11 Octobre (Lundi) - HEAT!!!Sometime during the night, the heat was turned on. Of course, we still have no control over how warm, or when, but at least, it's better than nothing.
We walked down to the Monoprix to get some stuff. The first thing we saw was a couple of guys delivering furniture to an apartment on an upper floor. This is one of the methods they use to do that. One wonders how people got their furniture up those tiny little stairways before they had these things. I suppose they used a block-and-tackle method.
On the way to Monoprix, I took a photo of the trees because, as you can see, nearly all the leaves are off, and it appears they've been trimmed back. On the way back, I saw a Porsche SUV. Really, a PORSCHE SUV. And I thought only Americans were stupid.
I was down to my last pair of clean socks, so I gathered up the dirty ones and tossed them into the washer. I started to close the 'door', when the damned thing swung around with the open door on the bottom. I've tried several times, but there is no way to get it open. Jean-Michel is coming to have a look around 16h00.
The repairman has been called and will arrive between 10h00 and 13h00 on Friday. The very good news is that we will have to pay the repairman, but Luc will reimburse us. I didn't feel quite so bad after Jean-Michel told me that the last time they had a problem with the washer, it was because the people didn't put the clothes into the washer compartment, they just tossed them into the machine and turned it on.
There is to be a major strike tomorrow, so today was wasted and tomorrow doesn't look any better.
Well, we've finally done it. We've found the worst restaurant in Paris; L'Orée des Champs, at 35, Avenue des Ternes in the 17é. Not only was there really nothing from which to chose on the menu, but what we finally settled for was less than good. I ordered the Soupe aux Legumes (vegetable soup). The packaged soup we've been buying at Monoprix is far better. Robb ordered some kind of open-faced sandwich, which he only ate because he was really hungry.
12 Octobre (Mardi) -Day One of the strike. I'm hoping there is only one day, but they're talking on the news that it could go on longer. The buses are running, but rather sporadically. I saw the 31 Bus sitting at the bus stop. It was there for quite a while...with passengers sitting quietly, waiting to get to their destinations. I've seen the bus drivers do that before. It's their way of participating in the strike. They don't actually stop driving, they just slow everything down a bit.
We didn't want to take a chance, so we didn't do much today except walk around a little. First we walked up to Place Étoile because Robb had seen a building he thought looked like the Samaritaine, a department store that no longer exists. It didn't look at all the same. It does house the Publicisdrugstore, which is the closest thing to an American drug store you'll find here. Though, unlike American stores, this one is very compartmentalised. We left by the back entrance and wandered around those streets.
Then we walked over to the Champs-Élysées (the sunny side, for me). Stopped at Celio and Robb bought another shirt.
Then over and down Avenue Hoche where I saw a couple of interesting buildings. One had an interesting façade. The other appeared to be a pre-fab building. Google street view has it when they had just put up the girder-like foundation. Stopped at Franprix. Robb bought wine and haricot verts.
Down Avenue Hoche to rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where we thought about going into the tea house of Mariage Frères, but Robb didn't feel like he should drink tea. We also didn't stop at the Maison du Chocolat, just across the street, where the macarons seemed a little costly. But we may go back and get a couple anyway.
Dinner at Lacombe, next door to the restaurant from hell. The thing is, from the direction we entered hell, we couldn't see Lacombe. It wasn't until we left that we saw it. We both had the Noix de Saint-Jacques (scallops) with puréed potatoes. It was excellent. For dessert, Robb had an Éclair Café, I had the Tartes aux Pommes avec Glace (Apple Tart with Ice Cream).
13 Octobre (Mecredi) - Day two of the strike.
Caught the 92 Bus and rode to the Bosquet-Rapp stop which is only a block or two from the Musée du Quai Branly, to which we've never been before. It's a large and interesting collection, but everything is so poorly lit, that after a while, I got a headache from trying to see things. The best thing about the Branly is the view from the top floor. Of course, it is practically next door to La Tour Eiffel.
After the Branly, we decided to go to Galleries Lafayette, so we boarded the 80 Bus, rode to Gare Saint-Lazarre, got the 20 Bus to Opéra. From l'Opéra, we walked to the department store which is just behind it. When we passed the Opéra, I took a photo of the performers entrance. We walked around checking out all the way-over-priced stuff but bought nothing. On the way out, the label on Robb's sweater (that he's had for at least three years) set off the detection machine. As we were leaving, we heard it going off almost constantly. There was obviously something wrong with it, but the security guys had to search the person who set it off each time.
When we got back to Gare Saint-Lazarre, we couldn't find the stop for the 43 Bus going in the right direction, so we caught it and rode to the end of the line. It took forever because traffic was so heavy and they were working on the streets. But we made it, stopping into Mariage Fréres to check out their tea selection, but really to get warm before walking home.
Well, we've had our second worst meal in Paris. We went to La Fabbrica, which apparently used to be a boulangerie. It's too bad they aren't any longer, because the Italian restaurant that is there now really sucks. I had Linguini Alle Volgone (linguini in clam sauce). Robb had Scallopini di Vitello (breaded veal). Robb said his was 'okay', but mine was bad. Most of the clam shells were broken and with every mouthful of linguini, I got pieces of the shells. Not to mention that the linguini was way undercooked.
I have to say, if this was our first trip to Paris, it most likely would have been the last.
14 Octobre (Juedi) -Colder but sunny. Day three of the strike. So far, it hasn't really affected us. The buses and the métro (for the most part) are running pretty much on schedule. At least, the ones we use. The thing that pisses me off most about these stupid strikes, is that they never accomplish anything, they just disrupt everybody's lives. And this one even more so, because the government is not going to back down. I seriously suspect that the strikes are more about getting a free day off, than actually trying to make a point.
Caught the 92 Bus to Étoile, where we waited for the 73 Bus. On the way to the bus stop, I saw another of those pre-fab buildings. The 73 Bus let us off about a half-block from the Musée d'Orsay. The first thing I saw was the statue of Thomas Jefferson on the rive gauche side of the Passerelle Léopold Sédar-Senghor. We crossed the street to have a look at a dockside restaurant (Le Quai). To get to the restaurant, you can use the stairs that go down to the Batobus station. The Batobus is a river taxi that only has eight stops. I think it's just a wee bit too chilly to be eating on the river, if it's even open this time of year.
We crossed back over and entered the Musée d'Orsay. We had to go through a security check before we could buy our tickets, but it was only minimal. They are renovatinng the fifth floor where all the Impressionist paintings used to be, so they are now on the first floor. It could be just me, but they seemed to have a lot more Renoirs this time. Most of their Monetpaintings are at the Grand Palais. And speaking of that, while we were having a snack in the beautiful restaurant on the second floor, I noticed the woman at the next table had a Monet book. I asked if she had been to the Grand Palais. She replied that she was going next week. Then she informed us of something I really should have known; we can buy tickets to the Monet exhibition at the FNAC, and there just happens to be one a couple blocks from the apartment. We will be there tomorrow after the laundry repairman leaves.
Upon leaving the Orsay, I noticed the Legion of Honor museum just next door but it was late, so we didn't even try to go in. Another time perhaps.
Since we went to the Italian place across the street and I saw tartiflette on the menu, I've been desiring it. Tonight we went back, and much to my chagrin, I discovered it's a tartiflette pizza. It was really good, but when your mind is set on one thing and you get something else, it's disappointing as hell. Ah well, c'est la vie.
You can see all the Paris pictures here: Paris 2010