Tony wanted to shop for cologne while we were in Paris. We enjoyed trying out several at Etat Libre d'Orange at 69 rue des Archives. He almost bought one called—I swear to Pete—Fat Electrician, which has notes of vetiver, chestnut cream, olive leaves, vanilla, opoponax and myrhh. (A Tony quote from dinner that evening, after he sniffed the arm FA had been sprayed on: "Fat Electrician is growing on me.") But he preferred one called Eau de Protection, which smelled very rosy. I was a little surprised he settled on that one because he generally prefers darker—woodsier, earthier—scents to floral ones.
I'm not in the habit of wearing cologne. And I didn't find one at ELdO that I really loved enough to wear every day, though I liked many of them. Just down the street, at Nicolaï, I tried an herbal-scented eau de toilette called Week-end that I fancied enough to buy. And I have been wearing it pretty regularly to work.
Those stores were in Le Marais, the gayborhood I'd wanted to hit the night before. Tony charmed the (I assume) gay boys working at the cologne shops, telling them how good their English was.
We stopped for lunch at Open Café. Tony wasn't hungry (and it probably wouldn't have been safe for him to eat much of anything there) so he got a decaf espresso and an Orangina, a pairing he enjoyed so much he said he would have to have it again sometime. I nommed on a burger with fries and a salad:
We hit some more stores in the area and then Musée du Louvre for about an hour and a half before it closed for the day. I'd had no idea until we'd seen the outside of the building the day before just how large the Louvre is. We knew we wouldn't have time to see all that much, so Tony said we should focus on the Dutch artists from the Golden Age, whose paintings were on the second floor, along with works of Flemish, Germanic and French Old Masters. I was surprised—pleasantly, of course—to see monkeys in a few of the still lifes. I got more out of the Louvre than the knowledge that a 17-century Flemish artist named Frans Snyders was fond of painting monkeys, but our visit was such a whirlwind, I don't remember a whole lot else. I made a note on my iPhone that Tony said that the Dutch Masters painted religious scenes to deflect accusations that they were sorcerors because the light and shadows of their paintings were so perfectly rendered. They didn't need to call on the power of the devil when they had mirrors and lenses; it's pretty well accepted that Johannes Vermeer, at least, used a camera obscura.
During a quick stop back at the hotel, I took a photo of an Eiffel Tower refrigerator magnet I'd bought from a street vendor:
I posted it on Facebook with the following wackadoo note: "Did I really need an Eiffel Tower refrigerator magnet with rhinestones on it? How dare you ask such a question!? *slaps you*" I got 29 Likes. My friends must enjoy being pretend-slapped.
We next went off to see the real thing. The line to go up in the tower was huge, and we knew we wouldn't have time to do that before dinner. So I took a bunch of photos of the tower and the nearby gardens:
The flowers in the last photo were right at the base of the tower and looked an awful lot like the mat daisies we had in our garden last year, though the foliage looks different.
They're in the lower left of this photo:
We had dinner our final evening in Paris at Brasserie la Lorraine, a restaurant the concierge had recommended. The décor had a mosaic motif, and the menus matched:
Tony had printed up a card that said he couldn't eat gluten or diary in French. Our waiters seemed to understand what he required, yet Tony's cod arrived with a Parmesan crisp on top, which 1) ew, who puts cheese and fish together? and 2) means at least one person in the kitchen and the waiter who brought it out either didn't understand or care about Tony's dietary restrictions.
Tony ate the cod and the separate dish of steamed vegetables and avoided the definitely-dairy-free-per-the-waitstaff *shakes head no skeptically* potato-and-bell-pepper purée that the cod was sitting in and next to.
I enjoyed my salmon with grilled vegetables and a tempura squash blossom:
Jen e-mailed to tell us that Kelly—the maid of honor at Bob and Jen's wedding, where I was the best man—was coincidentally in Paris as well with her family. They spent a little less than a week in the city on their way to a summer teaching gig her husband, Brian, had.