|Luxurious breakfast at 61 Berthier|
This time, you see, I finally felt like I was starting to figure out Paris.
Here's the secret: the City of Lights is really just one big conspiracy to make Americans feel our clothes are all several sizes too big, before presenting us with endless—and endlessly expensive—options to overhaul our unfortunately baggy wardrobes. (This is more or less what I've been doing for the last year, in the course of a number of trips, to the detriment of my bank balance.)
But once the French have you swaddled tightly in unflexing fibers (I've had little luck finding more comfortable "stretch" garments here), then they hit you with the food, making it even harder to breathe in the shirt that fit—by French standards—back in the store, but now clings to your abdomen less like a shirt than like a second skin. Duck confit, croque-monsieurs, baguettes, tarte tatin, lardon-laden salads, moules frites, more cheese than you could ever imagine... I fall into this bottomless pit of Parisian indulgence every time, without fail.