Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paris, October 2009, Meeting A Friend, Visiting Shakespeare's Book Shop

Wow! What fun we had today. After doing laundry most of the morning, we readied ourselves to take the Métro line 8 from Boucicaut to Place de la Concorde. There we changed to line 1 to Charles de Gaulle E'toile, where we walked a few blocks to meet our friend, April (now working in Paris's 16e as an au pair for a family with three small children--while she decides on a graduate school).

We waited and waited. Finally, I asked Doug if perhaps he might have misunderstood the time. "No," he says. "I'm positive it was 2:30." By this time, it was 2:45 and nearing the "tastefully late" end zone. As you've no doubt experienced, there are times when you know something is a miss, but you never quite focus on it to resolve whatever it is. Correct? Well, that is what was happening with us. We realized that we'd been miscommunicating since Sunday about what time it was, though neither of us really discussed it, as I kept looking at my watch and it didn't seem to jive with any other clocks around us or the time Doug kept telling me it was when I'd ask. Puzzled, I finally said, "Do the clocks change here--you know, do they "fall" back?" We live in Hawaii and the clocks never change there, but we weren't certain about Paris and we were certain April wouldn't stand us up. Doug pulled out his iPhone and did a search (love modern technology) and lo and behold, it was only 1:45 and we'd already been standing at our designated meeting spot for 20 minutes. With an hour to spare, we decided to stroll around the neighborhood for a bit, then we sat for a while on a bench and just watched Paris hum all around us--well, at least until a young man decided to share our street bench and light up a strong smelling cigarette. We found it more enjoyable to walk at that point. Before we knew it though, it was time to walk back to the Teres Métropolitan where we were to meet April.

She was prompt and we were thrilled to see her again, it has been well over a year since she had dinner with us Thanksgiving before last--in fact, it seems that it has been almost two years. She had just graduated from U Penn and joined us, with her parents, for dinner--one of my big feasts I so adore putting on the table and sharing with our friends.

The three of us walked a block or so and decided to dine at a Lebanese restaurant along the way. The lunch time was nearly over, but they still accommodated us. We had a delicious lunch which included a large basket of unlevened flatbread and a huge plate each with ground lamb sausage, two in fact that measured about eight inches each, two generous scoops of very good hummus with a pool of nutty high-quality olive oil in the middle of each, and generous serving of tabouli, as well as another platter containing olives and marinated vegetables. We ordered a nice bottle of red wine to go along with it and ate while we listened to April's adventures and caught up on what her future plans are. She leaves for Cambodia in a week, where she'll connect with her friend who works at the orphanage there in Phnom Penh--it's a orphanage where April's father started an organization that matches orphaned children with foster e-mail parents. We envy April her youth and all the wonderful activities she's enjoying at her tender age and we wish her the best.

Unfortunately, in a rare display by any French restaurant, the patron and staff were eager to leave for the rest period and they literally hovered over us, with the door open to freeze us out, in an attempt to rush us. In all the years we've been traveling to France, it is the first time we've every been rushed. It's too bad, too, as we were really enjoying our conversation with April and this brought it to an abrupt end. We'll know next time to dine there earlier in the day, so that we have time to linger a bit.

After a wonderful meal, we walked toward l'Arc de Triomphe, but it was crowded so we decided to take the Métro over toward Notre Dame, since I needed to buy some more reading material and Shakespeare & Company, I'd heard, carries books written in English. Indeed we found some books in my favorite genre: nonfictional historical-travel. We were fortunate enough to get a signed book by one of the authors, Rosemary Bailey, who was a week-end guest at the shop. This book, entitled "Love and War In The Pyrenees," is based upon the authors experiences as they mirror those of a young couple who lived in the same place during 1939, during France's dark years. Looks like a very good read.

We were shocked by the number of people wandering around the plaza in front of Notre Dame. It seemed like the crowds of summer, not Fall. We meandered through the crowd, stopping briefly to listen to two young lads who played pretty good jazz on their instruments. From there we found the book store, then strolled over to the 6e to St. Germaine and caught the Cluny-Sorbonne line 8 toward Balard, then the Sèvres-Babylon line to Convention.

It's strange to have our clocks readjusted and see that it is 7:30 and pitch dark out. Ha! We've been wrong since Sunday about what time it is. Good thing we're on a working vacation, and made this discovery of time change, or we could have encountered some glitches that we might have regretted!

We haven't had time to make plans for tomorrow, but I'm certain that we'll find ourselves out there again wandering around and sharing our adventures with you.

In the meantime, enjoy the photographs below.

Jerry Lee Lewis Is Still Alive? Amazing! (Métro Art at Sèvres-Babylon Station)

The Métro Station At Cluny-Sorbonne--Very Attractive

We Found Some More Reading Material Here, In English

The Famous Shakespeare & Company Book Store

The Grand Old Cathedral, Notre Dame

This Street Performer Only Wants A Pat On The Head

Evening Shadows Create A Nice Back Ground For The Entrance To Notre Dame

Burgeoning Jazz Musicians Settled Into A Sunny Spot To Make A Day's Wage

The Tall American With Hands In The Air? It's Doug, Of Course

Unusually Large Tourist Crowd At Notre Dame, It Is Off Season, Right?

Touristy Shops & Eateries Line The Streets Around Notre Dame

Notre Dame's Bright Spot

A Bird's Eye View Of The Gargoyles At Notre Dame

Least Photographed Building, Across From Notre Dame

If Standing In A Long Line At Notre Dame Gives You A Pain, There Are Therapists Available

Notre Dame Looms Above This Fall Color Spot Near Shakespeare's Book Store

Fall Flowers Grace Sidewalks Near Shakespeare's Book Store, Ile de St. Louis

An Otherwise Gray Blank Wall Becomes Art In Paris

A Beautiful Day Along The Seine Brings People Out To Bask In The Bright Sunlight

Book Salesmen Line The Quai Hotel De Ville On The Walk To Notre Dame

Architecture Of Interest In The 16e, Commercial District

Lunch At Nai, Cuisine Libanaise (Lebanese)

Exchange Of Bises À La Française!

Waiting At The Ternes Métro Station To Connect With Our Friend, April

Next Post: More About Paris in the Fall

No comments:

Post a Comment