Jessica has been wanting steak frites for ages. I’m a vegetarian and I truly don’t verbally judge anybody for their consumption of meat. I won’t deny that it’s challenging sometimes to watch somebody tear through a once living animal’s dead flesh. Becoming a vegetarian is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, I think. It was hard for me to be a passionate animal lover and still eat chickens. It just didn’t make any sense and so I stopped and I wouldn’t turn back unless I was starving to death on a deserted island. (That’s one of my fantasies. I think it’d be amazing. I’d build a house and do experiments and have a jolly time in the tropics for a decade until being rescued and releasing my memoirs. Then they’d make a film of my life and cast somebody like Zac Efron to play me…and I’d be forced to give him frequent lessons on how to be me. In public. With cameras flashing. Yes, there will be tabloid reports of us dating…but we’ll meet that struggle when it arrives.)
So, we went off to get her some steak frites. I knew just the place, too, the Café Varenne.
One of the major things I miss about America is 24/7 cooking shows. I’m a freak for them. Mainly because I hate the majority of them. Aside from anything Martha Stewart is on, the only one that should ever be watched is THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA. This is Ina Garten’s show and it is absolutely FLAWLESS. She is a queen from heaven and is equal to Martha Stewart in my eyes. That’s quite a statement, reader. I think Martha Stewart is basically the reincarnated Jesus. She’s divine. Ina is as well. Ina Garten has a Paris apartment, more money than we will ever dream of having, an adorable husband that lets her do anything, great taste, and she wears her denim tops so gloriously well. I want to be her best friend.
Anyway, Ina’s apartment is near her favorite café in Paris — the one I selected — the Café Varenne.
Oh, reader, I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to ask the staff if she had been there recently. Or what she smelled like. (Money.) Or if she really nervously laughed at everything. I refrained from doing so because I’m not a crazy stalker — even if I was accused once of stalking Olivia de Havilland — WHATEVER.
The café was excellent and we had a nice time. The ravioli was fresh and homemade and divine. Jessica loved her dead cow. I loved the view of the attractive policeman patrolling outside. Seriously, they must be hired based on looks cause the majority of them are unreasonably attractive. It could be their uniforms, though. They fit so nicely.
I’d heard wonderful things about the café’s lemon meringue tarts, but when I ordered one, the waiter looked crushed and said that they were sold out. My heart broke. I guess they sell out very early in the day. That makes me all the more determined to go again and get one.
We walked around for a while and found a bakery on my massive list of bakeries to try and bought a few tarts and a loaf of bread shaped like a crown of thorns.
It wasn’t the best bread, but it was fun to wear on my head and pretend to be Jesus. What? Don’t act like you wouldn’t. Don’t forget that I’m a reverend.
The next day took us absolute ages to get ready, but we finally got around to it and headed back to the Jardin des Plantes to see the other free museum there, the Galeries d’Anatomie Comparée et de Paléontologie. It played a pivotal role in my favorite movie, Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec.
This trailer does the film no justice. It’s on Netflix, watch it there! And do make sure you watch it in the original French, not with the horrid English dubbing. Trust me.
The museum was absolutely fascinating. There were bones and brains all over the place!
Bones as far as the eye could see!
LOOK EVERYBODY, I FOUND ADÈLE BLANC-SEC!
Looking down on the galleries from above. A gorgeous place. Highly recommended, especially if you’re young enough to merit free entrance.
After leaving the Jardin, Jessica and I went on an unnecessarily long walk to the hospital. I used to pass this place every day on my way to Le Cordon Bleu and I was rather captivated by this creepy statue that was at eye level to people on the elevated Métro.
The hospital grounds were just as creepy as the statue was up close:
Philippe Pinel helped out the insane people in the olden days. What a strange monument.
From here we headed back to the Louvre, which is never a bad idea and saw a collection of galleries that we had never seen. The first was on Islamic art and I was in love with the tiles.
Then I was delighted to see an exhibit of Greco-Egyptian art.
After the Greeks conquered them, the art in Egypt degraded quickly. This looks like a middle school project. Then again, maybe I’m not being fair, the art steadily declined during the New Kingdom.
I had never seen these before and they answered a question I’ve long had about Greco-Egyptian religion. The Egyptian gods were combined with Greek ones to make everybody happy. Now Horus looks like an emperor. Kind of silly.
We leisurely strolled through the Marais on our way to the train back home. I fall in love with that particular area more and more each time I visit. It’s where I want my apartment to be someday.
After all the rain, Parisians are hurrying outside to enjoy the sunshine.
Beautiful old building in the Marais.
Mass was being held outside at Notre Dame.
It was an absolutely charming day, but after walking so much, we were definitely ready to relax back in Clichy.
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