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Published: November 8th 2019
Let me not, to the marriage of true minds,
Admit to taking pictures of pediments. (With apologies to Bill Shakespeare)
Because while some of us are allergic to chocolates, you still never now what you are going to find . . . .
A recommendation: L’Eau Salee, Moulerie et Creperie (specializing in serving mussels and crepes.) The crepes have been great, the service attentive and bilingual enough to be fun, and the mussels were perfection last night.
Perfection? Wait just a doggone minute here, blogger boy. Tim, you don’t LIKE mussels. YOU describe them as “tasting the way low tide smells.”
Ayup. Is true. And accurate. The ones I’ve seen in Canada have been pretty nasty. Big tough things with a fishy odor. bleah.
But these . . . I have never experienced the like. Two vast bowls of smallish mussels, little bits of meat inside, most no bigger than my fingernail. Beautifully fresh, perfectly steamed open, not a whiff of tide or fishiness, just sweet goodness in a shell. Mine came in a roquefort sauce, Susan’s Provençal style. Separate bowls of giant fries, crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle. It was a terrific meal.
And any lunch or dinner, you can get an aperitif, a choice of
crepe entree or mussels, and a dessert crepe all for less than 20 euros. Including tip and tax. Go if you get a chance. You will not be disappointed.
(Also I was able to make the hostess/owner/chef laugh last night. She wanted to know if we had used the new tram system and I told her, in my mangled French that, no, we liked to walk and window shop. I used the evocative and slightly salacious French phrase for that activity: “”lecher les vitrines” which translates roughly as "licking the window glass.” She loved it. I suspect my mangling of the verb tenses probably helped amuse her!)
Back to L’Eau Salee. I love discoveries like that. Isn’t that what everybody hopes for in a trip to France? “That little place” which gave you a special meal, a deal, a bottle of wine, where someone got you joke in a different language, a happy story for the rest of your life? It’s the hunt for that which makes these trips such a treat. Susan and I get to walk together, look in all the windows, stare at all the people and not give a damn about traffic or where
Be thankful for the trees.
we parked or picking the right bus or where we are going (most of the time, anyway). When we turn down a new street, it’s a bit like opening a present. What will we find next? There are disappointments mixed with the gems, but even they make good stories.
Take, as an example, our own block.
As the sun actually made an appearance this morning, and made everything look better, I thought I would take you on a brief and very local tour of our ‘hood. We come out our front door where Susan loves the architectural detail over our entrance. Turn right to find the ice cream shop on the corner, then right again and, above it, a trompe l’oiel fresco which tries to make a great blank wall look like a proper building with windows and all. It’s practically invisible behind the trees and Susan tells me that’s just as well ‘cuz it’s ugly.
You are now headed northwest up the rue Francois Vernay.
Next is the (!!!) “Hell Yeah Bad Girls Club” which, to my disappointment, is a women-only tattoo parlour. I did not take a picture for two reasons: there is nothing
The chocolate shop
Susan hiding behind a car, pretending not to be interested
to see but the name AND because there were two older women (older? Yeah, about my age. Sigh) standing in front of the place having an animated chat and I didn’t want to disturb them. Given the heavy coats, kerchiefs and grocery bags, I didn’t think they were charter members of the Bad Girls. Hell’s Grannies, perhaps, but not Bad Girls. Then comes a small formal door with a tiny brass plaque announcing it as the office of the local “deputy”, the MP equivalent. Interesting company the tattoo girls keep.
Right around the corner and head back west on the tiny rue St. Eloi. An exclusive chocolatier is beside an unattractive pub which occupies the next corner. Turn right again and you are on the quai de Bondy, passing in front of the other apartment buildings in this block. On their ground floors is a mix of businesses, two of which probably owe their location to the giant music school in the next block: a brass instrument repair and sales shop, then the trader in old musical scores. We also have a beauty salon (never any customers), a magic store, and a specialist in vintage “band dessine”, considerably older
comic books of primarily French and Belgian origin (think Tintin) where customers, also all “vintage” (not a punk kid among them, unless the bar for punk has been raised to 40 or so) were actually lined up this morning waiting to get in.
Then we headed south down the banks of the sunny Saone to see what else we could see. More about that later!
Tomorrow morning we have our tour with Anne from City Greeters. It means we will have to be up by the crack of 8!
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