Friday, April 22, 2005

Butte Aux Cailles

Last night we went out on a double date with my French friend Marie and her boyfriend. I've known Marie for 4 years and last month she mentioned she had a "petit ami." Apparently, her boyfriend was a bit skeptical of all things American, which was basically a challenge in my mind (my mind does work in mysterious ways). So I proposed a night out together.

They chose the restaurant -- typical, great French food with an interesting kir au vin rouge (red wine kir) as aperitif. We ended up going to the boyfriend's neighborhood... the 13th arrondissement. What a lively area of town! We took the metro to Corvisart and walked up to rue de la Butte aux Cailles. Nearing the street the first restaurant we passed had a number of "this restaurant is wonderful and cheap" stickers on the door window (Paris pas cher, routard etc.) The place is so crowded and the evening so pleasant that around 20 young adults have flowed from the restauarant/bar to have their drinks on the little used road outside. You really feel like you've entered a village... where you know and like your neighbors.

Our friends said that the Butte aux Cailles area is one of the Bo-Bo places. I found an article that explains bobos....They are 'bourgeois bohemians' - or 'Bobos' - and according to the article they're the new 'enlightened elite' of the information age -- well-educated thirty-to-fortysomethings, they have forged a new social ethos from a logic-defying fusion of 1960s counter-culture and 1980s entrepreneurial materialism. I think that basically means that it's considered a "cool" neighborhood and the housing prices have pushed out the working class population.

Dinner was very good. Our friends said that many of the restaurants serve a good meal at reasonable prices. Here is my meal, it was delicious.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
9:18 PM



Miam miam!

That fishy looks delishy!

# posted by Sammy : 8:17 AM  

Wowhow !! I love the Butte aux cailles when spring rises, it is such a cool place. DO you know it used to be a spot for alternative french rock in the 90's ? It s well over now, but....keeps some charm !!!

# posted by negrito : 8:40 AM  

Nice fish , but what did the boyfriend think of you and your husband and America ? !!

# posted by magillicuddy : 9:23 AM  

That looks good! I am veggie but once in a blue moon I eat fish. When I was in Paris in January, all i ate was fish since the French don't serve vegetables!

# posted by mrsmogul : 9:30 AM  

Hi Auntie !

The word "bobo" has a particular resonsance among the French, of course, one that predates all this "bourgeois bohemian" media hype. (smile)

A minor "hurt" in the French language, in small children's idiom, is a bobo. (Others kids' words are dodo, pipi and caca, for starters.)

So when a toddler just learning to speak scrapes her/his knee, or twists an ankle, or something like that, the child will run to Mommy and say Maman, bobo ! Bobo, maman ! By the same token, if a very young kid begins crying for apparently no reason, the worried Maman will ask: Qu'est qu'il y a ? As-tu bobo ? Ou as-tu bobo ? Dis-moi !

The French singer Alain Souchon had a hit quite a while back, with his Allo Maman, bobo !

Yes, the Butte aux Cailles quarter is very, very Bo-Bo. (smile)


# posted by L'Amerloque : 10:34 AM  

Sammy, It was delicious.
Negrito, I'd like to go back to the Butte aux Cailles and just walk around in the day time.
Magillicuddy, Good point. I have yet to talk to my girlfriend to see what her guy thought. I'll let you know.
MrsMogul, Some of my best friends are Indian and they have such a hard time eating out... very few vegetarian options. I was at a butcher the other day and asked about a pate forestier. He told me it was made of mushrooms and some other stuff with a veal base. He says "it's the vegetarian option." With veal??
L'A, I'm amazed at the number of French kid words... coucou; dodo; doo,doo; and noonoo that I say almost on a daily basis. It's weird because the language seems so formal and then you have all these kid words!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 11:53 AM  

Kir made with red wine sounds interesting. Have you tried kir made with cider and peach !?
Rob was 'funny' about Americans until he met my Californian friend. He meets lots of American tourists now in his job and often keeps contact with them by e-mail.

# posted by Anji : 3:26 PM  

I had fish like this once in Austria, looked like it came right out of the stream, head, eyes and fins. I prefer something pre-fried out of the frozen food section with some mushy french-fries.

# posted by Anonymous : 4:40 AM  

Anji, I thought the red wine kir was a bit sweet for my liking, but it had a nice flavor. I haven't tried the one you asked about but I love cider, so I'm sure I'd like it.
A, The fish I had did taste very fresh.. but I eat the frozen kind at home too.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 8:46 AM  

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