Caffe et biscotto gelato from Amorino. So delicious that it actually made me kind of angry.
I mean, Grom in NYC is really good. Capogiro in Philly is better. Amorino on the rue du Vielle Temps in the 4th arr. is, regrettably, on another planet entirely. So good it was stupid. So good I wanted it to shut up. So good that I was hoping someone would slap the cup out of my hand so I could prove how good it was by eating it off the street.
Dudes, seriously. It was good. I can't believe I don't get it to eat it every day for the rest of my life.
ANYWAY, TIME FOR THE STREET MEAT!
(The vegetarian street meat, obviously.)
I'd heard there was good falafel on the rue de Rosiers, but I hadn't bothered to write down any names, because that just is not how I roll. I discovered the street by accident, actually. There are four or five storefronts hawking falafel and claiming to offer the "world's best." Not recognizing any names, I hit up the place with the longest line. (I looked it up later, and I was at L'As du Falafel.)
The order-taker said something, probably "Can I help you," so I said "Falafel vegetarien," which was the sum total of the conversation I had prepared. He repeated my order and then asked me a question. I stood there mouthbreathing until some synapses fired in the deep recesses of my brain and I figured out that he was waiting to be paid, and I fished out a cinque and handed it over. (Whatever else this city is, it is not cheap.)
The falafel scooper said something to which I intelligently responded with my trademark blank stare. Then, when he realized that I am an escaped mental patient or an American or both, he pointed to the pickle bins with his tongs, so I just nodded expansively: "tout!" Pickles: tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, red cabbage, and an unidentified white pickle which was probably turnip. Tahini, chiles, and tiny, two-bite x-tra-crunchy falafel balls in a warm pita. I was eager to shove my entire head inside my pita, and trying to drop a Euro in the tip jar at the same time, so I tried to grab the pita from him with one hand.
The falafel guy said, "Attention!" in this very sweet and concerned voice. Oh, okay. Two hands on the falafel at all times. Got it dude. Here's your Euro. Once he parsed that I understood the two-hand rule, the word of the Falafel Lord, he allowed me to have the pita, and even jammed a fork in the top with a little flourishy hand swish. Aw. Thanks, falafel guy.
I broke the Two-Hand Rule in order to snap this picture. Don't tell anyone.
I ate it walking (something New Yorkers always do and Parisians seem not to do at all, minus the baguette dude who very possibly was doing performance art), and it was so good that at times I got my own hair in my mouth while eating it and fully did not care.
According to the food blogs, however, there is both a better falafel stand AND a better gelateria right within this neighborhood. I suppose, if you want, I will visit both later today and report back. Not for myself, you understand. I am simply that committed to investigative reporting on your behalf. You need not thank me. Although perhaps you could send some elastic-waist pants.
Our neighborhood is so pretty that it cannot be done justice in pictures.
Particularly pictures taken by my inept self with a little point-and-shoot on a rainy Tuesday night, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to make you look at them anyway.
A week ago I might have said these photos were fake; Hollywood set-style facades made up to look like some "old world" cliche of Paris for the benefit of the tourists. But no: people live like this. People live like this? Really? Really really? It can't be true. It is true? I'm sorry if I sound like someone who just crawled out from under une roche... but seriously? This is really someone's neighborhood? Sorry, why do we all not live here? I almost feel bad for people who were born in Paris since everywhere else they go is probably a let down.
I wanted to buy one of these for gleep_glop because I feel like he, and perhaps he alone, could love them.
If anyone does not want to go to the Sexodrome, please raise your hand. (PS, you are lying.)
I didn't eat here, so it's really not fair to make fun of it, but when has this blog ever worried about being fair. Quality Burger Restaurant. Hee. I should also mention this establishment is located two doors down from the Moulin Rouge, so I HAVE MY DOUBTS, YES I DO.
I decided to go to the Tuileries, and even in December it did not disappoint. The following heavy-hitters on the Paris Tourism Checklist were all, if you were willing to do a full 360° rotation, within sight: the Arc d'Triumphe, the Tour Eiffel, the Jardins d'Tuileries, the Tuileries building, or fort or castle or whatever, the Louvre, and a huge Ferris Wheel at the foot of the Champs-Élysées.
You know what I devoted four pictures to?
A tree that looked like a vagina.
I think that's a museum or something behind the tree there, not that anyone is interested.
I feel like going up to these people and saying "Hey, look, you found the P!" would not have had the effect I would have wanted it to.
Shawn Colvin has a song, Polaroids, that I love to play on guitar. One of the lyrics references "kids on the Tuileries," and when I saw these kids chasing seagulls all around the fountain at the foot of the garden I was in transports. I love picturing the Shawn Colvin of the mid-1980s, on tour with Bruce Hornsby, skinny and dressed in head-to-toe black and probably wearing a really amazing hat or boots because as a fashion icon she is vastly underrated, and then having the same momentary experience 25 years later while wearing a hat that is not as good.
Aslan is MEAN in France.
THREE PICTURES I AM PROUD OF FOR VARIOUS REASONS
This one because it's a good picture, perhaps the only good picture I have taken so far.
This one because there's all these pointy spires and Eiffel is the least important one in the frame. Let's take that sucker down a notch whenever possible, that is my feeling.
And this one because the axis is THE SUN. (This was achieved by accident, by the way. But so what.)
I walked down to the Champs-Élysées, where there was a Union-Square-style Christmas market happening. I have to be honest with you, the wares on offer were far tackier than what you generally find at the New York Christmas market, and if you have been to the New York Christmas market you will realize exactly how funny that statement is.
However, the one thing they definitely have over us is that every third booth sells mulled wine. For an extra Euro, you can spike it with Grand Marnier or vodka. And you would definitely need to be drunk in order to appreciate some of the booths. For instance.
Um, you would be screaming in terror too if you had to hang out in a cattle-car bin with these creepers all day. By the way, if you think that some serious Cabbage-Patch-smell was not wafting in a five-foot wide radius from this booth, you are TOTALLY INCORRECT.
Le Hot Dog!
Soppa d'oignon. I did not realize, when I was eating it, how totally revolting this looked. I bought a baguette to eat with it, and the soup was very rich so I eventually ditched that and just ate the bread, thinking "When in France." Because, since I saw the dude gnawing on the baguette, I have spotted a lot more people snacking on these out of their bags. Usually they are tearing off hunks and eating them, though, not treating it like a piece of fried chicken. (In case you are wondering, and why wouldn't you be, there is at least one KFC in Paris.)
Everyone is getting this shirt for Christmas.
Detail shot, because I could hear you going "hey wait but that's tacky, I'll never wear it," and what you couldn't see is that each of the white letters is outlined in sparkly silver thread. Who's tacky now!!!
I regret to inform you that I was not brave enough to eat anything out of the person-sized woks.
This is almost definitely Elton John.
I can't figure out how to get my Google back to the English version. I'm on a wireless network and it is all "rechercher" this and "j'ai de la chance" that. It was cute at first, but I already have a complex about not speaking the language, and now even my computer is taunting me.
Lastly, can we please talk about the jet lag? The first night, up til 1a, awake at 6:30. Second night, up till 2am, awake at 2pm. Third night, up till 6am, awake at 12pm. Fourth night, asleep at 11pm, awake at 2:30am. Last night, asleep at 7pm, awake at 8:30pm, asleep at 3am, up at 10am. I'm sure I have nothing at all new or interesting to say about jet lag. But... YA'LL WTFRICK IS UP WITH THE JET LAG.
In related news, WOMEN BE SHOPPING!