When my mom and sister came to Paris after skiing in the Chamonix region years ago they went to a lovely little restaurant that served them 4 courses and all you can
drink. Ever since that day my mom has been trying to get me to go check it out. As I continually say I can’t afford it, she generously offered to sponsor a visit by me and Jeremy. The restaurant is called Le Sergent Recruteur on Ile Saint-Louis. All my mom said was true: for 40,50 euro you get all you can eat appetizers (a bucket of sausages and a bucket of vegetables as well as bread and soup), and all you can drink beer, white wine and red wine. Jeremy pointed out that all you can drink alone for that price was a deal in Paris, and declared the restaurant his new favorite. The food was tasty and hearty, but the cheese looked old and my crème caramel was not the best I’ve ever had. Although it was not gourmet french cuisine at it’s finest, and a true Parisian would probably not be caught dead in there, we really enjoyed our meal, and the setting, and the generosity of my parents. A note of caution though: The bathroom is up a steep ladder-like staircase. After a few pitchers (or bottles) it can be treacherous to navigate, but that just adds to the experience!
The next morning poor Jeremy had to go to work early. I wanted to lie in bed all day and try to make my stomach stop rolling around (we took all you can drink to the next level), but as it is my tourists duty, I set out to explore the city. Jeremy had suggested I check out the Munch exhibit at The Pinacotheque. He’s the guy who is best known for ‘The Scream“. I thought the exhibit was really interesting, and it reminded me of Tim Burton’s works, which I saw at the New York MOMA. They are from different generations, and both have such unique styles, yet many of Munch’s images reminded me of Burton’s, leading me to theorize that Burton may have been inspired by the old Norwegian artist.
However I couldn’t fully appreciate the exhibit due to my past night’s indulgence. Wanting nothing more than to go home, but feeling guilty about being in such a beautiful and historic city and not exploring it, I went into the Church of Saint Marie-Madeline, a huge building that looks like it should be a greek town hall rather than a church. It was right next to the Pinacotheque, so it didn’t take much effort or imagination to walk over. There I felt the spirit and was healed. Actually the temperature was nice and cool because of the thick stone walls and it smelled pleasantly of incense which helped settle my stomach. With my renewed health I set out to walk the city. I spied St. Augustine’s Church down the boulevard, so I headed that way, and then just kept walking, making my way towards the Grand Palace. I wasn’t feeling any more museums, and it was late afternoon anyway, so I decided to walk along the river. Eventually I came upon Notre-Dame, and had to stop in there as well. By now it was 5:00 pm, and there was no line, so it met my standards of great tourist attraction: fewer people than normal. I also used my student ID to get into the treasury at a discounted price, and enjoyed my second visit to Notre-Dame. My only disappointment was that I couldn’t go up in the tower because it was too late in the day. Next time perhaps.
For my last night Jeremy and I got Chinese take out and ice cream from the market. Parisian Chinese food is different than American Chinese food, but still yummy and greasy, and probably unlike any food you would actually eat in China. We had fun staying in with a movie, and then watching Will & Grace. My vacation has been a ton of fun, but I’m looking forward to getting back to the States and finalizing the details of my PhD program and trying to make a little money before I become a destitute student.
Adieu Paris! I’ll miss you!