A Paris Weekend
Living in Paris, as other emigrants will surely tell you, has its advantages. Chief among them, in my view at least, is its intoxicating combination of epicurean, historical, architectural, cultural, and botanical beauty. Those who enjoy city living—regardless of the city—know what I mean and feel this same way about where they live. There’s something about spending time “in your town” taking in the rich bounty it offers. We even have a name for this: the <insert city name> weekend. For New Yorkers, it’s a “City weekend” (capital C, of course). For Mme Fromage and me, it’s a “Paris weekend”.
The only prerequisite for a Paris weekend is a little bit of free time. Nice weather is a catalyst, but not a necessity. Our Paris weekends typically start with the observation that “we’ve never really explored… <insert part of town>” or “it’s been a while since we went to the <insert place name>”. We’ll agree on a place, she’ll identify which mode of public transport we’ll take to get there, and then we’re off. We don’t discuss it in advance, but we both know there will be lunch somewhere. Also undiscussed is what we might do after. We’ve come to learn that neither of us likes the pressure of being overly programmed and that some of our most memorable experiences have evolved unscripted.
Thus it was a Paris weekend that led us ultimately to the cremerie La Ferme Saint Aubin, despite the fact that we never started out looking for a cheese place.
In fact, the main objective that day was to go watch the Manchester United game at the Irish bar I used to frequent. As it was a nice day, we decided to start at the Place de la Concorde and, from there, walk to the Jardin des Tuileries. The Tuileries, apart from being a beautiful walk, has play areas, including trampolines that the boys love.
From there we:
- bought viennoiseries (croissants, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins) from the famed Café Angelina
- walked through the courtyard at the Palais Royal
- passed the Banque de France,
- went down rue Montmartre through the massive construction site around Les Halles (formerly the central market of Paris),
- to the bar to watch the game (which was not only a bad game but equally a bad bar),
- then over through Beaubourg past the Centre Georges Pompidou, through the Marais,
- stopped at a café in the Place des Vosges for a glass of wine and crèpes au sucre for Alex,
- through the 4th arrondissement to stop at the pleasant Le Temps de Cerises (cheese plate here),
- across the Pont de Sully to the Île Saint-Louis, and, finally,
- happened across the crèmerie where we bought Brie and a Bonde de Gâtine.
The route we took is mapped below. Not too bad a day.