Book signings, apple pie and good conversation

13 September 2009

There’s nothing I love more than a sunny Paris day with lots to do. For the last couple of months, I’ve gotten heavily into blogs – reading them, following them, writing… I don’t know why I never took the plunge before, but there are a ton of interesting and relevant bloggers out there, many of whom are based in Paris. One such blogger, who barely needs an introduction, is David Lebovitz – an American pastry chef of the famed Chez Panisse in San Francisco who has lived and written in Paris for the last 7 years. He has a huge following and a relatively new book called “The Sweet Life in Paris”. He tweets, facebooks and cooks all day…. I feel so sorry for him. Anyway, he held a book signing at a bouquiniste along the Seine yesterday and since I recently bought his book, I figured it was a great way to put a voice to the man of many talents.

After that, it was off for a nice walk home (quite a long walk too – Pont Neuf to Parmentier), most of the way with Robert. Everyone and their mother was out and about in the Marais and it was a feat not to get run over by people who were seemingly blind to my existence. I hate to complain but I tend to lose my cool with people who don’t pay attention when they walk and stroller-toting mom snobs who monopolize the minuscule sidewalk forcing everyone else to nearly fall into the street. Not even embellishing. BUT it was a beautiful day so it was easy to brush off any such unfortunate encounters.

We had some friends over for dinner and they brought the heaviest apple pie that I’ve ever felt with about a ton of apples. Real American style apple pie. yum yum delish. Tarte tatin is wonderful too but I hadn’t had apple pie like this since childhood.

A hefty sugar coma later, I awoke on a beautiful Sunday morning to go meet Emily for breakfast in the 7th. I’m loth to accept her imminent departure and would love to find a way to trap her here (plotting). On my way to meet her, I kept seeing lots of women in workout gear waiting for the metro and I thought to myself, French women don’t actually own spandex running pants, could these all be Americans? No! I had completely forgotten that it was La Parisienne, the annual 6.5km women’s race through Paris and about the only time of year the Parisians break out their workout outfits (mostly kidding….).

I too was wearing workout gear, as I intended to go to the gym after breakfast with Emily – an enormous faux pas in France. You don’t wear frumpy workout clothes in public unless you’re running outside or are foreign. Well the second is true for me, but I do it because quite honestly I think it’s a stupid “rule”. Anyway, I regret not having signed up for the race and I’ve decided I WILL do it next year. Should I still be blogging this time next year, I will report back, sweaty unbecoming photos and all.

As Emily and I were biting into a piping hot croissants (the first time I’ve ever had a hot, fresh out of the oven croissant, I might add) and buttering our tartines, some of the runners had already finished and were passing by with their medals and end-of-race gift bags. I was genuinely shocked that these women didn’t immediately run for the hills in shame that they were sweaty and wearing sneakers in public. But I guess exceptions can be made once a year.

Café Central, rue Cler 75007 – breakfast from 7:30am to 11:30am, 11 euros for Tea/Coffee or Hot Chocolate, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a pastry, tartines with butter and jam, and an organic omelette of choice. That is the same amount of food you often get for brunch on Sundays in Paris for 22 freaking euros. Great deal, good food, perfect for people watching and good conversation. Emily is always good for that!

  • Definitely run it…I ran on Sunday with a bunch of in/out of shape friends and it was such a blast! Best part was being able to run down the middle of the street where normally only the cars zip by…the views? Incroyable!

  • Definitely will!

  • Hi LIndsey…

    I didn't hear about the book signing until it was too late! I would have loved to have gone… Glad you had a nice time… David is a food guru, isn't he? I really enjoy his blog and often use some of his recipes. Maybe I'll go get the book soon…
    Take care,

  • Leesa,

    David Lebovitz deifnitely is a food guru! I'm sure he'll have another book signing eventually. In fact, I have to recheck the dates but he'll be speaking or doing a reading at the American Library in October or November! Hopefully we'll meet each other there!