This entry is for Thursday, May 19. I’d gotten into this groove of working on the blog late afternoon/early evening then finishing it up just before bedtime and liked the way that was going, but it just wasn’t happening yesterday.

A bit about the weather here this week, which has been unseasonably warm, highs 85-90. This is my 4th time in Paris – first time in May, last two times in August, and I don’t remember it ever being this warm. And I’m not imagining that: average high in May is 69, and 79 in August. Plus it’s been humid to boot, most days a forecast threatening rain although it hasn’t really. The point is: most things don’t have AC because they typically don’t need it. So we’ve really felt it here and the nights have been a little uncomfortable because this apartment really only has windows on the living room side, and the bedrooms get pretty stuffy.

But we’ve lived. Thursday was a good 10 degrees cooler and it was nice all day. Ash and I went out about 9:30am to head to La Defense, the business district built in the 80’s and 90’s about 10 kilometers east of us.

We rode more subways today than we have in awhile. Ash’s attempt to shake this guy’s hand.

The train station over here is huge and modern, and connected to a full on mall.

An interesting tunnel.

And at least one side of the mall.

The other side of the courtyard had more mall – see the Westfield logo center. There are 224 stores here and a movie theater with 24 screens. Nothing like this in the city center, that’s for sure.

This is the Grande Arche de la Defense, the point of this trip.

Here’s the best one yet.

A decent staircase leading up to the first level.

We went up to the observation deck which gave a fun view of Paris. See the Eiffel Tower over to the right. (It’s got scaffolding on it if the shape doesn’t look quite right.) And down that straight line on the left is the Arc de Triomphe – the straight line continues! – although difficult to see in this haze.

There was a whole rooftop experience up here.

Including a deck where Ash says they hold fashion shows.

The other side of Paris. On a clear day you can see Versailles.

These chairs were very comfortable and we sat here for awhile.

It was 74 degrees, a light breeze blowing, and it felt wonderful after a not great sleep in stuffy air. Pretty sure I slept a little here, but for sure it was the most relaxed I’d been on this trip yet.

I zoomed some to try to capture the Arc but it’s still pretty hazy. It’s essentially where the road stops in the photo. (If of course continues as the Champs Elysees, you just can’t see that here.)

There’s also an exhibition hall that was showing a photographer’s work of landscapes and peoples from Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet mainly. It was really beautiful and we were glad to see it.

We came back to the apartment and met Jim and Shirley at Korus. This is now the 3rd restaurant we’ve been to on this block, and the 3rd time they’ve been to this one.

It’s a lovely space where they’ve gotten to know the staff and the owner.

This was another price fixed meal with 7 courses. A bread course to start. The balls on the left are pastry that somehow tasted like a ham sandwich, parmesan toast above that, with some very light bread sticks and an aiolio on the right.

This was probably my favorite bite of the meal. A potato soup in coconut milk with clams and white garlic oil. Every bite was a surprise in taste and texture.

I wish I had a good memory for ingredients! I don’t remember what was in that bowl but it was interesting and tasted great. And of course asparagus and an egg.

For this course we had choices. Everyone else went for the fish which was John Dory again. I went for this – pigeon – and so glad I did. It was my 2nd favorite bite of the meal. The pigeon was cooked perfectly – sort of a cross between duck and veal, a really nice flavor and texture. Those are artichokes that were grilled and had an amazing flavor. With a simple arugula salad.

This was probably my least favorite bite of the meal – too bad for dessert. It had ginger in it which made it a bit too savory for me and just didn’t work for me. And I love me some ginger – a ginger cookie is one of my faves – but there was something off in this for me.

This was a nice finish: a bite of lemon meringue without the crust.

We were back at the apartment around 3pm and went out again around 5pm. We headed back up to Montmartre to do some shopping and spent the next several hours going in and out of shops and finding different things to snack on (somehow we still had room for food).

We spent a fair amount of time on this corner just doing the Paris thing: hang out on a sidewalk people watching.

We shared 3 dishes – crepes with chard, gazpacho (Ok that was mostly me) and really good French fries.

We also found a Lebanese ice cream place…

whose specialty was ice cream coated with chopped pistachios, which you can see in the bin there in the center. We all shared a small cup just to try it out. It was OK :)

We went to the D’Orsay -another 20 minutes subway ride away – because Shirley wanted to get some things from the gift shop. We found a place for dinner sort of near there on an app Ash found called The Fork which was like Open Table but offered lots of discounts. In this case 30%.

The front room off the entrance was full so we were the first ones seated in here, and were alone for quite a while which we liked. It wasn’t as stuffy or as loud.

Ash was not wild about his food so I’m only including mine. This was a pea soup with a crazy amount of garlic in it, and that top piece is bacon. It was actually really good.

I’ll admit this was one of the weirdest things I’ve had in awhile and not sure it worked. Cod on a bed of something warm but pudding-like that neither me or Shirley could identify, kind of bland. With some roasted white cauliflower as well as raw purple cauliflower. And that brown stuff on top was a kimchi puree that overpowered everything else. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. Good thing it wasn’t that pricey with the discount!

We were super tired by this time – approaching 9:30pm which is late for us – so we just took an Uber back to the apartment. I essentially went straight to bed which is why I’m just now writing this.

It’s about 7:30am Friday morning. The big event of the day will be a cooking class as Le Cordon Bleu. Should be fun!


  1. Micki H May 20, 2022 at 10:42 am - Reply

    I love that Ash is in pictures too! The pic where you have the view of the buildings where you tried to capture the Arc, looks like a street view of NY! Great Pics of everything. Next time I’m finding one of those rolling suitcases, after all I am only 5’3” 😂

  2. Tom J May 20, 2022 at 10:15 am - Reply

    If you get back to Montmarte check out Gascon Relay on Abbesses for their great salads topped with yummy, crisp garlic fried potatoes. My idea of a perfect salad! Also for pastries Yann Couvreur – there is one in Marias near you I believe. Enjoying your posts.

  3. Ashish gupta May 19, 2022 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    So glad it has finally cooled down

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