I know that popular opinion still hails Paris as one of the food capitals of the world, but sometimes I wonder if maybe we need to rethink that… 

I know you know what the difference between a burger and a pizza is, Paris. I’m just confused that you allowed these things to happen at all…

My favorite thing about this is that little reminder to practice regular physical activity written at the bottom of the ads. It’s cute.
In other food-related news, today was one of those days where sitting at the library reading for longer than my usual 4ish hours was just not going to happen. Coupled with a somewhat sour mood that has been nagging at me for the past few days – this may or may not have something to do with the cold I’m currently getting over, as well as the general feeling that can only be described as a screaming ‘blegh’ that comes with the realization that the partner that would normally help care for you is not there and you have to make soup for yourself while dealing with the sinuses from hell -, I felt like I deserved a treat. After all, it’s Wednesday, the middle of the week, and sometimes it’s nice to make yourself feel a little good.
So I trekked over to Blé Sucré, a boulangerie I usually stop at for a croissant or kouign aman if I can get there early enough in the morning (seriously, if you ever get the opportunity, get the kouign aman. Buttery, sweet, sugary goodness. I get cravings just thinking about them). As I arrived just after 4pm, the majority of the viennoiserie were gone, but thankfully a small stack of cookies in the display case caught my eye.

Yes, I ate this while walking. There’s a Parisian taboo I do not mind breaking.

Originally, I thought this was a chocolate chunk-macadamia nut cookie, but after taking a bite, realized that what I thought were macadamia nuts were really almonds. It was a nice surprise, though. I love almonds.
Of course, I’m not planning on making these cookie trips a regular thing (granted I did walk pretty much all the way across the city after eating this, so I’m not too worried about it ‘going straight to my hips’ or anything). But I’ve started to readopt a habit I first cultivated when I was doing my masters here, namely, putting the books down and letting myself be in the world, allowing myself to enjoy a little of whatever indulgence without feeling guilty about it. One of my professors when I was at Reid Hall made a point to tell us at the beginning of the year how important it was to ‘go outside’, even if the work we did regularly confined us to the inside of libraries. With all the walking I do, I guess you could say I didn’t need much convincing in order to adopt the idea. 

And because it’s always good to end on a positive food-related note, this evening, I had some delicious bibimbap in the company of good friends. I’ll save those strange pizza/burger/things for another day. 

24 : Another post about coffee 



Behold its imposing towers that give the impression of an upturned table. Marvel at the amazing amount of knowledge contained within its walls. Be amazed at how such a modern building found its way into the Paris of Haussmannean architecture.

Scratch your head in confusion as you wonder how the hell it is possible that this place has the worst coffee in the city by far.

Worse even than this (which, if you’ve ever tasted their coffee, should mean something). Image credit : Google

In a city where the coffee scene has been steadily – actually, even astronomically – improving over the past 5-6 years, it is a wonder that there are some stand-bys – in this case, BNF coffee – that stubbornly trudge along, assured in their less-than mediocrity. Perhaps I should not complain so much. After all, I do generally need a coffee fix when I’m studying there, especially after lunch, and the coffee machines and/or the café in the research library are the only options for that. But really, must it taste like burnt wood? Does the game you debate with yourself over whether to overload it with sugar to try and mask the taste – which, as I learned when I first started researching here in 2012, doesn’t really work – or just wait for it to cool down just enough for you to down the thing in one gulp make the resulting energy gained worth it? I sometimes struggle to answer this question.

At least at the BNF I can get all the materials I’ve requested within 30 minutes, unlike some other large libraries (ahem: Widener). So, there’s that. 

Back in Paris, Day 6

More walking today (including a stop at the café of the Grande Mosquée de Paris for a mint tea and pastries), but really the highlight was passing by a furniture store and seeing this : 

Which to me looked like a slightly more f-ed up version of this : 

This has been a Sunday.