Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week Two - Day 10 - Belleville

So last night we went out to dinner with madman Steve Morello to his favorite Brasserie in St Germain. We all got steak frites cooked saignant (bloody). The meat was delicious, as was the table mustard. The fries were ok and I didn’t eat the salad. I had a Sancerre table wine that was really good, I wasn’t impressed with Steve’s Rhone, and the apple tart tartain was ok, and I wasn’t impressed with the escargot (the snails were ok but way too much butter for me). It still cost us 53 e or $70 even with splitting the bill in half with Steve. Got home around midnight.
Got up via alarm clock at 7 AM to be on time for a 9:30 AM rendez vous with Yves Traynard with Paris Greeter Parisian for a day is a volunteer association in Paris. Its members help French and foreign tourists discover Paris by taking a walk with them in the districts of Paris they know and love.

We met Yves in Belleville outside the Jourdain metro station, next to the church (St-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville). At First I found the lingering Christmas decorations to be up too long, but I have come to love them and will miss them when they are taken down.

Yves took us on an exceptional walk in the rain around Belleville and we walked through the Parc and the community gardens and the vineyards maintained by the City of Paris.

Yves arranged for us to meet with Josiane Chabel artist and member of the board of directors of the association Ateliers d'Artistes de Belleville. We also went to the home studio of Mirella Rosner:
Both artists were very welcoming and we learned a lot about the art scene in Belleville.

We finished up about 1:45 PM hungry and exhausted. Had lunch in the brasserie we visited last Saturday. After that stopped in a spice boutique (l’epicerie) that I had noticed on our walk. Bought Belgian chocolate with Tonka beans that have a very unusual hypnotic fragrance and sweet, heavy aroma, and a bag of biologique (organic) risotto.

Unfortunately, we missed the afternoon reception with Andre Larquie, the president, and Jean-Yves Langlais, the director general, of the Cite. Hopefully there will be another reception, as I could not reschedule the tour of Belleville with Yves.

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