Aja Lee

Blog Schmog

From car to train to bus to plane to railcar we made our way from udine to venice to "pariii!"
Once on the train we opened our panini livia had packed us in the early morning and both exclaimed despite heavy experience in panini, This was the best one we had ever had;

Panini di Livia:
Fresh bread rolls
Mozerella fresca
Grilled and salted garden zuchinni
Speck(smoked proscuitto)

By night i was introduced to paris, we popped out at the city center like two rabbits from their hole- heads sticking out from the station below to have a look at where we had tunneled to for the last ten hours.
The glory was immediate, with the stately Luxembourg gardens to the left and the adorable streets surrounding from all angles, our walk to the hotel de fleurie was an unending treasure trove of shops and architecture amidst cobbely streets and daring cross walks.
Some places are even more charming after a day of rain, so the weather had no effect on the impressiveness of paris, the fashions of the people, the tidyness of the shop windows, a smorgasboard for a wandering asthetist, a veritable holiday of taste and pleasure.
Our hotel was directly off a quite rue, the front green and brass shiny doors with the fleurie inscripted gave notice to a charming little antique lobby and our first parisian, the hotelier was so friendly, when we asked him if he needed our passports he simply shook his head, "non" and signaled all was well after a simple hello and gave us our keys, the quickest and most relieving checkin of my life which comes not only as a surprise anywhere but is well received after a 12 hour travel day from door to door.
Our room was the perfect vision of classic french, what i hoped for over any places that looked to be so modern and thus would ruin the fantasy of staying in france in some earlier time, the way i always imagine paris, between the 20s or 40s.
Beautiful dark blue wallpaper made of fabric and even darker blue silk brocade curtains pulled back with oversized bronze hooks the size of a dinner plate, the valance ballooning out in an arch in front of the window making the curtains look like a ballgown under the slanted ceiling, the view of the street a framed story of paris, 5 floors up with all the french facades all the way down- the air was nice and there was the sound of parisians strolling about in the evening, the restraunts were a buzz, and dinner was on my mind.
We walked not even a block away, thru the still wet streets and twinkling lights of the night, stepping into what looked to me like a parisian christmas train station from 1929, the old chandeliers light bounced off the vintage mirrors, walled and shellacked frescos set over mixed painted tiles, a giant gold victrola set in the center and the waiters in suits.
We sat in the window next to an amiable and jolly couple from boston who seemed to share the charm exactly as we were.
The tables of course, were covered in heavy white cloth and had silver blue cloth napkins that i thought would make an excellent pair of city trousers they were so shiny.
We ordered a half bottle, no glasses in most of france!;) of some kind of Bordeaux, one beef tartare and one duck with apricots.
No time for starters it was late and i was keen for some famous french duck.
The tartare was so amazing we played with how to make it at home and concluded it was made of raw beef, dijon(horsradish for sure) fresh green onions and a mild sort of pepper spice.
The duck was served with the creamiest potatoe mash and the apricot sauce was hiding all kinds of chunks of the fruit which was quite perfect together- the bread was crusty and chewy, my favorite kind, and as with any great meal no room for desert and we hobbled off to bed with discussions of whether to "louvre or d'orsea" tomorrow morning.


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