Description 32 - Rue Mouffetard

There is a nice town called Paris in Ontario, but it is not the Paris where this show was recorded. It includes me buying toothpaste while listening to Boney M - do I really have to say any more?

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Associated links:
Rue Mouffetard featured in the Project For Public Spaces
Mon ami Xavier: his publishers and a gallery of some of his work. (please allow pop-ups and click on "book")
The Tabacaria blog gives love to Xavier's comic Les Indégivrables
Musée Marmottan
That Monet painting I remembered from childhood.
Fondation Le Corbusier
OChef makes duck confit!
Petite Anglaise blogs about Paris driving

I've since determined that the cheese-and-potato thing I ate that night was not cassoulet, since that is a way to use white-or-other beans, and no way were they involved in that dish. It was more like a gratin, but I know that's not what they called it on the menu - I could have sworn the word was "cassoulet" or "cassoulette", but I guess I was wrong. I'll have to ask Xavier...

You'll notice the link that talks about Rue Mouffetard is from a site about public spaces. This is something I didn't discuss while blathering this episode: that there are many, many places in Paris for people to gather. Because it has this ersatz network of odd corners and roundabouts and streets that emit from a centre, there are dozens of spots like where I stood at Place de la Contrescape, with a fountain in the middle and a little area around it, then the small roundabout surrounded by cafés and shops where people sit out front. And I wasn't even around for what is the best-known thing about the area: the open-air market at the other end of the street at Square St. Medard, nearer to my hotel. I was always either too early or late to check out the vendors there. And as the name suggests, it starts in a sort of square, which is yet another area where people walk around or hang out. And most of these areas are very focused on pedestrians - which may have something to do with the fact that when all this got started hundreds of years ago, you had your feet and maybe a horse or a cart. Still, I think that's part of what makes it such a "vibrant" city, to use the parlance of purple travel prose. I think it's really hard to plan for something like that, but those carrying the Jane Jacobs torch will do what they can.

Oh, and the toothpaste I bought? Would you believe...it was made in Canada!

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