France, Day 8: Paris

I final­ly got to expe­ri­ence a Paris night1, walk­ing back to the hotel at 2:30 in the morn­ing. I thought Paris nev­er slept the way New York nev­er does, but the streets were most­ly emp­ty, save for a few cou­ples still drink­ing at the only bistros still open. It’s a won­der­ful inter­lude of calm amidst the din dur­ing the day.

The weath­er has turned love­ly, clos­er to 20°C and much less oppres­sive than the last week. The only prob­lem is that depend­ing on the way clouds move, it can alter­nate between warm and brisk quite quick­ly, so an extra hood­ie or sweater becomes a neces­si­ty. Today, the low tem­per­a­ture in Ottawa is high­er than the peak in Paris, and I’m glad to be here instead of there.

on the move

On the go. Paris is a fast city, and Parisian’s dif­fi­cult to cap­ture.

We’ve already begun some edit­ing. Karin sees my fin­ger­prints all over the footage (and she knows my videos so well). It’s fun­ny cause I nev­er try to film for a spe­cif­ic style, I only fol­low my instincts. Luckily, we’re both per­fec­tion­ists; she under­stands why one goes through the has­sle of pack­ing a macro lens for a trip over­seas when it may only be used for an hour, or car­ry­ing a rail sys­tem on the chance that the right sit­u­a­tion will come up, and she does­n’t feel like she needs to harass me if she wants some­thing done right.

Auvergne ham and risotto

Olivier brought back some ham from Auvergne (remind­ed me of a par­tic­u­lar­ly thick pro­sciut­to), and Karin made the risot­to. An Italian-inspired din­ner.

I’ve seen stray cats every­where, and even some in store win­dows, but have been too scared to touch them after deal­ing with Leonard’s flees. People also like to walk their dogs off the leash, and they’re all well-behaved enough not to get too excit­ed or in any trou­ble.

Café noisette

Café noisette, espres­so with a dash of cream, named after the French for hazel­nut because of the rich, dark col­or of the drink. I like mine with two lumps of sug­ar.

curved streets of Paris


goat cheese samosa

Samosa stuffed with goat cheese, and a spe­cial­ly thick and rich hon­ey.

Hotel du Nord


Paris graffiti

There’s graf­fi­ti every­where, often using the nat­ur­al archi­tec­ture as part of the design. Notice the man­nequin omi­nous­ly crouch­ing on the yel­low-white cylin­der. Paris also has Invader, it’s own ver­sion of Banksy.

salmon entree

The smoked salmon entreé, with a vel­vety avo­ca­do pureé.


The French favour a rare steak, so you need to add an extra half-degree of cook­ing when mak­ing an order (i.e. order medi­um if you want medi­um-rare).

On the path to the base of Sacre Cœur and there are shag­gy men in blaz­ers try­ing to sell coun­ter­feit purs­es. Also many three-card Monte stalls with tourists hud­dled around them (although they use discs instead of cards), and I can’t imag­ine any­one nowa­days being so shel­tered or naive as to fall for one of those games.

  1. Last time I stayed in Chartres and only made day trips to Paris. []

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