Ali, Aya, bah non, bah oui, Batignolles, ben non, ben oui, Boulevard Pereire, Cour Delépine, crue janvier 1910, Fête de la musique, January 1910 flood, Le Janissaire, Le Pretexte, Lisa, Pont-Cardinet, rue de Charonne, rue Proudhon, Sami, Zhizhong
The weather has been lovely the past few days so I’ve spent most of my time exploring. The rail strike has continued so I’ve stayed within the city. I enjoyed several more walks from ParisInconnu.com: Faubourg Saint-Antoine east of Bastille, Mouton-Duvernet and Montsouris in the southeast and Ternes in the northwest. While I continue to find little errors (which I’m catching by cross-checking with Google Maps) I enjoy the way these itineraries take me to new places, or on out-of-the-way routes through more familiar areas. Here are a few snapshots:
Rue de Charonne is a bit too noisy and bobo for me but I could certainly see spending a month in an apartment opening on this lovely private courtyard.
There’s a ton of new development going on around railway station Pont-Cardinet.
I had previously visited — and loved — the Square des Batignolles just across the tracks from Pont-Cardinet. This time I did a more complete tour of the area, including its permanent market. Once the 13 line is upgraded, and particularly after the 14 line is extended to relieve some of the burden on the 13, Batignolles will become quite an attractive area to live in, and even for a tourist like me to rent an apartment.
On Friday I was in the attractive area around the Daumesnil métro station (which I gather is technically called Picpus). On Allée Vivaldi I stumbled on my first real restaurant find of the year.
Le Janissaire offered a terrific three-course Turkish menu for 12,5 euros.
There were good choices for all three courses; the sunny patio was on a pleasant quiet street; the other diners were French; the service was friendly and gracious. I sat down on a park bench right after finishing and wrote a rave review for TripAdvisor. What a find!
Friday evening I met up with my new friend Sami for an apéro, this time at my place. As on two previous occasions, we had a lovely hour-long conversation in French. He works in customer support for a package delivery company, and he finds it exhausting to deal all day with angry customers, especially when they only speak English. But even worse are Anglophones who he can tell are trying to speak French, but who he can’t understand at all. Whatever my failings at least I’m not in that category!
Saturday noon was a grand luncheon with Lisa, Ali, Zhizhong, and of course Aya. Even Phyllis joined us for a quick coffee. Lisa and Aya are flying to the U.S. today to join a Mack family reunion on Cape Cod, that I will miss! It was an unusually casual farewell for Lisa and me since she will stay with me in Cambridge for a couple of nights in mid-July. Zhizhong will also be away at the end of the month but Ali kindly offered to look after the guidebooks that I typically leave in Paris, and a few items I bought for this year’s apartment that one of them might like.
We ate at Le Pretexte, based on good online ratings. The food and value were good, though the service was just ok. (I see now that I could have gotten us a 30% discount by reserving through The Fork but somehow I couldn’t find the restaurant when I looked at the app yesterday.)
Saturday was also the Fête de la Musique, a street party that takes place each year on the summer solstice. It is meant to be worldwide — and I see that there were a dozen events in Boston and Cambridge this year — but it originated in France and Paris surely does it best.
I enjoyed being part of the happy throng, but I have accepted the fact that I will never recapture the mind-boggling thrill of my first Fête de la Musique in 2011.
Mot du jour: bah oui. You hear this all the time on the street, and clearly it means something like “but of course.” But it’s like nothing I was ever taught in school. Here’s an explanation from a language discussion site, and on another site I saw a plausible speculation that bah derived from the similar-sounding ben:
In France, we use “Bah” to say two things :
– if the “bah” is long, it means an hesitation. In English, you can translate this by “er” or “um”.
– if the “bah” is short, it means the obviousness of the answer.
In plain language, “bah oui” means “yes, obviously!!!” and “bah non” means “non of course!!!”
“baaaaah oui” is used to say “I think it’s yes but I’m not really sure…” and “baaaaah non” means the same thing but with “no” at the place of “yes”.
“Ben” is also used for the same sense. “Beeeeeeeeen oui/non” or “ben oui/non”
This formulation is frequently used in France.
I hope my explanation is clear…
Last edited by onealice; 25th May 2014 at 10:26 PM.
Bah oui, onealice !