Another lazy morning. It was nearly 11 before we left the apartment.
There was a good chance of rain today, so we decided to stay close to home. We walked over to Les Halles and St. Eustache Church. As mentioned in an earlier post, Les Halles was the "Belly of Paris" - the wholesale food market -- until the late 1960s. It has been undergoing renovation for several years and it appears that they have gotten a lot done since I was here in 2013. There is a modern and not very attractive apartment block (probably "affordable" housing, which is at a premium in Paris), and part of the park (Park de Nelson Mandela) is completed, but they are still working on the above ground portion of the shopping mall and Metro/RER station (the largest in Paris). St. Eustache Church is the second largest in Paris after Notre Dame and has one of the largest pipe organs in Europe.
We walked past Au Pied de Cochon, a restaurant that has been around for decades. It is famous for its onion soup (they do not call it "French Onion Soup" in France except on menus that provide an English translation) and the workers from Les Halles used to go there in the early morning to have it. "Pied de cochon" means pig's feet, and pig's trotters is another of their specialities. Just beyond Au Pied de Cochon is E.Dehillerin, which is where Julia Child would go to buy her cooking pots and utensils. Unfortunately, it was closed today. We had wondered why so many shops were closed even though the signs indicated they are open Monday through Saturday, then realized it was Ascension Day, which is a public holiday in France.
Going back to the church, we saw that there was a small market today, so we walked through it and over to Rue Montorgueil, a market street. Most of the shops here were open and we stopped into a few of them. We had lunch at a small Italian place and enjoyed some very different, but good pizza with a glass of pinot grigio. My pizza was the carbonara with cheese, ham, and basil, topped with a sunny-side up egg.
After lunch we started back toward the apartment, noticing that it was getting cooler and windier. We stopped at the Monoprix to pick up a few items, and it wasn't too long after we got back to the apartment that it started to rain. I think we'll be content to stay in the apartment the rest of the afternoon. We have a busy day tomorrow, so need to rest up.