Plague Paris.

We made it. The flight was long and uncomfortable, as you’d expect, but one thing I’ll say for Air France: The in-flight movie selection isn’t too shabby at all. I watched “Dog Day Afternoon,” and had forgotten how good it was.

And then you land, and clear customs, and find your transportation, and this, and that, and suddenly you’re in Paris, mofos, and oh my it’s better than you expected and different than you remembered, and in so many ways. The diesel exhaust smell I recall from 40 years ago is gone, and so many vehicles now are EV/hybrids. The locals are still slim and well-dressed, but everyone has a mask somewhere on their person, and surprisingly, the default is the plain old blue surgical-style, not the creative cloth version preferred in the U.S. (Alan read those are banned in offices as ineffective.) Covid testing stations are everywhere, including under pop-up tents on street corners. More people speak at least some English, and we’ve been getting by with pointing, gestures, a few words here and there and my mournful Je suis desole, je ne pas parlais francais.

Why is this famously language-proud country suddenly so much more accommodating of my atrocious monkey-grunts? I suspect the usual reasons: Smaller world. The internet. And can’t forget that great motivator of language study in the young — video games.

So in these early days, we’ve been knocking off the usual stops. The Louvre on Sunday, Norte Dame yesterday. Today, the wrapped Arc de Triomphe. I would upload some pictures, but the internet here is spotty and untrustworthy.

I wish you all well from the 11th arrondisement (I think), and now to puzzle out the Metro routes. Au revoir, all.

Posted at 3:28 am in Same ol' same ol' |

82 responses to “Plague Paris.”

  1. Dorothy said on September 21, 2021 at 5:30 am

    So great to hear of your arrival and your impressions! Cloth masks are banned in offices? Hmph. Maybe the ones made of knit fabric? I use only 100% cotton high quality quilt fabrics for the ones I make and those are well ranked, I’m positive. I make them with two pieces of fabric so they’re dense and you can’t visibly let air out through them (think about when it’s cold outside and you can see your breath when you exhale). Maybe they only have knit ones, or one-layer fabric ones, in Paris.

    Dog Day Afternoon was based on a short story written by (now retired) English Prof. Fred Kluge at Kenyon in the 70’s. He was in and out of my office when I worked there from ‘07-‘13. One of my co-workers had an extra curricular job typing his manuscripts for other books he wrote. Tall with an impressive head of white hair, everyone knows Fred in Gambier.

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  2. Jim said on September 21, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Enjoy your stay .

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  3. Kristen said on September 21, 2021 at 7:29 am

    You probably don’t need any food rec’s, but Café Méricourt is in the 11th; we heard about Guy and his now closed Café Oberkampf from one of David Lebovitz’s short videos and went there about 5 years ago when we were in Paris. That little café is now closed (maybe as a result of the pandemic), but apparently Café Méricourt is nearby. Guy is British/French, I think, so knowing he has an English-friendly place was a plus, as my high school Français only got us so far.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2021 at 8:00 am

    You are kind to include us in your postcards; thanks for the update! Hoping for some market action, or at least an arcade or two, but we’ll be thankful for whatever we get.

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  5. Suzanne said on September 21, 2021 at 8:07 am

    Paris sounds wonderful! I have never been and I hope that someday I will get there. Enjoy!

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  6. rb said on September 21, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Chère Suzanne – Paris is so wonderful. It’s a very walkable city. On my first visit I was ready to hate the city, but the moment I emerged from the train station, I fell in love.

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  7. Deborah said on September 21, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Wow, the 11th is where we have determined to be the next area we want to stay in Paris. I can’t wait to hear more about it. Viaduc des Arts is near there, not sure if it’s exactly in the 11th, it’s one of my favorite places in Paris now. Boulevard du Temple runs through the 11th, where the Knights of the Templar was. I believe also in the 11th is Musée des Arts et Métiers which we also found to be a worthwhile destination. In the 3rd, nearby to the west is this marketé_des_Enfants_Rouges if you’re looking for food etc to take back to wherever you’re staying.

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  8. ROGirl said on September 21, 2021 at 10:09 am

    The Galeries Lafayette on Blvd Haussmann is worth the visit for the spectacular dome and over the top opulence.

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  9. JodiP said on September 21, 2021 at 11:04 am

    So glad you made it and are enjoying Paris! I’ve been twice and look forward to returning.

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  10. Heather said on September 21, 2021 at 11:07 am

    I think the French appreciate if you try to speak a little bit of the language and they’ll happily switch to English in that case. It’s only the Ugly Americans who bark “do you speak English?” at every interaction that bring out the rude. I’ve also heard that starting with “excuse me, I have a problem, can you help me?” in French brings out their good side but I’ve never tried that.

    Enjoy! Go to Angelina and have the hot chocolate. It’s touristy but worth it. Also Versailles if you’ve never been. The grounds are gorgeous.

