Saturday, June 04, 2005

The score after 1 week - crepes: 47; museums: 0

Trying to find a good bistro in St Germain is very much like trying to find good seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. There is some sort of diabolical principal at work in the world’s great tourist areas that situates the worst restaurants exactly where the most people are trying to find something to eat.

Although the steak frites in St. Germain were a complete write-off, we found that the crepes are heavenly. We therefore determined never to more than a few blocks at a time without refortifying ourselves with a crepe au sucre.
All the famous places were mobbed and all the parks were pleasant, so we stuck to the open spaces and avoided anything culturally edifying. We have a whole year to educate ourselves but only a week to convince our boys that this vast dislocation was a good idea.

At the Eiffel Tower and the marvelous play structures of the Parc Luxembourg, the boys gained a healthy respect for French engineering. At a beautiful outdoor restaurant near the pont neuf they played until 11 pm with the owner’s son (who spoke no English).

After a week in Paris, Austen had not darkened the door of a single museum or church. I felt that I had done my parental duty, however, in that Austen became enough of a connoisseur to formulate a simple way to judge crepe vendors, "dad, the best crepes have more sugar and cost less."