On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
On the Road: Week of January 11 (5 am)
Albatrossity – Big Bend National Park #2
Elma – Waterfalls
?BillinGlendaleCA – Snow Day
way2blue – Vis, Croatia
SkyBluePink – Skies of Blues & Pinks
On the Road: After Dark: Week of January 11 (10 pm)
We are still in Paris, with 5 more Paris posts from Steve from Mendocino.
? And now, back to Steve from Mendocino, Paris part 5.
Steve from Mendocino – Paris
“Opera, Concorde and Madeleine”
The Eglise de la Madeleine (famous church) is situated between Place de la Concorde (one of the major public squares) and the Palais Garnier Opera house, in Haussmannian Paris.
We usually just see the river from street level, and, while it’s wonderful, down at water level one gets a more intimate private experience. I wish I’d remembered to spend more time soaking up the sounds and smells and slowness of the banks.
My first trip to Paris centered on the 1st arrondisement. Anne-Marie had an aunt and uncle with a bar restaurant off the Av. de l’Opera, down the little street immediately to the left here. We stayed with them for several days in their apartment above the restaurant, and what an introduction to the culture! They worked 6 days a week until 11:00 at night and got up at 5:30 in the morning. The bar opened at about 6:30 in the morning and served both coffee and alcoholic beverages to the blue collar workers in the area. At lunch, they packed in two full covers on weekday lunches – about 60 dinners, and then another 30 at supper time. Cuisine was southern burgundy and very high quality. The uncle and chef apprenticed with the father of Alain Chapelle, and, clearly, a feeling for cuisine ran in the Chappelle family. (A horrifying anecdote, Alain Chapelle dropped dead at the stove of his 3 star restaurant while his wife was in the full dining room. Can you imagine the next hours???)
Staff at Anne-Marie’s aunt and uncle’s restaurant included one waitress and a part time dishwasher. All other jobs were done by the aunt and uncle. Sundays were devoted to cleaning. They retired after 25 years or so with generous savings, then the uncle had a stroke, mostly recovered from the stroke, then got pancreatic cancer and tied. The aunt went on to live for another 35 years. Sad story. Similar to Robuchon.
I did my MBA thesis as a business plan for a restaurant, but the more I thought about my observations of their Paris restaurant, the more I realized that I wanted no part of the hospitality business. 25 years later, I bought a restaurant.
Palais Garnier opera house. I saw l’Elisir d’Amore and Elektra here. Beautiful, small, good acoustics, and excellent productions. I personally do not think much of the Met. Performers there seem to be either full of themselves or just punching the clock. Operas in Paris, in my experience, are more enthusiastic and sincere.
Place de la Concorde, where a monarchy was exchanged for revolutionary fascism. Plu ca change…
Fountain in Place de la Concorde
Another shot of that fountain with the Madeleine highlighted in the background.
The Madeleine is surrounded by food establishments – restaurants, chocolatiers, super high end groceries, dining accessories, etc.
Another shot of the Madeleine.