Travel

September 15

West Village

I've become a regular at the Boulevard Raspail organic farmers' market. It was one of those fair days in Paris, breezy, clouds scudding across the sky, a nip in the air reminding me that fall is on the way. I wonder if the trees will turn colors here. So far, the ones in the Tuileries Gardens seem to have gone directly from green to brown.

After the torpor and quiet of August, the market was bustling, full of the fall harvest: pears, apples and -- wonder of wonders -- oysters. I love oysters, but I avoided them all summer. Now I'm going to start slurping them up again. Long-haired American Michael Muffin was back from vacation, selling brownies and banana bread from the back of his truck. When I asked a butcher to pound a couple of pieces of veal flat, he looked at me aghast and said, "Quel horreur." I guess he's never tasted veal piccata, which I plan to serve with steamed artichokes. I'm a lousy cook, but you can't go wrong with French ingredients.______________________
I had guests last weekend -- a friend, who had never been to Paris, and her niece. It was great seeing it through their eyes. On a pretty Sunday morning we took a ride on a bateau mouche from le Pont Neuf at the tip of Île de la Cite to the Eiffel Tower. Terrific, and imagine, I'd never done it before. Now, all I have to do is go up the Eiffel Tower and I'll have completed the major sights. Living in Paris, not just stopping by, means I can take my time getting to know the city. It did, after all, take me about 20 years of living there to learn New York.______________________
Here's an interesting thing from another blogger, reported in LA Observed:

Advice columnist Amy Alkon takes note on her blog of the Times' Paris-based travel writer Susan Spano's recent perplexed observation that the prostitutes on Rue Blondel are "all gigantic and fleshy, like something out of a Fellini movie...I exchanged a polite bon jour with one of them, trying not to gawk, wondering what to think of her and what she thought of me." Actually, "takes note" may be understating Alkon's reaction.

These prositutes are MEN! They're MEN! They're MEN! Note the nearby rue St. Denis -- the homo porn capital of Paris! Look at the "girls'" big, ham-hock-like knuckles! The faint five o'clock shadow under the caked-on foundation! The manly thighs!
I had to laugh when I read that. I will eat horsemeat if they're men. I lived in the West Village for years and I know what a transvestite hooker looks like.

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