Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I wish this was a post on the marche de l'aveyron

But you know, that would be too easy.
I just realized that the Fete d'Auvergne was actually last weekend, not this weekend. This is one amazing market, so amazing it is only once a year! The auvergnats invade Bercy for the weekend, selling traditional products and hosting cultural events and activities. I discovered this on accident a few years ago when a friend and I happened to stumble upon the blocks after blocks of everything auvergnat. My favorite stand was the aligot stand (mmmm...aligot...mmm). Well, you can be sure I won't miss it next year! And in the meantime I'll just have to make it out to la maison de l'aubrac (if it's still around) to satisfy my aligot craving.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Les petits bateaux

This is one of the stands that rents out toy boats in the Jardin de Luxembourg. If you pass by on a Wednesday, you're likely to see the young French children, accompanied by their nounous, pushing around these old-fashioned wooden sailboats in the large pond in the park. And you might even be lucky enough to witness elementary-school style drama: there's always "that" kid, with a remote-control boat, terrorizing the rest (and the ducks, too!).

In my mind, these toy boats have an iconic role in French childhood; of course, I also make the association with one of my favorite brands, Petit Bateau, maker of oh-so-soft cotton goods for babies, children, and adult alike.

And just to up the melancholy on this gray day, how about the Raphael song "les petits bateaux"?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Graffiti in St-Germain

This graffiti certainly stands out on from the rest of this small road in St-Germain.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If you were thinking of using the insurer MACIF,

maybe you should think again. Apparently punctually resolving claims isn't its strong point. The sign reads "The accident was May 12, we're insured by MACIF!"
Short and sweet, it certainly makes its point: the sign is hanging firm, over four months after the initial fire. This antique/thrift shop in the 6th closes up at night by putting boards through the window panes.  I don't know the story behind the fire, whose damage reaches up to the first floor of the building and on either sides of it, but I hope that MACIF will come through soon enough for the owners.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Serious question

Where can I find seedless grapes (besides Atac and Auchan)? Just wondering if anyone out there has seen any.

Real posts on the way, promise.

Oh, also, all the gyms/salles de yoga and pilates are EXORBITANT. I was just quoted 185/month for a gym. It took all my willpower not to laugh out loud. Does anyone have any experience taking classes at the municipal sport/loisirs centres?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Les Papilles

Les Papilles is one of the best values for those of you adventurous enough to accept whatever the chef deigns to serve you. For you have only one option when eating here: the 31 € "retour du marche" menu which includes entree, main dish, cheese, and dessert course. I lucked out with every course on my first visit, and had a great meal.

We were an hour late (oops), so we got relegated to the bar, but it actually wasn't that bad because we weren't as cramped as some of the people sitting at the tables, and the bartender/waiter was very sweet and took good care of us. I wouldn't mind sitting there again. R. immediately ordered the charcuterie platter, which started us off well.

We both went with the menu (well, it's not like we had any other choice), and I was very happy with the first course, a mint pea soup. I thought it sounded weird but I loved it. That bowl is filled with veggies, croutons, and bacon (yum), over which was served the soup.

Next was the lamb. Oh, that lamb. No, I'm not a pig, this was for both of us! The sauce around it was filled with roasted summer vegetables, and was almost like a meat-infused ratatouille. Delish.

My cheese course was so pretty: brie drizzled with olive oil, chives, and some sweet sauce (plum? black cherry? don't remember). R got a salad substitution for the cheese.

Finally, our dessert. A cup of mascarpone with fresh peaches on the bottom and a coulis of peach on top. I never order these creamy types of desserts, but they are always so good when I taste them, so I was happily surprised.

I do not remember the wine we ordered, but it was whatever the pick of the day was to go with the menu - see how easy they make it for you?

When we were leaving we noticed a large party appearing out of nowhere, leaving. It was then that we learned about the "rugby room": the private dining room downstairs, decorated with rugby memorabilia, complete with flat screen tele. Something to keep in mind for large groups.

This bib gourmand is the place to go if you want a darn good meal without breaking your bank account - so long as you don't have any special dietary restrictions. They were willing to make some movement on the menu - they offered to substitute the tuna for the lamb, but don't bring your vegetarian friend, or even your "I don't eat farm animals with four legs, but sometimes I eat chicken, and maybe pork if I feel like it, oh and can I have my dressing on the side?" friend. On the website there is a "carte" with tartines and salads, but I think that is only for lunch. They also sell their wines and canned goods for takeaway.

BistroY... Les Papilles
30 rue Gay Lussac
75005 PARIS
tel : 01 43 25 20 79

Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday - Saturday
Reservations recommended on the weekends.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

So not having internet...kind of annoying. But now housing is all sorted out (nope, won't even go there!) and internet is too and I'd thought I'd share this lovely surprise that greeted us while walking home one evening a few weeks ago.
Le Figaro is currently exhibiting "30 ans d'emotion" at the Jardin du Luxembourg, with some of the most moving images in the past 30 years, many of which were covers of the Figaro Mag. You can find out more information about the exhibit and the photos on the Senat website.

Hurry by to take a look, since you only have until July 15 to see them!