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Day 243: Pierogi

The quest for international food hunt continues. Granted, I have already went to a Peruvian restaurant to make it for the “P” entry, but since I have not yet tried Polish food in this city, well, there is no good reason to not go. Besides, it’s food. And this place serves barszcz, and I was hankering for some delicious beetroot-based goodness. Off to Cracovia on rue Moufftard so.

Pierogi, considered Polish national dish, are essentially dumplings. As Cracovia serves pierogi with a number of different types of filing, and I had difficulty choosing one over the others, I went for the easy option – pierogi mixtes. I was given pierogi with groud meat, cabbage and mushroom, and white cheese and potatoes. Of the three, the dumplings containing ground meat were the ones I liked best. You should try it sometimes if you could. Just ask for pierogi z miesem.

Day 242: Bedazzled Invader

Pixel art is fun, pixel art in bedazzled tiles is even more entertaining.

Spotted on a wall somewhere in the Marais (I cannot for the life of me recall the street name right now), this space invader is sitting pretty with coloured alien antennae (note the matching colour scheme) and a special one that sparkles and dazzles. Is there extra point for zapping the alien via that particular antenna? ;)

As a child, growing up, my first memories of computer/video games are of Mario Bros (ah the days of game cartridges and square Nintendo box), Space Invaders (black 8″ floppy disks!), Pacmac and Pinballs (giant machines at the arcade, anyone?) but somehow I seem to have outgrown them quicker than I’d anticipated. Nowadays it’s all nostalgia and reminiscing the past, and me unable to play wii without embarassing myself.

Day 241: Red, white or rosé?

Whenever I get invited over to a friend’s for dinner, I’m very likely to show up just after specified time (5-10 minutes leeway – I’m learning that it is polite around here not to show up on the dot), with a wee gift in the form of either cake, chocolate, or wine. Finding and sharing cakes or chocolates are more my forté; wine, not so much. I’d rely on recommendations, either from friends or vendors. Otherwise, it’s going to be a hit or miss.

That’s why it’s quite nice to have a wine shop that pre-empt my senseless questions, by giving some basic descriptions and information about the wines to get me started. Plus, let’s admit it, my fleuncy in French is just not there for me to really grasp wine jargon conversationally. At least in reading something in writing, I could reflect, think and ponder, and in the end, pray I haven’t misunderstood something. Yes, it happens more than I’d like, but often to a humourous end. ;)

Day 240: South-East Asian House

From boulevard Jourdan, I have on a number of occasions noted this particular building, hidden away on rue Faguet. Curiosity abound, I detoured through today to check for the significance of the building. It turns out that this is actually one of the many houses within Cité U. This is the South-East Asian House.

Prior to this revelation, I was wondering if it’s a temple of some sort. Afterall, Buddhism is the third largest religion in the country and a friend previously told me that there are a couple of hundred Buddhist meditation centers and temples here. I admit to being a tad disappointed that my initial theory was not a correct one. Still, it’s a rather nice building and photos from Cité U website show impressive interiors too.

Day 239: Gérard Mulot

I’ve had a fairly active day, which started with a jogging session, followed by another non-drowning session. There were some improvements but something weird/amusing were also observed – (1) my legs are “heavy” (they don’t like staying afloat) and (2) I somehow managed to do a full circle while kicking when I was meant to go in a straight line. Hmmm…

Then, what did I do after I work those calories away? I gobbled down some tasty calorific treats. Cakes and macarons from Gérard Mulot to be precise. I didn’t eat by myself though. Instead, Chloé and I made our selections and after lunch, made our way to the Luxembourg Garden to enjoy our bounty together. Don’t be fooled by the sunny appearance above. We’ve just barely finished cake tasting when the sky opened up and we had to leg it so we didn’t get drowned out there!

