Saturday, July 07, 2018

Rage on, Parisians! No more towers!

On Monday evening, we walked along hot and shady Avenue Emile Zola and talked about dining at Le Pario, a wonderful, creative French-Brazilian restaurant established by the young chef Eduardo Jacinto.  We've dined there for the past three or four summers; Eduardo's dinners have always been memorable.  After running an errand at Darty, we continued through the air conditioned Beaugrenelle mall to the end that opens onto a street right around the corner from Le Pario.
Korean restaurant on the site of the former Oh Duo! and
Le Pario restaurants on Avenue Emile Zola.

But when we turned the corner, there was no Le Pario, there was only a Korean restaurant.  Tom thought Le Pario must be a block or two farther west, so I followed him for a short distance.  Then I stopped and said, no, that was the right place back there.  We turned back, found the former site of Oh Duo! and Le Pario, and confirmed that it is now a Korean restaurant.  Our hearts sank with disappointment.

Eduardo had put so much of himself into that place!  We even remember passing by, seeing him on his hands and knees, preparing the floor for new tile.  Le Pario was a labor of love for him.

What happened?  A little while later, as we waited to be served at Le Tipaza, I took out the smart phone and did a search for news about Eduardo.  I found an article in Portuguese from a publication in Brazil.  I could read the Portuguese well enough to discern that Eduardo -- along with wife and child -- had returned to Florianopolis, a city on the island of Santa Catarina in the south of Brazil.  He's opened a bistro there.  The name of the bistro?  Le Pario.  After 13 years in France, Eduardo Jacinto (36 years old) is now back in his native Brazil.  What a time to move back there!  I guess he decided that the island of Santa Catarina might be a better place to raise a child, perhaps with family nearby.  If you're ever in Florianopolis, do dine at Le Pario.

We've seen a couple restaurants come and go at a place on rue Mademoiselle, too.  The current business to occupy the space, Bacco, appears to be a winner.  We've been dining there for a few years now.  Like Le Pario, it is air conditioned, so I made a reservation via (30% discount!) and we dined there last night.  

Spring roll and fried shrimp appetizer.

We started by sharing a spring roll and fried shrimp appetizer, and continued with main courses of lamb and veal.  The finishing touch was a luscious, dark, rich moelleux au chocolat (lava cake). What a satisfying dinner!
Brochette of lamb so tender it fell apart, veal that was juicy and good, and
unbeatable roasted veggies, all resting in a bit of creamy mustard sauce.
On the way home, we noticed a flyer posted in several places.  Its purpose is to protest against the construction of more residential and office towers.  The flyer encourages Parisians to sign a petition against the towers because they are "always constructed higher but do not resolve the housing crisis; they are a return to the brutal urbanism of the Pompidou era; there are already 100 towers disfiguring Paris without any value added; and towers are being constructed in the 12th, 13th, 15th, and 17th arrondissements."
Moelleux au chocolat at Bacco, on rue Mademoiselle.

The website for the cause, , adds some more reasons to oppose new towers:  because Paris doesn't need to be one of the most dense cities in the world; Parisians need new spaces to breathe; because Paris needs more variety in available public spaces; because there are not enough green spaces in Paris -- only 2.05 square meters per habitant now.  And the list goes on.

Sanibelians are right there with you, Parisians!  We banned high rises when our city was born (mid 1970s, when your first high rises were young) and we, the voters, assured that a rogue city council could not lift the ban (mid 1990s).  We did this by putting the high-rise ban in the city charter.  Voters must approve any change in the city charter, and voters will not approve high rises.  Rage on, Parisians!  Solidarity!

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