3:16 am

Venturing into Montparnasse

I had occasion yesterday to visit the Institut Catholique de Paris (where I plan to be starting my business French course later this month). I haven’t been in that neighborhood before, so I did a little exploring.

I found Saint Sulpice, which has been suffering from unwanted notoriety as a result of The Da Vinci Code. More recently though, I had read an article, by Rick Steves in the travel section of sfgate.com, about the organ and organist. As a result, I’ve had it in mind to venture out that way for Sunday Mass some week, but just haven’t gotten to it yet. In the meantime, I have to say that it’s not a particularly attractive church, though I can’t put my finger on just what I dislike about it.

The Jardin du Luxembourg and the Palais du Luxembourg are also in that general area:

The Jardin is, according to my guidebook, a popular weekend hangout for families, but on a winter weekday, it’s pretty bleak. The Palais is now the seat for the French Senate, so it’s not generally open to visitors. I’m not sure if the Senate is sitting just now, although I saw lights on and there are police patrolling:

I also found a perfectly scrumptious bookstore: Librairie La Procure. The books are all in French, of course, but I still had a marvelous time wandering about and dreaming of the day when my French is good enough to justify a buying spree!

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