Saying Goodbye to Summer


Paris Plage is closed (once again, I arrived too early and too late). The Tuileries Gardens ferris wheel (La Grande Roue) will be packed up until next summer. Already there’s a crisp note of autumn in the air (but I’m hoping for an Indian summer in September and October after the cloudy August).

Daniel and his friend Sylvain met us for coffee at the Bistro de La Tour, 4 Rue e la Arrivee (which is located on the opposite side of Tour Montparnasse from our favorite Greek panini stand).

“Normandy looks so sad. The country houses are all shuttered.”

Summer memories. An empty picnic table that was so recently laden with yummy dishes – plates of foie gras de canard, sweet melons, fresh apricots, and bowls full of blood-red cherries, a velvety Savigny burgundy, fresh mussels from Barfleur, all of these delightful flavors served up in a flurry of friendly chatter.

Summer goes by so quickly in this part of the world that you’ll have to forgive a little nostalgia – so here are some of the favorites garnered from the Spring/Summer of 2008:

Favorite word: ‘bling-bling’. Hairstylists in Paris were muttering in the spring – ‘So what is ‘bling-bling’ anyhow?’ (ever since France’s new president Nicolas Sarkozy has been hounded by the ‘bling-bling’ description). Of course ‘bling-bling- is nothing new in California and NYC, but now with the Euro towering over the Dollar – the ‘bling-blings’ are getting exported faster than you can say ‘bling-bling’.

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Favorite visuals:
Norman artists, Gerard Daric, Nicole Camillieri, Mijo Demeuron and Eric Lodehac at St. George de Vievre
St. Aubin cows
Lucy, the fox terrier
Davine’s Prada sandals

Favorite tastes:
Barfleur mussels
Cormeille fishmonger’s marinated ‘rouget’
Jeanne’s apple tart
Huguette’s pork wrapped in puffed pastry
Lydie’s onion tart

Favorite sounds:
Herbie Hancock at La Defense

Favorite summer film:
The Girl from Monaco. Is Louise Bougoin France’s new Brigitte Bardot?

Favorite Paris Day Trip:
Nature walk across the Mont St. Michel Bay
(close runners up deserve mention: Angers tapestries and Renne’s temporary exhibit – Legends of Arthur and the Round Table – until Jan, 2009)

Favorite touch:
Normandy linen. How often do you get to fondle top-grade raw linen? Positively decadent. And did you know that linen (or flax) has vintage years just like wine?

French linen: A Noble Cloth


Favorite conversations:
The difference between green flies and blue flies in the ‘chiotta!
The Stonehenge constructions of moles.

For Next Summer:

The Tuileries Fun Fair starts at the end of June and lasts till the end of August (this year ’08, until August 24th). Various amusement rides are set up including flying chairs, kids’ cars (on a track), and of course, the huge ferris wheel. The ferris wheel ride (at 6 Euros for adults) gives you a great view of Paris and you don’t have to climb any steps or wait in huge lines!

Bistro de la Tour
4 Rue de la Arrivee
Metro: Montparnasse