Day 15–A Day of Leisure in Montparnasse

It’s Sunday, the Ides of March.

Had some discouraging news at the gym. As I got on the scale, although the weight looks better in kilos than pounds, I got an error message that read, “Just you, not all of Paris.” Last night’s pizza probably didn’t help.

The gym was crowded this morning, having opened at 9. At home, we’d be halfway through the day by then, or at least have worked out, read the Times, done the crossword (on Sundays) and a few hours of work. Life starts later here, as I’ve been saying, and despite the fact that this is a large city, about the size of Toronto in terms of population, it’s remarkably quiet early in the morning.

We have no French or art classes today; that’s also true for me on Mondays which is the time I plan to use to contemplate, ruminate and figure out what I am going to do with the rest of my life which I expect must be the purpose of a sabbatical?

For a Type A or at least B+, having no structure creates a certain sense of anomie, a weightlessness, which is why a friend reminded me yesterday to embrace the discomfort, a decidedly wise and worthwhile Buddhist concept.

We went to the Marché “Bio” and bought some sole fillets–so many fish, so little time–and vegetables. The fishmonger filleted the fish right there after taking the skin off in a machine which I had never seen before. I think they’ve given me the bones with which to make stock or fish soup although I haven’t checked yet.

Across the way was a woman making crêpes, biologique, I am certain.

Meanwhile, I ran across a website that I had found in Toronto but had forgotten, Lebovitz was a pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley before he opted for the ‘sweet life here’ as he and his new book rightly call it. More power to him, I say. Anyway, his website is very useful for restos, recipes, other websites and so on.

Sandy overrode me again today on the lunch front. Since it’s a very sunny day, she wanted a “sunny” cuisine so we opted for La Bastide d’Opio, 9, rue Guisarde,  for saveurs Méditerranéennes and it certainly was trés Provençal, lots of courgettes, aubergines, thym, romarin, tomates, etc.

Afterwards, we decided to explore our ‘hood, but just a little to the south, Montparnasse, home to great late 19th and early 20th c. artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, Chagall, Soutine and writers like Hemingway. Hemingway mostly wrote “The Sun Also Rises” at Le Select. (See photos.)

Back home now, having tea, and preparing for a quiet evening. Sandy has her first day of class tomorrow.