Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What A Day

From my Moleskine this morning:

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod I just saw John Galliano, marching through the Jardin des Tuileries with his trainer, angry and bitchy on his mobile which he slammed down and then resumed his power walking and exercises. Salmon hoodie with grey tracksuit pants. Hair in dishevelled bun. Heavy English accent. (five minutes later) And they just walked past me! He's short.

Oh yes, I was very excited. John Galliano! I think it could only be surpassed in fashion terms if I saw Herr Karl. Id never been to the Tuileries before (I love the Jardin de Luxembourg) but decided to have a look this morning, and there you go. I had a walk around Rue Cambon for Chanel and the gorgeous surrounding shops, then had a chocolat chaud a l'ancienne at Angelina. Oh. My. It was more than as good as everyone says. A small pot of thick dark hot chocolate arrives with a small bowl of delicious whipped cream, and a cup. You add the cream as you wish, and youre left with about three cups of the most creamy, thick, heavenly hot chocolate you could ever imagine. Seriously, this is not just a gimmick to cross off the list. It was pure delight. The intense heat outside did not matter, I could not imagine trying anything else.

Then on to Collette, and I liked it much more than three years ago. The fashion upstairs was pretty spectacular and I bought a few items on the ground floor. I fleeted around town for the next couple of hours, finally coming back and having a wonderful menu du jour for a ridiculous 10.50E. Chicken liver with salad (you know I love my liver!), salmon roasted with olive oil, and a cheese plate. I could barely move afterwards, but dragged myself to the 18th where I wanted to go to the Musee Gustave Moreau but had no idea it was that late, and actually it wasnt there at all, so came back into the centre.

I felt it a good time to go to Rue de Verneuil, where Gainsbourg lived. I left singing Histoire de Melody Nelson, inspired by all the graffiti. The black doors were a humble link to his life, and it was quite potent.

And yesterday, my little pilgrimage was to Jim Morrison's last residence, since 2 July was the day he died (in 1971), and since our birthdays are the same, yesterday I was the same age as when he died (27). I can only imagine his last months in Paris were some of his best. Summer in Paris can be pretty nice...


I was dizzy with memories when I took my first steps in Paris: the streets, the overwhelming memories, the love, the tears. But I was so happy, couldnt wipe the smile off my face. It mirrored Jeanne Moreau's magnificent smile from Ascenseur pour l'echafaud that was plastered on the Hotel de Ville for the Paris Au Cinema exhibition, which I luckily saw before it finished that evening.

And then, my first Paris culinary experience: dinner at L'os a moelle, with N. I was so excited at going here, and my hopes of a fantastic meal were surpassed. A 6 course degustation for 38E, and we took the waiter's recommendation of swapping halfway through each dish so we could taste it all. In brief: an amuse-bouche of sliced zucchini and frothed cream; cool soups of tomatoes with croutons and jamon/cream of mushroom with pine nuts; quail with crispy skin/seared fois gras, one of the most delicious things Ive ever eaten, oh...; fish with roast potatoes/the other with two pieces of marrowbone on the top - like pearls in the mouth; lamb/beef; slice of delicate blue cheese with balsamic radicchio; and dessert, which we kept to ourselves, mine was quenelle of chocolate. Along with a kir and a gorgeous bottle of red, it was a fantastic meal. The chef came out to each table afterwards and asked how we liked the meal. I was gushing!

Sunday was a trip to the Musee Nissim de Camondo. Such an interesting, beautiful place, like the Frick in NY. Moise de Camondo was one of the finest collectors of 18th century art, furniture and objects, and everything in the house is prerserved as he wished. And I love seeing bedrooms and kitchens from olden days. His son, Nissim, was killed in WW1, and his daughter and her family were killed in Aushwitz, the end to the de Camondos. Hardly anyone knows about this beautiful place, which is kind of nice, its a real treasure.

Last night I had a falafel at the famous L'as du falafel, on rue de Rosiers, the Jewish hub. It really was like little-somewhere-in-Israel - dusty, crazy, bustling. Kippahs, star of Davids, religious boys and men in black. And even though I didnt feel like falafel - I had a craving for my favourite Asian traiteur, but I joined the queue because I knew Id kick myself if I didnt make it - it was absolutely delicious. Light, more-ishly crunchy on the outside falafel, cabbage, grilled eggplant, hummous, and only 4E. Washed down with their incredible citronnade (I went back for another today), Im very glad I made it.

Theres been lots of flaneurie, the best past-time in Paris. As much as there are so many interesting exhibits at the moment, movies too, I cant stop myself from walking around and seeing new and old streets, shops, cafes, people.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

On Top Of The World!

Its 1am or so, and Im on Cloud Nine. The streets are still blocked with car honking, cheering, dancing, singing, pure happiness.

I watched the game at an Algerian bar in the 18th with dear N and G, and after the sweet victory - oh, what a game!!! - the owner treated us to more cold beers before I left to catch the last Metro, jam packed with revellers. It is a very close second to being in Paris in 98, and this game was just as good as any final. We beat Brazil!!! Henry is a champion, Zidane is a master, Barthez is a genius! We fucking beat Brazil!

Im bouncing off the walls, I am so so so happy!!!