Finally.....arriveé a Paris!
Yeah, it's a long flight, it sucks, the food is horrific on the plane....but the payoff? After a quick check in to the hotel, bath in the amazingly large bathtub for this little 2-star, ideally situated for exploring the right bank. Take off on foot, just start wandering, really in search of a jacket, because it's grey and the skies are threatening. Stop for that first midday beer at the bar/tabac a block from the hotel, just to regain that equilibrium, and to make sure it really is vacation. And yeah, they smoke like fiends here, but somehow it just isn't as annoying. Now off in the general direction of the Places des Vosges, the oldest square in Paris. On the way, hunger starts setting in, judgment becomes impaired, and suddenly find myself looking at sunglasses in this tres cool optical shop. And then, much to my surprise, or not, find myself walking out with a pair of sunglasses I would never have bought at home, but they are so very Euro, and they didn't cost THAT much....god, this doesn't bode well for the rest of the trip. One day, one big cave-in to temptation.
So back on the streets, feeling pretty good about my stylie shades, and the sun is shining just enough that I really do need them....no, really! Anyway, as I wander through the wonderful Marais neighborhood, I suddenly find myself on the Rue des Rosiers, which is the heart of the old Jewish quarter. Hassid's wandering the street for some flava, but the main draw I remember from past experience are the most incredible falafels a goyim such as myself could ever hope for. The perfect street food to stave off the impending meltdown. Just as I finish this amazing treat, the skies open up. Luckily I am only a block from the Place des Vosges, which means a block from Ma Bourgogne and their wonderful espresso. The perfect place to wait out the wet. A single shot at the bar, listening to the locals talk about their day...not knowing what they are saying, but it doesn't matter because if it's in French, the most beautifully lyrical of languages, they could be talking about killing kittens and I'd still be mesmerized. Enough for now...in search of an internet café...more later!