Last summer, we made the decision to spend a month in Paris. In all honesty, it was Josh's idea. He was done with camp, the girls had moved on to other activities and he had no interest in returning. He wanted to go somewhere that was urban where he could do museums, eat great food and get to know the place. He was 11.
So, here we are in Paris. I wish we were partying like it was 1999 but unfortunately it is 2008 and the cost of everything is beyond. After the culture shock of cost, I have moved on. What else can you do? We are here and should enjoy the moment.
We rented an apartment in the sixth. A two floor walk up, very Parisian. We spent the first day adjusting to life. First meal was down the street for coffee and croissants. The first night we had dinner at a small bistro down the street called Le Bistro de Henri. Nothing to write home about but a neighborhood joint. After trying to get into this time zone and ambien for all, we woke up and dug in.
Fred and Emily got up and took a ride down the Seine in the morning and picked up bread and jams at Eric Kayser who has built a small empire of 12 bakeries, half in Paris and the other half abroad. Delicious. When I woke up, I found Emily and Fred downstairs at our local cafe having coffee.
We got on the Metro and began our journey at the Picasso museum. I have been a few times. I love how the building housing the museum is old and inside the architecture is modern. Pieces span Picasso's life from oils to pen and inks to collages to sculptures. His entire life. This piece is girl with a hat and pom poms.
After walking through the Marais, the Jewish ghetto which is now more like the West Village, we made our way over to the Pompidou which might be my favorite museum. We had to stop at this tiny store where the smell of cheese and salamis hit us on the street en route. Josh went in and bought a piece of cheese for the walk. Yum. Once we got to the Pompidou, we had lunch at George which is at the top of the museum. Worth going. Good food and the decor inside is wild and the views are extraordinary.
To the Pompidou. The collection is vast. Each show, including the permanent exhibit is curated like no other. The current exhibit is called Traces du Sacre which tells the story of art from before WWI to post WWII. It was incredible. So incredible that both Jessica and Emily have vowed to return before we leave. There was also an exhibit downstairs devoted to pushing the envelope in architecture around the world. This piece is from the permanent exhibit. Huge paper machier.
The boys decided they had enough so they grabbed a few bikes. This is a beautiful thing. With a pass you can jump on a bike at different locations around the city and go to your destination and drop the bike off. The future of cities to come, at least I hope so. But, the girls, die-hard that they are, had to hit up some stores in the Marais. First, we stopped at Cafe Progress for some liquid and to recharge our batteries. Then, we literally shopped til we dropped, hopped on the Metro when I cried uncle and headed home.
For dinner, we went to Sensing. The food was sensational. I began with a tuna tartare that was rolled up like a cigar in a thin crust and served standing up over a lemon confit. Woah. Fred had a pea mousse that was served like a soup in 5 separate glasses with chopped prosciutto on the bottom and a foam on top. Rich and divine. I had yellow chicken. Only in France. Chicken rolled up and then stuffed with a chicken mixture over long tubes of pasta baked in cheese. Josh went with the lamb with herb gnocchi on the side, the girls went with cod that was served with a foam and Fred went with the tuna seared with fois gras inside. All absolutely delicious. Josh, of course, had to top off his meal with a cheese plate. You gotta love it.
Emily and Fred grabbed the Metro home because Emily looked like she was about to fall asleep at the table. I walked home with Jess and Josh around the Luxembourg gardens (closed at nightfall) where there was an incredible exhibit hanging on the gates of large photos taken by photo journalists who work or have worked for Le Figaro dating from the early 1900s to the present. Very cool.
We made it home, we are shattered. Tomorrow, is another journey.