Saturday, May 26, 2018

Paris Encore

It is so good to be back in MY city.  But first I have to tell the tale of getting here, as it is a good one!  Kathy and Dean took me to the airport.  Kathy said something about this new flight  being  a big deal, wondered at not seeing the Press and I commented that I expected to see the press, but maybe at the gate.  I checked my bags without difficulty and wandered toward the gate, began discerning the strains of La Vie en Rose and noticed an Eiffel Tower in the main greeting space.

Wow, it might be a bit of a deal after all.  I walked out to the glass hallway to go to  gate A5 and there was a big mural there too about the flight. Nice!

When I got to the point that I. Had to turn right to go to the gate there was a sign that said that the area was closed for an event.  And an event it was!  There was food

(appetizers and sweets), beverages,  music, free pins and luggage tags that indigate the inaugural flight, a photo booth and speeches!  I took a quick look, and got in line for food, I had a fingerling potatoes stuffed with Camembert, some Brie, blue cheee and a cracker, a ratatouille Wellington with pesto, a god stuffed with goat cheese and a tiny chocolate mousse, and some fruit.

No alcohol but sparkeling lemonade was a good accompaniment.  I wandered in to listen to the speeches, kids from the Interntaitonal school spoke in French and English,  A priest blessed this voyage, and then the assistant to the governor, the mayor and some big wigs from Delta spoke.  Mostly I liked the blessing!  I went then to get my picture taken and was next in line when I got “bumped” by the big wigs from Delta.  Hmm this was to be just the first of my examples of white male privilege (WMP) from this bunch.  I could not bring myself to do goofy glasses or a silly hat, but could hold up my truth.

The flight was the most painless trip to Paris ever!  The ravioli I got stuck with (at the back of the plane) was actually pretty good and it came with wine! We arrived, moseyed throughout the airport towards customs.  Here agin I saw that WMP as this same folks who bumped me just didn’t do as asked by the personnel there, they jumped line and were in and out of customs in a flash.  Grrr.
The taxi driver was very funny would NOT speak French to me, he told me that his English was better than my French, and honestly he is right.  He spent a year in Scotland and was funny and is most likely my ride back to the airport.  He also offered to take me to a castle or herd me around town and that if we did that he might speak French to me.  LOL. It might be worth it just to have the French lessons!
He dropped me off at the door and Simone was at the door to greet us.  She is s charming lady about my age who is a social worker but can not find work under the new regime. Hmmmm maybe there is a reason that Trump and Macron got along so well.  I have to admit that I supported him, but as a lesser evil.  Why does it seem to always have to come to that in an election?
Anyway the apartment/house is amazing.  Three floors:  The basement has a laundry area, sofa (probably a pullout) and a desk.  The main floor has a sitting area, and the kitchen.

And the bedroom and bathroom upstairs are adorable,

I think maybe this is one of the best places ever, only one though as there have been a couple other “do overs” in our past.
I was pooped though due to circumstances with work and sleep so I did the very think I tell people not to do which was took a nap!  Then I got up and went for that long awaited Tartare Du Boeuf, whith fries and a glass of wine.

 It was as good as I had dreamed!  I had the same prime seat as I had last year, but this year it was not hot and I was glad to be sort of inside as it was sprinkling off and on with the threat of a good rain.  I attempted to sketch something to paint later and paired that with some sorbet.  The pear was delish and the cassis was TART.
I’d have the pear again, not the cassis, although it is beautiful.
From there I went to our park behind Notre Dame.  There is a lot of  “crapping up” here, ( what JOdi calls “work” on the streets, buildings up - which make it hard to get nice photos) but I sat and knitted and people watched, sketched some more, and finally moseyed back via the souvenir shops. I am thinking that there is a pretty umbrella with the Eiffel Tower on it that may need to come home with me!

