This was truly a Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday) for the Black Paris Divas’ group. The morning began with a leisurely walk from the trendy 4 star boutique hotel in the upscale 16th arrondissement to the museum Quai Branly (quai is pronounced kay and means along the river; as this fairly new museum which opened in 2006 is situated along the Seine river. It features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. It became the project of then president, Jacques Chirac.
It was such a warm, lovely day as we strolled past the “Flame of Liberty” which symbolizes the Franco-American friendship. It has since become the unofficial memorial for Princess Diana who died in 1997 in the tunnel beneath the Pont de l’ Alma. As we crossed the bridge, I stopped to admire the boats cruising down the Seine river along with the majestic Eiffel Tower in the not so far distance.
One of the current exhibitions on display is “L’Atlantique Noire”, A negro anthology. They are known to always have interesting exhibits and collections. A few years ago there was an exhibit called “100 years of Jazz”. It was phenomenal! Yes, my friends, right here in the City of Light.
Since everyone is not into museums plus after a couple of days in Paris, folks start working on their personal agendas so only half the group went to the museum. In the future, we plan to allow everyone a choice of either Quai Branly or the Louvre to visit on their own. After dropping them off this day, I took a taxi back up to the Champs, had some lunch, topped it off with a wonderful lemon tart, sat on one of the benches on the boulevard and did some serious people watching.
Tonight dinner was at C’est Mon Plaisir”, a delightful French restaurant with a super cozy ambiance. The evening began with an “amuse bouche” – translated: Something that makes the mouth feel happy in anticipation of the courses to follow. This is always a gift from the chef and it gives the chef an opportunity to show off his creativity. Ours was indeed different. It was a soup of pureed asparagus, celery & leeks served in a demitasse. My appetizer was smoked salmon with a light whipped cream and mustard seeds, my main course was cod roasted with teriyaki sauce and sesame oil on a bed of a vegetable mix and for dessert I chose the clafoutis (kla foo tee) of Pineapple which was like the best warm bread pudding with bits of pineapple that I’ve ever tasted. All of the choices were great and I so look forward to the coming weeks so I can taste some of the others.
Dinner was leisurely and service did not disappoint. It was absolutely on point. The group was all dolled up in their jazzy numbers in anticipation of our signature “Paris by Night” in limos, 4 super stretch no less. We had a professional photographer on deck snapping photos as our guests stepped into their respective limos. Mes amis, (my friends) this is the only way BPD rolls. Imagine, being in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a handsome chauffeur at the wheel as you and your friends sip champagne and watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle like diamonds in the night.
It had been a very full day for me. It was now after midnight, I was tired but I had a smile on my face as the 4 limos rolled up in front of my apartment on the Champs Élysées. I stepped out then watched the limos drive away as I disappeared onto the busy boulevard.