Saint Sylvestre 10:12 p.m. 2005-12-31

If yesterday was a trial, then today was the complete opposite!!!! The snow has mostly melted, the sun was pretty much out, and it was a lot warmer!!! The Parisiens (and us tourists) were out in droves!!! I have probably done more today than in the past three days combined!!!

First, I went to the Marche au Livres (book market) which just happened to be in the Parc Georges Brassens, about half a block away from Laurence's apartment. I walked around, mostly looking at the highly priced books and deciding against them. I really came because my father is a post card dealer, and I said I would try and see what I could find. I actually found two men who had some postcards. One man had two pre-WWII Nazi insignia post cards which I knew would be totally out of our league. But he was a nice gentleman, and he let me take a picture of them: one was 150 Euros and the other was only 50 Euros... The other guy had a good number of postcards that he was selling for 1 to 8 Euros apiece. I tried to be like my dad and asked how much he would take for the lot. He said 250 Euros. Well, I tried.

Tonight is the Reveillon de Saint-Sylvestre - sounds so much classier than New Year's Eve, doesn't it? I went to the nearby Champion grocery store and stocked up. Here is what I bought:

Caprice des Dieux - fabulous cheese!
Pate de foie de pork
real butter
Saumur sparkling wine
Creme de murs (blackberry) to make kir aux murs for a change
Diet Coke
1 can Diet Coke with Lime
champignons a la grecque - salad
some other salad with dried fruit in it
French bread
Ciabatta bread (actually, it's softer than the French bread!!)
Canneles de Bordeaux (little rum cakes)

That should do me until tomorrow, at least!!!

The original plan was to go and see a movie - I had Palais Royal picked out. I may still go to see it, but I will stay in tonight. I can actually see the Eiffel Tower from the bedroom window, so I can get the fireworks without the crowd!!!

After eating the first part of my feast for lunch, I took the Metro to Concorde, which exited by the Jardin de Tuileries. There were crowds of people out - there was a big ferris wheel overlooking the Seine, the merry go round was running, and I even saw the beginnings of a pony and donkey ride commencing.

I have taken some pictures, but most people will find them rather odd. While there are some conventional shots, I have mostly focused on taking pictures of things that caught my eye - interesting gates, foods, posters in the Metro, window displays...

I wrote yesterday of some plastic vases I purchased at Maisons du Monde. I compared them to Lalique, but I finally passed a Daum vase that has been in a lot of magazines. It looks more like vase than the jonquil vase. I may have to go and get more!!!

I found a neat toy store called L'Oiseau de Paradis on the Rue St. Germain that sold really nice plastic models of knights with weapons that detach from their horses, clad in full joust regalia. I bought a set each for my nephews, but I really like the French knight with his horse in blue with gold fleur de lis... I also bought 9 postcards, none of which I am sure I can part with... I did findthe Editions Mirontaine cards, which are soooo great, so I can mail those and just copy the images for me to remember from the site!!

As I was wandering around, I finally made it to Au Bon Marche, a huge department store. I had just enought time to walk in, walk around and see that everything was frightfully expensive, and walk out. I did get some wonderful pictures of the Bon Marche windows, which were little mooses going about Santa's Christmas duties. I can't find any pictures online, but I will post mine later.

Although Au Bon Marche closed at 6PM, my main destination, La Grand Epicerie de Paris, was open 1 more hour. Well, as my friend promised me, it's about the best place in the whole world... It's a little bit Dean & Deluca, but also with everything a French high-end grocery store has: bread, cheese, butcher, veggies, desserts. It was difficult, but I bought just two spice blends: ras al hanout, a Moroccan spice, and some other 5 spice Creole blend from Reunion.

So, here I am, back at home... I have spoken to my husband and my aunt with Skype - and hope I am still awake when Mom calls!!!

One more note about a find from yesterday- my very cool notepads and cards that I purchased at La Pinata were from Gusano de Luz, a company out of Queretero, Mexico. Check out their website - the postcards and oilcloth covered notebooks are outstanding!!!

Happy New Year!!!! Bonne Annee!!

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