Monday, July 09, 2018

A bright and shining morning in Paris

The Petit Palais is not petite; it is spacious.  People call it petit because it is smaller than the Grand Palais, a huge exhibition hall across the street.  Since the Petit Palais is one of my favorite museums, I decided that I should know how long it takes to walk there from this apartment.  My guess was 30 minutes. 

Looking down at the boats on the right bank, from the Pont Alexandre III.

Early this morning, I walked the most direct route to the Petit Palais, at a fairly good clip.  Thirty-six minutes it was.  Of course, the museum isn't open that early, so I sat on a park bench behind the imposing statue of Winston Churchill, near the entrance to the Petit Palais.  After just a few minutes rest, I was ready to turn back toward home.

The back of the Winston Churchill statue by the Petit Palais.
Tom doesn't particularly care for the grand, open spaces like the Esplanade des Invalides.  But I do love those places, as well as the narrow remnants of medieval streets and everything in between.  I just love Paris.

Flowers and free bicycle on the Esplanade des Invalides.
Gliding through that open field, with the sun in my face and a cool morning breeze whipping around me, how could I not be joyful?  I see golden statues above the Pont Alexandre III against a deep, French blue sky.  This is a good, shiny way to start the day.

Golden statue on the Pont Alexandre III.
Past the Esplanade and back on the streets, I see and hear cafés and brasseries opening, with servers setting up chairs and tables along the sidewalk.  People scurry into bakeries to buy breakfast on the run.  I make a plan to stop at the little FranPrix near the Boulevard de Grenelle so that I can have milk with my morning coffee.  The plan then expands to include a stop at Au Pain Naturel, a bakery, to buy brown bread.

Looking toward the Eiffel Tower from the Pont Alexandre III.
The walk home takes me past La Gauloise, where Tom and I had a delicious dinner last night.  That restaurant is among the few that serve a good steak in Paris.  Tom appreciates it, as well as the crispy fries that accompany. 
Filet mignon with crispy fries and pepper sauce at La Gauloise.

The chef also does escargots well, so we shared six of those.  Each snail came in its own little ceramic pot with melted butter and herbs!

Individually potted escargots at La Gauloise.

My bass and vegetables came with a little pot of tangy yet smooth beurre blanc.  Slivers of roasted eggplant were especially yummy with that sauce.

Bass filet with roasted vegetables and beurre blanc at La Gauloise.
Although we'd talked about dessert (La Gauloise serves a heavenly soufflé au grand marnier), neither of us wanted any by the time we'd finished the main courses.  We walked up to the Champ de Mars after dinner, then sauntered home in the gently warm evening air.

Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower in the evening.
During the day, Tom and I both read dozens of college student essays, as part of the job of making a new edition of Back to the Lake (one of Tom's textbooks with W. W. Norton & Co.).  By 3PM, we couldn't take it anymore, so we turned into Zombies watching the day's stage of the Tour de France on TV.  This is the most television watching we do all year.  As soon as the Tour is over in late July, the TV goes pretty much silent and dark until our friends, the apartment owners, return in September.

Now it is time to go back to work!

No comments: