notes on paris

Three weeks now in Paris and we haven’t been to a bistro or a restaurant . It’s been too cold for me to sit out on the sidewalk and I’m not up to going inside , either , to sit at a tight little table to sip a beer or to nurse a coffee or to eat a meal .

We’ve been preparing meals in the apartment , mostly stews , always with a fresh baguette . I walk down to the little bakery two or three minutes away . They know me by now , that English-speaking guy who gets a baguette and once in awhile a couple of croissants. Ada usually cooks for us , but today I made meatballs and fondant potatoes . It’s supposed to be finished in the oven but I couldn’t figure out the controls on this French oven so I had to improvise and do the whole thing on the stovetop burner .

My laptop decided to give me a problem yesterday . The cursor didn’t show up for work . I tried a few combinations of buttons , Fn and F this or F that , but nothing worked . Re-booting usually works to solve problems , but not this time .

I had decided to hunt for a mouse today and see if I could use that instead of the old disappeared cursor . I was all ready . Determined . I decided to start the laptop up for one more try , though . Kind of magical thinking , since I had messed around with it so much last night , turning it off and on again and pushing combinations of buttons with absolutely no results . They say miracles do happen , but none last night .

When I restarted the thing today that old cursor had again shown up . I may have hit another combination of buttons , and if I did I stumbled upon the magic formula . Anyway , it did surprise me . I think it knew that I was determined to replace it , maybe permanently , with a mouse . On the other hand , maybe it just needed a day off . Okay . Everyone needs time off now and again .

We walked the dog up to Sacre Coeur today because there is a dog park there . The other dogs were not very active , however . None of them wanted to run or to play tag , and the wind was cold , so fairly soon we decided to leave . We wandered through Montmartre and looked for an artist friend who used to go up there and sketch tourists ; but he wasn’t there .

We got lost on the way back . That’s easy to do in Paris , because the roads head off at angles and we are unfamiliar with the city . The locals are happy to offer us help , often looking places up on the GPS on their phones . Many of them speak English but even if they don’t they try to help . Their friendliness defies the old stereotypical reputation of the French toward Americans . Maybe they all decided to change their attitudes or maybe our stereotype was wrong all the time . I’ll let the historians , as they say , make that judgement.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “notes on paris

  1. I had to look up fondant potatoes. Here is the definition I found, maybe saving other readers a search: “They are perfect cylinders of potato browned very slowly in butter, with stock added repeatedly until they are glazed and full of flavor. Fondant potatoes simultaneously taste of pure potato and of more than potato, and they get very creamy inside.” More, the place of origin for fondant potatoes is, wait for it: FRANCE! Should have known. You might want to read Elaine Dundy’s “The Dud Avocado” while you’re in Paris. Though I don’t recall her mentioning fondant potatoes. Or any potatoes, for that matter. The atmosphere there as you describe it sounds like Portland. I could walk down to Coquine’s, the French restaurant on the corner, and pick up a croissant or baguette, they have a little grocery store put in there now, where the yoga place was. Seems folks prefer grocery to yoga in the pandemic era. I could even sit out at a little table and be cold and spend $$$$$ for a cup of coffee and a croissant. But other than the wet and cold, it wouldn’t be Paris. I might try cooking up some fondant potatoes tonight. Maybe an avocado on the side. And put on some Django from Paris back in the day.

  2. GP

    Glad you’re having a good time and eating well. Plan on coming home?

  3. I have enjoyed your photos and trip to Paris.

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