There were many disconnected ideas about what we would do today, so we kind of did whatever we felt like and in the end it all worked out just fine.
Jessica wanted to get a ham and cheese croissant from a bakery near where I used to live. That sounded fine to me, so off we went. Along the way she saw a cheesecake in the window of another and had to have one–so we popped in there. The bakery that we were going to is one of my favorites as the baguettes are quite nice and the staff is always friendly. They were just as friendly today. Jessica had her croissant and I had a jumbo chocolate macaron and one-hundred grams of beignets. We decided to save all of our treats and eat them in the Place des Vosges. Well, I did, as I thought that would be fun. Jessica probably would have been happy to eat them on the walk back to the apartment.
Jessica popped into McDonald’s for a drink before we headed out to the park. In the few minutes she was gone I was accosted by no less then two beggars. The first wanted my change, and seemed bizarrely complacent when I told her that she could have none. Normally they complain about their dead baby or something. The other wanted me to light his cigarette. Sadly I had no source of fire.
There was a shop that deeply intrigued me along the way. It sold small, apartment sized ovens that were recreations of old-fashioned ovens. I wanted every. single. one. Gorgeous. Reds and greens and blues and gold knobs and I’m getting overexcited. One of my dream careers (along with museum curator, drag superstar, world-renowned author, Martha Stewart, and magazine editor) is to be an interior designer specializing in kitchens. They are the single most important room in the home, I believe, and I love to see a well put together space.
We made our way to the park and had our nibbles.
There was nothing bad about the macaron, it just wasn’t great. It had not yet had time to mature, so it was obnoxiously chewy, and the chocolate was cheap. You learn to taste this in time. I also can’t understand why they make them so big. They’re too crumbly to share and too big for one sitting. Odd. I’m guessing it is the unpracticed hand that goofs and then they just sell them. The beignets had good flavor, but would have been much better if they were either a bit fresher or warmer. Jessica thoroughly enjoyed her croissant. It looked good.
We watched the people in the park play an odd game where they clapped each others hands and then hid their hands behind their backs, then giggled, then tried to avoid each other. It looked terribly complex, but then my mind does not work properly for games. I just don’t understand easily. If you have any idea what activity this could have been, please do comment below.
On the way back to the apartment, I spied canneles in a bakery window and had to give them a try. I have never had one and have been very curious about what they are. There is a whole cult of people who are deeply devoted to them, the way I am with the macaron. I bought two miniature ones and headed upstairs.
It was easily the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth. They look gorgeous, like they will be crispy on the outside and then soft on the inside–and they were–but that inside… It was like overcooked custard. It had the texture of a very tough and thoroughly saturated sponge. I’m hoping that these were stale or something because I cannot understand why somebody would ever find eating one of these a pleasant experience that needed to be repeated.
After this we went to the Louvre, Jessica did not appreciate my half-joke about walking there. We did not. We flashed our passes and moments later were inside the beautiful museum in one of the calmer sections that many people don’t bother with. They are concerned with seeing the boring old Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and the other staples of the Louvre. Seeing Mona is nice, but not when you’re being jostled by hundreds of people who couldn’t really care less about the art surrounding them, just wanting to see something famous.
I think Jessica really enjoyed the sculpture and the bigger paintings. She couldn’t be bothered with the religious art–which constituted a great deal–or the tiny little things. She much preferred to giggle over the penises on statues. And, as long as she was enjoying herself that was alright. Here are some of the pieces that I found interesting on this trip to the Louvre:
This was my favorite statue of the day. I love the expression and the worn-down look.
She lost her head, but said, “Screw it,“ and kept on walking.
This is how you do a dining room, bitches. Napoleon had some taste!
I am obsessed with this ceiling detail. I want to have it in paper form. It would be a great book end.
This is easily one of my favorite paintings in the Louvre–isn’t it just wonderfully awkward? I mean what is going on? I really want to start a blog where I take a picture of a random painting or sculpture in the Louvre and then caption it. Usually inappropriately with frequent usage of the word “wench.” I don’t even know where to begin on this one, though!
We exited the Louvre and walked down the Jardin des Tuileries up to Place de la Concorde. Jessica turned into a whiney baby and would not stop mumbling her complaints about the injustices of life that I had inflicted on her. I ignored her as I usually do.
I decided that we should walk up to the Madeleine Church as it was a very fancy area and I feel much more comfortable around money than anywhere else. Every step I tried to contain my fear and excitement that Karl would be somewhere near. He is known to prowl this area. Every flash of white hair was a shock to my system and I about panicked when I saw an old woman with a ponytail eating at a restaurant. Sadly Karl was nowhere to be found. I looked carefully through the windows of Chanel, where everything is stunning, for Karl–willing him to come to me through the interconnected powers of fierceness that we share. But he still was nowhere. He must be somewhere else.
We went into a little courtyard on the other side of Chanel and wandered about. It was very quiet and calm. Potted palms added to the serenity. There was a store of reasonably priced dinnerware that I will probably go back to look at.
We boarded the Métro, after ogling a poster for a production of Sweeney Todd that we will surely go see, and headed to the BHV. This is the…everything store. You can literally get anything. I always like to look at the silverware, but I did not see anything that I liked, so we just perused a bit. I looked at a few cookbooks–macaron fever has gripped the nation. There are books of every shape and size on those delicious little things–with reason, although I have found almost every book on the subject to be disappointing.
Jessica looked at the purses and then we decided to leave.
I made a panini for dinner with one of the best tomatoes I have ever had and some potato soup that was from Monoprix. Both were really good.
After dinner, I did a little walking around the neighborhood, there are so many tiny streets to discover. There was a kind of grotto behind Saint-Paul’s Church that looks like a pleasant place to while away the hours. There is also a building that was built in the 1200s! So ancient.
I sat on the steps of the church for awhile and worked on my novel. I saw the Americans that I had the previous evening at Pizza Momo’s. They were still bitching on. This time the woman was complaining to the hairy beer-loving guy about an argument she had just had with her husband. They were exhausting.