Archive for December, 2006

1:14 pm

“Home Parish”

While Sacré Cœur is a lovely church, it wouldn’t be way handy to attend it on a regular basis. Fortunately, there’s another parish just a few blocks away, Notre Dame de Clignancourt. I attended the Sunday evening Mass there this evening.

It looks as though there are no regularly scheduled ministers. Instead, there was a middle-aged lady who went among the congregation about 15 minutes before the liturgy began to recruit lectors (one for the first reading, one for the second reading, and a third for the prayers of the faithful) and people to take up the collection. I was one of the people recruited for the collection: I tried to demur, but she was having none of it. All I had to do was take my little basket up the center aisle and take the collection on the right and bring it to the back of the church. So I dutifully took up my share of the collection. And resolved *not* to show up early to Mass, at least not until I’m a little better settled in!

4:50 pm

A regular restaurant?

I went out this evening in search of someplace to have dinner and possibly turn into a regular hangout, and I think I found it.

The Table d’Eugene is just a little ways away, and it looked as though near about everyone there is a regular. It’s the sort of place where the patrons think nothing of getting up to get a bit more bread or being asked to help translate the menu for a hapless pair of tourists (not me; another table). The food and wine are tasty and reasonably priced. The proprietor is very genial, with a bit of a Richard Dawson complex.

Table d'Eugene

1:30 pm

Visit to Montmartre and Sacré Cœur

I went out to pay my first visit to Montmartre & Sacré Cœur: this was my first visit ever, as I had never made it out this way on my earlier visit to Paris.

I wonder what the appeal of carousels is? They keep turning up on various plazas.


Sacré Cœur
Sacré Cœur, and Montmartre generally, was mobbed: I don’t know if it was because it was a Sunday or because of the holiday. I picked up a schedule of services, and saw that Vespers was to be sung at 4:00 PM, so I wandered out for a late lunch (at an overpriced crèperie) and came back a little before 4:00.

The notice about services mentioned that the Benedictines of St. Pierre de Montmartre are making their annual retreat right now, so they were singing. It was a lovely service. I thought about staying for Mass, but Vespers ended at 5, while Mass was scheduled for 6, and I didn’t want to linger that much longer.

12:23 pm

Missing luggage cart returned

While my suitcase and garment bag arrived safe and sound, my little luggage cart, which had served so faithfully while I was moving everything into storage, failed to show up on the luggage carousel. I can’t really say that I was surprised: it’s small and easy to overlook and I had had qualms about checking it. So I made the appropriate report and went on with things.

At 12:30 this morning, I was awakened by the phone ringing: it was British Air, announcing that they had found my luggage cart. I was in the 18th, right? They’d be here in half an hour. I was, of course, too startled to even think of objecting. And indeed, at a little after 1 AM, I had my luggage cart back.

But what were they *thinking*? I guess once they find missing luggage of any kind, they figure the owner wants it back sooner rather than later. But 12:30?

3:53 pm

First full day in Paris

Between the time change and the unfamiliar (and uncomfortable) bed, it was nearly noon before I got up.

After getting dressed and finishing my unpacking, my first order of business was to go out to do some grocery shopping. My landlord had given me some brief guidance on shopping, which basically amounted to go left on leaving the building to find a supermarket and go right to find good food. Since I wanted to start with staples, though, I went in search of a supermarket, which I found a few blocks away.

Some of the things that I found: a modest selection of decent looking produce, plenty of cheese, some unappetizing-looking charcuterie, an entire refrigerator section with a dazzling and confusing array of yogurts, some unfamiliar looking cuts of meat and fish, more prepared and frozen meals and salads and such like than I had been expecting, a dozen or more different brands of bottled water, and a generous selection of wine and spirits.

What I didn’t find: do the French not eat oatmeal? What am going to do for breakfast? (For now, I’ve settled for some bananas and randomly selected yogurt, most of which seems to come in cute little tubs holding 125 grams, about 1/3 of a cup, I’d say.) Nor was there much by way of frozen fruit or vegetables.

I also searched for adapters for my computer and travel speakers, but to no avail. Fortunately, there’s an Internet cafe right across the street from me, so I was able to send email off announcing my safe arrival.

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