Paris, Saturday, October 14 - I did take a flower shot but I'm not sending it. We aren't having any funerals. After a long pause it is stinky food time again. Instead of going to the Luxembourg to sniff the leaves I stroll down Daguerre and take a look at the folks getting their daily necessities. They could go to the Monoprix like us poor people - anybody can shop there - but since they have a bit more jingle in their designer jeans, not all purchased at Tati - they skip the cheap butchers at the beginning and hit the cheese.
You never know. They might be weak and needy and they say a shot of stinky cheese is a power pickup. Thus fortified they have a choice of getting fruit and veg or fish. All the fruit has high-end prices for so-so, depending on the season - and who's on strike - so maybe fish is a better bet. If it lives in water the fish place has it. No seals of course, on account of the fur crazies.
With a couple of kilos of sardines then you might as well get the fruit and veg. Grapes and wild mushrooms are in season. Some of them look terrible. Don't look if you eat them. Not expensive if you consider that most were found free in the forests and under bridges, snatched from the greedy clutches of trolls, by average civilians who augment their pitiful pensions by gathering mushrooms and - what's that real pricey stuff? - ah, truffles! - like Little Bo-Peep. These are folks with second homes in Rio.
Then there's a Greek joint. Greeks are all over the world selling olives that I think must come from Spain. The only reason I don't shop there is because olives in the Monoprix are often on sale and still not worth it - probably Greek olives after all - and it's next door to the Chope, a café I was in once in 1999. A lot of people liked the Chope once, but nobody I know.
People come from all over Paris to eat at the Enfer but I've never been in there, not even in 1999. There's probably nothing wrong with it if you don't mind sitting on small chairs and tables that are very close together. Body heat is probably welcome in winter.
I have always meant to try the butcher. Just as soon as my craving for red meat returns - if it is the same time as I have something to cook it with. Otherwise I can get a hot chicken full of water, anytime, for six euros. Actually there are two Chicken Heinz places. One is the horsemeat butcher and the other is a Chinese guy who specializes. He has roast potatoes too. Cool people get the chickens instead of pizza.
There are several places to get drink. Peret, Nicolas and the yellow place that reminds me of Spain. Any one is better than taking a chance at Monoprix, unless it is the time of wine sales and you know your stuff, which I don't anymore. Peret has good coffee. Some say it is the best on the street; maybe the best for several streets around, if you don't feel like waking all the way to the Comedia. It costs the same in both places, the same as it costs in all the places with bad coffee. It's democratic.
I have left out a couple of Italian delis, a so-called Moroccan deli, a couple of chocolate shops, two other bakeries - there's six on Daguerre - a fastfood, another cheese place, a foie gras emporium, three cafés, another bottle shop, several sushi joints, a Pho soup cafe, Zango, drying and cleaning, hairdressers, real estate agents - what is this? - you can't eat them. Well, toss in a toy shop, several florists, a bank, a post office, several hotels and two bars - ooh, I'm forgetting the other end with its café Baghdad. And in case you are too disorganized there are three or four tiny groceries open on Sundays and when everything else is closed. Did I mention clothes? There's even a hat shop, and I bought a blanket the other day.
All in all it's 600 meters of shop-type shopping. Frankly, what's missing on Sundays when they close it to cars are the smells. But folks can walk up and down and burp in peace.