Friday, May 18, 2018

It’s early, at least for me.  Six AM, and I woke up pooped with a gimpy ankle.  Grr.  I broke my ankle my freshman year in college and it is an excellent weather forecasting tool. All I can say is: it’s not done raining!  I am up early because we are doing a clinical class and I have to be there early, but in addition I count it good because it is a way to begin prepping for....... Paris!  I like to get up a bit earlier and earlier every day to sort of work on resetting my time clock.  Of course work does not always cooperate and the call schedule may be tough next week, (being on call in the evening can create messed up sleeping times  if a patient shows up at 9 PM for example, which at my age take a couple of day to recover from).  BUT for today we will still count this getting up early good!  As far at that crabby ankle/leg,  my doctor started me on Voltaren and while it worked magic last weekend, I know it is not something I really want to be taking all the time,  but it will go in my carry one next week.  I mean seriously who wants to be hoofing it around PAris with a cane if there is an alternative!
All that said, this time next week, taking into account the time difference, I will be in Paris!  I have been a bit concerned about my apartment as there is all kinds of discussion on the Fordor board about the new laws and apartments, not much of it really good for someone like me who really preferres an apartment to a hotel.  SO last night I get in my e-mail to touch base with the person who owns the apartment I will rent for a week and I see a e-mail from her returning money.  I gasped, deleted a bunch of trash mail to weed out the junk and went back to that e-mail trying to understand.  Telling myself that all the “gloom and doom” was right and I had been had,  now where was I going to stay? However there was a second e-mail from Martine  and since the remainder will be in cash, she has “officially” canceled payment on the website.
I am dreaming of a glass of wine, steak tartare and frites in my favorite little place near Notre Dame, Le Flore en l’lle!   I am looking forward to cooking (and eating of course!), painting, reading, and flanneuring,   I find my plans don’t always work out, often there are pleasant surprises instead.  See you next Friday Paris!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mark Pis China Gate.  
So I have to talk about a local place,  well sort of local.  Growing up my mother made a lot of LaChoy chop suey, I hated it. My mother somehow got it in her head that I liked it, and when I would come home from college that would be our Friday evening meal. Finally I had to put a stop to it because I love my mother and I love her cooking but I did not love her chop suey.  
As I got older I absolutely refused to eat Chinese food of any sort. I wasted a lot of years avoiding Chinese restaurants, probably really good Chinese restaurants. Then I lived in St. Louis for a while and we had  been invited to go for Chinese after work with some friends however because I didn’t like it, the answer was no thank you.  The friends said why don’t we try family-style and maybe there’s an opportunity to try different kinds of Chinese food. Which we did.  I tried Mongolian beef and loved it. That began my love affair with Chinese food.
However, I have to admit I am not fond of some of the little mom-and-pop places ,which is unusual for me, but I feel like the little smorgasbordsy places cook their food in the same fat until you can taste everything that’s been cooked in that restaurant all in one bite.   Just up the street from where I bought my first condo was a restaurant called Mark Pis I went there a lot at that time because lunch was affordable, and over the years it became my main place for Chinese.  I lunched there for years,  about 20 years.  Then one day I went for lunch and there was a “closed for business” sign in the door. I was devastated.  
Thus began a desert of Chinese food for me. I ate at PF Chang, but their food is REALLY not regular Chinese food, I ate at little mom-and-pop places, never really quite happy, and have searched and searched. Then one day a friend of mine who lives in Columbus Indiana told me that there was a PF Changs down there. I was ecstatic, soon after that my friend Laura and I planned a date to go down for dinner, and wouldn’t you know, I had a patient show up late enough that it almost canceled our dinner, but Laura was patient and we ate late that night and I got to taste delicious Mark Pis Chinese once again.  Hot and sour soup, sweet-and-sour chicken. Mongolian beef, garlic chicken, and Crab Rangoon all of these are delicious at Mark Pis. So last night my friend Laura and I drove down to Columbus, and met up with our friend Diane, we had a delicious meal and  fabulous company.  After our bellies were full, we were sitting around just gossiping as we women do, and the chef came out and talked to us.  He is very passionate about cooking,  food talking about how to cook broccoli properly rather than send it out yellow and limp.  About how you have to be present to the food.  It was very fun to talk to him.  Laura mentioned that we had driven down from Indianapolis, we continued chatted after he left and all of a sudden he came out wheeling a cart with this beautiful desert just a perfectly beautiful little goodie at the end of our meal.  Clearly he had taken and inordinate amount of time pleasing us with this beauty!
We left with full bellies AND full


Saturday, October 21, 2017

WE Wus Here

Breakfast was fun today, fruit again with that same delish peach-mango dollop. And then a "Belgian" pancake with pears, it reminded me of a small Yorkshire pudding.
 IT was a new treat for me!
Then we sent to Ft. George.
Funny how little I know about the War of 1812.  I really didn't know that the US had been an aggressor to Canada, we are lucky to have not only peaceful but friendly good neighbors!  It was rather depressing to look at the rudimentary fort, and hear about warfare then and realize what a set up for death and mayhem it was.  Seriously who decides to send our boys, fathers,brothers sons off to be killed?  1812 or 2017, someone somewhere is being greedy or has to swing the (to quote my old boss)  biggest ____, and we lose our people.  Not the martinet that decides to start the whole thing.  Why does the common man allow this?  I really started wondering this after our last book in book discussion.  Not the futility of war and how man does not seem to learn, but really, why do mothers, wives, daughters put up without people  going off to be killed either by a musket or an AK 47? Either way gone is gone.  
Regardless it was interesting, despite the rudimentary life there were rules and a pecking order.  
The common soldier had to live in barracks,
the guy playing a British soldier said wives with their soldier husbands would have as a couple picked our husband #2, maybe even #3 and or #4.  Often it was the soldiers friend, who was next on the list and usually she was remarried within 48 hours.
Officers had it much better, but these positions were usually purchased by the family, not earned.
This bed was a bed that would fold up on itself to be portable, and a rope "springs" rather than the plank of the common soldier.
Also all soldiers had to pay for their own food, no 3 squares a day for them.
The big wig, had pretty nice digs,

The magazine, (gunpowder storage) is the only original building, and it was mostly stone, and copper, anything that would avoid setting off black gunpowder.
Next we went into Niagara on the Lake and shopped,
lunched  (meatballs for me


bruschetta for Jodi). and shopped some more, followed by a goodie and some coffee

and  more shopping.
There are some well loved dogs here.

There was a store here that made my heart sing, mostly things French &/or Paris.  I could have just stayed there!
Then we went to the park to hang out, knit, photograph and generally relax.

I am not sure why everywhere I go I am witness to weddings, but here was another one,  I bet thier pics were lovely.

Eventually we went for a walk by the water and I tried to create another WEWUS A.K.A. Inuskut.

 IT took a bit with smaller rocks though.  

But it was a lovely evening,
there was one hijabed woman  doing God only knows what on the beach with her phone, she was smiling, twirling and dancing!  I couldn't figure out if it was some sort of prayer or if she was goofing off.
Kids and men were skipping stones or throwing rocks in the water,some skippers were pretty good!

Dinner was pretty good, another turkey burger but this one with Brie and cranberries!
Of course I had a local Pino Grigio and Jodi had a salad.

 Back to the Brass Bell for Blogging, wine and bed.