18 Mai - It was raining when I got out of bed today. Robb said it started when I got up, but I thought I heard it before I managed to rouse myself. And it was quite a bit cooler. All in all, not the kind of day when one plans to do a whole hell of a lot. But around 15h00, it seemed to be a little warmer, so I thought we could go for a little walk. I checked my bus map and saw that the 56 bus ran from Place de la République back to Place Léon Blum, so we could walk over there and then return by bus.
We began by walking down to Place Léon Blum where we picked up Boulevard Voltaire and started our sojourn. One of the first things we saw was the new Smart Car Sports model. I like it.
We continued down Boulevard Voltaire where we came upon this Mustang. Someone has beaucoup des bucks to be able to bring that over here and then afford the gas to drive it in Paris, where more often than not, traffic simply crawls at a snail's pace. We just passed a Total gas station the other day and I noticed that gas there is going for €1.47 per liter. That makes it a little more than €6 per liter which would be about $9 per gallon.
Of course, we checked a lot of the immobliers we passed, to get an idea of real estate prices. We re-discovered what we already knew; if we wanted to live on the outskirts of the city, we could buy a really nice place quite reasonably, or if we could settle for a studio (fat chance) they're also inexpensive. Some of the studio apartments are relatively large, but not for two people.
We came upon the beautiful Saint-Ambroise, which I remembered from the very first time we were here in 1999. There was a neat sculpture in the garden-like area in front of it. Shortly after, we passed a lovely flower shop. As we walked, we marveled at the great architecture. Here is a typically French building.
We were now nearly at Place de la République and I had not yet seen a single bus. When we got to the place, there was a bus stop right on the corner, so I checked it and, wouldn't you know, there was some kind of demonstration scheduled for between 12h30 and 15h30 and they had canceled the bus service for the entire day. Drat, that meant that, like it or not, I would have to use the métro. Well, if life was going to give us lemons, we would make lemonade. This would be a good opportunity to walk around the area to which we came on our very first trip. Starting with the statue of Columbus in the middle of the Place.
One of the first things that occurred at Place de la République, was we ran into two gay guys who were almost like Robb and I. One knows his way around and the other gets lost. We both thought that was really funny. I forgot to mention that the other day in the Pont Neuf métro station, Robb ran into a couple of guys from the University of Miami. Talk about a small world.
There were a lot of changes, starting with what once was our favorite restaurant, Chez Adi. It is now called the Pachyderm. Then we discovered the hotel which used to be called the Luxour, is now called Hotel Taylor. We kept on walking and looking. Some things were just the same but others were gone or re-named. Bistrot Ma Tante had been re-named Chez Tante Alice. We walked down to rue du Faubourg-St Martin. I took a beautiful picture of the lovely mairie but when I looked at it back at the apartment, there was some jerk's thumb in the way. I tried to find one on the internet but couldn't.
We walked toward the Porte St. Martin. Robb saw this place and asked me take a picture. Then we passed one of the many passages in Paris, Passage Brady. There used to be hundreds of passages in Paris, most of which were covered, There are now about twenty.
We got down to Boulevard Saint-Martin. Just across the street was a lovely Italian place in which I had had a great pizza, La Botte d'Italie. It was only a short walk from there to the métro station, where we caught the train back to Place Léon Bum.
As we passed a patisserie we've passed at least a hundred times, the macarrons called out to me from the window and I made a sharp right into the shop. If you're even vaguely considering a diet, you do not want to get close to a French patisserie, the fragrance is sent directly from hell to entice all within range of it. Resistance is futile! I bought two macarrons chocolat.
When we got back to the apartment, we put our stuff away and decided to consume the macarrons immediately. Those things are much richer and more filling than they appear. We could barely eat half. All the better for tomorrow.
Plus à venir, mes amis.