About to depart the Lindbergh en route to Ch. de Gaulle. [Aside: more first names should be abbreviatable. Like Charles to Ch. And William to Wm.] Wistful? You bet.
September 29, 2007
September 28, 2007
Very good meal at Le P’tit Troquet in the 7e. Delicious mushroom risoto entree, lovely mixed vegetable plat, and tasty lemon tart. Shame about the glut of other Americans there. Throughout the trip, I’ve noticed that everyone is willing to, and able to, speak English. Which makes me that much less inclined to learn French.
Dined at an Ethiopian restaurant in the Latin Quarter with pretty good food. Although the credit card reader was busted, so we ended up blowing all our cash. Also out of Ethiopian beer. And service less than expected, with low expectations.
Day trip to Versailles. Crowded. Unpleasant in the cold rain. Pretty, though.
September 27, 2007
Latin Quarter walking tour: full of interesting tidbits, much like any good walking tour, as well as walking. Especially dug the focus on the anti-Christian activities of the French Revolutionaries.
Paris II, in waging its war of robots against Paris I’s magic, has made great inroads in recent years. See e.g. the prescient construction of Tour Montparnasse which, although isolated and for the most part contained, represents a viable outpost for the robot hordes when the next revolution comes.
Fun fact: in French restaurants, Chimay is available in single-serve bottles. Tiny single-serve bottles. Like 200 mL tiny. Small world, eh?
September 26, 2007
The Lady and the Unicorn, contrary to what you may have heard, is really the story of a woman who, seeking to bestow sexual gratification upon the animal kingdom using her clever hands, asks a young girl to pimp out her pet unicorn and lion.
The portion of the catacombs open to the public has an impressive wall of bones, a slightly claustrophobic feel, and some damp spots that manage to create some damp spots on passersby.
Fresh red currants are pretty damn tasty. As is pain au chevre, warmed up.
The Louvre is fucking enormous. The blockbusters (e.g. La Jocande, Amphitrite of Milos) are absurdly busy, at least from certain angles. The photographs are free flowing. The in-museum restaurant and cafe is not terribly good. And my feet hurt.
September 25, 2007
Travel by aeroplane is most uncivilized. The recirculated cabin air filthifies; the ratio of evaporated excretions is way too high.
I don’t suffer from jet lag. I suffer from being tired without getting enough coffee. Ordering cafe in a cafe is a mistake. The strength is just fine, but the portions are unconscionably small. Also, the tubes of sucre are unnecessary bullshit.
The boat tours on the Seine are about as dull as you might have thought before seeing Before Sunset.
Forgetting the details of the Amelie-themed walking tour means you trend tourist. That said, there is something lovely about the Sacre Couer and the nearby hillside park, what with its carousel and perfect-for-sandwich-eating steps. The sex district (Pigalle) is just seedy enough to be interesting, but not so seedy as to be scary. The Erotic Museum was a bit of a disappointment, if only because cartoonish bestiality and run-of-the-mill sodomy and pregnant nudes were about as far as the collection went. If you’re not horrified by the contents of a sex museum, it just isn’t trying hard enough. Also, the tourist trap that is Place du Tertre has some acceptable artists therein. Finally, the funicular is ridiculous.
Saving the Louvre for later this week. But we walked from Ile de la Cite to the right bank, alongside the Louvre, through the Palace’s grounds, through the Jardin des Tuileries, through the Place de la Concorde, along the Champs-Elysees, and to the Arc de Triomphe, which we promptly climbed. [Aside: pictures coming soon.] Notwithstanding my base objection at being charged 7.5 Euros to be able to walk hundreds of spiral stairs, the view from the Arc de Triomphe is most certainly worthwhile. Superior to Montmarte, certainly. And the Eiffel Tower, I would imagine.
Not an especially big fan of impressionism, I was more impressed by the old railroad station in which the Musee d’Orsay is housed. But I was extraordinarily impressed by the building.
French learned: “magret,” as well as “canard,” refers to duck when used in a menu. Which is why I ended up eating very little of an otherwise delicious meal.
Item worth bringing: alarm clock.
Rocket propelled grenades are a more speedy mode of travel than the metro. But the metro is less dangerous and easier to get right.
I’d certainly recommend the hotel in which we’re staying. But I wouldn’t recommend getting the breakfast.
More French learned: “nature” on a menu doesn’t mean lots of vegetables; it means plain.
September 23, 2007
September 19, 2007
In a couple of days, D and I are going to Paris for a wedding. In anticipation, I’ve rewatched two of my favorite films set in Paris: Amelie and Before Sunset. As a something-to-do, I thought to see whether the denizens of the world wide web have developed walking tours based upon films set in Paris. An Amelie-themed does exist. Not so much for Before Sunset, though. Also, cannot seem to find a Charade, Breathless, or Ninotchka-themed walking tour. Although some of that may be the involvement of a studio-created faux-Paris.
Recognizing the many similarities between Yodelling Llama and “Esquire,” I thought it appropriate at this point to divulge a generally applicable rule of fashion with which you may not be aware: Socks ought to match with the outer-most indoors torso layer.
That is, you should try to pair your suit jacket (or sweater, or polo shirt, or ringer, depending upon what’s on top on top) with your socks. In other words, the slacks-with-socks comparison is right out. So if you’re wearing a charcoal gray two-piece, your socks ought to be charcoal gray. If you’re wearing a white tee shirt, your socks ought to be white. And if you’re wearing a navy jacket with khaki pants, your socks ought to be navy.
As you were.
September 18, 2007
Today, after another defense attorney complimented me on my suit by calling it “real,” and before the jailer compared us attorneys to women, the deputy prosecutor asked whether my shirt was new.