauty all around you.

paris sky

Firstly, lunch.  We had looked for­ward ever since we booked our tick­ets to the ulti­mate Paris pic­nic.  Actu­ally it couldn’t be more mun­dane: wan­der down the boule­vards until you find a super­marche, no mat­ter how ordi­nary.  G20 will do, with their excel­lent catch-phrase, “Depenser moins, sans aller loin .”  We came away in an instant with a bloc of pure foie gras, goose liver, a ter­rine of pate with for­est mush­rooms, a round of goat cheese in ash, and a baguette.  Saun­ter­ing along with our booty, I realised if I didn’t acquire some but­ter I would regret it all my life, so as soon as we found another shop I dashed in and came out with a waste­fully large slab of Pres­i­dent but­ter, so delight­fully salty and perfect.

We repaired to the cob­ble­stoned yard out­side the Guggen­heim and care­fully spread out paper maps of Paris to sit on.  And we had our picnic.

foie gras

Foie gras.  Noth­ing should be so deli­cious.  But truth be told, as always in Paris, it was impos­si­ble to sep­a­rate the intensely rich goose liver’s fla­vor from the sim­ple fla­vor of the city — full of peo­ple enjoy­ing them­selves, a vio­lin­ist play­ing the Schindler’s List music behind us, French tod­dlers rac­ing by chas­ing pigeons.  We ate until we couldn’t eat any more, and then went on our way.  “We haven’t planned any­thing,” John observed.  “Nope,” I agreed.  We sim­ply walked, head­ing to the river and the Ile St. Louis, walk­ing along the water until the path­way came to its pointy end, fol­low­ing a “chien typ­ique­ment fran­cais” on its mys­te­ri­ous errands…

chien parisien

then head­ing up to a bridge to cross in the warm sunshine.

me seine

And there was the Musee…