Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sunday, 1/1

  • lunch: crepe with mushroom and egg
  • dinner: duck breast with honey sauce and gratin Dauphinois
  • dessert: chocolate crepe
  • after-dinner snack: ritz crackers

The crepe at lunch was disappointing. The pancake itself was good, but nothing else was. The mushrooms were too squishy and didn't have any flavor. The whole thing was bland; even salt and pepper would have improved it.

We spent most of the day at the Musèe Pompidou, a museum whose pipe-laden exterior is meant to shock, where we saw a contemporary art exhibit. Each room had a subject. The "minimalism" room had Steve Reich music playing in the background. The "violence" room had a video called Media Burn by a group called Ant Farm documenting the media event they created by driving a 1959 Cadillac into a wall of televisions. From a room whose subject I can't remember was a video from the eighties of a party, with all the characters played by children but voiced by adults. I think Phil Hartman did the voice for the main character. The worst thing there were paintings by Piet Mondrian, who I have hated ever since at a young age I went to a Mondrian exhibit and passed through room after room of blue, yellow, and red squares.

Dinner was great food from a little bar. In the middle of the meal, a man came up to our table and started talking nonsense English. As Joel's friend Dongbo explained, he was making fun of us because we were speaking English, which happens often. The duck was excellent (at least after I had traded my duck for Joel's, which for some reason was rarer), but the impressive part of the dish was the honey sauce, which I have vowed to reproduce. Our best guess was that it was a reduction sauce with honey, wine, garlic, and lots of pepper.

After dinner we went to something yesterday's French girls were talking about, basically an indoor county fair, as Joel described it. The indoor ferris wheel was less silly than it sounds, since the building (which was beautiful) had a lot of windows.

Ritz crackers are really good.

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