It has to be a Sunday. I love Sunday in Paris. Most of the businesses close and it is family time. There is less traffic and people are more relaxed, making for a quiet, peaceful Paris. I like to get up early and head to my “local” café, Le Piquet, where they have excellent breakfasts at reasonable prices, just steps from the Champ de Mars. My teens are welcome, but usually it is just me and my Frenchman for our weekly treat: tartine grillé and café crème.
We then head to the market. If this is my favorite day, I get to go to my favorite market, which is the organic one on boulevard Raspail, just south of rue du Cherche-Midi, in the 6th Arrondissement. I love this market above all others because of the prepared-foods vendors: oyster shuckers, wine sellers, the crêpe girl, the ice cream man and, most important, the latke guy.
The latke guy is young, he is handsome and he is grumpier than Snow White’s dwarf. He also happens to speak Japanese, have memorized all of La Fontaine’s Fables and make the most exceptional latke I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. The potent oniony cheese fragrance draws in crowds as it wafts through the neighborhood. The latkes are wonderfully crispy on the outside and almost dripping with moistness on the inside. Perfect.
But I digress. Back to my day. We’ve done our marketing, and because it is Sunday, it is already lunchtime. We picnic at nearby Catherine Labouré gardens. This is a neighborhood kind of place, where kids can play on the grass while the locals sit and gossip, enjoying the sunshine and a glass of wine by the kitchen garden.
Well fed and comfortable, we hop on our bikes and pedal to an art event. Perhaps to watch the graffiti artists create at the Cartier Foundation, or to float above the city at ArtHome. There is always something exceptional going on.
Respectably cultured, we make our way home along the banks of the Seine, which are closed to traffic every Sunday. The river laps at the bank just inches from our feet as we coast along, soaking up the last rays of a perfect day.
Le Piquet 67, ave de la Motte-Picquet, in the 15th. 01 47 34 17 76.
Raspail Market blvd Raspail, from rue du Cherche-Midi to rue de Rennes, in the 6th. Sun, 9–2.
Jardin Catherine Labouré next to 31, rue de Babylone, in the 7th.
Cartier Foundation 261, blvd Raspail, in the 14th. 01 42 18 56 50.
ArtHome at the Palais de Tokyo: 13, ave du Président Wilson, in the 16th.