Paris toujours

Nothing can beat a sunny spring weekend in Paris with the love of your life by your side!

So when I picked up Vera from Gare du Nord, we didn’t waste time and headed straight for a first taste of romance at the nearby Cafe ‘Bouquet du Nord’ for a portion of Django Reinhardt jazz and a nice piece of rumsteak with bearnaise and hand cut fries. I’m a softie for Gypsy jazz. It makes me want to lose myself in a bottle of red and in a blue cloud  of Gauloises. But I lost myself in Vera instead and happy too.


Next morning, as the sun rises in a cobalt blue sky, we searched for angels at ‘Le Grand Palais’. Believe it or not but we found them too. The Russian artist couple Kabakov taught us a thing or two about positive energy. Their contraptions catch cosmic energy that enters our atmosphere under an angle of sixty degrees. An energy that enables us to connect with our angles.

The idea is not crazy and you start to look at the Sacré Coeur Cathedral from an entirely new angle.

We had visited the ‘Grand Palais’ before and we also know ‘Le Petit Palais’ but now we also discover ‘Le Mini Palais’. This restaurant is connected to the museum and it has a terrace that is a must go when the sun shines. Lounging between rustic art deco walls under the balmy sun, you can enjoy a nice plate of codfish with almond crumble and a glass of refreshing Chardonay.

IMG_3095Like most mega cities, Paris is at its best when you allow yourself to get lost a little. Like a flock of mute sheep, millions of tourists land on the Mont Sacré Coeur but few have found the tiny taxidermist shop with the squirrel that reveals a Superman outfit underneath its fur coat and a living blue rabbit munching a carrot on the doorstep. (No, I’m not telling you how to get there. Get lost! And I mean this in a friendly way 🙂  ) Similarly, all have gawked at the majestic Notre Dame, but who walked just a few steps further to admire the most beautiful stained glass windows of medieval Europe, at la Sainte-Chapelle,  just a streets away?

And one more restaurant to remember, off the beaten track, ‘ La Grappe’, a small and elegant  café bistro in Quartier Latin. By the glass, the wines are not too expensive (5 euro) so that you dare more freely select two or three different cépages from the excellent wine list. We had a great tasting red that went very well with our tartare de boeuf. We don’t often try tartare, but the temptation was just too great and the chef did not disappoint us at all. It’s a keeper!

And then there is Rodin. And with Rodin, one starts to dream. The sculpture-bohémien, the artist-womanizer, the man whose name is always mentioned together with his women, and of course with Camille Claudel, for once on exhibit together with a man.  The notoriously bisexual New York Photographer, Mapplethorpe.  One cannot experience the full power of Rodin’s ‘Le penseur’ from a picture, and in the same vein, one can only appreciate a Mapplethorpe picture standing in front of the real thing. And Mapplethorpe copied the old master and sculptured his pictures in similar fashion.

Dare I say that I can do better than both of them?
I offer you a picture of three masterpieces in one frame.