One of my best friends in the world came to Paris to support Moontown and I made a crib sheet of what we could do. He was all in. I booked the hottest joints in town and mixed the itinerary with everything that would bring us closer in the short week. Combining eating and drinking spots with exploratory walking sets up a medley of spontaneous interactions with the city. Taking advantage of those moments is how we make our living.
This is what we planned:
Saturday I have my almost-four year-old son and my friend's thirty-something colleague who is enamored of children on hand. My boy is easily the star of the show now that he can display his bilingual skills and demonstrate the embodiment of the Franco-American mind. Tavline in the Marais (4eme) for lunch for Middle Eastern gastronomy. Neighborhood favorite, Le Siffleur des Ballons, in the 12eme for dinner (19h30) combining the advantages of a cave à vin with the best of French fromagerie and charcuterie -and a short menu of big plates to match.
Sunday when we would be on our own, just the two boys, I set up a lunch at Kunitoraya for excellent Japanese soba to clear our heads. In the apèro hour I chose to go to La Buvette (known amongst oenophiles) and I set up a surprise dinner at the Jim Haynes Sunday supper club. Two legends, one new and one old. If there's anything that should kick start adventure it's a dinner party with randoms in the 14eme. Later that night I have in mind to come back to Belleville (19eme) and test out Combat, a cocktail bar with guts run by three women. If things work out right, we'll get late night Chinese food (a tradition based on a NYC find that quite possibly launches my legend) and we'll have a few punch bowls at the beautiful La Commune before heading home with the takeout.
Monday we should have some sort of bite in the morning at Mokonuts, a husband and wife gourmet operation around the corner from where I live in the 11eme. I know my man like a brother and the chocolate chip cookie is going to blow his mind. At night we will have dinner at Vivant (10eme) which, if I'm not mistaken, should be epic and tons of fun. We'll stick to the first service so that we can make something of the night even though Monday night is industry night and it may be difficult to find the right place. When I think of putting the city to work for us, my mind functions on an aerial view and I use intuition (and search opening hours) to decide where it makes sense to drop in just like that.
Tuesday we have an official all day walk with cousin Alan from Buenos Aires and his twelve year old daughter. They want to do things that they would not figure out on their own. Normally people don't figure out how to see the human beat and the historic sights of the Left and Right bank and have lunch in six hours. We're going to de Graziela, a Neapolitan pizza spot next door to Vivant. In the evening my friend and I are meeting his colleague and her bf (who is sommelier at Clown Bar) at Le Bon Saint Pourcain (6eme). That makes for a delightfully rounded four days of eating and drinking.
Wednesday morning we take a 25-hour experimental trip somewhere other than Paris to further the impression that we have lived a month in this short week. We plan to make every minute count without forcing the issue or giving ourselves headaches. If you stay within the life of a place and follow the rhythm of a human environment, there are always doors to open and any number of possibilities waiting behind those doors or in those side streets. That's my method-speak.
Thursday is our last day together before my dear dear dear leaves back to NYC early Friday. We might make history. We might make dinner at home. Whatever we do, we will do it like gentlemen, brother-to-brother. This is how we really live.