Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Winter Winding Down
I walked out of the house the other day grinning like a madwoman because this is what I saw: sun, sun, sun! I wasn't the only happy camper on the street either. People seemed pretty perky, for Parisians.
Among the things you miss in sunless climes are shadows. It's nice to see them falling on the buildings and on the sidewalks when the sun's shining. Sitting on a café terrasse still requires a coat and a space heater, but the feel of the rays on your face is wonderful.
Of course we're convinced the weather is improving because the gods are punishing us for our intended departure for California; "see," they say, "what we can do if we want to? Stick around and we'll give you more."
But in fact we are leaving next week for several months back in the States and are looking forward to spending time with our family and friends there. Meanwhile, suddenly realizing we need to touch base with people we haven't seen in a while, we've booked ourselves to go out nearly every evening between now and our departure. And we've been out on the streets more as the rain and snow have stopped for the most part and we're back to taking long walks every day.
Passing by le Bon Marché on the "back" side, I stopped to look at the lovely example of 19th century tile work surrounding the doors, advertising the wonderful wares to be found inside. Who wouldn't want to buy rubans (ribbons) here? How different it must have been to live in a time when ribbons were a major consumer item.
I'm going to indulge myself in a minor rant about something that's been annoying me all winter. Several years ago the city put in a traffic circle between the Louvre courtyard, the one with the I.M. Pei pyramid, and the Tuileries, presumably to slow traffic in a busy pedestrian area. So why, do you suppose, do they block off the sidewalks around that circle, chaining blockades to the light posts, and forcing those pedestrians to walk in the soggy sandy area instead? Not a lot of fun after a heavy rain I can tell you.
We find ourselves here a lot because it's the direct route to the tons of Japanese noodle joints on rue Sainte Anne, and noodle soup has been high on our list of winter foods. Yes, even during the season that holds foie gras, chestnuts, oysters, game and chocolate galore. We eat those too, but it's hard to beat a bowl of udon on a rainy day...