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  11. Margaret said on September 21, 2021 at 11:39 am

    J’adore Paris! It’s one of those big cities that feels like a collection of small and unique neighborhoods.

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  12. Deborah said on September 21, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    After waiting nearly 5 months, Design Within Reach delivered our expensive Italian dining room chairs today in the wrong color. They were supposed to be black, but they’re a medium gray color. My husband is royally pissed. It’s probably going to take another 4 or 5 months to get the correct ones. Plus we’re having out of town company for dinner Saturday and our place is too small to store the incorrect chairs until they can pick them up. The delivery guys weren’t authorized to take them back.

    And speaking of France, our mattress that we also waited nearly 5 months for, got delivered a couple of days before I got back here from NM. It came from France because our bed frame is from Ligne Roset, a French company and it’s a European queen size. We tried out the mattress in the Chicago store and it felt fine. It’s firm which is the kind of mattress we like but it’s hot, it’s got foam in it, which I knew when we ordered it and I thought it would be OK, mainly because there was no alternative and wishful thinking. But like the princess and the pea, I’m not happy with it. I need to find a good European queen size 100% cotton mattress cover that will make it cooler.

    I cleaned the place all morning, anticipating the new chairs and having been away for weeks it needed it, now I’m just crabby.

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  13. Deborah said on September 21, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Trying to get out of my crabby mood by thinking about Paris again. The Viaduc des Arts is in the 12th not the 11th, but it’s not that far away depending on where you are in the 11th and there’s a NY Highline type delightful walkway above the shops which are under the arches of the viaduct

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  14. David C said on September 21, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    We ordered a sideboard last week and were told we wouldn’t get it until next May. The supply chains aren’t loosening up any time soon. It’s a bit disappointing but it’ll be worth it. We’re finally getting to the point where we feel we can splurge on good furniture. It’s nice to get something that doesn’t come with an Allen wrench.

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  15. Sarah Robinson said on September 21, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Even the Allen wrench stuff has supply chain issues. (In a home with four animals, we aren’t investing in our furniture.)

    But the industry has always been like that. I remember being routinely told 10-12 weeks when ordering from almost anywhere. One time we had a buy one, get one, and they had to be the same fabric to get the deal. Not only were they not, the two clashed with each other and the second one clashed with the room. It probably took six months before we had them both as ordered.

    Come to think of it, maybe this is why the Allen wrench stuff got so popular.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on September 21, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Wondered why my comment went into moderation, looks like Chrome autofilled my daughter’s name, so here it is again:

    Even the Allen wrench stuff has supply chain issues. (In a home with four animals, we aren’t investing in our furniture.)

    But the industry has always been like that. I remember being routinely told 10-12 weeks when ordering from almost anywhere. One time we had a buy one, get one, and they had to be the same fabric to get the deal. Not only were they not, the two clashed with each other and the second one clashed with the room. It probably took six months before we had them both as ordered.

    Come to think of it, maybe this is why the Allen wrench stuff got so popular.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Those who dismiss Paris and Parisians as the New York of Europe are full of shit. It is a wonderful city. If you try, however faltering, to speak French, you will be well received.

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  18. Sherri said on September 21, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    It can be so disorienting talking with my parents. They live in a world where everything is done in person, with scant regard to COVID. I live in a world where my husband continues to work from home and his company has announced that they have no idea when employees might come back in person.

    My parents are planning to go to Branson, MO next month with my brother and sister-in-law. There’s not much I can say that won’t provoke a fight, so I keep my mouth shut and am grateful that at least they’re all vaccinated.

    BTW, my husband’s COVID test was negative, so that’s a relief.

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  19. Deborah said on September 21, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Since today was sweater weather in Chicago, I cranked up the oven and made roasted root vegetables for dinner, it was delicious, it has been a long time. Now off to take a lakeshore walk with jackets of course.

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  20. Dexter Friend said on September 22, 2021 at 12:05 am

    I only know of France from years of watching Le Tour. The wrapped Arc was the topic of a radio show I listen to on XM. A young man, just back from Paris a week ago, said tourists who come to visit Paris would be “pissed off beyond belief” to see what he called an “atrocity”. I believe the originator of this type of art has passed on, but his followers have followed his footsteps. The original artist did those gates in NYC’s Central Park a few years ago, and other projects like that around that city.
    The bank robbery in the movie was a real event, depicted in the film nance saw. When my old army buddy moved from his Manhattan apartment where he was temporarily couch surfing post-military service, he lived in Brooklyn. That was where my friend banked. He wasn’t there the day of the real robbery. Chase Manhattan bank at 450 Avenue P in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

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  21. Deborah said on September 22, 2021 at 7:52 am

    I never saw any of Christo’s installations but I always wanted to. Christo was actually a husband and wife team, he was the conceptual artist, she was the project manager who made it all happen. He died last year, she died a decade or so ago. I have no idea what their real names were.

