Telluride is not the only place to achieve (or underachieve) in hedonistic bliss. There’s also Paris. Mais oui: Paris.

Air France touched down at 6:30 a.m. and within hours I found myself a refugee from Woody Allen’s latest gambit. Paris. Always an epiphany. Sometimes, like now, an Epiphany Cake.

The French tradition of serving a Galette des Rois (or Kings’s Cake)  on the 12th Day of Christmas, Epiphany Day, takes its name from the biblical story of the Three Kings. Catholic tradition holds that their journey to Bethlehem took five days and that the three honchos arrived in the Holy City to honor the Christ child on Epiphany. The season for king cakes extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day) through to Mardi Gras. We missed the Big Day, January 6, by just two days.

Coronated crumbs? A handy metaphor for our current crop of elected officials.

Our tour of the 15th arrondissement, the largest district in Paris, began with a walk along the Rue de la Convention, where the Sunday market was in full swing. Among the treats, the aforementioned puff pastry and frangipane delights with a surprise inside. You know, like Forrest Gump’s chocolates. On Epiphany eve, the person who receives a piece of cake containing the surprise, the “feve,” is “crowned” king or queen for a day. (And no, the holiday has nothing to do with the 1950s TV show that was arguably the forerunner of modern-day reality TV.)

George Brassens Parc, once the site of slaughterhouses (les abbatoirs de Vaugirard), is now home to a book market focusing on ancient texts and a marionette theatre. A stroll through the vast field redolent of hooved ghosts was followed by lunch at Au Bon Coin. At the classic French brasserie the specialite du jour was a blanquette du veau, a far far better option than the horse meat sold at one of the booths in the market. (An image of Joey  – “War Horse” – came to mind and was quickly dismissed.)

And yes, all roads, even the one from Rue Alain Chartier ultimately lead back home to Telluride.

Alain Chartier is home to Jeanne de Sainte Marie, one of the 10 featured artists  in the magical show of children’s books illustrator/authors at Will Thompson’s Telluride Gallery of Fine Art this past July. We met in August when Jeanne came to the U.S. to visit Telluride (for the first time) and family in Michigan. Today was our reunion on her home turf.

Jeanne is now hard at work on an iPad app, a beguiling animated children’s story featuring the birds and the bees – and peonies. And I am hard at work planning my week in the City of Lights.

After leaving Jeanne for the evening, my friend and I took the metro to Solferino, the stop nearest the newly renovated Musee D’Orsay. But lines suggested the path of least resistance was to check out the antique shops along the Rue de l’Universite (in the 7th) on our way home (in the 6th).

Plans for Monday include the Pinacotheque, an expressionist museum. The current exhibition is Berlin-Munich 1905  1920, Blue Rider group to Brucker.

Stay tuned.





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