May 28, 2015 § Leave a comment
It is now May 23rd…..
and as much as neither of us want to think about it, the calendar I’ve kept is a reminder that we have fewer days ahead of us as temporary Parisiens.
We have had oysters and white wine for breakfast at the Sunday morning market. Champagne and soufflés for an afternoon snack at Le Cigale Récamier. We have had more hits than misses. We have seen beautiful art as we walk down street after street of galleries. If we ventured in we’ve been met with a pleasant greeting, no expectation of a sale, a willingness to share details about a painting or the artist.
We ate dinner at Pièd au Fouet, a restaurant so small you could hardly turn around. I had the most remarkable profiteroles I’ve ever tasted at RUC across from the Palais Royal. We met up with Terrance Gelenter and his merry group of expats who gather every Sunday morning at Café de Flore. We relaxed in the sun by the fountain in Les Tuilleries. We have walked between five and eight miles every day. Tom has mastered getting around on Le Métro.
We went to Les Viaduct Des Arts in the 10e. The last two blocks we walked by ateliers who make and repair any musical instrument you can imagine. From violins to harmonicas to tubas and pianos – you can watch people work as you pass by. By re-purposing an old elevated train track a “green line” was put in its place. It is now a path lined with shrubs, trees and flowers. The arches below that supported the original track have been filled in with galleries now occupied by artists and artisans – furniture, sculpture, clothing, jewelry… a happy experience followed by a simple and delicious lunch at Au 105 La Renaissance owned by a charming gentleman from Algeria. A whole new meaning to the term “neighborhood bistro”… We arrived rather late for lunch, delighted to find we were the only English speaking guests. Others came and went. A few men who had been there for lunch left, then returned for their coffee, then moved to a table in the back to play a game of cards. The owner took off his apron and joined them, and did not mind at all when we had to interrupt him to ask for our check!
Talk about re-purposing…. I had read an article about the opening of a new Hermès store on rue de Sèvres. Once upon a time there was a grand piscine (swimming pool) in the Hotel Lutetia. Whether the idea came from an architect, or from their own creative staff, the conversion of a swimming pool into a retail store was something I had to see. The original Art Deco design has been preserved. So, if you were going for a swim, you would have opened the door and no doubt passed a reception desk and on to the pool itself. You entered above the water line…..now, when you go through the front door you enter below the water line
We discovered the Carrefour Odeon just yesterday. Less hustle and bustle. It leads you right to the Jardin Luxembourg and to the highlight of our day. We were lucky to find a vacant bench just inside the entrance next to a small meadow. Tom was napping in the sun so I decided to walk around a bit. Only a few steps from where we entered the park is the Jardin de Medici, an exquisite and lush garden with a statue and fountain at one end, swags of green and shade trees on either side that create a screen from the rest of the park. It is serene and magical. Today we returned for a picnic. What a treasure! We followed that with lunch at La Mediterranée…recommended by Cyril Guernieri, owner of Galerie Rauchfeld, and one of our “neighbors”… not only one of the loveliest restaurants I’ve ever been in, but also some of the best food we’ve had so far.
And here are a few photos to fill in the visual details ……
Le Cigale Récamier
Au Piéd de Fouet
Café de Flore
Terrance Gelenter and friends
We decided to stay and have lunch which I topped off with coffee ice cream…
The fountain in Les Tuilleries
Les Viaduct Des Arts
To to show you the exterior and interior of what a gallery between the arches looks like.
Where you can have a fancy metal balustrade made like this one. Then a workshop where umbrellas are made. Hanging along the back are the “ribs” waiting for their covers.
As as you walk on the green line there are lovely modern apartment buildings on one side and the classical style on the other.
Au 105 La Renaissance
When Tom has a good meal all is right with the world…
Le Jardin Medici