Monday, May 19, 2014

May 16

Friday, May 16:

Up early to beat the lines to the Catacombs, the ossuaries of Paris, where over six million Parisians' remains are located, after having been moved during the 18th century.  It's an unusual place, and not for the claustrophobic. 

In line early, to beat the crowd that at opening time stretches for a couple of city blocks.

After over 100 steps down into the tunnels, you eventually enter a door which says:  "Stop!  This here is the empire of death"


After being underground for a while, we opted to get out in the open in the afternoon and headed for Bercy, a neighborhood in the eastern central part of Paris, near the Gare de Lyon, where you can find one of the nicest parks in the city; Bercy Village, a series of shops and restaurants housed in renovated wine warehouses; and La Cinémathèque Français, probably the most famous -- and historically-important -- film center in the world. 

One can eat well at Bercy Village; at an Italian bistro there I had mozzarella and eggplant sprinkled with crystaline pesto and a spicy penne arrabiatta.


After lunch, on to the Cinémathèque Français (whose building was designed by the American architect Frank Gehry), which was celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Heni Langlois, the founder of the Cinémathèque, and one of the truly great cinephiles of film history:


Friday night, we all ate at Alexandre, a fondue restaurant that specializes both in cheese foundue and cooking your own meat and vegetables on hot stones -- a great place for students of all ages to play with their food!

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