The following is an email that I sent to my family after arriving in Paris on Tuesday. I’m here for a few days while in transit – I had some metro tickets in my wallet that I had to use up – on the way south to check up on our house in the Languedoc.
Hi Guys. I’m in Paris. (I just love writing that sentence. Could I ever actually ever type it enough?).
So last time I emailed, I was off to find some lunch. I’m happy to report that I had a very successful outing. I found a little place (practically unmarked) called “Bob’s Kitchen” at 74 Rue des Gravilliers (3eme arrondissement), an easy walk from this teeny tiny garret. It really IS called “Bob’s Kitchen” – I’m not sure who Bob is…but he’s probably American- and whatever the case, he’s super good with vegetables. I had “Mexican Stew”: a big bowl full of spicy rice, roasted and then stewed veggies – potatoes, zukes, peppers, tomatoes, corn, eggplant, and cabbage – all topped with guacamole, chunks of fresh pineapple and sesame seeds. Sounds bizarre but it tasted great, especially since I was craving healthy after a day of travel. And I can testify that guac tastes fantastic on baguette. Tables were communal and languagues were many. Very cool people with motorcycle helmets coming in and out of the door. I didn’t even try any of the fresh juices they were noisily blending up….Darn. Next time.
After lunch I walked until my feet hurt. My route was all around the Marais, autour Le Pompidou, down Rue Rambouteau (“my” old street which has so many interesting food shops and bakeries! Did I realize how good these markets were?) and included a stop at the Archives Nationales. Quiet, lovely gardens, a place to reflect and gather back my jet-lagging energy. Can you believe I don’t think I ever visited there when my friends and I were living here twenty five years ago?
So now it’s dinner time. I can’t even count how many neighbor’s dinner aromas have wafted through my open window. First there was a garlic chicken concoction, then an Indian masala, and now someone is making a mean piece of toast. I can also hear someone sauteeing veggies while speaking on the phone in a language that is not French or English. As for me, I’m having a baguette and cheese and a simple salad: mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and olives, with a warm, perfectly cooked fried egg on top. Oh, and I almost forgot, carrots rapees (my favorite)!
As I type, a moped is scooting by out on the street. There is also a very happy little baby somewhere in the building. And earlier, I secretly watched a boy practicing reciting the lines of a play in a window across the courtyard. I ducked so he wouldn’t see me.
Gotta go so I can finish planning out tomorrow’s food tour of Paris. I think I’ll visit three markets and then head over to Montparnasse to sample another one of Paris’ best creperies.
LOVE YOU ALL and wish we were experiencing this together (even though we’d be fighting and our feet would hurt soooo much)!!!!!