It’s Saturday morning in Paris and we are happily settled in an apartment in the 17th arrondissement, one of the 20 neighborhoods that make up Paris proper. Our apartment is up three flights of stairs, 58 in all according to Max who’s been counting them.
We are enjoying the fact that we are surrounded by people who live here not by legions of tourists. Paris is an easy city to navigate so we can be nearly any place we want to go via a short bus or metro ride.
One of the most striking thing we’ve notice is the size of cars. Dozens of Smart Cars and Minis and not one single SUV to be seen, not even a small one. We watched a car park in a spot that was clearly too small. It backed in until it was touching the car behind it and then just pushed it back far enough to fit in the space. Amazing
Paris has a system of bicycle rentals, the VĂ©lib, that provides bike rentals automatically. We see rows of gray bikes parked along the streets attached to posts. A credit card subscription for a day or a week allows access to a bike from one of the 1800 locations in greater Paris. It can be ridden anyplace in the city and docked in a different station.
These bikes are seen being ridden everywhere and motorscooters are also common.
So far I don’t have much to report about food. We’ve visited a couple of markets for cheese and fruit and bought some fresh baguettes from the boulangerie. I had a lovely Nicoise salad yesterday in a posh restaurant near the Louvre. Quail’s eggs, tiny green beans, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, olives, anchovies, and slices of rare tuna served in a huge lettuce basket and dressed with a coarse mustardy dressing.

Salad Nicoise