Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 20 Rain in Paris, meeting Marie, BHV, and staying underground

There was a fine mist in the morning when we woke up and since it's a Monday and a holiday (something having to do with Pentecost ) the city remained quiet.

With Susie still asleep I showered, dressed and headed down the stairs and down the street to rue Saint-Antoine where I turned right and in a block or two found my way to Manon patisserie where I picked up a few items for breakfast (including my favorite, Oranais, a delicious apricot puff pastry). From there I walked across the street to Starbucks and picked up two coffees for us as well. (This would become my routine for pretty much the entire time we were in Paris.)

in the Metro, once again

Originally, I had hoped to spend a few quality hours in Pere-Lachaise on Monday, meeting up with Marie B. to locate some of the cemetery's earliest burials. Susie had planned to spend part of the day visiting some of her favorite pastry hangouts: but especially Mora and Detou. But with the rain holding steady and threatening to become even more severe (a threat eventually made good) she opted to join me for lunch with Marie near Pere-Lachaise, at  the Factoire Saint-Amour cafe.


Since Susie and I arrived a bit early I thought let's pop inside the cemetery for a moment or two -- but the rain pretty much put a damper on that notion and we scurried back to the corner and inside the cafe to await Marie.


The three of us had a nice lunch catching up on the latest news and eating delicious food (reportedly from the Auvergne.)

tartine with cheese and pears

Steve had mashed potatoes and, as Susie calls it a big wiener -- the French refer to these as sausages

After we bid adieu to Marie, with promises to try and meet up on Saturday, we got back on the Metro and made our way to the Gibert Jeune book store complexes around Place Saint-Michel. Susie had her eye on pastry books, of course, and I am always on the lookout for books on Paris cemeteries, and Pere-Lachaise in particular.

We met back up -- she had gone to one store and I to another -- and  then made our way to BHV, the huge department store on the right bank across from the Hotel de Ville, where I found a hooded sweatshirt to bolster my one long-sleeve shirt; and no, it didn't say Je t'aime Paris. It promised to be a chilly month of May and I was totally unprepared.

just about every size Staub imaginable
Carette under the arcade
From BHV (Bazaar Hotel de Ville) we walked home, unloaded and refreshed ourselves before going back out again, this time to Carette in the nearby Place des Vosges where we had an aperitif.

From Carette we strolled over to the Place Bastille and found way to Sukiyaki to have a light meal for dinner. We had eaten here twice before on previous trips and had always enjoyed the casual, easygoing atmosphere and good food. This time, though, the service was off and so was the food. Not recommended.



overdone raviolis
bland tempura
After dinner we made our way back around the Place Bastille and home for the evening.

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