Amuse bouche translates literally as “mouth amuser” and references small single-bite hors d’oeuvr (yet another French term, which translates as “outside of the work” — the work in this case meaning the primary meal.)
Amuse bouches are common at finer restaurants and even in mid-range ones in the Wine Country where we live. It’s a small bite of something prepared by the chef that’s brought to the table soon after being seated. They’re often served in Chinese soup spoons or in shot glasses.
Long-term travel involves many sights and events you could mention in passing during conversation, but don’t lend themselves to a full-blown essay. But as I was going through photographs (arranging, deleting) I came across things I wanted to share.
When taken together I hope they give another little taste of Paris.
In this video, you can see a painting of a dress on fabric. A light comes on gradually every minute that causes the fabric to disappear and the actual dress to become visible from behind it.
The curators did a fantastic job. They created a video of a model putting on the multiple layers of clothing of an 18th century socialite — undergarments, back supports, bustles, petticoats, then the various pieces of the dress, then gloves, the jewelry. It’s no wonder that dressing for events often took much of a day.
The exhibit included contemporary clothing; it was a blast to see dresses from the 1960s and 1970s. I remembered clothing like it on the old variety shows like Carol Burnett, Dinah Shore and The Andy Williams Show. They were worn by the guests on the talk shows of that time, too — Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and my personal favorite, Dick Cavett.
Today is my last full day. I’ve been doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, and had an unsuccessful attempt to get a haircut. The barbers tend to make appointments rather than accept drop-in’s like in the U.S. but I thought I’d found one (“drop-ins on Tuesday and Wednesdays.”) The place was packed, though, and he told me he couldn’t fit me in. He was very kind about it.
In fact, I have yet to encounter a single dismissive Parisian… though the baker at the patisserie corrected my pronunciation of prune fraische — a plum tart. She smiled at me after I’d ordered it then said, Prrrrrrrrrunnne frrrrrrrresh. She rolled about 45 R’s with her tongue before she was finished. I repeated it — using my best French rrrr — and she said, Oui! Trés bon!
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