ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Sunday, for some a day of rest, for others a day of worship and for myself in Paris a day to kick back, take it easy and enjoy life. Hell, I just turned sixty-five. With a bit of luck I might have a few more years, so I’m determined to make the best of them and enjoy life to the fullest. But then, that’s how I always have lived. The weather today was simply beautiful, sunny with the temperature around 21 C (70 F), so after renewing my weekly bus pass at the Port Royal station I hopped a bus two stops to the Jardin du Luxembourg, walked a few more blocks and began with a delicious lunch in the Café de la Mairie, just across the street from the church of Saint-Sulpice. There I ordered the Assiette Marie, roast beef on a crispy brown-bread toast with homemade mayonnaise on a grated carrot, iceberg lettuce and tomato salad. There was a little pot of good spicy mustard and some mayonnaise dressing in a small carafe too. This delicious meal was complimented by a glass of excellent Côtes du Rhône wine. This was superb eating at a reasonable price, 12.50 € for the meal and 4.50 € for the wine.
Feeling very satiated and satisfied I sauntered down to the Boulevard Saint-Germain, where on the Place Jean-Paul Sartre et Simone de Beauvoir a stage had been set up for one of the free concerts of the Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés – Paris that is going on from May 21st until June 1st this year. The group was still setting up, so I decided to have a café crème and a piece of chocolate cake for dessert in the Les Deux Magots Café. Because of the concert and the fact that it was Sunday afternoon lunchtime the café was packed, but I had luck and got a table on the veranda with a view out towards the stage. The café crème was duly brought along with a small but exquisite tasting piece of chocolate cake.
The band took to the stage to a good round of applause as I was enjoying my dessert. The Utopia Quartet, featuring Leila Olivesi on piano and vocals played a very interesting set of fusion jazz to an enthusiastic audience.
I listened for a while and then decided to wander down the streets and cobbled alleys to observe the hordes of Flâneurs out for the afternoon until I reached the San Francisco Book Company bookshop on Rue Monsieur le Prince, where I purchased a book about Henry Miller, two books about Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, and the early diaries of Allen Ginsburg from my friend Jim. Then I walked a few blocks to a bus stop on the Boulevard Saint-Michel and hopped a bus back to my apartment. What else can I say? Life is good…
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