01 Janvier (Vendredi) - We celebrated the advent of 2010, by spending the day doing laundry. It took longer than usual because Robb forgot to reset the machine to dry, and washed everything twice. Well, at least, we're sure it's clean. Dinner at Fontaine Sully. We both had Escalope de Veau avec tagliatelle. I can't get used to the number of people who will brave this weather to sit outside and drink cold beer, just because they can smoke. Yes, it's true, most of the restaurants with outside seating have heaters, and they work very good. But, when that wind decides to crank it up a notch, there's no heater in the world that will keep you warm.
Just because I felt the need to insert some pictures; here's one of the inside door lock of the apartment. Here are a couple as the bus passed a carnival for kids in Place de la Bastille the other day when we went to Italie2. And just because I have it, a picture of Hôtel de Sully that I took by accident one night while walking back to the apartment. Hôtel de Sully, built in 1625, is the structure for which this section of town is named. It is now the home of the Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites, which in 2000 became the Centre des Monuments Nationaux. This public body, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, is responsible for the management of historic buildings and monuments in state care, of which there are a bunch.
02 Janvier (Samedi) This is my "man" bag. It really becomes quite handy at times. For instance, in mine I carry an umbrella, a couple of scarves, my copy of Paris Practique, a métro map, métro tickets, a pen, a small notepad, my keys and my camera When we were getting our boarding passes in Miami, Robb left his bag at the counter. He didn't realize it until we got to Paris. Unfortunately, along with his umbrella, he also had several items he needs, including his glasses. He tried calling Air France Lost and Found but got no real answer. We plan to stop and check it once we return to Miami on Friday.
For those who didn't get to Paris, or didn't get to la Tour Eiffel (like us), you can see what the frozen people saw here: http://31decembreaparis.com/
Robb wanted to buy some more shirts because he didn't bring any with him, so we braved the freezing weather and began the long walk to BHV. One of the first things we encountered was this ad for Vivaldi concerts. If you've ever been in Paris, you must have seen one, they're everywhere. We attended a Vivaldi concert at Saint-Chapelle many years ago, and another at la Madeleine. When we got to rue Bourg Tibourg, we walked up to the Franprix, passing Chocolat Mussy, a confectionnerie, on the way. We had almost rented a place on rue Bourg Tibourg just across the street from the Franprix, but at the last minute, decided we didn't want to stay in a studio-alcove apartment, even though it was very nice and pretty big for a studio, about 35m2 as I recall. After the Franprix, we walked down rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie to check a restaurant, but it appears to be gone, as are several other things we remember from the area.
Then, we walked to the store where we had bought our leather jackets a couple years ago. This time, they had a bunch of the kind I like and they had my size. I didn't buy one because they don't have inside pockets, but I'm rethinking that. We walked back down to BHV, noticing that if you can find a place out of the wind and in the sun, it's almost comfortable. Robb bought three shirts and and a beautiful sweater. If they had had it in my size, I would have bought one also.
We left BHV and walked back to rue Bourg Tibourg. I wanted to stop and have cup of coffee, so we stopped at a restaurant but every seat was filled. We tried another, and there were a few seats left inside La Feria. Again, instead of just coffee, Robb had a large chicken salad and I had a Croque Monsieur. We both accompanied our lunch with wine. After the restaurant, we went back to Franprix to buy a Bûche de Noël. Yeah, I know, who buys a Christmas cake at Franprix, but it looked so good and was on sale. Unfortunately, Robb cut it before I had a chance to take the picture.
I stepped into the traffic on rue de Rivoli, risking my life to get you this picture of la Tour St-Jacques. The tower is all that's left of the church that used to be there, Saint-Jacques la Boucherie.
On the walk back to the apartment, we stopped at a mobile phone store, basically just to get warm, but I was interested in how the phone companies work and what they offer. They practically give the phones away; an Apple iPhone 3G would cost only €1. But they sock it to you for the monthly service.
We continued to the apartment, passing Saint-Paul, the church for which the area gets its name.
Around nine-ish, we started thinking about dinner. I wanted to go to Fontaine Sully, but Robb wanted to go to L'Angela, a restaurant we frequented on rue de la Roquette in the 11éme. He called, made a reservation and we got ourselves ready to leave. Luckily, we only have to walk to the bus stop just down the street, where we can catch the 69, which practically drops us at the door. We were surprised to find that the people we were expecting to see were no longer there, and had left just two months ago. No one was offering any information about the circumstances, so it's left to our imaginations what might have happened. We each ordered the Penne Alla Puttanesca and a 50ml pichet of red wine. For dessert, we both had the Panna Cotta Caramel, finishing with a café. All in all, it was a pretty good meal. We asked the waiter to call a taxi for us, but for whatever the reason, he wouldn't do, I'm not really sure why. We had no choice, we would have to walk to the bus stop or to Place Léon Blum to the taxi stand. When we got to the bus stop, we learned the 69 was no longer in service (you may remember that was a huge complaint when we stayed in that area), so it was off to Place Léon Blum. But we had only walked a block or so when an "available" taxi came down the street. I hailed him, and to our surprise, he actually stopped and picked us up.