Monday, December 10, 2012

Le Centenaire

Spontaneity - I've become such a big fan.  

I usually travel throughout the city of Paris with three essentials:
1.  My Pass Navigo, which lets me ride around in the Paris métro and buses all day long, if that's what I desire or need to do, which seems like constantly.
2.  An umbrella.
3.  My Paris "plan pratique" (the detailed Paris map in booklet form, which is a must for even a weekend here - they're sold at news kiosques, tabacs and bookstores). 

Recently one afternoon, I forgot #2.  I stepped out of the métro looking for a store that turned out to be closed for lunch (so the handwritten note taped to the inside of the door read) and then felt the rain start pelting me.  Of course - when you forget the umbrella, it rains.  Universal truth.

It was lunchtime, so the note said.  I turned in a quick circle to find someplace to find a little lunch of my own so that I could stop again at the shop after whatever turned out to be the shop owner's unspecified lunch hour(s).

Right next door, I found a spot.  Using my radar for food quality, I saw that it was completely packed.  In fact, when I walked inside, even the bar was full.  That's usually this solo diner's quick refuge from waiting for an open table.  However, after a 3-minute wait, I got the perfect spot, at a tiny table nestled in the corner alongside a window.  

I reviewed the blackboard menu and decided it was the perfect day to try the coq-au-vin, a dish I can't recall ever ordering.

If it had been evening and I didn't have work to do that afternoon, that wine glass would been full of a nice red.

The coq au vin was as good as it looks in the photo, very "vin-y" (In fact, I really didn't need more vin in the wine glass).

This is a nice and very local option if you're in the 11th, around the trendy Oberkampf neighborhood.  The link below has more photos of the bistrot and a nice description of its long history, if you want to practice your French reading skills!

104 rue Amelot
75011 Paris
08 99 96 56 47
Métro: Filles du Calvaire or Oberkampf

After my belly was full and it had stopped raining, I went back to the shop, which was still closed!  Ah, Paris...

Friday, December 7, 2012

On Leaves and Fall

This is how I will remember Fall 2012 in Paris.
It's been so dark and wet, and the only colors that show through the gray are the gold, yellow and brown from these wet leaves.
It's typically not very windy in Paris and so these perfectly-shaped leaves cling to their trees until they just can't hang on any longer, and then drift to the sidewalk, to rest there for ...well, they're still there.
I enjoy these pops of color; they're my sunshine on these gray and extremely short days...

... as long as I don't slip on them.