Paris was much colder when I was here for Paris Photo not so long ago, but our first couple of days in this lovely apartment were without heat and hot water so things got off to a shivery start, in spite of the more temperate weather. Fortunately the fixer of these things showed up this morning and I enjoyed a steamy leisurely bath before setting out for the day.
Yesterday was jet-lagged and meandering but an absolute pleasure nonetheless. I can (and have! and will!) wander Paris for days on end with no particular agenda and be perfectly content. Which seems rather obvious I suppose. I'd be suspicious of someone who saw tedium in the prospect of such a thing.
A visit to a local bonbonnière (above) was très amusant. An older woman with braided hair and sensible shoes took us through the inventory in great detail, enthusiastically explaining which producers made what and where. There were gorgeous tins of all kinds of candies and some amazing looking nougat which is apparently made only during the few months of the year that the honey is just right. I am going back for presents before we leave, so I only took away a small square of dark chocolate filled with caramel and some kind of sublimely crackly cookie. (Sampled this morning before coffee even, yum.)
As for this morning's breakfast, well, we had duck. For breakfast. Technically it was lunch, for everyone else at least. We were getting a characteristically late start, made later still by jetlag and the wait for hot water and so our first meal commenced at 1pm. My traveling companion went for the gusto, devouring foie gras and cassoulet. It was a bit rich for my taste, my palate was hankering for more of the aforementioned chocolate, or croissants, if anything at all. I picked a bit and visualized the chocolat chaud that was a core mission of the day.
Then we hopped on the Metro and met with a few gallerists. Topics of conversation included Euros, Dollars, art fairs, and Lumas, which is a hot topic here in Europe but hasn't yet made a huge impact in the States and yes, of course I have more to say about them but not now, it's past 2am and I should be sleeping. Another scintillating topic of conversation was the possibility that I may be curating an exhibition here in near future. Seems like a fine thing to plan a Spring time trip around, non?
All that talk took up more time than I expected (A. was counting the minutes I fear, sorry and thanks.) Suddenly it was dusk. We made our way to an international magazine shop and then not at all on purpose over towards Notre Dame, which I'd never gotten close to before. Those flying buttresses really are something. Looking at a pictures can't compare, nor can a million diagrams in Janson's. Looking up at the impossible architecture of those things, from a certain angle, in the gathering evening - I was suddenly immobile, a stubborn (and likely irritating) impediment to the tourists streaming around us.
Île de la Cité as viewed through the window of a cafe on Île Saint-Louis.
After that we made our way across the Seine and stopped at a cafe on Île Saint-Louis for a chocolat chaud. (Not the sublime chocolat chaud I have been promised and am craving but a more than serviceable one nonetheless.) The view poorly captured above by moi, was superior and I performed poorly during an impromptu French lesson. (The accent stymies me, and in general I hate being wrong which makes it hard to even try.)
The evening went on, we were eventually led back to the same cafe where we'd spent the evening before in different company. And there's more to be told, but again not now, because really I do think I'm supposed to sleep a bit even though I don't want to.