Paris Day 3 (September 3)

As if our previous breakfast wasn’t French enough, on this morning I nipped out to the closest (open) boulangerie. The closest one happens to be closed on Wednesdays, so, unfazed, I just walked in the opposite direction of the people carrying baguettes. It didn’t take long to find one that was open, but just in that short walk I had to pass two other boulangeries that are also closed on Wednesdays. Despite all that extreme hardship, though, we got our breakfast together.

Still not passé.

Still not passé.

The closest market on Wednesdays is Marché Monge at Place Monge. An excellent market that covers all the essentials.

Since none of the record stores in the area are open after 19:00, this was now the time to hit them up. There are several disquaires clustered along Rue des Écoles, for obvious reasons, as well as more scattered around the general area. I doubled back toward RdÉ to begin my day of crate digging.

Met this nice and slightly odd chat along the way.

Met this nice and slightly odd chat along the way.

My search for a record store that had apparently closed or moved brought me to the Panthéon–just another majestic building in the middle of everything–and a funny little place called De Clercq, who claim to be les rois de la frite. “Well, ok then” I said. Un petit cornet and my umpteenth bottle of Badoit only cost me €4.60. I took one last look up and down the street (still looking for that record store), and then I had a nice sit down at Place de l’Estrapade.

Chose mayonnaise to dip in. Hardly missed the ketchup!

Chose mayonnaise for dipping. Hardly missed the ketchup!

Rejuvenated, I turned back toward RdÉ proper. Just a stone’s throw from Place du Panthéon, I happened upon a cool little record store specializing in classical music. A lot of happening upon, I know, but it…happens.

As I found subsequent disquaires I had researched, I found that American and British classic rock reign supreme here, which at first slightly disappointed me, but really it’s pretty cool. My music, that is to say my favorite music, can take me anywhere in the world, both in terms of listening and playing. For the Francophiles, most music stores, chain or mom-and-pop, usually have a sections called Variété Français, wherein they lump multiple genres by artists of French origin.

Another thing I found is that music is EXPENSIVE here. Regular (non-special editions, non-imported, etc.) CDs from a Barnes and Noble-like store, Gibert Jeune, cost €15+, or about $20 with current exchange rates. The going rate for a record from a little disquaire seems to be €8. Maybe wages and all that are such that €15 works out for the French consumer the same as $10-12 does for an American consumer. Either way, I had to dial back my shopping list. Despite that, I had some good finds.

Trust is an 80s metal band I found online a while ago, Catharsis sounds cool, and I enjoy Vivaldi.

Trust is an 80s metal band I found online a while ago, Catharsis sounds cool, and I enjoy Vivaldi.

A few hours had passed and I was approaching the limit of my daily budget. It was time to regroup with my Aunt for another (and another, as it turned out) stop at Berthillon. Fig and peach. Still fantastic, though I unfortunately forgot to photograph both of my cones.

Thus concluded the day’s activities, other that the walk home and me finally starting to write down all the things I’ve been doing. I ended up falling asleep without a proper dinner. Oh well.

Paris Day 2 (September 2)

We woke early and refreshed. A quick, very French-y French breakfast and we were out the door.

Had to settle for a confiture avec pectine. My mother's pectin elitism knows no borders.

Had to settle for a confiture avec pectine. My mother’s pectin elitism knows no borders.

We had a very simple plan:  walk.

From home we took the most direct route to the Seine and turned left (West). I was reveling and vibing and overall thoroughly enjoying myself when Place de la Concorde suddenly appeared before us! But ya, whatever. Just an Ancient Egyptian obelisk between two gorgeous fountains in the middle of a traffic circle.

I’m writing this in the evening of my third day, and I still don’t understand how all these Parisians go about their lives without having theirs minds constantly blown by all these awesome things just laying around this city.

Once I tore my gaze from the obelisk, I was drawn to this long, almost axis-like road heading away from Concorde. It was very nice. More statues, shops, and some sort of…Arc at the end. A lot of people seemed to be heading for it so we just sort of followed them. After alighting to the top, I felt rather…triomphant.

Picture taken just as I was about to don my sunglasses.

Picture taken just as I was about to don my sunglasses.

And from the top of this…”triumphant arch” we could see this big metal tower. We decided to head for that, stopping for some excellent sandwiches de poulet et jambon crudité on the way.

We later saw that PeGast is a chain. Still, excellent sandwiches.

We later saw that PeGast is a chain. Still, excellent sandwiches.

From the Tour Eiffel we again followed the Seine back Eastward, passing too many points of interest to list without making a huge run-on sentence. I do want to showcase these cool benches, though, from the area around Pont de l’Alma.

IMG_9764

I like a bit of industrial architecture.

This stretch of Seine shoreline, between Pont de l’Alma and Pont Royal, has been recently developed into an ecology-showcasing park-type area. It’s a wonderful walk.

As what was meant to be the last thing, we took a quick walk through the Marché Couvert St. Germain. I ended getting inspired by the beautiful fish, so I grabbed a filet de Grenadier, a couple of potatoes, and a head of rougette lettuce for dinner.

Could always use an excellent tomato, too.

Could always use an excellent tomato, too.

This in turn prompted another quick Monoprix run for heavy cream, red wine vinegar, and more Badoit. I also happened upon Badoit Rouge, the intensément pétillante (intensely sparkling) version of regular Badoit.

I did my usual simple, creamy mash with the potatoes and sautéed the fish in (lots of) butter. The Monoprix brand red wine vinegar was excellent—almost as good as Vilux—and there was a good Italian olive oil left by the last renter of this apartment.

I had a pretty major "moment" while preparing and eating this.

I had a pretty major “moment” while preparing and eating this.

Dinner energized me, but the local disquaires (record stores) were all closed, so I went out for a beer.