Paris, Part Quatre

Today is Saturday and it’s Paris Gay Pride Day. Nearly half a million people are expected to converge upon the city streets for the parade (which, very conveniently, passes only a block away).

The weather is supposed to be ideal so I will wear my Human Rights Campaign tank top with the peace symbol, heart symbol and 1970’s happy face (peace, love and happiness…get it?).

Let’s see…what has gone on since I last posted? We made it to the hammam only to find that it was welcoming only women on that day. We may try again tomorrow. Instead, we walked through the Jardin des Plantes, then along rue Mouffetard, then down to some street by a cafe Hemingway used to frequent. It was too pricey, so we ate a block away at another cafe where I had the most incredible creme brulée I’ve had in my life.

A few blocks away we went to the top of the Tour Montparnasse (59 floors…outside roof deck). From up that high you can see how “white” the city is architecturally. Colorwise, it’s quite similar to the appearance of San Francisco from the top of Twin Peaks — except in Paris, it’s actually pretty. (San Francisco consists of a drab grid pattern throughout, whereas Paris is a complex maze of streets.)

We then shopped along St Germain des Prés before returning home, freshening up, and heading out for a romantic dinner in le Marais. The restaurant was called le Gai Moulin and was amazing – the best restaurant meal of our trip. The owner/host was this terrific flamboyant gay man who ended our dining experience by kissing Mike on both cheeks then running away from us saying, “Oh, wait! I have a gift for you.” He handed us two postcards for the restaurant….one was simply a postcard of his face. I love it.

That night, we explored yet another of Paris’s bars. It was a unique experience near the Opera (Bastille).

Friday was a lazy day. I slept late while MIke went out with Mark to gather fresh ingredients for that night’s dinner. After assisting with housecleaning, Mike and I went to the tip of the Ile St Louis and sat along the river. When we returned, we did a few last-minute things to help Mark before the dinner guests arrived.

In all there were 8 of us. I had met three of them before when Mark prepared a fantastic meal in October (Christophe, Didiier, and Bruno). This time around he also invited two other men (who brought their 6 month old twins). The table setting was impeccable and I will post pictures later today….PROMISE.

The meal started off with a cold tomato soup accompanied by bread and wine. That was followed by the main course of chicken, tomato and pasta (my description makes it sounds typical, but it was anything but). If you knew Mark, you’d know what I mean.

The main course was followed by a lovely presentation of various cheeses (and bread), as well as a green salad.

Dessert, oh dessert, was the most fabulous peach custard pie I’ve ever had. OK, it was the only peach custard pie I’ve ever had. I normally hate pie, but this pie was delicious. Fortunately, he made two of them and the group only consumed one. This means that we all have an entire pie to share over the next 24 hours. I’m most pleased.

I will try to post one more time before we head off to Amsterdam on Monday. And since my camera’s memory chip is full, I expect that the new posting will also include photos. Without tooting my own horn (a skill I wish I possessed), I think these photos came out better than the ones I took last year. Perhaps it’s because I incorporated more people in them (last year I tended to focus on buildings only), but also because I may have mastered the complexities of the camera a bit more.

Toodles!

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Dave in Chicago (2) on June 24, 2006 7:31 am

    Ok, love the details, the dinners were faboo, the sightseeing is grand, etc. blahblahblah…..but you’re simply not going to get away with “That night, we explored yet another of Paris’s bars. It was a unique experience near the Opera (Bastille).” DETAILS, Mary, DETAILS! ;-P

  2. Comment by Lise on June 26, 2006 10:23 am

    Oh, the envy as I sit here at work in the now perpetually humid, ever-raining Boston eating a stale doughnut. Sigh. Glad you’re having such a stupendous time! Amsterdam is a trip, in more ways than one. I’m back from Savannah, GA, which was less hot & humid than here – damn Armageddon weather, I’m sure Al Gore has an explanation. But we spent most of the time in the house by a salt-water river, reading, watching movies and swimming – and there were dolphins in the river. Hardly Paris but a very relaxing break indeed. P.S. I knew a guy who COULD toot his own horn, but that’s another story. Ciao.

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