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On Friday I had dinner with Gordon and Mustafa at the elegant Bofinger, to which Jacques had introduced me several years before. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal there.

Bob, Gordon and Mustafa at Bofinger, Bastille.

Bob, Gordon and Mustafa at Bofinger, Bastille.

Gordon's profiteroles at Bofinger.

Gordon’s profiteroles at Bofinger.

After dinner Gordon’s feet were still bothering him, so he and Mustafa headed back to their hotel. I strolled over to the cocktail bar Marie Celeste and had a Sidecar (the daily special) before going home. I hadn’t realized before that they also serve food so perhaps that should be explored another time.

Cocktail bar Marie Celeste

Cocktail bar Marie Celeste at midnight.

At 11 on Saturday my Japanese CouchSurfer friend Kohei arrived at my apartment for a two-day stay. Unfortunately, I had sent Gordon and Mustafa a mistaken text, so they arrived at Mariage Frères for lunch at the same time! They were able to visit Notre Dame and Sainte-Chappelle in the extra 90 minutes before our reservation but I was mortified by the error. At noon, Kohei and I walked over to the Marais to join Gordon and Mustafa for tea-themed brunch.

Kohei, Bob, Gordon and Mustafa at Mariage Frères.

Kohei, Bob, Gordon and Mustafa at Mariage Frères.

The servers were charming and model-handsome, which helped us forgive their shocking incompetence (mistaken orders, forgotten requests, and such continual failure to recognize our looks and gestures that I twice had to get up and go to the desk to request service).

Delicious desserts at Mariage Frères.

Delicious desserts at Mariage Frères.

The tea and food were both very good, so overall it was a nice experience, despite the terrible service.

After lunch Gordon, Mustafa and I went over to the Pompidou Center and perused the modern art floor. Gordon particularly appreciated the many fine works by Matisse, and I hadn’t previously noticed this early painting by Picasso:

La Liseuse (the reader), 1920, Pablo Picasso, Pompidou Museum

La Liseuse (the reader), 1920, Pablo Picasso, Pompidou Museum

I’m generally not a fan of Picasso but I enjoyed this uncharacteristic piece, and I appreciated the fact that he first mastered classical technique before going rogue.

After we were sated with art, Gordon, Mustafa and I got a quick bite at an Italian place nearby, then said our farewells, since they fly home early Sunday morning.