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More Songs About Buildings and Food
PARIS — Today, I was able to spend some “me” time along the rue Saint Louis en l’Isle. This street is part of one of the islands in the Seine, sort of in the middle of the city. I came to know this street (and the island) when my family and I used to rent an apartment here. To me, this street has some of the most amazing shops in Paris. The best ice cream and sorbet can be found at Berthillon, whose primary location is on the island. Even in the middle of winter, you will find a line that circles around the block–people patiently waiting to buy some of their amazing confections. (Perhaps akin to the line outside of Target when Wiis became available.)A little further down, there is a tea room called La Charlotte de l’Isle. The owner is a chocolate artist of the first order. When you walk in, you are greeted by the rich smell of dark chocolate. She makes all kinds of figurines, cakes, cookies, and other structures from chocolate. Occasionally, she’ll add in candied fruit or almonds. The reason for my visit today was to pick-up a pièce monter for a party. I learned that pièce monter means something that is built in stages. So, the creation was tall, with each “floor” made from almond cookie dough rolled thin, baked and then molded to form half cylinders. The occasional section was dipped in chocolate. (If I were faced with a “last meal”, a pièce monter would be my request!) Besides ordering a piece of pièce, we frequently will stop in for chocolat chaud. This hot chocolate is NOT made from Nestlés powder — instead, our hostess melts chunks of chocolate with cream or half and half, and then serves it with a side of water.Also along this street is my favorite jewelry store. Thelma isn’t a store where you would go to buy a diamond, but a lot of the jewelry is handmade with crystals and other semi-previous stones. Without fail, I visit the shop once per trip to Paris and inevitably I buy something.If you keep walking down the street, it opens up into a bridge that connects the two islands. Cross the bridge and you are at the back of Notre Dame. Today, the tour line was too long so I just stood outside and took some pictures. I did go into another church (much smaller and less ornate) along the same street to light a candle. Similar to visiting Thelma, I always try to visit one church to light a candle. Thought it’s gotten to be such an expensive habit that I no longer light a candle for everyone on my prayer list– one has to suffice.