In Paris, it is October in July

Galleries lafayette
What a glorious weather day.  The wind is blowing, we are layered up and the temperature is maybe a high of 65.  It feels like a crisp fall day.  Sort of strange but nice at the same time. 

We had lunch today with the wife of someone Fred knows.  She has lived in Paris (now back in NY) and is here for a few weeks.  She is incredibly knowledgeable about Paris and France in general.  She is starting up a travel site that is geared specifically towards Paris.  Very cool.  She spent years working in the political landscape which is always fun to talk about, particularly if you are on the same side of the fence.   I’m really glad we met and hopefully I will get the opportunity to meet her other half back in NYC. 

I took the Metro to get to lunch.  Two girls were sitting across from me, definite Americans and not NYer’s.  They were clutching their backpacks which were strewn around their arms so the pack was in their lap.  It got a kick out of it.  They obviously felt unsafe and I feel the exact opposite.  Anyway, we were lunching at Café des Musees which is in the Marais.  Wonderful bistro with excellent frites.  Really deep brown and crispy.  I just found a link to Cafe des Musees for all interested in the location and found it on David Lebovitz’s blog (which is excellent) and he actually wrote that they have the best fries in Paris.  So funny, there you go and he is a definite food expert. 

Jess and Josh did their own thing together today which was nice and Em was off with Reuben so I was on my own getting to lunch since Fred had a few business things going on before hand.  In years past, many years past, I used to be the navigator.  Great sense of direction.  Either it is age or I have just lost it (use it or lose it) but I am not so confident as I used to be about where I need to go.  Today, I had a break through.  I got to the restaurant and spent the rest of the day walking with Jessica and things just clicked.  Let’s hope it stays with me.

After lunch, we hooked up with Josh and Jess and decided to talk a walk over to Galleries Lafayette.   The ceiling of this department store is domed stained glass.  There used to be a small cafe that sat right underneath the dome.  No longer.  The place is a shlock house.  Don’t waste your time.  They don’t deserve the beautiful building that houses the store.  Alas.  Lesson learned.

Josh and Fred decided to call it a day and go home.  Jess and I continued on.  We decided that we should walk over the Pont Alexandre III.  The views are magnificent from that bridge.  The Eiffel Tower, Palais Royal, National Assembly…just beautiful.  So we walked and we walked.

We decided to hop on the Metro at one point and get off at the Madeline Metro stop which is en route to where we are going.  What a find.  That is what is so lovely about Paris.  Just walking and all of a sudden you come upon something.  The square where the Madeline Metro is seems to be all about gourmet specialty shops.  Needless to say, we walked into every single one.

We began at Fauchon.  The packaging is amazing.  Everything is packaged for the perfect gift.  There are 2Hediard
locations.  One is for food with seating outside and upstairs.  Everything is already prepared.  The other store is jellies, teas, chocolates, crackers, honey, etc.  We bought a few jellies to bring home and some chocolate.  Our next stop was Hediard.  I preferred Hediard.  There is a wine store inside and they are long on jams and veggies and fruits.  We bought from the “new crop” of jams and a bottle of dried sausages.  Need to fill up for Sunday and Monday (Bastille Day) when everything will be closed.  We continued on.  There is Maison de la Truffle.  I had to walk in and take in the smell.  The best part are the sandwiches in the window.  Foie gras sandwich with truffles.  Woah.  Next to the truffle shop is Patisserie Japonaise which is chocked full with the most interesting looking Foie gras
pastries.  Taking dim sum to a whole new level.  Next door is Kaspia which is all about caviar.  This little section of town is a foodies dream.  If you could just walk door to door with a fork and just taste a little bit of everything wouldn’t life be grand?

We left that section and made our way down The Village Royale which is a small walkway with a cafe and high end boutiques which is right behind Rue de Honores.  We finally came upon the Place de la Concorde and walked down to the bridge.  It was a nice and long walk but worth it. 

We stopped behind the National Assembly which is gated in but you can peak in and see the magnificent buildings to rest our feet.  A small brasserie where we had 2 Perrier.  I couldn’t help but take a picture of the bottle.  It appears that Agnes B. had designed the label.   Lots of roses. 

Jumped on the Metro and came home.  Tonight I am going out with Jess for dinner to meet her friend andPerrier
her mother.  The rest of the gang is having dinner and then going to the Zenith to see MGMT and Kings of Leon.  We will hook up with them there later…if it isn’t too late.  I really want to see MGMT and have seen Kings of Leon, so we will see.

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