, ,

I started off the day by heading down to the Seine to have a look at the Paris Marathon, which began at 8:45 am. Here’s a video clip to give you an idea of what it was like, after the leaders zoomed by: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAeH2xtdUPw

Does it make me shallow, however, that the highlight of my day was a perfect Nicoise salad for lunch (at La Rotonde, 105, Bvd du Montparnasse)?

This afternoon I saw a terrific — albeit very violent — French film, Un Prophete (a Prophet). Without subtitles I lost much of the dialogue (ironically I was better off when the actors spoke Corsican, since that was subtitled in French). But the arc and texture of the film were perfectly clear, and very powerful. Forget about honor among thieves!

Dinner was at a charming-looking but mediocre crêpe place on Ile Saint-Louis (Au Lys d’Argent). When you’re off the tourist track a place that looks nice and is pretty full is basically guaranteed to be good, because the locals wouldn’t otherwise go there. On the tourist track, however, a terrible place can get by with a stream of idiots (like me this evening) who stumble in because they’re hungry and it looks cute. The real value of a guidebook, then, is to help you avoid places like that when you’re in tourist land. When you get away from the tourist trail, however, you can more safely rely on your own judgment to find good food.