Back home, it was Independence Day. So, I wore a flag tank top when I was at the apartment. I didn’t wear it out on the town, not because I don’t have patriotism in my heart, but because it’s freezing here in France. Summer must have came and gone. It’s drizzly and grey and rather depressing. I’ve never known such chill in my beloved country — aside from that winter I spent here. Some locals called it the worst winter they could remember. I appreciated that, of course. *sarcasm* When the weather is like this, I get very blue, and that’s not the mood I’m after whilst away on vacation.
To get the day started, Jessica and I went to the Louvre to finish looking through the Champollion galleries of ancient Egyptian art that I had been removed from the day before. She likes Egyptian art, too, she claims, so this didn’t piss her off tremendously. And we went to the McCafé beforehand, so we were both content, even though it had to have been 90 degrees up there in the food court. (It’s much more elegant than the food court you’re picturing in your mind.) I had the café gourmand, which is an absurdly cheap pastry tray. You get a macaron, a little chocolate cake, a little almond cake, and any coffee your want for €3.50. It’s unreasonably affordable. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten that little platter.
The Louvre was lovely as ever and we saw many beautiful and amusing things.
We went across the river to investigate a bakery and a fountain. I have a long list of random things to see and pastries to eat, so it’s always easy to make up some kind of itinerary.
Today’s bakery was La Pâtisserie des Rêves, which was bizarrely futuristic. I was too amused by it all to take any pictures, and for that you must forgive me. Inside the shop are huge glass domes that hang down from the ceiling filled with very lovely pastries. You wind yourself around to the front counter to order and the attendant hits a bunch of buttons on a tablet. Then, you wait a few minutes and somebody brings you out a box of treats. They open it up for you to see and smile and then seal it and put it in a bag and wish you on your way. When I ate the two that I ordered later (a chocolate éclair and a lemon mousse ball thing) I was happy with the flavors, but they weren’t attractive enough to photograph after a hot journey home on the Métro.
Without even realizing, we had entered INA GARTEN territory. She has a TASTEFUL and ELEGANT and SIMPLE two-level apartment right here in Paris on one of these streets. She said in an interview that she can see Poilâne, the Grand Épicerie, and Café Varenne from her apartment. We passed by both the Grand Épicerie AND Café Varenne, so we were so close to her. We probably breathed the same air. I don’t know if she was actually in the area, but that’s irrelevant.
It wasn’t long until we found the fountain, the Fountain du Fellah:
This fountain was done in a Neo-Egyptian style and is sadly no longer in function. You can see where clean water would have poured through the two holes in the vessels this Pharaoh-esque man is holding.
Art used to be everywhere. Lights were attractive. Buildings were attractive. Fountains were attractive. Roads were attractive. Now everything is a bunch of shit. I mean look at how gorgeous the exterior of this old Métro station is:
It’s absolutely stunning and then when you see the modern stations in Paris or Clichy, like the RER station next to my apartment here, you just want to weep because they’re hideous. Where did our taste go? Why don’t we rebel? Why do we allow such hideousness to plague our lives? Why can’t we go back to CLASSY and FANCY and LOVELY things? This will forever be a burden on me. The modern world is not a friend of mine.
After hopping on the Métro, we got off at the BHV, a wonderful department store, which seemed to be in the middle of some kind of war. There were mobs of people all over the place. Police were all over. People were running. Others were screaming. Confusion was amuck. AMUCK! Fun word that, let’s say it together: 1…2…3…AMUCK! Such fun! We found ourselves in a giant crowd and Jessica was 100% convinced that we were on our way to tear down the Bastille. I told her that we were going in the completely wrong direction and that the only remnants of the Bastille were underground in the Métro station, but she still seemed convinced we were up to no good.
Finally, we figured out that the big open space in front of the Hôtel de Ville had become a viewing area for the World Cup. France was playing Germany and everybody was hella turnt up.
Jessica wasn’t turnt up at all, she was turnt down for everything — so we popped into the BHV as planned. It was deserted. Everybody was out watching the game. I’m amazed at how many people are into football/soccer here. I couldn’t be bothered to have that much passion for a bunch of people running after a ball. I appreciate looking at the players and all, but the actual sport holds no interest.
We headed upstairs to the kitchen supplies and after a LOT of roaming, we found a reasonably priced spatula. I was sick to death of trying to cook without a spatula. It’s impossible, reader. Then we headed home to break in my new kitchen tool.
As we walked back to the apartment from our Métro stop, I saw these plates just sitting in a trash heap:
Of course I adopted them. I’m a sucker for old china.