01 December 2009

a private date

parisdate01 this past saturday and sunday i had a private date. with paris. i desperately needed to take a mini vacation and get some pâtisserie love. as well some bookstore love.

parisdate02 i hopped on the 7:20 am train to paris, arrived at st. lazare and made a beeline toward nation. the place with all my happy memories: chez prosper, la fournée d’augustine, and of course the farmer’s market. but i decided to skip chez prosper and instead had some mini viennoiseries from la fournée d’augustine that just hit the spot because i haven’t found a boulangerie in evreux that can match the crispiness and airiness of their pâte feuilletée.

parisdate03 then i went for a walk in the père lachaise cemetière – my first time visiting a cemetery in paris. just something i never felt like doing until now.

parisdate04 i didn’t seek out any famous people, but i do know edith piaf is buried somewhere here. instead i enjoyed seeing all the moss (?) growing on some of the tombs. and the ribbons on all the ones dedicated to the lives lost during world war 2.

parisdate05 and then there was the contrast between real flowers that end up in the poubelle… or fake metal ones that last forever.

parisdate06 and then off to the famed little chocolate shop à l’etoile d’or – where i was shown the most gorgeous notebook full of handwritten pâtisserie recipes. its also where i left an hour later full of neighborhood gossip and chocolate secrets – the owner, denise acabo, really does like to talk! and i was even happier to converse back. this was only my first visit. i can’t even imagine how exciting my second one will be!

*other places on my “should have visited by now but surprisingly haven’t” include angelina and berthillon. another day!

parisdate07 while at à l’etoile d’or, a man walked in asking if she sold macarons. ms. acabo made a face and said she didn’t have pierre hermé style macarons, but the other kind. of course not the kind the man was looking for. so she pointed him toward maison landemaine. and i decided i wanted a little taste too. off i went. when i arrived, i was not super excited to discover that they sold sandwiches as well… but i suppose a pâtisserie/boulangerie has to do what a pâtisserie/boulangerie has to do! i snacked on two macarons, and they were yummy – but a bit too tough and chewy for me.

parisdate08 i did not go straight to pâtisserie des rêves afterwards. promise. i spent a good two hours at gibert jeune, the best bookstore for anything language related. i heart paris bookstores. i planned on visiting librairie gourmande but i decided against it for the sake of my wallet. one visit there is all it takes to empty my pockets.

parisdate09 but afterwards, i did indeed head straight for pâtisserie des rêves. and it truly is a dreamy place. with a dreamy taste.

parisdate10 i took a break and ate a salad to balance out all the sugar, and headed off to the eiffel tower because it has special lights for christmas.

parisdate11 and i am in love with the photo on the right, because, look, the eiffel tower is smiling at me!

parisdate12 and what would a date with me be without the token carousel at night?

parisdate14 and off to champs-élysées. because it’s the only place i know that’s open past 8PM and also has lights up for christmas.

parisdate13 then i saw this. it’s a sign. for convincing people to travel to turkey, of course. but also the other type of sign… the day before, i had just booked tickets to turkey. yes, this texan girl living in france will be spending a week in the land of figs!

parisdate16 sunday rolls around. and i finally visit the marchés aux puces, which is yet another thing i’d never done before. and boy. was it tough. to keep my wallet closed.

i came so close to cracking for a full length wool vintage coat. so close. but i didn’t. because i know i’ll crack later on when i find one that is 100% perfect instead of 90% perfect.

i might even crack if the coat is still there when i go back… which i doubt. but if it is there on my next visit, it’ll be a sign and then it’ll be mine!

parisdate15 and afterwards, i finally fulfilled my craving for contemporary art at the palais de tokyo. a place i never had a chance to visit until now. i love how i always leave a museum full of new thoughts and perspectives on life. but i still want to go back to basel for more art!

parisdate17 i may have resisted the coat. but i did craquer and pay four extra euros for the train so i could go home three hours earlier.  paris is nice but it’s tiring when you wander all day and don’t have a place chez toi to return to. and for me, buying a more expensive ticket to be back home earlier was more than worth it.

and then what do i end up doing instead of resting? off to a traveling carnival in evreux! it was closed, but there were a few things open. i’ll be back later – those gawdy lights will be mine. mine mine mine. soon.

parisdate18 and a friend requested that i bring back something beautiful from paris. thank goodness pâtisseries are open on sundays. and so something beautiful was brought back from paris to evreux. with two cups of tea, we enjoyed the tastes of perfection!

what a perfect way to finish off november.

ps: i’m craving target. goodwill. barbeque. soon enough.


hope n laughter said...

I enjoyed your private date.

cathy said...

@hope: thank you! :)