The gorgeous weather has continued: sunny and warm during the day and pleasantly cool at night. One of the best runs of fine weather of any of my Paris stays! The rhythm and energy of our household has been the main theme, except for Sunday afternoon, when I went my own way.
On Friday Lisa and Aya visited friends so Jackie and I had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant which I found on The Fork — with a 50% discount! It was about a mile away but we both enjoy walking so we strolled over and back. Not only did we get a good meal but we took home enough leftovers for Saturday lunch, after which we checked out the Salon de Montrouge, an annual contemporary art show that I have enjoyed in prior years. It was about half the size of the 2016 exhibition, but enough art for the time and energy we had.
That evening we hosted Ali for dinner. Lisa and I had seen him on several casual occasions this trip, but it was a particular pleasure to join him for a proper event. Our conversation was trenchant and engaging as always!
Sunday was so lovely that I took the métro up to the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, one of my favorite spots in fine weather. The trip was from one corner of Paris to the other, so it required three subway legs. The last one, on the funny little 7 bis line, was the most amusing, since almost everyone was more or less obviously heading for the same place.
Exploring the park was thirsty work, so I stopped by Rosa Bonheur for a beer (or two). As always on a fine Sunday afternoon, the always-mixed crowed tilted in a decidedly gay male direction by 4 pm, when the barriers went up to limit the size of the crowd. I have sometimes had wonderful conversations there, but it’s hit or miss and this afternoon I was more of a sightseer than a participant.
Through a mutual friend I had met Arooshee, a junior at University of Michigan who is finishing a semester in Paris. We met that evening for dinner, at Phở 14 in the 13ème, with her college roommate, who had just arrived to join her on a whirlwind European tour.
Jackie had business to attend to on Monday, so Lisa and Aya and I went over to the fully modernized little zoo in the Parc de Vincennes. The highlight for Aya was the lions, and by happy chance she was able to turn into one herself!
The zoo features big outdoor enclosures that allow the larger animals to roam around, rather than being confined in cages. I heartily approve, although this can also make it hard to get good photos. As it happened, Aya was more interested in an indoor giraffe than the fourteen others that were outside.
Over the next two days we will wrap up our stay together in the 15ème and I will move to my own Airbnb in the 2ème. While I’ll be living alone for a while plans are afoot with Zhizhong and with my cousin Brian and his wife Sheila, so I won’t be lonely.