I've been living in Paris 3+ months and I can say with absolute certainty that Fr Girls do NOT eat in the street. I've had almost no period of adjustment to Parisian life except in this one arena. As an adopted New Yorker, eating in the street is not only completely acceptable, it's preferable. Sitting down at a table to eat is for out-of-towners. Well I think so...
History bears out my assumptions. Just look at these Fr Girls at the beach in Deauville (in Eugene Boudin's painting currently at the musee Jacquemart-Andre). Not a single one of these gals is sipping a cuppa or holding a drippy ice cream/glacé. What fun is that? Why go to the beach and not eat? Heck
Thanks to British Pathe films we know Fr Girls in the 50's kept their hands securely tucked into muffs.
Is it any wonder the iPhone took off like gangbusters in Paris? Something to clutch instead of a ham and cheese baguette sandwich non?
And the proliferation of little dogs in Paris keep their mistresses hands very busy.
On the weekend I went to PAD - an avant-garde art and design expo in the Tuileries. There were plenty of Fr children absorbing the artworks but not a one was munching. I was the only stealth-eater with my Madeleines (instead of being the only stealth shooter - photos were allowed),
Back in the street Fr children are encouraged to hold onto their baby sister or brother's pram instead of a lollie. Some of them ride on the back, holding on for dear life instead of snacking. All basic distraction techniques.
And yet paradoxically this town is world famous for its pastry and sweets. Go figure.
True there is a designated food break in France. L'heure du gouter or snack time is around 4:30pm when everything is allowed (though NO eating on the street ever).
In a city rampant with temptation I'm going to the pool regularly to compensate. I just found out today with my pool card I can visit more than one time a day. Three..four..five times in one day! This may become essential with my bad snacking habits.
The walk home from the pool is tortuous littered with excellent boulangeries. Here is yesterday's post-pool 'reward'. Ouf
Today I went armed with a sliced apple. Believe me when I tell you the Fr do not even bring an apple to their lips out in the rue. Nevermind that, I need some time to adjust. I even chose a different route avoiding yesterday's Chausson au pomme like the plague.
No go. I waltzed right into boulangerie Maison Privat, grabbed a palmier and made for the door. At least I left half uneaten but what's to be done? Will I ever acclimate? Do I stand a chance in this town as a life-long street-eater? And what about when Summer comes and there's ice cream on every corner? What then dear PB readers? I see doom and gloom on the horizon. Can you suggest something?
Paris is not the paradise you imagine.
This giant poster in Sephora's windows may be my only hope - a pacifier. Come live in Paris. You'll soon see. Just you wait. Humph