Friday, February 18, 2005


When we first arrived in Paris, a new book had been published about an expat living here. Adam Gopnik's, Paris To The Moon, was one of my first reads and I took it all very seriously. I visited most of the places he talked about in the book, Deyrolle, L'Oiseau du Paradis and rue de Seine my first year. One place he wrote about a lot... Balzar's Brasserie.... but I never found the time to eat there.

A few months ago my husband and I had dinner there on our date night. After a build up of four years, I was very disappointed with my meal. It was fine, but there are so many more places serving really good food in Paris. I know the owners changed since the time he used to eat there, but could the food have degraded that much? Just one of those things I should have kept pretty in my mind and not actually experienced.

I passed by the Balzar Brasserie, in all it's bright lights and glory, yesterday.

We are off on our ski week today. I will try to post occasionally, but I'm not sure how that will work out. Hope you have a nice week without me. I'll catch up on your blogs when I get back.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
10:12 AM



Have a wonderful time, and take loads of pictures, as always! :)

# posted by ViVi : 11:58 AM  

Bonnes vacances!

# posted by Oz : 12:54 PM  

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# posted by Oz : 12:54 PM  

Have a great trip. I haven't been skiing in a few years and it is something I want to do here in Europe. I can't wait to hear about your trip.

# posted by Jason : 12:58 PM  

Hope you have a blast!!
I'm sure you'll have lots to tell us when you get back

# posted by Magabe : 2:26 PM  

Have a fun and safe trip!

# posted by Margie : 2:50 PM  

Have a wonderful trip!! Tell us all about it on your return (with photos)!!

# posted by Pat : 2:53 PM  

yes! add my 'have a grand time' voice to the chorus too :)

# posted by Nyx : 4:26 PM  

Oh, I remember this book! Being half-french and half-american, I always have a morbid interest in how americans view the french and vice versa. This particular book HORRIFIED me. The author didn't get France at all, and just whined about everything. I remember a passage where he complained about the towels in his gym. Sic. He also makes fun of the french at every turn, for example he mocks the french for not knowing what to do in a gym. He had a grating tone of "you know how silly and quirky those french people are". Aaaargh! I can understand that if you're living in a foreign country, you're constantly off-kilter. But you're in trouble if you start thinking of your own country as being "normal" and the country you're in as doing everything wrong. It aggravates you and the "wrong" people around you! Now do you see why I said I had a morbid interest in these books? I know they're going to tick me off and yet I can't stop buying them...

# posted by veronique : 11:40 PM  

Hmm, unlike Veronique I did like Gopnik's book (to a point). I do recall his haughty opinion on things. However, I also recall that he loved living there. In fact long before the book came out he wrote many articles for The New Yorker about what it was like for him an American, specifically a New Yorker, living in Paris. Not in defence of Gopnik, because his writing is often self-absorbed and annoying, BUT he writes like that on almost all subject not just Paris.

Would I reccomend the book to a friend? Yes, but with some hesitation. He is a fine writer. What I will wish with NO hesitation is that you have a glorious ski vacation.

# posted by Michele : 11:53 PM  

Hi Veronique -

Fully agree - Gopnik n'a rien compris. He's far too concerned about following in the footsteps of Janet Flanner than about understanding France and the French. The worst part, of course, is that millions of Americans see and judge France through his eyes, thus perpetuating myth and misunderstanding.

Have a great holiday, Auntie !


# posted by L'Amerloque : 8:57 AM  

Hey Auntie. Have a great time skiing. There should be more snow than you know what to do with :)

# posted by Daniel : 3:11 PM  

You lucky, lucky duck! I think that is just wonderful. I need a vacation, too! Do I ever. I can't wait to see pictures of your trip and hear all about it!


# posted by Carrie : 4:15 PM  

A bit late,enjoy the rest of your holiday.

# posted by Anji : 3:41 PM  

I never finished Paris to the Moon, and after reading the comments here, I wonder if I just didn't like his point of view. Hmmm . . . anyway, have a great trip! Can't wait to read about it!

# posted by pismire : 4:18 PM  

Thank you for trying the Balzar so I don't have to! I pass it quite often on Rue des Ecoles (you know I live right around there), and I, too, was curious after Gopnick's book.

# posted by Coquette : 7:22 PM  

I actually enjoyed Paris to the Moon - it was given as a leaving gift before I moved over. So I read it very naively without the experience. Two years later if I read it I may feel differently.

And then by coincidence, last night, the frog called me from the front bar area of Balzar for an apero before going for dinner elsewhere. So I can tell you they do a great pichet of vin chaud...

# posted by L'Oiseau : 10:54 AM  

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