Sunday was rainy so we considered indoor possibilities. Matt and Chris like machinery and devices so we walked over to one of my favorites, le Musée des arts et métiers. As expected, they loved it:
And I always find things I haven’t previously noticed or appreciated:
We were starving by the time we got to the chapel so we decided to defer close inspection of the vehicles until another visit. We took the métro over to Saint-Sulpice and had a good typical meal at a corner restaurant, Café Cassette. The waitress was initially rather brusque (though we noticed that she treated everyone else the same way). I bided my time, then at the proper moment said to Matt, in her hearing, « Elle n’est pas méchant ; elle est une caractère. » (“She isn’t mean, she’s a character,” in my fractured French.) This pleased her, and we ended up not only each receiving a souvenir pen, but Chris getting to choose his color. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there again but the meal illustrates how you can get a solid reasonably-priced meal almost anywhere in Paris, outside of the main tourist areas.
We were there for a 4 pm concert in the beautiful Église Saint-Sulpice by a combined Yale chorus and Juilliard orchestra, with our friend Allen Hamrick on bassoon. The space was a bit boomy, but magnificent for sustained choral and organ notes.
There were several distractions, however, including a woman who fainted and had to be carried out on a stretcher by EMTs.
After the concert Allen took the orchestra bus to their hotel, near the Eiffel Tower. His phone didn’t work in Paris, however, so we couldn’t reach him to coordinate an evening plan. Eventually we took the métro to Charles Michels in the depths of the 15e. The desk at his hotel had no record of him checking in so we had a drink in the hotel bar and hoped for the best. Just as we were starting to despair he appeared, and the evening was launched! We headed over to the Marais and had a look around before getting caught in a downpour on the uber-touristy rue des Rosiers. We nixed falafal and in desperation took refuge in a traditional restaurant on the corner of rue Vieille du Temple, Equinox. It was moderately priced, reasonably good, and above all warm and dry!
We finished the evening at Le Duplex, where a 40-something expat from Boston made a heroic and just slightly annoying effort to chat up each of us in turn.