Day 80–Art for Art’s Sake

Graham had been in Italy so when he got back, we went to the Canal to learn some sketching. Were trying to capture one of the bridges (see photo) but like everything else, it’s a matter of perspective. Sandy had her last French class today!

For lunch, we were going to try a new place in the 2nd arr. called Frenchie, not such an auspicious name for a French resto, I think, but it was closed. So, as sometimes these things happen, we had a perfectly delightful lunch at a old-style, traditional bistro (think, boeuf bourguignon instead of, say, shrimp in light tempura batter with a leek-soy viniagrette) called Aux Crus de Bourgogne, 3, rue Bachaumont, just off rue Montorgueil (neither of us has an easy time with those words with “ueil” in them), where the owner and serveur could not have been more charming. The cuisine, typically Burgundian, was absolutely fine, as expected, and the waiter left the whole terrine of mousse au chocolat for Sandy’s pleasure (I think he liked her; quelle surprise)and the owner brought us a glass of delicious prune brandy (as if we needed anything more at that point). So, without any effort except sheer accommodation and friendliness, I am recommending it to anyone reading this note. A little unprompted goodwill goes a long way, seems to me, especially in a city that typically, at least until thecrise hit, thrives on aloof service.

What’s ironic is that about a year ago, we stayed at a place on rue Mandar around the corner and every time we walked by Aux Crus, it seemed to be closed. The buzz at lunch, though, made me think of our lunch at Aux Charpentiers one of the first weeks we were here. Lots of French folk really enjoying their lunch of traditionally prepared, promptly-served French cuisine.

We may have to go back. Argh!

We picked up a few bits of culinary souvenir for the trip home at an epicerie a few blocks away called G. Detou, 58, rue Tiquetonne. Worth a stop if in the Étienne Marcel/Montmartre area of the 2nd arr.

Not being in condition to do much else, and it still being 3euro whatever, we went to a French film, Je L’amais, at the UGC around the corner. Another ruminating French love story, even starring the Quebecois actress Marie-Josée Croze. The French actor, Daniel Auteuil (another of those “euil” words) was too old for her in the movie! (She’s 38, he’s 59.)

Spent the evening at home reading.