The Purrito keeps a small navy blue notebook, its cover adorned with ship’s anchors, on one of the bookshelves in our living room. This notebook is home to The List; while lists aren’t by any measure rare in our abode (particularly considering that I run my life off of post-it notes), both of us know that if the directly proceeds list in a conversation, it is this document which will be consulted, modified, pilloried, or in rare occasions, simply ignored.
The List dates back to the early days of our official expatriation to Paris; not being used to having any sort of cultural activity at our disposal (the less said about the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the better), we quickly found ourselves expressing interest in a given exhibit or museum, forgetting about it, and then being disappointed when the exhibit was no longer open. Thus was born the list, and we’ve fed it with places that we’ve seen while wandering, places we’ve read about, places mentioned in Wikipedia articles on French history, places mentioned by friends and co-workers, and places that bother to put up posters in the métro (which, to be honest, is probably the primary source of activities for The List).
List activities tend to be one-per-day; unless it’s terribly curated (Petit Palais, I’m still looking at you) or in the same building (the Grand Palais), we tend to take our time, read everything that they put up on the walls (or attempt to, depending on how much English text is present and how advanced the French explanations are), and stare at whatever it is we’ve just paid to see. After that, we’ll usually wander off, eat lunch, purchase food for the evening, and acquire some wine (portrait of la belle vie: fezzik in paris style).
As the city remains in the clutches of tourists, we’ve been avoiding effectively all of the better-known sites and knocking the smaller places off of The List. Saturday proved to be particularly productive (not that weekends really need be productive) as we found ourselves between the Saint-Germain and Luxembourg areas, and thus completed three objectives:
- See l’église Saint-Sulpice, which we had first spotted from atop tour Montparnasse (another blog black hole here, I see)
- Go to musée eugène-delacroix, which was not at all what we had hoped (the societé responsible for the museum had to sell almost all of their actual art to preserve the building; oops)
- See l’église saint-germain-des-prés, which I knew was old, though I did not know it was that old (it’s also hard to imagine that it was once outside the city walls in the middle of some fields; the old city was very small)
- Take pictures of pigeons (not an explicit objective, but there are 321 pictures tagged “pigeons” in my Lightroom library, so…)
Had Ladurée been closer (or even on the correct side of the river), it could have been the most productive weekend ever (consumption of macarrons is always an objective).