Sunday, May 15, 2011

Busy Week

Paddy has been here all week (she leaves on Wednesday morning); in addition, my friend Peter Compton stopped off for two nights on his way back to California from the south of France, where he was attending a cooking class in some luxury chateau or other. So I've been out every night this week, with no end in sight. It's a tough life, but somebody has to do it.

The weather was glorious all week, so mainly we've been amusing ourselves by roaming the city, stopping off at the occasional museum. After hitting the Balzac house and Pere Lachaise last weekend, we went to the Fragonard perfume museum on Monday afternoon. (I went to my classes every morning, but my afternoon attendance this week was fairly spotty)

Paddy and David, in the lobby of her hotel.

Peter and David, at a random sidewalk cafe.

Peter, rocking the unshaven look.

Paddy hit a few museums on her own during the week; yesterday afternoon we went to Shakespeare and Company. This afternoon we set out to go to the Musee Jacquemart Andre, in the very classy 8th arrondissement, but the line to get in was too long, so we had to console ourselves by adjourning to a nearby patisserie. It's a good thing I walk everywhere in Paris, or I'd be fat as a piglet by now.

The definite highlight this week has been all the delicious meals, especially every evening. For instance, on Friday evening, Paddy and Pater and I joined Ellen Gilkerson, a former colleague at Genentech (Ellen and I worked together for 15 years), who now lives in Paris for part of the year, for dinner at an extraordinary restaurant in her neighborhood.

Ellen and David, at dinner on Friday evening, in Ellen's neighborhood.

Then yesterday evening, Paddy and I were invited to dinner at Nancy and Gabriella's home in Belleville. Nancy is a folklorist friend of Paddy; Nancy and Gabriella also know Ellen; the other guest at dinner was a folklorist called Frank Proschan, who comes from a family that is famous as a statistical dynasty - he kept us entertained with anecdotes about his uncle Frank, a statistician who is famous for practically inventing reliability theory. It was a hilarious and wonderful evening, livened by excellent wine, great conversation, and copious amounts of Limoncello that had been made by their upstairs neighbor Rodolfo. Maybe a little too much Limoncello, it turned out this morning. But a tiny hangover seemed like a small price to pay for such a great evening.

All in all, an exhausting week, but a terrific one. Paddy and I had planned to go to Fontainebleau tomorrow, but I suspect we may end up choosing a less ambitious option instead. Possibly one involving some more great French food.

And when Wednesday rolls around, and Paddy has gone, I'll get right back to the gym - that's a promise!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sounds perfect! Glad to hear you are having a blast. I am not at all jealous. Will tell you about my 'busy week' later but suffice to say it does not involve gorgeous weather, Paris, perfume museums and amazing food.