Have I mentioned the weather? Probably not because there has been nothing to say — except that it has been perfect. There were a few drops of rain the day I arrived, while I was waiting at the airport. Since then it has been consistently lovely. In the 70s during the days and mostly or totally sunny. 60-ish in the evenings with a lovely fresh breeze for sleeping. The forecast is for this to continue indefinitely (apart from showers next weekend), which is fine with me!
On Monday I headed out to one of the few large parks in Paris that I had not yet explored, Le Parc André Citroën in the southwestern corner of the city. It is a large space incorporating more concrete than any other park I have seen. I gained a greater appreciation of the design at lunch time, however, when I brought a sandwich at a nearby boulangerie and took it back to the part for an impromptu picnic. The many levels of concrete ramps and walkways, surrounded by bird-friendly trees and shrubs, created a huge number of semi-private spots for one or two people to lunch, chat, and/or nap.
Looming overhead from time to time was a tethered helium balloon on which tourists take ten-minute trips for the exorbitant fee of 10 euros. Oh, all right, I took a ride myself, since it was such a lovely day and I might never be there again.
The view was interesting rather than terribly dramatic, because Paris is on the whole of such a uniformly low height, and because the park is so far from the center that even large monuments are dwarfed by the vast sweep of lower-height buildings.
Tuesday I had lunch with my Harvard friend Elliot Marks, after joining him for a shopping trip to the Aligre market, near his home in the 12ème. He assures me that it is one of the best food bargains in Paris, although the prices didn’t seem dead cheap. Food is expensive here.
Tuesday night I had dinner at Le Bouï-Bouï, a restaurant on rue Marie Stuart in the Montorgueil neighborhood that I had enjoyed several times last year. It did not disappoint and I look forward to introducing it to friends again this year.
My Boston friends Alan and Ryan arrive on Wednesday afternoon so I am getting the apartment ready for their one-week stay.