On Sunday we had a leisurely tea-themed brunch at Mariage Frères in the Marais. Despite being 100% touristy this place provides a really delightful experience. There was a little annoyance just at the beginning when they proposed to seat us in a dark corner, but we asked for a better table and were given a great one after just a short wait. After that the service, as well as every other aspect of the experience, was impeccable. I remarked to Gerry on the calmness and relaxation I have felt each time I have been here.
After brunch and a bit of shopping we headed to Rosa Bonheur, in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, which you may recall my visiting with Jared two Sundays back. We got there shortly after 4:30. There was a fair number of mostly-straight people at the picnic tables, but no barriers and nothing like the mob of gay men I had enjoyed two weeks earlier with Jared. I was concerned that there had been something special about the previous afternoon — the perfect weather, the fact that it was the first Sunday after the Rentrée, or some other Parisian mystery. That would have been unfortunate, since I had given the place something of a build-up to persuade Gerry to put it on our Sunday agenda.
Although not quite sunbathing weather it was pleasant enough to sit outside, so we got a couple of beers and squeezed onto a table between a straight group and three gay boys on the other. The straight group was first replaced by a young straight couple, who were adorable and friendly. They polished off a bottle of rosé, then were replaced by several gay men in their thirties. We found occasion to talk a little or a lot with just about everyone at the table, even though we didn’t make any new Facebook friends.
Needless to say, my anxiety about nobody showing up proved unfounded. By 5 pm a crowd of guys had arrived, and shortly after the barriers went up and a line started to form. If anything there were more people today than two weeks ago. It was nice to be insiders, with our own share of a table! After several more beers we took the métro home. I did laundry, blogged and got to bed (relatively) early, while Gerry went out to make the most of his last night on the town.
While I have another week here I leave next Sunday so this will also be my last Rosa Bonheur, for a while at least.