Saturday, October 12, 2013

DATELINE: Paris (6)

What's a blog post without any photos or sparkling text? Nothing much. First I'll get the photos out of the way and then strive to supply some sparkling text. The only pictures I have today are of the inside of the apartment. I didn't take my camera with me on today's outing ~ the museum won't allow photographs ~ so I can't show you where we went. That's going to be the job of the sparkling text. 

La chambre

La cuisine

Le bain
Well, there you have it.  I think the whole place is about 415 -420 sq. ft.  They've crammed a lot into this small space.  But it is really quite comfortable although both the kitchen and bathroom are definitely 1-at-a-time spaces.  The apartment is 32 stairs up from the ground floor.  That's 32 tiny stairs in a tight, narrow, winding staircase.  No racing up and down the stairs; go slow and hang on tight to what passes as a banister.

Now for the day's adventures.  The Musée Jacquemart-André was the museum of choice.  We caught the Metro, rode  to Miromesnil on Blvd. Haussmann in the 8eme, walked a couple of blocks, and there it was.  This is one of Mr. C's favorite museums; I think he fantasizes about living there.  And it is a gorgeous, art-crammed, elegant and spacious house that was lived in by the Andrés for 40-some years.  It was bequeathed to the Institute de France upon Mme. André's death in 1912 and became a public museum a year later.  Everything they ever collected remained in the house and is now part of the displays.  Their possessions are truly staggering!

After a couple of hours of wandering around, we got back on the Metro and headed for the 6eme  and a possible lunch at Christine's.  Alas, it was closed but we had seen a chalk board outside another restaurant that announced they were serving moules (mussels).  We headed back and went in to a crowded, lively place called Creperie Saint André des Arts with about a dozen tables, all full, and one waitress for the tables, one chef for the crepes.  We both ordered moules marineire, and a bottle of fizzy water, small bottle of wine.  What arrived in small black cast iron pots was a pile of tiny, sweet and succulent Normandaise mussels, probably 100 in each bowl, cooked in onion, garlic and wine.  I almost fainted at the fantastic smell of the steam coming from the pot.  They were exquisite and we both ate every one of them and spooned down the fragrant broth.  All the food groups were represented:  garlic, wine, onions, bread, mussels.  A perfect meal on a cold but clear Saturday in Paris. We walked back home utterly content.  Both our spirits and our tummies have been well fed today.

Just a few notes about living in Paris:

1.  If you ever move here, leave the Stairmaster at home.  Just take the Metro once a day and you'll be a perfect physical specimen.  Very few stations have escalators and only one that I know of has an  elevator, a big freight-sized thing that holds about 50 people.  It's over by Notre Dame; I think it's there so all the aging ladies and gentlemen can get to Sunday services.  You have a better explanation? So it's up and down stairs, sometimes as many as 40 or 50, depending on the station.  It usually takes me a month to get in shape for the puny stairs at our beach house.  I'm ready now!

2.  Be ready to shop constantly.  Most apartments have a 'fridge that will hold almost nothing and very little, if any, pantry space.  We don't have ANY.  So you are forced to go out foraging on an almost daily basis.  What's available in the street markets is absolutely gorgeous and you want it all.  But it will be there the next day, or in another market a couple of blocks away, so not to worry.  And of course, fresh croissants and baguettes every morning; no hours-old bread in this house!

3.  Prepared food is everywhere and beautiful and very tasty.  I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill take-out here.  I'm talking designer food that you would be proud to serve at a dress-up dinner party.  (Remember dress-up dinner parties where women wore dresses and men wore ties?  How old AM I anyway, you might well ask . . .)  I'll get the camera to a local charcuterie and show you some samples.

4.  Watch where you walk.  French don't clean up after their pooping dogs.  Enough said.

5. And finally prepare to be thrilled.  Eye-popping, gasping in astonishment THRILLED.  I am, every time I step out of the apartment.  Absolutely thrilled to be alive in Paris.  Pathetic, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Liz says:

Well, I'd be right at home-- my house has 3 levels, with 18 steps between each. Is it any wonder that my hips joints wore out???

You just sound SO happy there, and I'm very happy for you and Mr. C.

Again, such beautiful photos...

mary ann said...

Your joy is infectious and your words clear and sparkly.

ddmichel said...

I have another friend from Mexico who is in Paris right now with her family. Her young son said he loves Paris - oh except for the French.......ha ha