On Wednesday I went for a swim at the relatively quiet pool in Reuilly. While there were four to a lane most people did a lot of resting so I got in a good workout without too much stress. The pool at Les Halles is much closer but so crowded! And Reuilly is rather charming.
I walked back to the Place de la Bastille via an old favorite, the Promenade Plantée, then jumped on the métro to meet Gordon and Mustapha at my apartment. After catching up we strolled down rue Montorgueil, settling in at the LB Café for an apéro. My favorite table — with a view down rue Tiquetonne — was taken! But when the owner noticed my distress he placed a new table for us in the perfect spot, right in front of the other one!
Gordon was delighted by all the handsome young men in my stylish neighborhood, and began surreptitiously photographing them with abandon. His camera is fairly unobtrusive, particularly since it has a fixed lens rather than a protruding zoom. But its resolution is so high that he can get a good photo by enlarging a tiny part of the image it captures.
After our apéro we strolled around the Village Montorgueil to select a restaurant. Some attractive places were full, and others didn’t appeal. But just as Gerry had done during his visit in 2012 Gordon honed in on Lézard Café, attracted by the hip young crowd. The attentive reader will remember that Yungpeng and I had very poor service there last weekend, and I had vowed not to return soon. This time, though we had to wait for a table to open up, the welcome and service were correct, and the food was quite good. And yes, the crowd was appealing, and photographable.
On Thursday Gordon and I went to the Musée d’Orsay. We both enjoyed the Impressionist galleries, then I saw the Bonnard exhibition while Gordon went looking for Van Gogh and Gaugin.
After satisfying our appetite for art we strolled across the Seine and had a simple lunch at a place in the arcade along the rue de Rivoli. It was drizzling a bit, which marvelously sped up our selection of a restaurant. The rain had stopped by the time we finished, so we walked over to the Place de la Madeleine to let Gordon do some shopping at Fauchon, a rather fabulous food shop. After that Gordon went back to his hotel to rest his feet (which were aching after too much walking in London earlier in the week). I headed home also, but as I got out of the métro I noticed that Mad Max: The Fury was playing at the Grand Rex.
I had been meaning to see it, because I had enjoyed the original version long ago, and I was pretty sure that I could follow the dubbed French well enough to enjoy it. The timing worked perfectly so I bought a ticket. There were indeed relatively few nuanced conversations, which I seemed to follow without difficulty. Mostly it was just a long, violent chase — the same in any language.
After the movie I joined Gordon for dinner at Le 23 Clauzel – Julie Rivière, a classy restaurant near Pigalle. Mustafa couldn’t get off work in time to join us for dinner but he got a quick appetizer, and then we walked over to a theater at Clichy to see Briefs: The Second Coming, an Australian gay vaudeville show that I had noticed online. It was surprisingly fun, and the packed crowd was very appreciative, despite the fact that the narration was in English. As in Mad Max for me, the visuals transcended the language barrier.