Days of cramming French grammar have left me with a terrible need for fresh air, sunshine, and at least a bit of exercise, so I shut my laptop this afternoon and went out for a walk. Mission: track down an antique book dealer that I came across one day, and find the best macarons in Paris.
Big cities often offer us a bit of urban weirdness, and Paris did not disappoint me today. To wit: just down the avenue de Breteuil from Les Invalides, I encountered the following scene.
That little cluster of brown things that you see on the grass towards the right of the photo turns out to be this flock of sheep:
What are they doing there? I can only guess. Cutting the grass, perhaps.
A bit further down, on the left side of the street as you walk south from Les Invalides, is the best place in Paris to buy macarons. These cream-filled bits of meringue are a popular Parisian delicacy. The best ones in town turn out to come from a Japanese bakery called Mori Yoshida, 65 avenue de Breteuil. The owners fell in love with French baking and moved to Paris to realize their dream of exploring the possibilities of melding the French arts of the boulanger and the pâtissier with a Japanese sensibility. They have truly mastered the macaron, and this is where I would take you to get your fix.
I never did find the dealer in old books, but I did stumble across this little beauty in a used bookstore in my neighborhood–an account of the trials of the leaders of the Paris Commune, my personal favorite of the various French Revolutions. (Ask a French person a question about the Revolution, and the response may be which one?)
French notes: Sheep-related vocabulary! All links are to WordReference. Scroll down for a cute poster.
- le mouton: sheep; mutton; sheepskin. Also: a credulous person.
- la brebis: ewe.
- le brebis: sheep-milk cheese.
- le bélier: ram.
- l’agneau (n.m.): lamb (the animal and the meat).
- la bergerie: sheep pen; also a circular counter
- allaiter: to nurse, to breast feed
- l’herbivore (n.m.): herbivore.
- le mammifère: mammal.