The baguette life is basically code for the Parisian life, if you ask me. Since yesterday was a free Sunday, I was able to go to the market and get nectarines, an avocado, a baguette and a grilled poulet (chicken) for my excursion. I felt very French because I spoke to everyone in French and got all my goodies like the French people. Next stop for me was Jardin du Luxembourg, like the French. Teo said they all go there on Sunday to relax, and I wanted to be (read: try being) Parisian.
I got other foods from my room, like my fig cheese and cucumbers. Thus, baguette in hand I got in the metro. I got off early to walk a few blocks down Boulevard Saint Michel to the entrance. It’s almost like a carnival with the dusty gravel paths through the park, a giant fountain with kids racing boats adorned with national flags, and lots of flowers and trees (even palm trees). Green metal chairs are scattered all over the garden, so I picked one and ate a third of my baguette with cheese and some chicken and cucumber.
Every 20-30 minutes I would move locations to a new spot, all around the fountain and even in the wooded area to get different views. Then I would snack on something different as well, sometimes listening to music, sometimes reading “A Moveable Feast” and sometimes just watching everyone.
The senate building is in the garden, so I could hear it chime every 15 minutes and longer on the hour. At one point in my novel, Hemingway talked about walking through Luxembourg Gardens and I was right there! It was a very relaxing morning/afternoon to be there by myself, eating and watching Paris go by.
I lived that baguette life, eating a whole baguette in one day over a period of six hours (I finished it later in my room). I’m not talking about a cheap Subway foot-long or anything – I mean a full fledged arms-length baguette. By myself. One day. I feel like I should be crowned a true Parisian now.
Side note: I saw a magnet the other day that said “I heart Paris” but the “I” was a baguette, the heart was a heart, and Paris was an Eiffel Tower. I thought the heart should be the Louvre, so it would be “I Louvre Paris” 😉
Anyway, after my Luxembourg Sunday Parisian adventure, I stopped off at the Mabillon metro exit to try what Teo calls the best cupcakes in Paris. It’s the definition of a hole in the wall – it’s a one-person room with a tiny oning. You walk inside and there’s no one there – the one-person room is empty except me. Then a woman opened a peep hole like how I imagine 1920s clubs, and saw me and opened a door to bring out a tiny tray with baby cupcakes on it. It felt mysterious.
I chose a little nutella cupcake and it was delicious indeed. Very moist and flavorful with thick whipped frosting and a hazelnut on top. I ate it quickly because it was so small, but while I was riding the metro back, I kept thinking about how good it was in retrospect. It was almost better to think about than actually experience.
Then I was a horribly unhealthy person and went to Berthillon ice cream too. Because what’s cake without ice cream? Ugh so unhealthy, but I guess I’ll tell myself this is like vacation? It started to rain near Saint Michel and Notre Dame when I was there, but once again I felt like a Parisian because all the tourists fled for cover, but I just walked over and got chocolate ice cream.
It’s the best chocolate ice cream ever. Period. So rich and creamy and soft and melty. I just stood along the river eating my heart out; I loved this ice cream and this view. I can’t get over either one.
On my way back, there was a guy and girl singing songs from the band Train with guitars in the metro. And they were really good so it made me smile. In the evening, I was going to meet up with Andrea, a girl I know at UCLA who is studying in London but visiting for the weekend. However, she ended up not getting wifi so we weren’t able to meet. Instead, I made dinner in the hotel and went to get hot chocolate with two fellow students (one of whom went to Paris Disneyland today) at Le Piquet cafe down the street from us. I relish in sitting in cafes at night, with lights all around and people passing by. Again, very Parisian.
We gathered up a few more students and went to sit by the Inception bridge as we call it (AKA Bir Hakeim bridge), to watch the tower lit up by the river. It’s so beautiful, I could watch it forever and daydream.
Today I felt very Parisian, or at least I tried to be. Between my baguette, the garden, the rain, the café and the tower, it was a very casual and authentic day in Paris. I hope this is what it means to be Parisian because I enjoy the baguette life.