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This was the first truly lovely day in two weeks. Michael did a short run, then we went for a nostalgic and beautiful walk around the islands. After he got packed — and we copied each others photos — he headed for the airport and I headed to brunch with my Parisian friends Alexis, Julien and Colt, and my cousin Lisa.

Alexis, Lisa, Julien and Colt after brunch at Café de l’Industrie, Bastille.

At Colt and Julien’s suggestion brunch was at Café de l’Industrie, near Place de la Bastille. After a most convivial meal we decided to take a stroll instead of immediately going our separate ways. We started off along Blvd. Richard Lenoir, through a park which runs above the covered portion of Canal Saint-Martin. We took a side trip to see the lovely courtyard of Hôpital Saint-Louis, designed by the architect of the Place des Vosges.  Then we had coffee and tea at Chez Prune, one of Lisa’s favorites.  After telling our stories (and solving the world’s problems) we finally parted, after more than five hours together.  I had a great time and I think we all did.

I was pleasantly exhausted by my busy weekend so I sat stunned for a bit in the sunshine on the quai of the canal.

Canal Saint-Martin on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Then, true to my vocation, I set out to wander home, armed with my trusty camera.

Place de la Republic.

I hope you will forgive me, gentle reader, for falling a bit behind in my photo posts over the past few days.  I’m making up for it now, however, with three new photo albums:

  • Paris-13 has the best shots from several days, including the first full day and evening of Michael’s visit, except the Louvre.
  • Paris-14 has the second day of Michael’s visit, that evening with Dan and Ric, and brunch with Alexis, Lisa, Julien and Colt.
  • Paris-Louvre has the best shots from Michael’s and my whirlwind tour of the Louvre, along with (at the end) some earlier Louvre photos.

Addendum:  I picked up the check at lunch, because I can, and because earlier in my stay I had been served wonderful home-cooked meals by Lisa (including Jason) and by Colt and Julien (including Jaime).  On a whim I said to the waitress as I was paying, in fractured French, “I’m their uncle.”  She replied, in English, “Lucky nephews.”  Also — wouldn’t you agree? — lucky uncle!   After my sophomore year in college I spent a summer in Chatham, Mass., where I got to know a crusty retired Episcopal priest.  He knew something of human nature, since he had for many years presided over the church in Times Square, New York, then far grittier than today.  It got back to me at one point that he had said something about me that I found terribly wounding at the time:  “He’ll always be an uncle.”  The wound is long healed.

Mot du jour:apéro géant” (Le Monde). Apéro is short for apéritif, so literally “giant aperatif”  but the phrase actually refers to a youthful drinking party organized through Facebook. The most recent one, in Nantes, attracted 10,000 partiers!  (Sadly, one of them died in a drunken fall.)

Bonus mot du jour: “apéro néant” (Le Monde).  A supposed apéro géant announced on Facebook for Sunday, May 23, fizzled, and was dubbed an apéro néantLe Monde reported that among the few hundred people present it was difficult to distinguish between “les habituels flâneurs” and those planning to attend the Facebook event.