Culture


Walk along Ile de la Cité, and at the edge of the garden is the Memorial of the Martyrs of the Holocaust, a monument dedicated to the all those Parisiens deported from 1941 to 1944 during the Vichy occupation. — at Memorial des Martyrs de la déportation. The architecture is stunning, and is another one of those secret finds of Paris

La Rotonde has become our go to brasserie in the neighborhood. Their terrace is perfect in the summer. So is their menu.  Their Tomato Carpaccio is out of this world.  So is their Œufs Cocotte (BIO)  à la crème de morilles.  Our son’s favorite is the Cote de boef avec morilles, avec riz.

Since 1911, la Rotonde has become a mythic place in the Montparnasse. During the Wars, the painters and surrealists have always made this their place. Now, its’ the directors and cinematographers. You can see the haunts of Hemingway across the street, Le Select,  Le Dome, La Coupole, the Closerie des Lilas down the street, and the oft-overlooked Rosebud bar on the rue Delambre parallel to the Bd. Montparnasse (not to mention the Dingo Bar – now gone- where Hemingway met Fitzgerald for the first time).

There has always been a long history of love of all that is Japanese in France.  The trend became so intense that in the 19th century, there was a movement called ‘Japonisme.’  This wonderful NY travelpost lists many interesting destinations, including Albert Kahn Museé et Jardin.

Musts:

1. Galerie Sentou

2. Kunitoraya

3. Jugetsudo

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/letter-from-paris-tokyo-on-the-seine/?_r=0

 

I love my kids’ education at the French American school here in San Francisco. Among other things, it’s made them so much more sensitive to language and humor. Today, I asked the kids if there was a French word for a whiteboard. They said that everyone just calls it the “ardoise,” which of course is like continuing to call a whiteboard a “blackboard” in English. By definition, an “ardoise” is black because it’s made of slate.

I suggested “ardoise blanche,” hardly a good compromise. My 8 year old son replied, “How about “blardoise,” which I’d say is the perfect adaptation. The only problem is saying “la blardoise” three times fast. It’s a word that no matter how cute, will never catch on.

Just when you think Paris has lost its edge, the NY Times proclaims a new ‘it’ neighborhood.  The latest is on the city’s fringes, like Belleville and the former red-light district of Pigalle.  A pop-up restaurant, a taxidermy-stuffed speakeasy.

Well, no more heaters that allow folks to sit outside and smoke. Paris is moving to ban outdoor heaters at sidewalk cafés.

I’ve heard more and more that these propane heaters are the single worst thing many homes have in the way of polluting devices. Still, I guess like wood-burning fireplaces, it’s sad to see them go. Paris Cafe - Photo 365-129/365

France long held out against the smoking bans being enacted worldwide in public places, but finally caved in three years ago. But while the inside of Left Bank cafés has been less foggy, the café-clope (coffee and cigarette) culture of the city has continued to thrive by simply spilling into the streets, thanks to the gas heater.


Paris move to ban outdoor heaters at cafés in fresh blow to smokers
The devices have blossomed in the capital since 2008, bringing ever-greater numbers of Parisians outdoors. But now the Socialist and Green-run town hall has declared war on the heaters, calling them an ecological disaster.

I love the line from socialist deputy mayor for trade: “Warming the little birds in winter is not very useful,” said Lyne Cohen-Solal, the Socialist deputy mayor in charge of trade.

I came upon Le flaneur des deux rives, a charming bookstore near Boulevard St. Michel and Rue de Vaugirard.  Beautiful lithographs and hard to find books line the window.  How lovely to see a line out of Guillame Apollinaire’s book as a name of a book store…

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Paris has been deserted until today, the last day before school officially starts. In other years, we noticed an increasing activity each day leading up to school day. This year though, things are different. Several hypotheses:
1. Many people without kids still have this week off and are Still lazing on the beach somewhere.
2. Those with kids did indeed come back, but are laying low, depressed about the end of the summer. They are sleeping in and only coming out after lunch.

What’s the story? Does anyone know?

Picture of a pile of Daikon (giant white radis...
Image via Wikipedia

Maybe I can live here, now.  Perhaps after almost two decades of coming here and traveling elsewhere, I’ve become, as John Berger once said, ‘a patriot of elsewhere.’  I don’t need to live in San Francisco anymore, though I want to have a home there.  I can now have a home here, rather than just a piéd-a-terre.  Or perhaps, I’m finding that Asian culture has completely infiltrated Paris.  There is now K mart, the new go to Asian supermarket in Paris for Korean food as well as Japanese products.  Our friend Laila introduced us to a great ramen place and took us around this gentrifying quartier.  I said ‘K Mart in Paris?”  She said, ‘Non, a Korean Mart in Paris!’

KMart is the only place I know of where one can purchase kimchi and soft tofu in Paris. Alongside the sushi grade fish and the fresh meat counters is the produce shelves with shitake, enoki and shimeji brown mushrooms, daikon radishes, shiso leaves, fresh ginger, red and green chillis… Also, don’t miss the supermarket cafeteria for a quick lunch or food to go.

K mart
6-8 Rue Sainte Anne
75001 Paris
tel: 01.58.62.49.09
Metro: Pyramides, Palais-RoyalMusée du Louvre

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