Day 238: Cultural station – Cluny la Sorbonne

I’ve previously blogged about a couple of cultural métro stations, and I think it’s not a bad series of sub-category to write about when it comes to things related to Paris. If I recall correctly from an article I read a while ago, there are some 50 such stations in the network. It would be fun to uncover them as I go along ;)

This work of mosaic on the ceiling of Cluny la Sorbonne was created by Jean Bazaine. Entitled Ailes et Flammes (Wings and Flames), some 60,000 handcut tiles were used to complete the piece that also includes forty-six (mosaic) signatures of Kings of France, politicians, architects, physicians, scientists, philosphers, poets, painters and writers. If you ever travel Line 10 and passing this station, keep your eyes peeled.

Day 237: Moulin Rouge

When one talks about Montmartre, one talks of the artists that use to populate the quarter and the , one talks of the Sacré-Cœur, one talks of the movie Amélie, one talks of the Moulin Rouge. Curiously, not many people talks about the one museum in the area that opens daily till 2am. Surely there must be enough people that visit the place to keep it going for so many years (14!).

In my time in Paris, I’ve traced the footsteps of some of the artists through the cobblestones of the hill, admired the grandeur of the basilica which, from its dome, one can see Paris in 360°, watched Audrey Tautou in her quirky role as Ms Poulain, but never have I take a peek into the can-can dancing world of Moulin Rouge. For one, the price is a bit too steep for my pocket, and secondly, it is strictly a tourist-trap. As for the not-often-mentioned museum, someone may have got curious once upon a time…

Day 236: Post-it war

3M France must have seen a surge in the demand for post-it this summer. While the days are long and the weather is, well, a bit blah but still quite warm, with the arrival of holiday season, motivation at work must be a tad lower than usual. So over in La Défense, office workers began to wage a post-it war (yes, it has its own website!), which caught everyone’s imagination and even the press’ attentions. Unfortunately though, La Défense is just a tad too far for me to want to visit randomly… What can I say – I have lazy days too ;)

It seems the post-it war has arrived at my friend’s workplace so I get my opportunity to grab a shots or two of this summer project afterall! I spotted Pikachu, Pac-man, Space Invader and the likes. They seem to be the most popular motives, aren’t they? And, if you want to play post-it war yourself, there’s even a tool for it – yup, a website that generates post-it images for you, tells you how many post-it you’ll need and the time required to build your post-it figure. Have fun!

Day 235: Saint Denis the Headless

I have previously introduced Sainte Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. Today, we shall talk about Saint Denis, a martyr who was Bishop of Paris a long long time ago and the patron saint of France (how’s that for a trump card?). And to make sense of the story of this headless saint, we should also talk about Montmartre.

Saint Denis was said to have been beheaded at Montmartre (giving rise to this name that means “mountain of the martyr” – but on all accounts, there are 2 other possibilities on how Montmartre came to be known as what it is called today) but a devout bishop that he was, it didn’t stop him from continuing to perform his duty to the God. He picked his head up and started walking to the north, all the while preaching a sermon as it should (I figure that must be one of the miracles to propel forth his beatification) until he came to a spot where he decided it would be his final resting place.

A cathedral/basilica bearing his name stands today at that spot, and he has plenty of royal companies in burial, as all but three French kings have their final resting places here. I still haven’t visited the cathedral, and if you’re wondering where I find the statue above, well, it’s from the left portal of the west end of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Day 234: L’Atelier

Perhaps I should specify Café de l’Atelier. Afterall, a simple mention of L’Atelier may give the wrong impression that I’ve stopped by the restaurant by Joël Robuchon. Not that I would decline an invitation there, mind. ;)

Monday night would normally not be my choice for an evening out but given there was a birthday to celebrate, I quite happily agreed to go out for a quick drink and then dinner afterwards. Our meeting point for the evening was at L’Atelier, a bar on boulevard Montparnasse, situated right across the street from La Coupole – one of the famous cafés that famous artists and writers of 1920s flocked to.

L’Atelier was relatively quiet when we got there and we sat out in the terrace, enjoying the last of the weekend heatwave while observing the storm cloud gathering in. Unlike many bars in town, its Happy Hour didn’t start until 7pm. Not that it made much difference to me (since I’m not a tippling kind of girl) and it seemed, the general crowd too, as it never really got busy when we were there. Then again, it was Monday afterall. Weekend may tell a different story around here altogether.

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