Everyone is wearing jean shorts (jorts)
21.07.2013 - 24.07.2013
I want to start off with a little expectations management as my take on Paris will probably be different than what you might expect. I have been to Paris before and seen most of the sites. This time around I only spent three days in Paris, and the reason I went in the first place was to catch up with my good friend Keri. She is living there and studying French. This post will be just about hanging out with Keri, participating in a culinary tour, checking out the latest French fashions, and watching the Moulin Rouge show.
Really Thin Pancakes
Keri and I used to work together, and we had sort of a “situation” at work. Part of the resolution deal was Keri would buy me a really thin pancake, i.e. crepe, in Paris. I only came to Paris to cash in on this promise, and went all out on a really thin pancake with foie gras (duck liver) in it. I loved it!
Keri’s apartment is located near the St. Paul cathedral. Some tourists do venture into this quadrant, but for the most part it is a truly Parisian area. Keri’s apartment looks out over a small square lined with intimate cafes. The melodies of street violinists and accordion players working these cafes drifted into her apartment at night and made me feel like I was in some sort of movie during the classical period of Paris.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is not too far from Keri's place.
I watched a little TV in Keri’s apartment. Normally I hate commercials, but in France I didn't seem to mind them.
The highlight of my trip was a culinary tour I took through the Viator travel company. Two beautiful and exquisite French ladies took me through several Parisian neighborhoods around the Latin Quarter and educated me on how to taste food like a Parisian. Our first stop was an award-winning cheese shop, or “Fromager.” There are over 400 different types of cheeses in France, and this shop had a good selection of many of them.
Parisians love their bread. My food guides told me how many people in Paris will ask their realtors about bakeries in the area before they make their move. I learned the ins and outs of how to judge French bread. Grid patterns on the bottom of the bread are bad. It means the bread had been pre-processed and frozen. There should be a light black mark on the bottom of the bread, meaning it has been baked appropriately. The bread should be crunchy on the outside, but very soft and feathery on the inside without being chewy.
Of course I had more Foies Gras as well. I was a little nervous at first, but I really liked it.
My food guides arranged my tour to include a viewing of the staircase from the recent movie Midnight in Paris. This is where Owen Wilson’s character waited each night for a car to transport him to Paris in the 1920s.
My guides also brought me by an apartment which Ernest Hemingway rented during one of his stays in Paris.
This next section is dedicated to another work friend I have with the initials D.H. She is originally from the American state of Louisiana, and has a deep appreciation for the French culture. On the other hand, she reviles the practice of people wearing jean shorts (jorts). I joked around with her once and said I was going to wear jorts while I was in Paris. She looked at me as if I had said something sacrilegious. I am very sorry to report to her that jorts are very much in fashion in Paris. I don’t wear jorts because I am not a fashionable person, but many other people in Paris do wear them. Below is some photographic evidence.
Jorts for sale at a fashionable Parisian store.
A French hipster walking along the Seine while wearing jorts.
Cutoff jorts for sale in a boutique store.
Moulin Rouge Show
My last evening in Paris was at the Moulin Rouge Show. I was worried at first that I was just being sucked into another overpriced tourist trap when I bought the tickets for the show. I was very wrong. It is a great show.