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  22. ROGirl said on September 22, 2021 at 7:57 am

    His name was Christo Javacheff (sp?). He was Bulgarian and went to Paris in the 60s. Jeanne Claude was French. I took an art history class a long time ago that covered a number of contemporary artists and he was one of them. Each artist was assigned to a different group. The group assigned to Christo sent him a letter and he sent them an autographed poster of the Running Fence.

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  23. Deborah said on September 22, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Happy first day of fall. We’re having some nice cool weather in Chicago. I’m so glad it’s finally here, it’s my favorite season. And tomorrow is my wedding anniversary, 21 years but really 31 because we lived together 10 years before we decided to go ahead and get married since among other reasons we had bought land together in NM.

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  24. Dorothy said on September 22, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Jeff @ 17 – your comment made me hesitate for a moment but then I remembered – oh yeah, New Yorkers have a reputation as being rude. That wasn’t our experience at all when we visited for 4-5 days in December 2018. Everyone was very nice, and patient when we asked questions. It’s been my experience just about everywhere that if you are polite when talking to people, they respond in kind.

    Happy news to share – another grandbaby is on the way! We’ve known for quite some time but it’s been kept quiet until she reached the second trimester. And this week we found out it’s a boy! Granddaughter walked into her daycare yesterday morning loudly announcing the news to anyone who would listen, and my son said it was just about the most adorable thing he’d ever seen her do. “I’m going to teach him everything!” was the last sentence of her announcement.

    Friends of ours who we visited on Saturday mentioned they’d ordered a new couch in February this year – it’s still not delivered. On the other hand, in August I took advantage of a sale on mattresses and ordered one. Instead of coming in mid-October as the email confirmation had said, it is coming tomorrow.

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  25. ROGirl said on September 22, 2021 at 9:55 am

    I ordered a dining table set from a place in NC years ago (couldn’t get the size I wanted locally). It took 6 months to arrive, it was shipped from France.

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  26. Deborah said on September 22, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Congratulations Dorothy on the expected grandson!

    Years ago we ordered a TV cart that had to come from Spain, it took the better part of a year to get it. This was back when TVs were big bulky things that you could wheel around from room to room if you wanted to. We still have the cart but it’s now a table to the entryway in our Chicago place. It’s where we keep a bowl to toss our keys etc into when we come inside. On the bottom shelf we keep a bigger bowl for gloves and caps in the winter. I really like the cart, it’s very minimal, one of my favorite pieces of furniture, well worth the wait those many years ago. We have a piece of marble on it as the table top, and a stainless steel tray became the bottom shelf.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on September 22, 2021 at 1:34 pm


    I never had a problem with New York and its citizens. Like Paris, the reputation for being rude and nasty is largely undeserved. Even in the ’80s, when it was a much rougher town than it is today, people were cool. I was disoriented in a Wall Street area subway and the graffiti idiots has completely obscured the maps of the subway. A gentleman in a three-piece suit carrying a briefcase asked me where I wanted to go, then gave me the proper train to catch before he hurried off.

    My philosophy has always been that you will get back what you anticipate. Certainly, if you arrive in New York –or anywhere else– with a chip on your shoulder expecting a lousy time, you will fulfill your own prophecy. I try to accept any place I visit on its own terms.

    As far as being friendly people towards visiting tourists, you’d be hard pressed to do better than Portugal. It’s like they compete to see who can be the nicest person. Prices are much better in relation to much of Western Europe, too.

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  28. LAMary said on September 22, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    With kids and dogs and cats there’s no expensive furniture happening here. However, we have a wonderful place that sells used furniture from luxury hotels. I have a couch from the Beverly Hills Hotel, coffee table from the Ritz Carlton, random other stuff from the Westwood Marquis. I also have napkins from the Pierre that I bought at a thrift shop in NYC (jacquard, with the letter P in the design). I had a great ottoman from some posh hotel but a dog chewed it a little too much. Everything I’ve bought has been in good shape. Posh places replace furniture a lot.

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  29. Deborah said on September 22, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    I experienced Chicagohenge this evening as the sun was setting, the east/west running streets have the sun setting directly at the center of those streets. We can look directly west up Delaware and the sun is exactly between the Hancock building and the Weston Hotel on Delaware, it’s pretty cool.

    Very windy in Chicago earlier with 10 to 12 ft waves on the lake, they say they were 18 ft further south, closer to Indiana. More to come.

