Tuesday, May 12, 2009

jour no. 12 - mishmash

To be honest, I didn't have a very foodie weekend – or at least, I didn't eat much that was blog-worthy (I don't know how many pix of flaky, buttery, rich croissants you want to see). Still, it was pretty great.

Yesterday, I had coffee in this goofy pink café near my apartment, then met Katie for a mini Audrey Hepburn marathon. Among the many things that Paris has that New York does not (pastry on every corner, Velib, a functioning subway system) are great independent movie theaters, specializing in classics or art films or what have you.

This gem in the 17th, just off the Etoile, was honoring Audrey Hepburn on what would have been her 80th birthday. Yesterday, we started with "Roman Holiday," had a break for a glass of wine and a bag of super-salty Monoprix potato chips, then returned for "Diamants sur Canapé," the very odd French translation of "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

After, we headed to the 1er arrondissement to pick a Japanese restaurant off of the strip along Rue de Ste Anne. The ramen joint we ended up in was fine - no great shakes, especially compared to the options in NYC. Still, it was bizarrely fun to be ordering Japanese food in French.

Before getting on the Metro to return home, I wandered around the Louvre courtyards a bit. The Louvre is beautifully lit at night, there were quite a few blissful-looking souls strolling about, and, of course, there was a guy playing his saxophone.

As I said, it was pretty great.


  1. Hi there. I, too, came over from Wolcott's blog, and like campaspe, I also don't want it to ever end! Your little Paris bites are so relaxing, each one a mini-vacation. I'm especially enjoying the photos/observations of the food, and the wine/coffee that accompanied it. :-) But also the cinema reportage. Thank you for sharing your excellent vacation with us!

  2. The last time I was in Paris I went to a club one noght and stayed until the wee hours, then took a most excellent Walk of Shame past the Louvre on the way back to the hotel - I can attest that it's also lovely at dawn on a Sunday morning when you seem to be the only person awake in the whole city.

  3. If you like Asian food in Paris...

    Check out the neighborhood immediately to the east of Place d'Italie in the 13e. This is a newer, less familiar Paris. It is also an open, airy Southeast Asian neighborhood with countless Vietnamese Pho and Viet sandwich shops and Lao restaurants. This is a great place to eat, stock up on groceries and otherwise explore.

  4. Another favorite walk for me in Paris is to take the Metro to the Barbes-Rochechouart Metro station and get off. This particular station is in the air and it reminds me of something out of a science fiction movie.

    This is an African and Arab neighborhood. As you leave the station, touts hand out little ads for clairvoyants, fortune-tellers and witch doctors. Very cool!

    Next, I walk north along Boulevard Barbes and follow it north through where it changes to Boulevard Omano and eventually brings you to the north city gate "Porte Clignancourt."

    Along this walk north on Barbes and Omano, I explore the side roads along the east. These streets host African produce street markets and are a hive of spectacular activity with men and women shopping for groceries in full native dress, African street food, music being played in shops... Warm, friendly, exciting.

    Back to the walk towards Porte Clignancourt... As you approach the Porte, you enter the area of Paris' famous flea markets, which cover HUGE amounts of space. Before you reach the Porte Porte, there is a large market of mostly new, cheaper, family oriented African products. The markets and warrens of shops just beyond the Porte exhibit more traditional antique store / flea market fare. I've spent hours of many Saturdays exploring this area in Paris over the years.

    I'm jealous!

  5. AStanhope, thanks for the suggestions! I'm almost panicking at the idea that my trip is coming to an end, so I'm making a schedule for my last week - a schedule that can of course be scrapped at any moment if necessary.