What to do on the day France competes for the World Cup championship and the match doesn’t start until 5pm?
Start with a perfect brunch with friends at the hippest new concept restaurant. It’s called B.O.U.L.O.M. (stands for “boulangerie ou l’on mange”) and, we’ll, here’s how it works: You get there early to wait in line for a table (no rezzies taken). Then you’re ushered into the front reception area where the host hands you a basket of assorted house made bread and pastries, explains the rules (eat as much as you want, but don’t be wasteful–€2 for every 200 grams left uneaten on your plate–and do not forget about the cheese!), and then turns you loose on a smorgasbord buffet of gastronomical delights.
No pictures to be had, but the food was delicious, the conversation delightful, and by the time we left 2.5 hours later, we couldn’t have been more satisfied.
We wandered over to the base of Montmartre, just close enough to catch a glimpse of the Sacre-Coeur cathedral…
.. and then hopped into an Uber to the Louvre. We ran first to the Egyptian wing, because of course…
… but discovered that the collection felt rather thin after the dome does of Egypt and the collections at the Met and the British Museum.
So we turned instead to the Greeks, which never disappoint.
By then we were out of time. The cane was starting, you see, and the museum was shutting down early. Everybody to get out! But not without passing beneath this glorious sculpture beneath the central glass pyramid.
After a quick pit stop at the nearest McDonalds (I’d been battling a headache all day, so I was hoping a little hamburger, a Diet Coke, and a couple of Excedrin would finish it off — which they did), we did a quick tour through the Tuileries Gardens and Place de la Concorde.
As we walked the city-wide cheers and honking clued us in to the match’s progression. At half-time we wandered back to the flat to be there in time for the end.it was amazing! The entire town was riveted, huge crowds gathered at every bar with a TV screen. We gathered in along with them and took part in the fun. When the clock finally ran out, the pandemonium and cheering exploded. I got an eyeful of champagne. Someone lit a flare. Everyone spontaneously burst into the Marseillaise.
So much fun! And boy, what stamina these revelers have! It’s now after 10 pm and the singing, cheering, honking, and general merriment show no signs of abating. I’ve never seen anything like it in the US and I love it.