Thursday, September 12, 2019

Not a serious hunt

Exquisite doorway on Rue de la Convention, featuring a fine cat.
One day, as I passed through our building's porte cochere, I snapped up the last copy of the 15th arrondissement town hall's magazine.  From this periodical, I learn so much about daily life here.  Here are some snippets of news in the 15th:

The first "Workshop for the Future Papa" was a beautiful success so it is being offered again at the town hall.  Thirty some young men participated in the first workshop, which included modules on watchful communication, risk prevention, practical exercises (changing diapers, care, bathing, hygiene), advice, and counseling.  New sessions are scheduled for late September and mid-November.  [Imagine local government offering such workshops for young men in southwest Florida?]
Quail pastilla, potatoes and a couple bits of foie gras
at O Fil Rouge on the Rue Saint Charles.

The Family Festival is coming up on the 21st of September on the plaza in front of the town hall and in Square Adolphe Chérioux.  The numerous attractions and activities will include a mini-farm and the presence of the humanoid robots, Pepper and Nao.  There will also be a children's clothing and baby things market consisting of 600 booths or tables.

More than 300 nursery/daycare places are opening from the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2020 in various places throughout the arrondissement.

For the European Day of Languages, the 15th is offering a Kidilangues program for kids -- a program that goes beyond what's taught in language courses in the schools.

If you get the idea that much of the 15th arrondissement's concerns center around the family, you get it.  Now that summer vacations are over, all the Parisians and their baby strollers are back -- everywhere!

Maybe not so much in restaurants.  We do see a few baby strollers and tots in the cafés, but not that many.

Filet de bar (sea bass) at O Fil Rouge.
On Tuesday evening, we dined at O Fil Rouge and had a delightful time there.  I had Chef Fakhour's quail pastilla again, and Tom had the sea bass filet and veggies.  Desserts were a millefeuille and a chocolate lava cake; both delicious.  All portions were small, which is good.

Yesterday, we abandoned the computers to go in search of bookplates -- we need 17 of them for Tom to sign, so the publisher can affix them to new copies of Back to the Lake which are being sent to people who gave input for or helped to sell the new edition.

We have some bookplates that will do, but we thought that surely in Paris, we could find something special.  Tom had already gone in search of bookplates on Tuesday; I suggested he try a large stationery store (papeterie) that is near the École Militaire.  He went there, and to another papeterie as well as a bookshop near us, on the Avenue Emile Zola.  But bookplates were not to be found.  I decided to join him yesterday.

Please understand that this is not a serious hunt; it is just an excuse to go out on an adventure.  It is a game.
Decor at the Gloriette brasserie on Rue Saint Charles
and Rue de la Convention
Our first destination yesterday was Le Divan -- a big bookstore smack in the middle of the 15th arrondissement on the Rue de la Convention.  We'd visited it briefly several years ago.  Last year, I read that Le Divan had undergone a complete renovation.  So we were planning to revisit it sometime this summer anyway, just to check out the improvements.

I perused medieval history books while Tom asked the cashier about bookplates, or ex libris etiquettes, in French.  The young man had no idea what these were.  This was not a language or communication problem; he really had not seen bookplates before.  We admit, bookplates are old fashioned.
Gloriette brasserie, above and below.

Needless to say, Le Divan did not have bookplates.  But it does have lots of books, in a very inviting and well-lit shopping environment.

We continued westward on Rue de la Convention.  I spotted a papeterie that was crammed full of merchandise -- basically, office supplies.  It was difficult to move in that shop, so Tom asked the lady at the counter.  Even plain labels with a simple border -- like the kind we use for cheap nametags at gatherings back in th U.S. -- would do nicely, but these were not to be found.

The lady called her son up front to help.  He spoke a Pakistani version of English, but even in English, bookplates are not recognized as common stationery store merchandise.

Table is almost full and lunch hasn't begun, at Glorietta.

We continued on to Office Depot.  We've been customers of a few Office Depots in Paris over the years, and I think every time the experience is identical.  Customer service at Parisian Office Depots is nonexistent.  We searched, and of course all we could find were slightly oversized, plain white mailing labels.  These will do in a pinch, but we can also buy them at the stationery store near us, where the cashier is like a rooted turnip behind the counter, but at least she is there, is basically polite, and responds to questions.

Office Depot marked the end of the hunt.  Time to eat lunch!  The Gloriette brasserie, which I have been wanting to try, was just another block or two westward on Convention, at the corner of Rue Saint Charles.
Bakery on Rue du Theatre, where Lionel Naulleau displays
a poster featuring his well-deserved awards.  Lionel is 32, and he
works 17 hours a day, six days a week.  He takes one 3-week
vacation every year.  His mom helps by working in the front of the shop.
We were cheerfully greeted and seated at a nice little table in the dining room.  Tom had a chicken burger and fries, and I ordered the sea bass filet this time.  It came atop of delicious pile of veggies cut in the form of tagliatelle pasta -- but it was all veggies, no pasta or potatoes.  I loved it.  The dining room was whimsically decorated in twisting vines dotted with fluffy white flowers.  So French!
The other front window of Lionel's bakery.  The big
white things are large meringues!

On the way home, we bought the plain white oversized mailing labels at the papeterie near home.  Later, we ventured out for another short walk to the picturesque square at Rue du Theatre and Rue Saint Charles.  We stopped for bread at the bakery on Rue du Theatre, which recently re-opened after a long vacation.  The patron, Lionel Naulleau, has won another award for his baking, and he had a big poster board featuring this honor inside the front window.  We bought bread and a slice of Provençale quiche, and congratulated him on  the award, which is much deserved.

So dinner was just a bit of quiche and a very small side salad.  We opened the French doors and let last of the day's sun pour into the dining room.

Our evening entertainment is reading.  I just finished Cara Black's 9th book in the Aimee Leduc mystery series.  All of these books in the series take place in Paris and are crammed full of information about Paris.

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