Day 42–A Quiet Saturday

I was thinking this morning that you can adapt to any routine, however extraordinary it may be. We now walk around rue d’Assas, rue Bonaparte, blvd. Saint-Germain, rue Madame and rue de Vaugirard as if it were our neighbourhood for years, much like we drive up and down Avenue Road to and from work everyday. Although, maybe not quite the same. For one thing, we walk more here than ever at home in Toronto. For another, apart from the Montparnasse Tower, not too far from here, the buildings are all of one height, very visually appealing.

The difference, of course, as I may have said, is that in most cities, if you build to Code, you can build any ugly edifice you want. Here, after Haussmann configured it, it had to conform to the same beautiful aesthetic, which the French have essentially preserved.

After the gym, we read the papers, Sandy impressively in French and I did the NYT crossword, in English.

Thinking that we might go to a movie (as we do, even in Toronto) on this Saturday, we headed to the 9th arr. and had a so-so lunch at the well-known Chartier,7, rue du Faubourg Montmartre,, a resto that’s been around for over 100 years. It was certainly retro, calls itself a “Bouillon” or “soup kitchen” and was a Parisian version of the old Honest Ed’s Warehouse, although the selection embraced more than roast beef. In addition to Pudlo, even Lebovitz seems to like it although we certainly won’t be rushing back anytime soon. The young French couple seated next to us told us that it had been recommended to them by friends and they were certainly enjoying themselves.

I think that we mention food more often than not for the simple reason that apart from the plentiude of great restaurants here, there are really two meals to consider everyday, lunch and dinner. At home, we’d just have to think about dinner, either at home or out. Thus, a sandwich, soup or whatever otherwise. Here, with the day free after French or art, we can dine out at lunch, dinner or both. This, of course, adds to the F-A-T dilemma, at least for me, but, oddly enough, with all the walking one does here, it’s not been a serious problem (yet, anyway).

It’s Saturday and I wanted to head to the Moose Grill to catch some baseball but Sandy made it clear in no uncertain terms that I would be on my own for that foray. Anyway, we went to see Villa Amalia, in French, with Isabelle Huppert. It was your typical ruminating French movie where very little happens, the plot was pretty straightforward, but we both found it useful hearing the dialogue without sub-titles.

Went back with Charnois and his bridge-playing friend, Paul Chemla, to Le Baratin for another terrific dinner, this time, very late, 9:30. Ran into Kirby Chown and son, Marco, and two friends just finishing their dinner, as they had been told they had to vacate the table by 9:30. Turns out, that was for us.