Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 2 - Paris

We were a little slow on Sunday morning. Saturday's activities had taken a real toll. Besides that, we had an opportunity to experience the paper thin walls of urban apartment life. Perhaps the audio erotica in the background influenced our itinerary for the day.

Rue de Pigalle 

And Moulin Rouge

The tree studded boulevard was a total surprise.

Along with the classy architecture. The bottom floors might be pure sleaze, but the buildings are beautiful.

Shop after shop after shop of sex toys, costumes, movies, books, and related paraphernalia. Now this is what we expected!

Location, location, location! We all know those are the three most important words in real estate, but the juxtaposition of McDonalds and a XXX movie theater was a bit of a jolt.

I was expecting to see some interesting people on the street, but this guy was about the most colorful of the lot. (No, it isn't a mime.) Stanley thought our timing was to blame for the bland pedestrian group, but I reminded him that Bourbon Street in New Orleans runs 24/7. 

Back on the metro to Rue Cler. A very different street lined with cafes and shops of a very different sort.  

Most of the shops were closed, but you could still buy fresh fruits and vegetables. God forbid that any French cook would have to make a salad with yesterday's lettuce. 

And that brings me to something I have learned about myself. As much as I like to cook and eat, I don't pay nearly enough attention to the quality of food as I should. 

Where does it come from? How was it grown? When and how was it harvested? How was it transported? How long has it been in the market? What measures have been taken to help maintain freshness? These are questions the French cook asks every day and the answers are reflected in the beautifully presented delicious meals they prepare. I loved the food in France!

We have been aware of this attention to food in Italy, Croatia and Greece, but the French take it to a whole new level. 

We stopped for a snack and a beverage.

Darn good! As evidenced by the remains!

A short walk from Rue Cler brought us to the far end of Champs de Mars with the Eiffel Tower standing guard at the other end. 

The wind was having a high old time chasing leaves, tugging on scarves, dropping ice cubes down collars, and sending the day's litter flying! But some of us were transfixed. What a sight!

École Militaire stood behind us, many of its buildings abandonded. Don't you know those walls could tell a story or two?

Walking back to the metto station, I got this look at Napoleon's Tomb. A visit there will have to wait for another time.

Back at the apartment, we watched the sunset reflection from our window seat dining nook.