Wednesday, December 13, 2006

‘Cultural Fridays’ In Paris

I am sure that you are all on the edge of your seats with anticipation about the launching of ‘Cultural Fridays.’ Well, you will be even more intrigued to find out that my roommate and I never ended up at the Whitney Museum for The Picasso exhibit as we had originally planned. Nor did we end up at The Bemelmen’s bar for Martinis. What did we do instead? What any resourceful peasants would do, we spent the evening in Paris of course.

Perhaps its best if I start at the beginning. My roommate and I have been working opposite schedules for a while now and often find ourselves taking care of roommate business and social arrangements via gmail chat, me at home and her from her office. Today was one of those days. The Whitney and Bemelmen’s was on the agenda and we had intermittently been tweaking our plan as the day and the weather report progressed. At 11am she sent me a message, “AccuWeather says there is a chance of rain
An hour later I checked the weather and responded, “Currently, there is more than just a chance of rain” “f***ing AccuWeather!” she typed back bitterly. This is something we were in the habit of doing, blaming AccuWeather for undesirable weather. It was still early though, and we decided to wait it out. By 4pm the forecast read: THUNDERSTORMS and 50 MPH WINDS!!!

Our determination to participate in Friday night nightlife pretty much dissolved with the image of us entering The Bemelmen’s bar sopping wet and with our hair so badly wind blown that we looked like a certain member of an 80's hair band.

Throughout the day I had also been sending my roommate links to appetizing posts about Parisian bakeries, and chocolate and red wine pairing on one of my favorite food blogs, David Lebovitz’s Living The Sweet Life in Paris.

Wouldn’t you just love to be in Paris eating flourless chocolate cake and washing it down with a luscious glass of Cotes-Du-Rhone?” I pressed the send button, already anticipating her answer. She responded in two seconds flat, “Oh I would loooooooove be in Paris right now and I would looooove to be eating chocolate” I could hear her dreamy sigh as I read the text on my computer screen.

My roommate has always had a love of Paris; I on the other hand, have not. I traveled to Paris in my early twenties. I was incredibly ignorant at the time, on a bare bones budget, and a vegetarian; needless to say I did not enjoy myself. I will spare you the horrors of the numerous stories that illustrate my stupidity, but will share with you one in particular that demonstrates my then shameful culinary cluelesness.
While in the planning stages of my trip, a friend of mine, who had traveled to Paris many times, gave me the names of a few cheese shops to visit. My travel companion, Chris and I had for the most part been eating out of grocery stores due to our obscenely sad budget. In Amsterdam we had done a good job of sustaining ourselves on their amazingly creamy strawberry yogurt and sandwiches of Edam and tomato on nutty grain bread. We had no reason to believe that it would be any different in Paris…

Stay tuned for the conclusion of 'Cultural Fridays' in Paris

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