Dispatches from July 25
Noon: Relaxing in the apartment and taking care of some emails.
3 PM: Finishing up a quick lunch of Nicoise salad (tuna, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, anchovies) and a side of fries. The French do make good fries. Then we stroll around for a bit of window-shopping.
Some street art of a fetus? Or is that a streetus? (Ar ar ar.)
Little secondhand book stalls line the Seine. The tradition dates back to the invention of the Gutenberg printing press. To promote literacy, the city installed these boxes where citizens could trade books and gain access to a broader range of printed materials.
6 PM: Exploring the Luxembourg gardens. This place has it all: majestic floral areas, quiet grassy areas, fountains, and plenty of statues. Not to mention tennis courts, bocce ball (with some fierce competitors) and a one-room art gallery, currently exhibiting a show called…Gardens.
A big center plaza ringed with flowers
There are lots of kids’ activities as well; a carousel, a few playgrounds, pony rides, and a racing track with little metal pedal cars. And what’s more adorable than a kid sailing a boat in a fountain?
I quite liked the apple and pear orchard, which used to belong to the Carthusian monastery and was established as an imperial apple orchard shortly after the French revolution. They have 530 varieties of apples and pears, and wrap the little fruit in paper bags to protect them while they grow. I wonder who eats them and how much they must cost!
9 PM: Dad and I board the Bateux Cristal to eat elegant food while gently drifting up and down the Seine. I enjoyed duck foie gras, veal with vegetable matignon and mashed potatoes, Comte cheese, an apricot-praline nougat glace, and a raspberry macaron. How luxurious! I feel pretentious even writing that list. And although I normally don’t drink, the meal came with a glass of pink champagne. When in Rome…
The bridges glowed warm in the setting sun.
There’s nothing so glamorous as the Eiffel Tower at night.
12 AM: Walking back to the apartment to digest our massive meal. I can’t believe how many people are still out on the riverbanks this late on a weeknight! I could never keep up with these hip young French things. Get off my lawn, hip young French things.
3 AM: Reading in bed. Bon soir, Paris!