Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting around town

My preferred method of getting around Paris is on foot, walking every where.  But, no, these shoes are not mine!  I just couldn't help but snap a photo of them, though.  (My students think I am so weird, but I will bet a Nutella-filled crêpe that more than one girl will come back from Paris with a photo of someone's shoes...)  I wear the ever more practical Dansko clogs.  In black, of course.  Do they even make gold ones?  I just checked and they have some interesting ones, but I will stick to my black oiled leather ones.
When you walk you can take in lots of sights.  Once again-- not stalking.  Just watching and following and trying to get a good photo.  If you want to look like you really belong, get a dog.

If you don't walk, you might miss the little passages which are hidden treasures.  My Favorite Parisien gave me a whole book about them.

You would also miss this musical treat.

If I am not walking, then it is the métro.

Fast, cheap.  Always interesting.  Musicians.  Movie and concert posters plastered everywhere.  Snoop Dogg was coming to town.

They even have signs now in most of the stations that tell you when the next train will arrive.

And lots of signs to help you find the right line and direction (unlike my experience in NYC this past summer).

I have taken a city bus once, thanks to My Favorite Parisien.  I mentioned that I had never done it, so he had me and the whole group of kiddies hop on one for a brief ride.  I took no photos, but here's one lined up at the Arc de Triomphe.

A bike?  Le vélib?  While it sounds fun in theory, I would be scared to death in practice.  Parisians drive like maniacs.  I would fear for my very life in the middle of traffic.  There are bike lanes in some places now and the vélibs are cheap, but non merci.  There are thousands of bikes in rental stands around the city.

I secretly (or not so secretly, I suppose) covet this little jewel I saw a couple of years ago on the Ile Saint Louis.  Aimée Leduc's Vespa, I think.

I love Cara Black's heroine.  I've read all of the books.  When will there be a movie??
You can, of course, take a boat ride on the Seine.  I always do this with the kiddies.  Not to get around town (unless the métro goes on strike) but just to relax, see the sights and pass under all the bridges.

On my last trip to Paris, in January 2014, I was treated to a totally new experience.  I invited My Favorite Parisian to dinner at Le Mistral (discovered in Ann Mah's book Mastering the Art of French Eating).  We met in Belleville, a previously undiscovered neighborhood for me, wandered around the streets, catching glimpses of Sacré Coeur across the horizon.

We also found beautiful little passage ways.  It didn't feel as if we were still in Paris, just in a little town.  I tried really hard to see in people's windows along the way.  You know, just to see how they decorate and to try to catch a glimpse of an apéritif.

Le Mistral is just a little neighborhood restaurant.

I had to try the steak (the owners are from the Aveyron region which is well-known for its beef) and aligot, a wonderful mix of masked potatoes and cheese.

Then My Favorite Parisien surprised me.  He called a friend to join us for dinner and to bring around his 2CV, or Deux Chevaux, which was manufactured by Citroën beginning in 1948.  It is quite the collector's item now and a symbol of France.

A new experience for me!  Riding in a 2CV AND riding around Paris in a car!  We drove around the city with MFP at the wheel.  Photos?  I tried.

Not easy.

But so much fun!  I did Dial-A-Friend while careening through the Paris night.  I just couldn't help myself.  Arles Lucy since she loves My Favorite Parisien, too.  She would've loved the ride.

Merci, My Favorite Parisien!  What a grand adventure for me.  I look forward to seeing you in just a few days!

Bon appétit, Paris!  I will be back very soon!


Richard Goodman said...

When are you going back?? Take me with you!

Jo Maeder said...

I agree with Richard. Can you squeeze us into your luggage?

Lindsay Kinder said...

Hello there! I stumbled across your blog while trying to find some information on cooking programs in France. I would love to hear more about your experience and ask you a couple of questions, however I was not able to find your contact information. I would be so grateful if you could send me your email!

Thank you!