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Christmas is over! I do happen to like Christmas, but everything is so quiet that there isn’t much to do but wait it out. As in the States, certain stores and restaurants do stay open on Christmas (though not as many Chinese restaurants as back home!), but you certainly can’t do anything useful like grocery shopping. And it didn’t help that Christmas Day was a Sunday.

To pass the time yesterday, I took myself on a Christmas wander around my arrondissement, the 14ème. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to walk more; I live in what has to be one of the best walking cities in the world, but because I have unlimited public transportation, I do tend to hop on the train or the bus. Yesterday I started off towards Denfert-Rochereau, the next stop on the RER B after Cité Universitaire. I had walked there with Heather once, and I figured it couldn’t be too hard to find it again.

Well, I never did get there, but instead I took a bit of a circuitous route and ended up at Montparnasse (where I had spent quite a bit of time frittering away an hour or two before seeing A Dangerous Method at one of about six movie theaters in the same intersection). While I was walking, I happened to look down a side street and see this:

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Happy holidays right back atcha, Rue Daguerre!

In other news, Paris seems to have missed the memo that it’s nearly January, because even my lighter coat was too heavy today–and yet I keep seeing people bundled up to their eyeballs in down jackets and scarves and I can’t imagine that they’re not sweating bullets. Though come to think of it, maybe that’s why Paris smells the way it does…

This morning I did some errands, things that had to be put off because the weekend was a holiday, attempted to practice, and then hopped on the bus to Pigalle for a bit of an adventure, to take advantage of the glorious weather. I mean, not a REAL adventure, I’ve already been to Pigalle and I know what’s there (tourists and sex shops, the end. Oh, and the Moulin Rouge…though that probably falls into one of those two categories at this point anyway…). But I decided to get off the bus at Pigalle (and it is a hellishly long bus ride, and was very hot to boot) and walk to Parc Monceau, which is near one of my music libraries. It’s about five métro stops practically due west.

I didn’t take pictures in Pigalle, even though that’s when the sun was at its highest, because I spent the whole time I was walking around there looking for a bathroom (those long bus rides are killers!). I went into a Quick Burger first, and the door to the bathroom said to put in a 20 centime piece to open the door. So I did, but the door wouldn’t open. It turned out that you have to buy tokens for the bathroom, for 20 centimes each. Bother. I did finally decide to pop into a Starbucks, buy something, and avail myself of the restroom. Well, mainly I decided to pop into the Starbucks because a guy who was apparently a violinist started chatting me up while I was scanning the storefronts for anything that might have a public restroom, and I was not in the mood. So I waved him off, ducked inside, and ordered a heinously expensive Passion Iced Tea, which, I am pleased to say, tastes exactly the same as it does in the States. I said to the barista, “Oh, pas du sucre, s’il vous plaît.” No sugar, please–because if you don’t say that at home, they will sweeten it for you, and the point of the Passion Iced tea is that it has no calories and doesn’t need sugar. And the barista said, “Il n’y a pas du sucre.” There’s no sugar. Apparently it’s only Americans who oversweeten their iced tea. Bravo, Paris.

Anyway. I finally got out of Pigalle and hit an area where I had actually been once before, for coffee. I remembered actually thinking that it’s the kind of spot where I could picture myself living.

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I finally did make it to Parc Monceau, but it was starting to be a little cold because the sun was decidedly on the descent, so I took a few quick pictures.

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I’ll always have a soft spot for a footbridge. (Also, you can play Pooh Sticks!)

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At this point I sat down, which I hadn’t done since I got off the bus. I was exhausted, and so was my camera’s battery, which is why that was the last photo. I had an apple, read a little Jerome K. Jerome (Diary of a Pilgrimage, which is an accurate picture of an Anglophone traveler on the continent if ever there was one!), got on the train and went home.

A splendid day. I am now thoroughly tuckered out (having indulged in a little chocolate and Gosford Park tonight, not to mention skipped my usual epic nap!). Bonne nuit, blogosphere!

Bisous,
Anne

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