Today was practically perfect in every way (name that film!). But photos are worth thousands of words…
I initially woke up to the sound of pounding rain, thunder and lightening. I opened the shutters to watch the rain fall heavily on the leaves outside.
Rather than stay in (which I was very tempted to do), I decided to poke around the neighborhood. I sat for a while enjoying a coffee and my current attempt at absorbing literary greatness.
It is the time of the soldes (sales), so I went window shopping. I was drawn in by the sidewalk displays at this store and ended up purchasing more linen for my summer wardrobe (blue and grey – no white).
On the way back to my apartment, I stopped at La Grenier à Pain, a local boulangerie recently voted to have the best baguette in Paris.
I picked up ‘une tradition‘, their classic baguette, as well as a fougasse, or roll stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and goat’s cheese. I buy bread here on most weekends, and am always pleasently surprised that I consistently end up receiving a piping hot loaf of bread, no matter the time, day or crowd. Today was no exception and I gratefully tore off the slightly steaming tip and savored the freshly baked bread on my return home.
After putting away my purchases, enjoying a cup of tea and finishing up my most recent knitting project (more baby blankets, anyone?), I headed out to the 11th arrondissement to watch the World Cup Quarterfinal match between Germany and Argentina. Upon emerging from the métro at Rue des Boulets, I found myself in the midst of a crazy parade. I still have no clue as to the celebration (Bueller? Bueller?), but the band played with amazing rhythm and the costumes were great.
Originally we had planned to meet at a German bar, Café Titon. After tearing myself away from the parade drum line and weaving my way to find Rue Titon, I found that we were not the only ones with this idea. The bar itself was packed to the gills and there was a crowd outside trying to catch a glimpse of the broadcast that, in most places, was 3-4 layers of people thick.
We moved on to an Irish pub down the street, Patricks le Ballon Vert. Based on the giant German flags hanging from the awning, they had decided to take sides for the game. I quickly found my friends and we shouted, gasped and cheered along as Germany eliminated Argentina, 4-0.
After this victory, the bar quickly emptied (thankfully, it was beyond a fire hazard in there) and we found space to sit, have a delicious bacon cheeseburger and watch The Simpsons (season 2, in English no less) to pass the time until Spain and Paraguay took to the pitch.
Again we rode the emotional roller coaster of the beautiful game and most of our group was delighted with Spain’s victory. After congratulating each other (because clearly, we had so much to do with it), plans were made to return: same bat place, same bat time, on Wednesday for the now all-important Germany-Spain semifinal showdown.
Riding a surprisingly quiet line 2 métro back home allowed me time to reflect upon and acknowledge what a great day it really had been. Relaxing and exciting, productive and leisurely, but most of all, spent enjoying small pleasures from (and with) the city and people of Paris.