Wanderlust Wednesday: Paris

A cliché? Nah.

I found myself in Paris for three days with some euros and a dinner recommendation from my friend the Parisian, Ms. B. She directed me to a restaurant in the 14th arrondissement, out of the way, “real French” said the Frenchwoman. A woman in black oversaw the front counter. Behind her were two small dining rooms.

I speak enough French to order dinner in a restaurant, and make up for my lack of conversational French by smiling a lot. I ordered a Kir and was delighted by the plate of saucisson and olives that accompanied it.

An American arrived; this was certain. Like in New York, tourists are identified by their sweatshirts and tennis shoes. The restaurant atmosphere had been quiet. But then “I don’t like fish. Where’s the French onion soup?”

Some eyebrow raising shared among my fellow diners around the room. You hear that Parisians are rude, but I don’t feel that way. They are city people, quiet. Don’t try the Midwestern approach; it’s just not appropriate here.

Duck confit. A lemon tart so sour that pucker is unavoidable, balanced with just a bit of char. Not too sweet.

Empty chairs at a Metro station, Ligne 6.

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About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.