dining in the shadow of the eiffel tower - thank you, la bon marche!
last month, mark and i pushed our pennies into a pile and took off for a mini-break in paris. mark has been to paris many a time. this was my first time visiting. for those who have yet to visit paris, i have to tell you that it IS much more beautiful and inspiring than you could ever imagine it would be. i could expand on how amazing the architecture is and the fact that we got engaged in the post-card perfect montmartre ... but today, instead, i'd like to talk about the food.
i tell a lie though - i actually ordered the andouillette thinking that it would closely resemble andouille sausage - the kind you find in creole dishes like jambalaya. to set the scene: it was our last afternoon in paris and the weather was quite mild (we'd just walked the length of les tuileries) and i wanted to eat something somewhat familiar to my taste buds yet not-so-familiar. i thought i'd made a swell compromise.
after being served our respective dishes, mark peered cautiously across the table as i poked curiously at the bumpy pink sausage. i cut rigorously into one end of the andouillette and looked on in horror as steaming RANDOM ZIG-ZAG SHAPES somersaulted out of it's casing. it looked exactly like the scene wherein han solo cuts the tauntaun's belly open to keep a bordeline hypothermic luke skywalker warm on hoth. after taking two wimpy bites in the name of "trying something new", i pushed my plate to the side and draped my napkin over the crime scene - not just to cover the sight, but the intense scent. feeling slightly defeated, i asked the waiter to bring me a croque monsieur instead.
mark knew what andouillette involved, but didn't say anything because i'd been so brave with the sweetbreads two nights prior. while i inhaled my replacement meal, mark took me on a verbal tour of what andouillette is made of. i half wanted to cry, half wanted to laugh as he gave me the run-down in that busy little cafe by the tuilleries. upon further investigation on the web, i came up with this lovely run-down on the stinky sausage. mmm ... feces?
this zany adventure cost me an extra 12€, but is now proving to have been a decent investment. first of all, it provides you with tasty blog fodder and me, a reason to keep working on expanding my otherwise inexperienced american palate.
it's getting out of hand - yesterday, the door refused to open up for us because it decided it was too cool to function properly for pitiful "unknowns."
mark has the sneaking suspicion that our door (or building) must be included in a walking tour guide book for european visitors because it's mostly european tourists who stop to snap photos. then for a while i thought that our building might be famous for housing the likes of john wilkes booth or the entire cast of friends.
every morning, nolan makes the seven block trudge to his elementary school over in the west village with either myself or mark. most of the time, nothing much happens. we pass the shop keepers heaving up their metal shutters, we juke out of harms way from the be-suited morning commuters on the narrow sidewalks, we wave to the red-haired lady walking her two red-haired pomeranians (who we almost always see at the corner of carmine and bedford).
depending on the walk/don't walk lights, it takes about 8 minutes to get from our door to the entrance of the school. once there, we take a deep breath and jump feet first into the strong current of the stream of parents and children heading in to get to their classrooms. once deposited into room 302, nolan is set to go for a day of brain-gardening and socializing. mark and/or i then turn on our heels and head back home for our own brain-gardening and socializing.
it's a soothing routine and i mentioned this to mark on monday's walk back to the apartment. we'll miss this someday if we end up moving to a different neighborhood/borough/country. it's such a pleasant way start to the day!
how did this tiny pile of empty DVD cases on bleecker st. provide sweet, sweet relief for three human beings last weekend?* it might not mean much to the casual observer, but it actually means the world to me that they are there on the sidewalk and no longer in my tiny, tiny world.
my name is tamara and i live in a 350 sq.ft apartment in greenwich village with mark, my soon-to-be husband and nolan, my eight year old son. yeah. i know! small, right? so, in an effort to protect our sanity, we've assigned functions to different spots in the common area. there's the usual spots like the living room, the dining room and the kitchen. then within these spots, there are several places. like the place for shoes (under the cabinet by the door), the place for coats (piled on a chair by the larter), the place for our scarves and hats (stuffed under the chair that is buckling under our winter coats) and the place for bric-a-brac that has been sentenced for eventual removal.
wait! before you shudder claustrophobically sideways off of your chair over this, i want to let you know that there is more to the apartment than that. well, just to get it out of the way, we DO have a bathroom! in addition to the bathroom, we have a bedroom that collides with the common area. the bedroom itself is spacious and is full of bright light, but is currently a stomping ground for heaps of organized belongings that need to be put into storage. don't worry, we'll get to it the day we move out or something.
ok, you're thinking, why are you doing this to yourselves? i know it's greenwich village - but damn, kids. get a(nother) room!!
let me explain: mark lived in this apartment as a single-guy for two years. during those years, he had a place to put his coffee mug. he had an area in which he could set something down without it being kicked or stepped on accidentally in the night. he had air. then, just as he thought he might be able to continue this zen-lifestyle, my son and i appeared out of nowhere. poor guy had zero time to put up a defense shield and/or twist the deadbolt shut as i had already wedged my foot in the door (after having struggled up the three flights of stairs with my wealth of belongings trailing behind me).
fast forward several months and it's today (hi!). no matter how many zip cars trips we've taken out to our storage unit in brooklyn, our stuff continues to pollenate the place. eventually we threw in the towel (which didn't land because you can't see the floor) and gave up.