Today I went about my business and hit up multiple patisseries for my MISSION:PARIS post tomorrow. I've been a bit under the weather and so it wasn't the easiest thing in the world to pull myself out of bed knowing I was going to go and eat a lot of sugar which would only antagonize my headache, but like a trooper I found some way to muster up the energy.
The weather has definitely started to become more and more wintery but I was lucky to choose a day when it wasn't pouring rain. I hopped on the metro and began my assignment. The train I jumped on just happened to be filled with little children. They were on some field trip or outing or in some group thing and it was hilarious to watch them joke around and be little devils like all children are. I'm guessing they were around 6 years old since they were quite small and giddy. Three of the little boys were sitting on the two seats next to me, all squeezed in together like sardines in a can and I watched them through the reflection in the mirror. I could see the one right behind me looking down at my boots and then he snuck a little kick at me. I couldn't exactly blame him, I was wearing knee high rain boots and I'm sure they were tempting as hell. And watching him and this thought process working about in his tiny little head was hilarious. I turned around and gave him a glare followed by a smile and he opened his eyes wide in shock then turned to his friends and whispered and giggled. Boys will be boys.
At my second stop of the day I got off in the fifth arrondisement in the Latin Quarter so that I could hit up Carl Marletti and Sadaharu AOKI's second location. I walked down Rue Censier to get to Marletti's store and was so please to see a sweet church and a small roundabout with a fountain drenched in Christmas Decorations. It was such a sweet little spot! I tucked into the Carl Marletti store and was filled with such joy and a sense of now that I fell in love with the place immediately. I'm sure I am somewhat biased towards this place because everything I've heard about him and his shop is wonderful. Apparently it's a heavenly place to work and do one's internship and if he weren't full I would be begging for a spot. Unlike so many other chefs, Marletti is known to take things in stride and uses his disappointment instead of shouting to get a message across.
The store was tiny and clean, and I was the only customer there. I loved how beautiful and unpretentious the desserts were. Nicely done but not so perfect that I felt like I was in a museum, or that any attempt at making one myself would be futile. The boy behind the counter looked like he had stepped out of a fashion magazine and had a classic french attitude. I was a bit disappointed in this, hoping he would be much more friendly and sweet but, alas, he was still french and I should know better by now. I looked at all the desserts and was shocked by how inexpensive everything was. At Laduree a religieuse costs 6.70€ and here it was only 3.90€! And everything was like that. I was falling in love.
My arms were already full with pastry store bags and so I only bought my religieuse, my mission for this week, and went about my way knowing that I would return and perhaps dedicate an entire mission just to him. And why not? I could actually afford it! And then the funniest thing happened, I stepped out of the shop and while trying to figure out where to go was hit with deja vu. I had been here before...I had seen this fountain...And what was this?! Rue Mouffetard?! Well throw me in a rose bush and call me pokey! I'd stayed just a block away from here my first week in Paris. I couldn't believe that I'd been this close to Carl Marletti, my new found love, and never stepped foot inside. Right then and there I decided I would be returning, and early enough in the day to enjoy the famous Mouffetard Market. It would also make a perfect day for my mother and cousins especially if it ended with a meal at Chez Lena et Mimille, which I believe was only a stone's throw away.
Paris is like a chihuahua. Big attitude. Small size. Here I was on a metro with a classroom of children already kicking strangers and getting their underground wits about them, rubbing shoulders with the muckity mucks like myself. But then, without even knowing it, I stumble upon a part of the city I actually know and recognize. If you really wanted to you could walk through all the wonderful parts of Paris in a day and not even break a sweat (and that's the only kind of walking I like to do). I can't wait to do some more Latin Quarter exploring and I plan on eating everything Carl Marletti has to offer me. Like a crazy celebrity stalker, I'm madly in love with him and I'm sure he feels the same way, he just doesn't know it yet.