Wednesday, September 14th–Paris

Non-slippery shower; walking to Notre Dame; the Crypte archeologique du parvis du Notre Dame; café lunch; the Musee Arts Decoratifs; another wander in the neighborhood; another Asian dinner; FranPrix snack run

Grand Hotel Malher



It's now still before 10 PM so I'm looking forward to getting to bed earlier than I've been doing and maybe getting a good night's sleep and perhaps setting out tomorrow a bit earlier than I did today.

I did indeed set out the new bath mats in my shower area before I went to bed last night, and slept in until about 9 AM this morning. The mats made me feel a lot safer taking a shower without having to worry about slipping on the soapy tiles, although I still think the hotel management should check the shower drain anyway. I popped downstairs for a glass of OJ, some tea, pain chocolat, and yogurt with jam for breakfast. I wasn't in a hurry to get started so I hung out here until about 11 AM.

I started out by walking over to Notre Dame, going down the Rue de Rivoli to the city hall Hotel de Ville and crossing the Seine on the Pont d'Arcole. At home or anywhere else I do not give money to beggars or panhandlers, but I will give something to most buskers no matter what their level of musicianship. Of course if they're reasonably good I'll even stop to listen to them for a while. The only panhandlers I even consider giving change to–but still don't–are ones with pets, usually dogs. If I could make sure the money went to the animals and not for booze (I had experience working in a convenience store in downtown Portland where the same panhandlers who'd hit me up for change would come in and buy booze more often than they'd buy food) I might give some. I broke my rule for once today because this guy's two little dogs were both wearing hats.

There was a mass going on when I got to Notre Dame, so I could only take pictures of the center from the sides but that was no problem with my camera and I think that most of the pictures came out very well even without using flash. I even paid the 5 Euros to see the cathedral's collection of treasures which is in a wonderful series of cloisters.

I used my Paris/Museum passes to see the very well done Crypte archeologique du parvis du Notre Dame with its wonderful collection of preserved ruins underground.

I had thought about going to the Louvre this afternoon after I went to the Musee Arts Decoratifs which has new quarters in part of the Louvre complex so I retraced my route back to the Rue de Rivoli and headed on down the Rue to the Louvre. I know that there are quite a few fairly large souvenir shops down across from the Louvre and decided I'd wait and have lunch somewhere down in that area. I'm slightly embarrassed that the Paris sweatshirt I have at home is one I ordered from Amazon long after I returned from my previous trip, so I'm kind of looking for a zip front one that's my size and I might have found one, so I'll have to go back and take a look again when I actually go to the Louvre.

There are several restaurants and cafes down near that end of the Louvre, including a McDonald's which I would have considered only if there wasn't anything else available. I had a wonderful lunch at a delightful and quite busy French café instead. I ordered what was listed as a shrimp and grapefruit salad which turned out to be a salad with some grapefruit segments and salad shrimps in a mayonnaise-based dressing which was delightful followed by a very good and very fluffy omelet.

I then went back across the street to the Musee arts decoratifs, which as far as I can tell is still moving into their new quarters since there were whole rooms that had nothing in their cases and obvious construction happening on the ground floor. I kept going past different groups of students. It's well worth visiting and quite interesting, with galleries full of interesting and lovely items from several centuries around a central covered courtyard on five or six levels. I did not, however, pay the extra admission cost to see the special temporary exhibition on Barbie and her history.

It was about 4 PM when I left Arts decoratifs so I decided I'd leave the Louvre for another day when I can get there when it opens in the morning. I went over to the nearest Metro station, Palais Royale/Louvre and took the metro back to St Paul.

I wasn't sure where I wanted to go for dinner but I wanted to make sure I had correctly remembered where the drop off laundry service I had found earlier actually is, so about 6:30 PM I went out for an evening's walk. Instead of going around the corner and down the short block to the Rue de Rivoli I just walked down the street around the corner from the hotel, Rue du Roi de Sicile, to what I remembered as the cross street the laundry is on, Rue Vielle du Temple, turned left towards Rue de Rivoli and was glad to see that I had remembered correctly and that is indeed where the laundry is since I plan on taking a load over tomorrow or Friday morning.

I still wasn't very hungry and not in a hurry to have dinner so I walked back along Rue de Rivoli towards the hotel and Eglise St Paul. I thought that when I was here last I had something other than just sushi at the Shinjuku Sushi around the corner from Rue de Rivoli on Rue St Paul so I went over to it but when I looked at their menu I didn't see anything else and went back up to Rue de Rivoli and walked down it to Place de la Bastille and still didn't feel like eating anywhere I went past, most of which are quite nice places but they just didn't tempt me tonight.

I didn't go around the corner and up either of the side streets radiating out from Place de la Bastille which I know also have many good places along them but went back up the other side of the Rue de Rivoli. There was one place I was sort of looking for but hadn't checked beforehand to find its location and will go to later, Frog Revolution, the local outlet of a French chain of British brewpubs.

I did pass one place I decided to come back to, one of the Asian places along Rue de Rivoli I'd been to when I was last here in Paris. This was actually one of the first places along the stretch of road I'd noticed because on my very first day here on my last trip I decided to go back for lunch on some other day because when I went past there was a line of kids from the local school going out the door. I had a very nice beef & noodle dish for dinner there tonight.

When I came out of the restaurant a bit after 8 PM I was a little surprised that it had started drizzling sometime after I'd gone in. It wasn't raining very hard so I went back up the street to the corner past the Metro station to the Franprix and bought another watermelon/melon salad and some chips before coming back here to my room.

It's nos just about 10:30 and I'm pretty much done for tonight. I still don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow, other than probably dropping a load of laundry off fairly early in the morning and going to a concert at 8:30 PM. I might start off with one of the wings of the Louvre and come back to visit at least one of the wonderful museums here in the Marais.

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