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There was a minor systems failure this morning: I overslept because I had failed to set the coffee machine last night. The extra hour and a half of sleep was welcome, however, and there was nowhere I particularly had to be. Cloudy and chilly again, but not rainy, and after yesterday I can put up with anything for a while.

After some errands I decided to wander over to the Marais again. My first objective was a series of gardens along rue Payenne listed in “Quiet Corners in Paris”. One reason they are so quiet is that Google maps doesn’t show the street at all — it’s mislabeled rue Pavée. But when I did find it there were indeed three charming gardens there. Perhaps the nicest was the garden of the Cognacq-Jay museum (the museum is on rue Elzevir but the garden is on rue Payenne):

The garden of the Cognacq-Jay museum.

I stumbled on quite a few art galleries in my travels. Some artists I liked were Marc Ricourt at the Ateliers d’Art de France, 4 rue de Thorigny; Octavio Herrera at Galerie N Marino, 8 rue des Coutures Saint Gervais; and especially Eva Hild at NEC Design, 20 rue des Coutures Saint Gervais. As it happened, all three are sculptors.

The highlight of the day, however, was dinner with my cousin Jackie and her daughter Lisa at a restaurant in my neighborhood, Aux Trois Petits Cochons (of the Three Little Pigs). Update: Aux Trois Petits Cochons closed in March, 2012, but reopened a few years later in Montmartre.

It has been some years since we’ve gotten together, and we had a great time sharing stories and reminiscences about our parents and our own lives. Jackie lives in Kenya and will be returning there shortly. Lisa, however, lives and teaches in Paris so we plan at least one more excursion during my stay. I had first been introduced to this restaurant by a gay friend, David Devine, about five years ago; it was just as good this evening.

P.S. I’ve just realized that I’m beginning to joke a bit with people in French, which I think is a good sign.