j’ai besoin d’un macaron chaque jour

Cher Fannie, et al…

If you have ever been to a Parisienne “boulangerie” (or one of many bakeries in the States including but not limited to the heavenly Silver Moon at the corner of 105th St. and Broadway in New York), you have probably seen (and hopefully tasted) a “macaron.” These colorful treasures are not to be confused with their American semiotic counterparts, the coconut macaroon, but are instead a whole gastronomical concept unto themselves. They come in chocolate, coffee, caramel, strawberry, and green pistachio and are little cookie sandwiches; the outside is fluffy and crumbly to the touch and has somehow fused with the inner icing-cream-gel substance to hold the whole thing together. They are a staple of my new diet, especially because they’re so tiny, so you can eat like 15 at a time. I am thinking that Proust mistook the macaron for a madelaine (a much less colorful sort of seashell-shaped slightly sweet bread), as they are clearly and utterly the root of involuntary memory: I dream about them.

Little has changed in my “personal life,” meaning that I still live with the bugs (less of them) and a shower curtain that says “Good Morning in the City!” and awkwardly fold out my sofa into a bed each night. I spend some time in the Marais (a young hip gay jewish neighborhood just across the river) with friends who live there and recently discovered a store that clarified My One Life Goal: to open a Parisian winebar-bookstore. The bottle which is 18Euros to open at a table is 5Euros to take with you; while it is not exactly kosher anywhere in Paris to BYOB to a restaurant, there are perfectly legal ways to put your vino in a cup and go on down to the river to pr…er, um, hang out. I happened upon this jewel unexpectedly with one of my best friends from last semester, Caroline, who decided to show up in Paris last week without any warning… As her apartment opens tomorrow, we have been using my studio apartment as a place for two (HA), and have also been re-exploring the neighborhood in-between parisian lullabies (she sings and plays guitar, I sleep – no really). My neighborhood is better than I thought. It has the swank of the UES but the boulevards are interlaced with little curling French backroads that house the more charming bistros, vintage shops, and high-end children’s clothing stores (no kidding, there are more of these than cafés…  and I’m talking about an entirely different scale than “Crew-Cuts” – City of Love? Parisians must love to reproduce). Not only does my street have a Sephora, a Benetton, and an ample array of boulangeries, but it also is right around the corner from my favorite street in Paris: Rue du Cherche-Midi, which is as stereotypically spare and Parisian and humble and gorgeous as imaginable.  Off to my last four hour French class – oh right, class… I should blog about that – another day.

Love,

Manda

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~ by soleilsphere on January 22, 2010.

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