Monday, November 28, 2005

Some lady

ran into me with her bike today. I was on the sidewalk. She was NOT riding in the proper bike lane. Bitch.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lesson Learned

Never take off earrings in front of a sink. Luckily, said earring was retrieved by very capable boyfriend, so order has been restored.

Le Buisson Ardent

To celebrate my acceptance, and to have a pseudo Thanksgiving dinner, we made reservations at Le Buisson Ardent, a tiny restaurant in the 5th that is noted in the Michelin guide as a "bib gourmand" category. These are restaurants where you can eat very well with a 3 course menu for around 30€. Of the 5 Parisian restaraunts in this category that I have been to, only one has been disappointing, so if you ever pick up a Michelin guide be sure to look for the little red michelin man head. It can only lead to good things.

So, the menu. I took a photo of the outdoor one, excuse the flash:

You have the basic 3 course menu at 29€, with some supplements for a few main courses and if you want an extra cheese platter. A 4 course menu (ménu dégustation) is only 35€, including the more expensive plates that have supplements on the basic menu, and the ménu dégustation with wine pairings for each course is only 45€. Ding ding ding we have a winner. Wine pairings are ALWAYS the way to go, and rarely will you find one for this cheap. You will have the perfect wine for each course (instead of drinking only one wine for the whole meal), and it comes out to be even cheaper than a bottle of wine since the wine list started at 30€.

We started with an amuse-bouche that was some type of olive paste with bread. Not bad, but not my favorite. Next was foie gras cooked in red wine, served with a salad, mango chutney, and a red onion paste. This was served with a very sweet, cold, white wine (ahh I forget the name - I should've asked the waiter to write them all down) that reminded me of Gewurtzaminer. I don't usually like foie gras, but even I had to admit that it was good. The first main course was sautéed scallops served on a bed of julienned vegetables, served with white wine. This was my favorite dish, because I love scallops and because the vegetables were seasoned with cumin which was really good. After that came the course most closely resembling Thanksgiving, albeit on a smaller scale: Quail with foie gras stuffing served on a bed of cabbage. This was delicious. It was served with a chilled red wine, which was not as good as the other wines. It was also strange that it was chilled.

And finally, last but not least, my favorite part of any meal, dessert:

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Yum. So in the little pot is some serious dark chocolate, topped with a little petit four. In the middle is a scoop of rum raisin ice cream topped by some type of pastry and powdered sugar. And my favorite, on the left, was a slice of chocolate cake that might as well have been fudge, topped with sliced almonds. This was served with a glass of apricot sparkling wine that resembled champagne. Sadly, after 3 courses, I could not finish the slice of cake let alone all three.

Coffee afterwards - and big surprise - we got comped for glasses of cognac to end the meal! No explanations, this was NOT included in the menu, and we are not rich or old or famous or fabulous (Ok, maybe fabulous ;)).

I would definitely recommend this restaurant, and I am sure I will go back for the wine pairing menu. The food was delicious, the prices were amazing, and the service was extremely friendly.
Le Buisson Ardent, 25 rue Jussieu, 75005, Paris,
I would call ahead for reservations, although we had no problem getting a reservation on Friday, the day of.

Ups and downs...

The good: today's surprise acceptance and the fabulous Thanksgiving substition dinner (more about it tomorrow).

The bad: after dinner, at home in the bathroom, taking off my diamond earrings...and clumsily having one of them drop down the sink. I am a fool. Tomorrow my boyfriend will try to help me save it, but I will never ever take off earrings again while standing over a sink. I am a retard who is undeserving of the schools that have thus far accepted me. I hope my earring's overnight stay in the depths of my bathroom plumbing doesn't ruin it, if I am lucky enough to retrieve it. They were graduation presents so I am really bummed. What a crappy ending to an otherwise wonderful day.

Friday, November 25, 2005

OK, maybe UPS isn't so bad afterall

He just came back! Right as I was spewing out my hatred for UPS! I'm in! Hooray! And I didn't have to wait around all day to find out! Relief and excitement!

I hate UPS

= the devil

I hate UPS. I am so angry with them right now. Yesterday I came home to find a delivery attempt notice, saying that they would come back at the same time today. Ok. Wierd, I wasn't expecting anything, I do status check and I discover it's sent from one of the schools I applied to. Surely they wouldn't UPS a rejection, so this can only be good news, right? You can imagine my excitement and anticipation. So I wait around all morning, nobody comes, and I check the UPS website to see what's up. Here is what it says: "THE RECEIVER WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO SIGN ON THE 2ND DELIVERY ATTEMPT. A 3RD DELIVERY ATTEMPT WILL BE MADE". WTF! I am here, waiting for you you retarded mofos. So I have to call a paying number (yes, 11 cents a minute to complain about their screw up), and I find out the guy will come back again SOMETIME TODAY. Because I have all day to wait around for retarded UPS drivers. When I called and asked WTF they told me that he probably pressed the wrong apartment buzzer. What a great excuse for sucky service - drivers who can't even press the right button.

