Wednesday, April 24, 2013

J'adore le cinquième!



Ah! les lilas!
My walk to the apartment of La Belle Isabelle is a delight! No longer anxious about getting lost or being late, I enjoy each block. I stroll down rue Cherche-Midi to Rue Assas. I recognized this street from last year so I feel quite confident. I follow rue Auguste Comte past le Jardin du Luxembourg and L'Observatoire, cross Saint Michel and arrive beside last year's parish church, St. Jacques du Haut-Pas and my old street, rue St. Jacques.

The word "echidna" came to mind when I saw this scarf.
I love to look at old scholarly books.
The other side of the rue St. Jacques is a shady academic area where the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Science faculties and l'Institut Curie are located. Every street is named after a great thinker.                    
Strindberg lived on the rue Assas
In France, les Grandes Ecoles, the schools that educate those who have been selected after having written a national examination, list many Nobel Prize winners among their graduates.  Many of these schools are located in this area. At this point, I usually need to hurry a bit because I could stop and read every sign on every building. I cross Rue Mouffetard, where you can shop for food, clothing, and shoes at reasonable prices. Mostly colourful, inexpensive items and really inexpensive lunches. There are several restaurants on rue du Pot-de-Fer that are worth visiting.  George Orwell lived on Pot-de-Fer.

André-Marie Ampère is the father of electro-magnetism
I arrive for my class at rue L'Epée de Bois, climb the three flights of winding stairs and arrive slightly out of breath. For one hour, I discuss, repeat any words that I mispronounce, learn about contemporary French art and music.  Isabelle is very creative and knowledgeable so our conversations are interesting. It's like visiting a friend in her home but I pay at the end of the hour.  Today she lent me some magazines and showed me a new song on You Tube.



Today, I am going to visit my friend, Aurélie, at her restaurant, La Crêperie de la Pomme d'Amour. The restaurant is at 316 rue St. Jacques.  Last year, I lived at 318 for 5 months and ate my lunch here often.  Aurélie cooks and serves galettes de sarrasin (buckwheat crêpes) with an assortment of fillings. She also makes great salads.  Her prices are under 10 euros so this is a very affordable little restaurant.  Unfortunately, Aurélie tells me that she will be leaving the restaurant business at the end of the year as she is having trouble with her arm. Occasionally, she has help serving but she is pretty much a one-woman restaurant. I eat my crêpe Normande and promise to visit next week before I leave Paris. I can't believe that I am already leaving.  I was spoiled by my last year's visit. As I walk down St. Jacques, I see my hairdresser talking on his mobile and the friendly grocer helping a customer with produce. He has signs about the unsanitary habit of touching his produce.  This neighbourhood is definitely my favourite!

Aurélie at La Pomme de l'Amour
Back home at the apartment,  I read and watch another episode of Mr. Selfridge.
I have grown to like this apartment better.

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