I have six or seven routes for my morning walk, which I rotate to keep the experience fresh. This morning, at six-thirty, I set out on my basic, standard walk, the first one I ever took. I turn right coming out of my building, walk the half block to the Left Bank, turn left and walk past Nôtre Dame, and then continue on past Place St. Michel, the refurbished La Monnaie [the old Mint – now home to a famous three start restaurant, among other things], on past the Academie Française, the Louvre [across the river], the Musêe d’Orsay [once a railway station] and the statue of Thomas Jefferson, and finally past the little row of Batobuses on the river, with Yves Montand and Jean Gabin bringing up the rear, and then back again the same way to home. The large square in front of Nôtre Dame is currently sporting a white rectangular tent-like structure, just put up, and today Susie and I walked over to find out what it was for. [We started at the famous English language bookstore, Shakespeare and Co., where I used to hang out sixty-one years ago during my graduate school wanderjahr, but the place is now so totally given over to tourism that it no longer feels like a bookstore, so we left.] It turns out that the structure in front of the cathedral is devoted to a “festival of bread.” Only in France, I guess. We went in, bought a mini-brioche [2 Euros], and ate it at a café while sipping coffee and watching countless tours walk by led by a man or woman holding up an umbrella [as a form of identification] and speaking into a microphone to the members of the tour all fitted out with earplugs.
This morning I shopped for two dinners, and decided to go with skate for this evening. Skate is a really scary looking fish that actually tastes rather delicate and lovely if broiled with butter on it. The trick is getting the fishmonger to take the skin off [sans peau] because taking the skin off oneself is a little like trying to skin a medium tank. I bought a piece of a skate wing weighing 485 grams [before the removal of the skin], which should give each of us a bit less than half a pound. The skate has radiating cartilage, and one pulls the tender flesh from between the spokes with one’s fork. Steamed white asparagus and little potatoes will complete a simple meal.
Our fellow copropriété member and good friend, an ebullient, cheerful America woman who has lived here for thirty years or more, told us we must go over to the Jardin des Plantes and see the Wallabies in the Wallaby Enclosure, so maybe tomorrow we will give it a try. I actually once went to Australia for the weekend to watch my then teen-age son play in the World Junior Chess Championship, but I did not see any Wallabies. [Patrick did not win that tournament, but somewhat later, when he had become a Grandmaster, he did win the U.S. Open Championship twice, among many other things. To this day, I brag that I taught him how to play, when he was six.]
You will notice that I am studiously avoiding any mention of Clinton and Trump. I will however point out that Bernie does TEN POINTS better than Clinton in matchups against Trump. Just sayin’.