And this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Crazy cars in the 'hood

The Brice de Nice-mobile:

This is a Publicity-on-wheels SmartCar. This car is as small - or even smaller - than it looks. About the same size as a golfcart, it can hold two adults, and they are ALL OVER Paris. It's quite normal to see personal cars covered in ads here, much in the same way that public buses are in the States. Unfortunately I didn't catch a glimpse of the driver and I am curious to find out, just because of this film's reputation. Brice de Nice was a cult TV show turned film last spring that is hugely popular among tweens. The most popular quote from the film is "Je t'ai cassé", which would translate as "You got worked!" or "You got burned!". So you can just imagine the effect if you see the Brice de Nice-mobile rollin' down the street, parking, the driver's door opens...and out pops a lil old lady.

This hideous thing is for sale. I can't remember the asking price, though. Don't you love the way the sideview mirrors are held together with packing tape? That's class, baby. I mean, it's a Benz after all. Not to mention the paint job. Perhaps it was a taxi in a past life?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I know I'm late

to point this out, but I just love CNN's brilliant map of France on Fire. The bonfires are charming, topped only by CNN's unique sense of Geography. All on their own, they have rewritten the map of Europe. I am so proud of American news channels.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Movie Roundup

Now that I have the lovely UGC illimité card, a quick summary of the movies I've seen so far in November:

The 40 year-old Virgin/40 ans, toujours puceau

I had just missed this in the US, so I was very excited when it finally got released here. It was hilarious. Also, at the cinema I went to I think the ticketboy had a little too much fun calling out the title of the film "40 ans toujours puceau" ::snicker snicker:: Yelling. Repeat many times. You get the idea.

A History of Violence

Not what I expected (I thought it was gonna be an American History X type thing), but I still really liked it. Although by the end I was a bit tired of the same types of repetitive scenes.

(Rencontres à) Elizabethtown

Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, the theater was filled with all girls, most under the age of 16. But I liked it, it was a great Saturday afternoon movie with a friend. Orlando Bloom cannot pull off an American accent (am I the only one who thinks this?), but he is awful cute.

Wallace & Gromit

A friend told me he loved it, but I was disappointed. I was a bit put off by the fact that the theater was filled with children. I should've known, since it is a kids movie and it was a Wednesday afternoon (here, kiddies don't go to school on Wednesdays), but since it was subtitled I didn't think there'd be that many kids. I guess most of them were bilingual or didn't understand crap but didn't care. I can definitely appreciate kids movies (I loved The Incredibles), but I thought this one was kinda boring.

I thought it was going to be a thriller (see poster), but it wasn't frightening. Maybe a bit suspenseful, at most. I thought I didn't understand the ending cuz I missed something in French, but I felt much better when I found out that there really isn't an ending. If that makes sense. If you've seen it (I think it will come out in the US soon, as Hidden), you know what I mean.


Now I have to decide what to see this week. I feel like I should go to see L'enfant and Joyeux Noël, just because. They're supposedly good films, have won awards, nominated for oscars, all that jazz. But L'enfant looks very depressing, and I'm not in the mood for a war movie. Choices, choices...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Garage sale? Makeshift laundry line? None of the above?

I am confused. Any possible explanations?

A close-up:

Wizz Airlines!

I saw this ad in the metro station. I love the name. Would you want to fly with this airline?

Canal Saint Martin

I went to the Canal a few weekends ago, one of the last warm weekends in fall. I love the canal, it's a great place to read, people watch, and window shop. It's lined with trendy cafés, bookshops, and stores, and the crowd really varies: old ladies walking their dogs, bobos, students, tourists, gay men...On some weekends it becomes pedestrian only, and as a result becomes filled with families, in addition to the "regular" crowd. The older kids are usually on rollerblades or skateboards and the younger kids are on the push-tricycles. I don't know why, but here I've noticed that most of the tricycles/big wheels/etc have a handle on the back for the parents to push them.

A view of the canal:
One of the pedestrian bridges (if it looks familiar it's because it was in the movie Amélie):
Also, ingenious idea: there is a pizzaria (Pink Flamingo, 10 rue Bichat, 75010) located a block away from the canal. You go place your order, they give you a balloon, you chill by the canal and wait for them to bring it over. I'll definitely try it when it gets warmer again...