It looked a little ‘gloomy’ outside when we awoke today. Rain. Grey sky. Almost too dark to read in our apartment without turning the lights on. Add to that the news that my NY Giants lost AGAIN last night, making them 0-6 for the season! Now I know what it must feel like to be a Bomber fan these days!
I went for baguette and pastry and we spent the rest of the morning and much of the afternoon reading. Alex and Max skyped again — that little smiling face is going to be a year old on Saturday!
At around 4pm we ventured out. It’s colder today too. We put on the jackets we wore when we first arrived here. Eleven degrees. We walked all the way down Martyrs and Montmartre and then turned east and wandered into the Marais and Bastille area — a part of Paris that we haven’t really explored so far.
We used one of Peter’s guidebooks to scout out a route for our walk. First up: The Centre Georges Pompidou, a large ugly museum just a block north of the Seine. We continued along Rue de Rivoli, a street with LOTS of fashionable stores. We made quite a number of stops along the way, looking for that elusive ‘very perfect’ purse. Eventually we found ourselves at the Place des Vosges, considered to be one of the prettiest squares in the city. Sue has been reading pretty much every book with ‘Paris’ in the title during our month here, and more and more, as we walk the streets here, we end up stumbling across places that are now ‘familiar’ to Sue from her books. So it was with this park — apparently Kati Marton (the author of Sue’s current book, “Paris: A Love Story”) and Richard Holbrooke enjoyed visiting this park. (And I’m finding corner bakeries that remind me of the setting of the book I just started reading today, “The Emperor of Paris”.)
We continued our walk, passing the Picasso Museum along the way. We knew it was closed due to renovations, but we stopped at the information office and took a little tour of another artist’s exhibition while we were there. We didn’t complete the circuit without visiting quite a few purse shops — which means I spent quite a bit of time just standing on the sidewalk outside the shop, watching people going by. And with the cooler temperatures these last couple of days, I’ve taken note of some more differences between Parisians and Manitobans. Just because it’s getting cold doesn’t mean you stop sitting outside at the corner cafe and drinking your coffee. And it doesn’t mean you bundle yourself up so you look like the Michelin man. No, just add a scarf and you’re good to go. And sit outside at your little table and smoke and text and drink your little espresso just like you always do.
We walked all the way back home, another 10km day for my poor tired feet! Sue bought another bottle of wine at the wine shop near our place. When we got home we had our usual ‘happy hour’ and I turned up the radiators in the apartment a bit. We dug out another DVD, “This American Life”, and watched a bit of that. At around 8:00 we went out for supper.
Just around the corner from our apartment is the Place Gustave Toudouze. It’s a great little square with a fountain and velib bike rentals and about 7 little restaurants with patios lined up in a row. We’ve eaten at most of them, but not at the ‘No Stress Cafe’. So tonight we went there. And it was great. Tapas and drinks. All delicious. Sitting outside under the patio heaters. Lots of young people there, all eating and smoking and looking gorgeous. Ah, Paris.
When we got home we again watched a couple of episodes of “Downton Abbey” on my computer. By midnight I was too tired to even write my journal, so we went to bed.