March 23

One thing I really like about Paris is that it seems perfectly acceptable to eat while walking down the street, especially breakfast on the run. You buy a croissant or brioche at the boulangerie, then munch away on your way to the Mètro.

As for the foie gras, I had some with Loupiac, a white wine, at a bar near St.-Germain-des-Prés. The place was pretty shabby, but the small selection of house special wines was superb. Loupiac is almost as velvety smooth as the foie gras. I have no trouble not thinking about where the delicacy comes from, it tastes so good.

You have never seen stairs as steep as the ones that lead to my apartment -- four flights, old and uneven, bordered by wood beams, going round and round in a spiral. Coming out this morning I ran into an old woman -- one of my neighbors, I suppose -- with swollen feet going up. I felt so sorry for her. For me, it’s good exercise and keeps me from buying too much.

Get this: The other day, near the big, wonderful Monoprix, near Chatelet on the Right, I saw a store window in which about 10 rows of dead rats were hanging, quite artfully arranged, but rats nonetheless. It was a pest control service. I can’t get it out of my head.