Monday, November 2, 2009

Paris, November 2009, A Rainy/Sunny Day Out And About

When we got out of bed this morning, late, the sky was gray and it looked way to cold to go out. We immediately decided we'd stay in and read or putter around. It was unanimous. However, by the time we finished with breakfast--about 10--the sun was shining brightly. There's no way to resist the temptation of strolling out into Paris center in such weather. We quickly did our chores, showered, dressed and headed toward the metro line that would take us to Concorde.

The sun was still shining as we leisurely strolled through sections of Tuileries Garden that we had not yet strolled through. This is such a magnificent place. It seems that every corner of the huge garden has some sort of delightful thing just waiting to be discovered, and it really requires some surveillance and a keen eye to take it all in.

On this day not too many people were out and about, which made it even more delightful. We stopped and looked at many of the works of art scattered about the park. As we walked, we suddenly became aware of the fact that our sun shiny day had peaked and large rain-filled clouds hid any evidence that there had once been a sun out this day. We began to pick up our pace a bit--I think the wind-chill that came along with the clouds may have induced the latter--as it was beginning to look like we might be out in the middle of the garden when the storm arrived.

There really is nothing as splendid as coming around a bend and smack in front of the palace Catherine de Mecci had built in the 1500's--now the Louvre--with all its grandeur. It never ceases to take my breath as I gaze at the grand architecture of this old landmark, the fountains and, of course, I.M. Pei's amazing pyramid structures that were latter added. We lingered until the rain did arrive and began to pound. We actually sought shelter for a short period, then walked out when it ceased raining.

We walked to the 6e, by the famous Hemingway hangout, Les Deux Magots, and onto the metro at St. Germaine until we were back in the 15e on rue du Commerce. Of course, once we were on high ground we were face to face with our favorite resto, Café de Commerce, and since our favorite pizza guy was still making pizza, we hurried in and ordered one of his terrific pizzas, the Regina (ham and mushroom), a pot of red wine and the most scrumptious dessert--mine an unforgetable Tarte Fine Au Pommes Avec Glace Vanille (tender flaky buttery crust with thin slices of sweet apple topped with vanilla ice cream--oh yum!) and Doug's chocolate ice cream with chantilly cream on top. I can't think of a better way to wind down the afternoon.

Once we were back home, Doug took the pull cart to Monoprix to pick up some water, wine, cream and orange juice, while I began to concoct a good winter dish the French make called Choucroute. It is a combination of crisped and rendered smoked bacon pieces, in which onion and apple is sauteed, then several varieties of artisan sausage is added and browned, then some brown sugar, white wine, chicken broth, potatoes and finally their delicious homemade sauerkraut. All this is simmered in the oven for a couple of hours and served with good rustic french bread. You can't imagine the aroma in here. It's nearly time to dig in and it will be a pleasure. We've got some good white wine from the Bourgogne that will enhance our one-pot meal.

Here's wishing you a great week. Stay tuned for more of Paris. Enjoy some of what we saw today, below.

Voila! Our Lift (All 3 ft x 3 ft of it!)

Once In The Foyer, Doug Rushes To The Lift (Hey, Rushing Is French!)

Doug Plugs In The Code At Our Apartment So We Can Enter The Foyer

A Rainy Day and The Seine Is Quiet

Hmm. Future Doctors Taking A Smoke Break Outside The University of Paris? Hmm.

A Rare Scene: A Waiter Standing Amongst Empty Tables At Les Deux Magots!

A Tart Fine Au Pommes Avec Glace Vanille! Forget Doug's Ice Cream!

We Were Lucky Today, The Pizza Guy Was Baking At Café de Commerce! Ah, oui!

The Storm Passes And It's Sunny On Rue du Commerce

Handsomely Designed Apartment, Felix Faure, 15e. I'll Take It!

15e Furniture Store Displays Characteristic Platform Beds Of France (No Kings)

Only One Doug, But Many Of These Beautiful Fountains Of Potable Water In Paris

Military Guards Are A Show Of Force On The Right Of The Small Pyramid

The Impressive Louvre Grounds

Dapper Doug (not Dan) In Front Of The Louvre Fountain/Pyramids

The Elegant Arched Entry To The Louvre With Elements of Marble, Gold, Bronze And Stone

A Statue Of Venus Stands Above The Sculptured Shrubbery, Looking Elegant!

From The Tuileries To The Grounds Of The Louvre, As The Rain Nears

When The Birds Began To Lie Down, We Knew The Rain Was Coming. It Came!

Gray Is The Color Of The Day. At Least At This Time!

An Exhibition Of Large Silver Heads. Interesting.

This Lioness Kills A Bird Of Prey To Feed Her Cubs

This Lioness In The Foreground Of Le Louvre Kills An Alligator

An Interesting Combination Of Ancient Sculpture And Modern Art

Even With A Wind-Chill, One Feels Warm

Not An Uncommon Sight To See Empty Chairs With a Wind-chill and Rain

This Statue Provides A Perch For Two Cold Pigeons, Huddling Together At Top His Head

Notice How French Children Contemplate, rather than climb on, Art

More Art In The Park, Tuileries

More Art In The Park At Tuileries

Fall In Paris

A Huddle Is Perfect On This Wind-Chill Autumn Day In Paris

It Was A Cold Day, As Seen By The Fluffed Feathers Of These Sun Bathers

Sculpted Shrubs At Tuileries, Always A Delight To See

A 16th Century Park With Contemporary Art! Gotta Love Paris!

Tuileries Garden, Next To Place de la Concorde

Stacks Of Bleacher Materials. We'll Keep Our Eyes Open For A Fête!

Next Post: Paris November 2009

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