Sunday, October 19, 2008
This morning we said goodbye to Darren and Anne as they headed off to DeGaulle airport for their flight back to the States.
After a leisurely breakfast, we decided to head to Place des Vosges, a perfect square near the Place Bastille that was constructed in the early 1600s. Originally known as ‘Place Royale” it was inaugurated in 1612 to celebrate the wedding of Louis XIII to Anne of Austria. What was innovative at the time is that all the house fronts were built to the same design. There are plenty of restaurants, art galleries, local artists and usually a few combos or guitarists playing.
We love to stroll around peeking in the galleries, but most of all we love to eat at Ma Bourgogne – a bistro that’s been around for years and years and has all the true traditions of a French bistro, crowded, noisy, bustling, rushed & brusque service. We sat in the outdoor area and toasted our friend, Brett King, who loved to eat Ma Bourgogne’s Steak Tartare. Brett claimed it was the best in Paris and we wouldn’t disagree as David always orders it when we have lunch here. Brett was a great friend and David misses his chats with him about planes, movies, and most of all, WWII. Brett was a highly decorated WWII fighter pilot before becoming an actor and then building and running a hotel on Harbour Island in the Bahamas.
After lunch we strolled over to the corner of the park where Brett’s ashes were scattered and said hello, then headed to the Place Bastille to get the Metro back to our hotel. There was a political demonstration taking place in the Place, so we grabbed a table at a café to watch and listen. The French have a fondness for demonstrations and protests, and a great way of doing them. As the marchers paraded into the Place, many of them peeled off for a break and sat at tables in the cafés having coffee or wine. They furled up their protest flags and took off their loudly colored vests so as not to disturb others at tables next to them. Once fortified with coffee or whatever, they then rejoined the demonstration shouting slogans and waving their flags. We were told that the demonstration was a small one, but included members of several generations of the unions involved. After watching for a while, we descended into the Metro and headed home to the Lavoisier.
After our great lunch at Ma Bourgogne, we found that we still weren’t hungry by 8:00, so opted to relax, enjoy a glass of wine, and turn in early, “watching” the NFL results via computer.