Saturday, May 19, 2007

musee gratuit

Just when l want to flee this place, l experience something that makes me want to stay here forever! Yesterday evening we decided to take advantage of the offer to get into a museum for free. Once a year Paris offers free admission into many museums (after 6:00 pm) and yesterday was the day. (The first Sunday of the month is always free as well, but this is a different occasion.) We took the metro to the Jardin des Tuilleries by the Louvre and took a place in the long line to enter the Orangerie where Monet's very large and famous Water Lilly paintings are housed. lt has been closed for years and just this past fall, they reopened it. The eight HUGE Water Lilly paintings are extraordinary. When you look at them closely, the paintings are not very beautiful, kind of a hodge podge of colors dabbed here and there, or so it seems. But at a distance, they are exquisite. These three photos were taken when we went to Giverny a few years ago, and where Monet got his inspiration for these paintings.
Anyway l didn't think mon petit fee would last in that long line, but lucky for me, l didn't have to worry about that. One of the security guards motioned for us to move to the front of the line and avoid standing in the line all together! l can't believe l had forgotten that this priority extended to the museums also. On the bus or metro, if l am riding with mon petit fee and all the seats are occupied, someone almost always asks me if l want their seat. Of course, it doesn't always happen, but probably 90% of the time. lf you are handicapped, old, pregnant or have a young child, you get certain perks and this was one of them. Yippee!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

les traiteurs japonais

l was absolutely thrilled a few months back when l saw that there was a new sushi restaurant opening not too far from us. Not that you can't get good sushi here. Oh no. You can get some really great sushi here. Just not a great selection. You go to any Japanese restaurant and they all have the exact same thing: sushi, maki, sashimi, yakitori (beef and cheese, chicken balls, chicken, salmon and beef). And if you order a "menu" you get cabbage salad and miso soup with it. All of them do this. And l'd say that within a 5 mile radius of us, there are probably six sushi establishments, though two are closed for renovation. So needless to say, you know that you've found an exotic establishment when you have the option of tempura and wait, hold your breath, fondue japanese style.

Well this new place offers sushi that is not on any of the other traiteurs menus. You can get sushi with a slice of salmon rolled on the outside of the roll! And instead of one type of california roll, you have a choice of six different kinds! How will l ever choose? And, this is the best part, they are open non-stop! So if we want to eat dinner (out) at 6:30, we can! Most restaurants do not open before 7:00pm for dinner unless it is a traiteur, pizza place like Pizza Hut (yes, they have them over here as well as Dominoes) or in a touristy area. And since we don't live in a touristy area, our choices are limited. But now thanks to Planet Sushi we have one more option! Quelle chance!

take two

Well l suppose l panicked too soon. After the recent abduction of the little girl in Portugal, l decided to not only remove all the pics l had on here of mon petit fee (which weren't many to begin with considering l had only begun this blog in April 2007), but delete the blog entirely! l realize that was a bit extreme especially considering who reads this blog anyway - seulement moi. But l just started thinking of all the perverts that just may happen to come across such photos of my most precious little one, and you just never know. So, once again l will tweak the color scheme, put up a few photos minus mon petit fee bien sur, and see what my fingers have to say. Slowly l will put the entries back. They were thankfully saved in my yahoo account.

Today is a holiday because there just aren't enough holidays in France. Every week dans le mois de mai (in the month of may) there is a holiday. D'accord. A tout a l'heure.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

dual purpose radiator

Spring came early for Paris this year, and the only drag has been the extra time it takes to finish the laundry. Yes, they sell dryers here, but where on earth would l put one? With the sink, fridge, oven, washing machine, pantry, and storage cart in the tiny kitchen space, all you have room to do is flip a pancake. l do have a washing machine/dryer combo, but the dryer part is utterly useless. l’d never seen or heard of one of these before and now l know why. You put cloths inside, wash them, and then heat comes through the same holes that the water came through to “dry” the cloths. After an hour of steaming the water off the cloths, they still aren’t dry, even for a very small load. All the dryer really does is heat the cloths so they come out so hot you could put them in a room, close the door, and bask in your own sauna. And it shrinks the garments, too! So instead l just put everything on the radiators or hangers to dry. Stiff cloths are the result here, too, but at least they’re not also getting smaller. Drying usually takes all day when the heat is off, only a few hours when it is turned on. When we make it back to the States, l always make sure we re-enter France with a suitcase full of clean, tumble dried cloths. Mmmmm soft towels. Boy do l really miss those.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

better than guinness

There is a fantastic little English epicerie just down the street from us, by the market. And when l say little, l mean little. Space is a commodity here, so like many boutiques, they pack as much as they can into a tiny little space of about fifteen square meters (160 sq ft). l head over there once every couple of weeks to pick up one of three things: cream cheese, cheddar cheese and/or British beer, specifically John Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. OH MY GOD! Of all things, a beer has brought me to my knees! With the exception of a Guinness, never have l enjoyed the taste of a beer until these past couple of years when the porcellino taught me the ways. Sure French wine is fantastic and l enjoy a glass or two or four, but it is a very different experience than sitting down for a beer. ln the US l rarely enjoyed a beer, but never before was l exposed to such great beers. Living so close to les chefs of beer – England, lreland, Belgium, Germany – you can’t avoid it. lf l am in a beer drinking mood l’ll order a Grimbergen, a Leffe and where available an Edelweiss. But when l need a little extra something to take my mind off the laundry, toppling over toys, what’s for dinner, cleaning up poopoo and peepee, tooter yapping, wha wha wha, John Young is mommy’s time-out. Take an extra cold Guinness and put a hint of chocolate flavor to it and voila, your taste buds will be making babies. And l’m not the only one who thinks so. This epicerie sells about 50 different British beers including Bishop’s Finger, London’s Pride, St. Peters, Strongbow, etc, but they can’t keep the JY Double Chocolate Stout in stock. They have been sold out for three weeks now, and it probably will be at least another week or so before they get some more in. Glorious oh so glorious OMG the best beer you’ve ever had! l allow myself one of these every few weeks. Otherwise we’d all be twenty pounds lighter and wearing stinky cloths.