Today was a clash of French and American cultures. First…
Voila! Le boeuf bourguingnon:
It doesn’t look like much more than beef stew, but I assure you that even the carrot was the best carrot of my life. This boeuf bourguingnon was enjoyed at a restaurant named Crémerie-Restaurant Polidor, which is toted as one of the best places in Paris to get a boeuf bourguingnon. Frommer’s says,
“A longtime favorite of students, artists, and the literati such as James Joyce and Jack Kerouac, this bistro in St-Germain-des-Prés has been around since 1845… the same recipes that delighted Hemingway are still served here.”
Hey, if it’s good enough for Hemingway, it’s good enough for me.
And with whom did I enjoy this lovely boeuf bourguingnon avec? My lovely, beautiful and enchanting friend Alexis:
… and her charming, fun-loving, culinarily-adventurous rock star of a husband, Sebastian:
Oh, let’s throw in another photo for good measure:
Alexis and Sebastian were in Paris at the same time as myself, so naturally, we had to satisfy our pompous Parisian palates whilst we discussed life up until now. Alexis and I worked together in Office Town back in Los Angeles. She quit, then I quit. We both quit because it was time, we were over it and we had to start living lives that brought us greater happiness. This may have been our bonding moment… that was until we bonded over boeuf bourguingnon.
(Incidentally, boeuf bourguingnon is not easy to write. Half those u’s and o’s and n’s are silent so you can’t hardly guess as to their whereabouts inside the word.)
During our lemon tarte, Alexis also coached me through the aftermath of coming down after one quits ones job and career.
Though, we both seem to be doing okay here in Paris.
Afterward, we three waddled through Jardin du Luxembourg. It was packed. There was nary a square foot of grass in which to stand, let alone sit. Some lawns in the jardin are for lounging and some are only for admiring. All the lawns are stabbed with signs in French and English, explaining which lawn is which. People were being tossed off the admire-only lawns by the police. This amazes me. People can smoke nearly anywhere, drink anything anywhere and can be downright obscene with their groping everywhere, yet DON’T SIT ON THE GRASS.
|The lovebirds take a stroll after our rich beefy meal.|
|Laughing at the admire-only lawn rules.|
After this purely-Parisian day, we got down right American.
We went to Starbucks.
Oui, c’est vrai.
Why did we go to Starbucks? Because, though the French are very good at many things, they are not good at one thing: Sipping and strolling.
Cafés don’t have to-go cups, so one is forced to sit and people-watch, which is fine and dandy unless you just left a restaurant and have no interest in sitting in another. So we got our Starbucks coffees to go and we happily strolled the streets of Paris… American-style.
So was today a clash of French and American cultures? Hmm… more like a fusion.