Day 21–A Trip to the Library

I think the scale at the gym was broken. The message kept flashing “Wide Load.”

No one seems to work out much at the gym and they don’t seem to be au courant with the idea of ‘working in’ on equipment; they’ll leave a towel on one machine and wander off to another for a few sets. On the other hand, there is a certain sameness to the routine; instead of watching Becky Quick on CNBC at 6 a.m., however, we watch her French counterpart at 8. They do play the technopop softer here though. And although it has a 70s-80s feel to it, the equipment isn’t too bad. Spandex is still popular if that is any indication.

As I finished the NYT crossword, I thought of a family lawyer we know here. I am sure his first language is French but he, too, does the NYT Sunday crossword. I couldn’t imagine even trying that in French, let alone finishing it as he does in English.

We had to go to a shop in the 2nd arr, (around the Opéra) so made most of the day of it. Went to Bistrot Vivienne, 4, rue des Petits Champs for a light lunch, coquelet, which seemed to be the thing to order. Sort of like Swiss Chalet, except that the tiny, roasted, whole chicken and frites were better and instead of the famous Chalet sauce, the frites came with sauce bérnaise. I did notice that, unlike me, most of the French folk at the surrounding tables weren’t having much, if any, of it.

Afterwards, we wandered next door to the Bibliotèque nationale de France,, which, for years, housed a copy  of every book published in France but no more. They have moved all the books to a new library near the Seine. Anyway, we saw a terrific photography show called “Controverses, une histoire juridique et éthique de la photographie” advertised widely throughout the city although we hadn’t really planned on going to see it. There were exhibited some of the greatest photographs of the last 150 years, with interesting commentary, including one of Lewis Carroll’s Alice Liddell. The well-known image of Doisneau’s, “The Kiss at City Hall,” the famous one of Che Guevarra and on and on. There were warnings all over the place about how some of the images might offend some people’s sensibilities. Some of them may very well have done.

Went to a fun tasting (most Saturday afternoons) at La Derniere Goutte. Sat around Saint-Sulpice afterwards, as the sun set.

Have to rest now, Skype-ing with my daughter shortly.

Off to Bistrot Paul-Bert (again) later this evening.

Gym doesn’t open until 9 tomorrow.