Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cozy Bollards and the Punjab Palace

August 21, 2016 -- The walk was aimless at first, then somewhere on the Champ de Mars, I said, “Let’s walk up the Avenue Rapp.”  It happened like this:

We’d paused on a bench in a quiet nook of the Champ, surrounded by shrubbery, trees, and flowerbeds.  As we rose to walk again, we could not take our normal route straight through the park because the lawn was being re-seeded in that section; it was fenced off.
View from the bench where we paused in the Champ de Mars.

That directed us up closer to the round Place Jacques Rueff, in the middle of the Champ.  That reminded me of how the angled Avenue de Barbey-d’Aurevilly in the park lines up with the angled Avenue Rapp to the northeast of the park.  Then I recalled that the Avenue Rapp has the incomparably beautiful Art Nouveau building designed by Jules Lavirotte and built at number 29 in 1901 – something we must see every summer.  (See photos below.)

We sauntered up the avenue until we saw it, the gorgeous façade designed for the residence of ceramics manufacturer Alexandre Bigot by Jules Lavirotte.  Bigot manufactured many beautiful Art Nouveau ceramics designed by people like Lavirotte.  But Bigot didn’t diversify, so when Art Nouveau faded from style, his company went out of business.

We crossed to the other side of the avenue and continued toward the Seine when suddenly Tom stopped me and said, “Look!”

Bollards with cute hats on the Avenue Rapp.

He was pointing to the bollards that keep cars from parking on the sidewalk.  Tom always notices bollards for some reason, but this time, I agree, they were something to see.  Here someone had crocheted colorful hats for several of the bollards.  Cute!  Colorful!

Next we noticed the boutique hotel Le Derby Alma at the corner of avenues Rapp and Franco-Russe. I love the pretty glass awning over its entry.
Le Derby Alma on the Avenue Rapp

We spotted the gracious Italian restaurant Dell Angelo, where we dined once, years ago.  It was good, and the service was great.  But for some reason we never returned.  The food wasn’t memorable.

Then we were delighted to see that the Cité de l’Alma – a gated lane – was open to pedestrians.  We crossed the avenue and slipped through the gate to admire this quaint residential lane that led us over to the Avenue Bosquet – another avenue we have not yet walked along this summer.

By the time we had ambled down Bosquet and gazed in many shop windows – particularly the antique stores – the sky was threatening to rain and the wind had picked up.  We quickened our pace across the Champ de Mars and along the avenue de la Motte Picquet until we were in front of Monoprix.

Tom wanted to shop for men’s clothes.  After several minutes inside, we found that Monoprix didn’t have what he wanted, so we exited just as the rain started up.  Fortunately, I had my little flowered umbrella.  We squeezed together under it and managed not to be terribly soaked by the time we reached home.

The Punjab Palace on rue Lecourbe.
In the evening, we went out again, in the opposite direction.  Dinner was at the Punjab Palace on the rue LeCourbe.  We’d noticed this Indian resto when we walked to Le Beurre Noisette the other night.  After checking out the reviews on TripAdvisor and Lafourchette, I decided we had to give it a try.  We are needing to find a new favorite Indian restaurant in Paris.  The two we used to like just aren’t good enough anymore.

So we dined on pakora, lamb korma, lamb hadrabadi, and cheese nan.  Service was kind and thorough, and the food was all delicious.  The ambiance was gorgeous.  Well-capitalized Indian restaurants are the best.  And so the Punjab Palace at 299 rue Lecourbe is now our Indian place.

Lavirotte building on the Avenue Rapp.

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