Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vive la France! Vendredi

Our day began as any day should...with croissants and café crème. I swear to God I could eat this every single morning and my heart would be so happy it would surely keep beating despite the high cholesterol. I love how they give you a pitcher of espresso and a pitcher of steamed milk so you can create your own perfect cup of goodness. I sat there with Billy at Café de Flore watching my favorite city welcome the new day. There was a woman sitting nearby wearing Christian Louboutain snakeskin heels and in that moment I couldn't think of anything more amazing than wearing Louboutains to breakfast. Then I ate my pain au chocolat...alas, more amazing.

Our plan for the day was to visit the Rodin Museum and then basically wander the streets of Paris until we got lost. We got to the museum a little too early and so we decided to head across the street towards a huge cathedral to see if we could poke around. Turns out we had landed ourselves at Napoleon's tomb and Les Invalides, which is exactly the way I like to do sightseeing...completely by accident! We picked up des baguettes parisiennes on our way back to Musée Rodin and (I kid you not) it was the most ridiculous bread I've ever eaten. Ridiculous I tell you! That said, I've failed us both by not writing down the name of the bakery and so it seems as though I must return to Paris again so I can eat more of this bread and pass along its creators to you. (I thought I could find the name of the bakery in this photo I took, but all you can see is the name of the flour mill! Still, you get to see the little man making the bread).

It was a gorgeous day and the Rodin Museum was everything I wanted it to be and more. I was inspired by Camille Claudel's pieces which, juxtaposed alongside those of Rodin, clearly conveyed not only her talent but the heartbreak and madness she endured when Rodin left her. (I did a project on Camille Claudel in high school and her work is breathtaking up close). I especially loved her piece, Vertumnus et Pomona (below). We ate our ridiculous sandwiches in le jardin du musée. The gardens were beautiful...lilacs and peonies galore (my favorites)!

Après le dèjeuner we crossed the Seine to visit Merci, the new concept store created by the owners of Bonpoint (a luxury children's clothing company). It was an interesting mèlange of housewares, vintage and luxury clothing and a collection of things you didn't know you needed, like perfume and scotch tape in a rainbow of colors. The space itself was impressive...sun-drenched and airy, with nooks and crannies full of carefully chosen (and extremely creative) inventory. All of their employees wore these perfectly simple red linen aprons which, to my blissful surprise, were for sale! I now look très chic in the kitchen.

It's always around four o'clock when my legs feel like they need to be amputated, so we dragged ourselves back to our hotel where I practiced my trusty travel restorative sequence. Viparita Karani followed by Supta Padangusthasana and Supta Baddha Konasana put the spring back in my step and we galloped off to dinner at Le Petit Prince (près du Panthéon, sur rue de Lanneau). Actually, we didn't gallop. We took a taxi. It was an incredibly cool taxi whose sunroof spanned the length of the car. We could see the rooftops of Paris and all the little gems one tends to miss.

As a true gourmande, I washed down my terrine de fois gras de canard maison with a glass of Bordeaux. Then it was back to Bistro de Paris for tarte aux pommes avec glace vanille. We strolled along the Seine and caught a glimpse of the Louvre at night and I remembered that this is where I belong.

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