Each day begins with a weather assessment, first by looking out on my street, followed by a quick check on-line to get a temperature reading. Then I hop downstairs (two flights; good exercise) and buy the daily International Herald Tribune, which has a pretty good summary of news of the world, mostly European centered of course, but with an occasional blurb about Hollywood shenanigans for comic relief. Sports are covered as well, so I am up on the NFL playoffs. I then check Kentucky.com, the Lexington Herald’s on-line paper, so I can take note of the basketball Wildcats (they even have a little bit of YouTube footage for those needing this fix), and assorted Lexington news bits. Next I check the status of the euro versus the dollar, and at this moment the trend is in the right direction.
Today I walked over to the Place de la Bastille, where nothing really remains of the July 14, 1789, storm. I did read somewhere, however, that if you have plans to overthrow a monarchy, this would be a pretty good place to begin. The streets in this Marais district are just wonderful, with a symmetry to the architecture that is mesmerizing. Passing along the tree-lined Boulevard Beaumarchais, I crossed to the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir with its colorful markets offering just about anything you might need. I had a lunch destination in mind: the unassuming Hotel du Nord, a very trendy and small spot where lunch is delicious and the place is so popular at night that “no reservation, no dinner”, explained my very friendly waiter. The place is located along the curious Canal St-Martin, something of an unexpected vision which materializes to replace the boulevard as one progresses north. I suspect that in the summer this would be quite a nice place for an alfresco meal. This was about an hour’s walk up and about 45 minutes to return through the Place des Vosges. Picked up some cheese at the supermarket Franprix, considerably cheaper than the little markets on the Ile.