Monday, April 6, 2009


It doesn’t matter which of the three cafes you choose of an evening at the congress of streets convening across from the Ecole Militaire. You must have Sancerre, the pretty, aromatic white wine, or a glass of champagne, to be consumed alongside oysters dressed in fresh lemon and shallot vinegarette. A kir would suffice as well. The waiter will probably bring a dish of olives or chips to salt the palate. Here, there is a great Parisian show: you take note of the current fashions handled expertly in Parisian hands: leggy boots with narrow heels, skirts with flirtatious flips, stovepipe pants, scarves and foulards wrapped elegantly around necks. Tourists idle by, dazed because they have just arrived today and they are jet-lagged, or because they have spent all day in the sun with their heads tilted up looking at great monuments. As the sun disappears behind the Champs de Mars lighting the sky violet look to the right and watch the spire of the Eiffel Tower over the buildings, the lacey pattern of iron and grid caught up in the newly leafed branches of the park trees. At the top of the hour, white lights shimmy up and down the iron confection, the quotidian moment of the evening hours marked by such festivity, a hold over from the millennium celebrations. While the waiter lights the candles on the tables, the flashes of sparkle mingled with the pearled bubbles of the Champagne and briny oyster make for the sublime.

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