Day 2–Exploring the Neighbourhood

One of the great features of sabbatical, which we are quickly learning, is that each day, we can decide the shape and direction of the day before us. Weather obviously makes a bit of a difference, but not much.

After a walk to the gym to sign up (not quite the dossier-hassle that Adam Gopnik has described in Paris to the Moon), we sauntered over the marvelous Au Bon Marché, the department store that Eiffel designed that has a food hall like Pusateri’s writ large.

Our gym opens at a civilzed French hour, 8 a.m., so no 5 o’clock appearances for us at this gym unlike the TAC at home.

After lunch, we walked around the area, trying to get our bearings and ended up at, an old 1905, specialized Armangnac and wine shop at 79 rue du Bac. I bought a bottle of 1947 for obvious reasons when the young lady at the shop asked if I wanted it personalized. I said, “Bien sur!” and the result is shown in the photo.

Afterwards, we walked down rue du Bac for a creme glace, prune in my case, a delicious chocolate for Sandy, but a nice afternoon snack. Le Bac à Glaces can be found at

These shops are also featured in a charming article in the Gourmet ‘Paris on a Budget’ issue, September, 2008, by Aleksandra Crapanzano, called “Benedictions.”

La Ferrandaise, a Pudlo recommendation, is a new bright, medieval-styled, quiet, small restaurant at the east end of Vaugirard. Having made a superb boeuf bourgignon recently (which took the better part of a day), I made a mistake in ordering it but everything else was fine and very reasonably priced, even with wine. Their website is

Tough day, late night, have to hit the gym tomorrow.