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  30. ROGirl said on September 23, 2021 at 5:41 am

    After a day of heavy, soaking rain and high winds a huge tree branch cracked and came down across the bottom of my driveway and into the street after I got home yesterday. The tree is on city property, so I called the police, they said they would notify the forestry dept. A cop came by, said he would try to move some of the branches and put up some yellow caution tape. He left without moving anything. A few hours later, after it was dark, I heard some noise and there were 3 trucks and a crew of guys cutting up the tree for the wood chipper and sweeping up the debris.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2021 at 7:30 am

    If you want to be immersed in the glory that is Chicagohenge:

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  32. Snarkworth said on September 23, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Jeff @ #27, you are right about Portugal.

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  33. Deborah said on September 23, 2021 at 9:33 am

    The Chicagohenge effect was pretty spectacular yesterday evening, it had been cloudy all day and then at just the right time there was a clearing. I was looking at the beautiful pink sky when I happened upon the sunset through the buildings on Delaware, had my phone in hand and quickly snapped a photo, which I posted on Facebook. I did the same thing for the spring equinox, both photos are posted on FB. Not great photos, but they captured fleeting events from my own window.

    I made sloppy joes for dinner last night. I think the last time I had that was in the 70s. Someone mentioned sloppy joes on Twitter describing them as the great American sandwich, which gave me a craving. I made them from scratch which I’d never done before, lots of recipes online and really easy. I kept it from my husband, what I was making beforehand because I thought he’d object. But he loved it, had two helpings, I was kind of surprised. If you haven’t had them in a while, you might try it, pure nostalgia.

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  34. David C said on September 23, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Sloppy Joes gave my mom a gall bladder attack when I was about ten years old. They were banned from the house after that and I don’t think I’ve had one since, out of solidarity, I guess.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    When D is feeling nostalgic, he makes Spanish rice, a staple of his childhood. I don’t share the same warm fuzzy feelings so generally I fix myself something different.

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  36. Suzanne said on September 23, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    I haven’t made sloppy joes in years. I eat them occasionally at potlucks and things, so I like them but I never make them. Now since it’s just me and my husband, a batch would last us forever.
    My mom would make Spanish rice when I was growing up. It was ok but I have no nostalgic feelings about it, maybe because, as I have mentioned here, my mom was not much of a cook. I pretty much remember all her food, including the Spanish rice, being terribly bland which I guess was a good thing since I was very thin until I grew up and started doing my own cooking. When the food isn’t all that great, you don’t eat that much of it.

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  37. Deborah said on September 23, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    For our anniversary dinner tonight we went to Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grille. It was my husband’s idea I hadn’t been there for over a decade and I was not enthusiastic as I remember it being just pretty good Mexican food. But I can tell you it was fantastic, way better than I remembered. I’m really glad we went, the food was excellent, much more than just pretty good Mexican food, it was inventive and subtle, not the usual Mexican food I remembered it serving.

    We are having a hard time getting Design Within Reach to respond to getting the wrong chairs they delivered out of our small place. It’s really irritating the guy who handled our order won’t return our calls or emails. Grrrrr.

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  38. LAMary said on September 23, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    I had sloppy Joes once in my entire life.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Deborah, document it all, then call one last time to say you’re initiating a chargeback. That has always worked for me and I’ve never yet had to carry out the threat.

    Suzanne, did your mom make Spanish rice with Campbell’s tomato soup instead of sauce? I saw a couple cans of it here and I’m worried.

    Mary, your school didn’t have them on the menu every other week?

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  40. Suzanne said on September 23, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    I honestly don’t know how mom made the Spanish rice, just that it was pretty bland.

    I started listening to this podcast about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos

    It’s quite informative.

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  41. alex said on September 23, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Haven’t had a good sloppy joe for a while.

    Pondering what sort of side dish to take to a party this weekend. My old standby is a Tetrazzini casserole with lots of vermouth to deglaze after the roux and flavor it up. No cream-of-whatever soup shortcuts.

    This made me come unglued, yet I feel obligated to sound the alarms:

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  42. Sherri said on September 23, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Alex, I can’t really argue with anything Kagan says in that article.

    I’m just trying not to take anyone’s head off right now. I’m so angry that if you look at me funny, you might be in danger! Not helped any by the people who are protesting the repurposing of a hotel to provide housing (they say they want to help the homeless, just not *those* homeless), nor by the local firefighters trying to get out of the vaccine mandate (all local firefighters are EMTs, for context) for religious reasons, which makes me ask, have they refused other vaccines? Do we have firefighters unvaccinated against measles and whooping cough answering emergency medical calls? No one has an answer for me.

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  43. LAMary said on September 24, 2021 at 12:17 am

    I don’t think so Julie. I don’t remember them. I always brought my lunch anyway. The one time I had a sloppy Joe was at a neighbor’s house. My dad had parked me there for the weekend while he went someplace. I remember having a sloppy Joe and using some medical masks from a toy doctor bag as parachutes and dropping plastic army men off the top bunk. I didn’t feel well the day my dad picked me up. I barfed all night. Even water didn’t stay down. My father called the doctor who came to the house, picked me up.and drove me to the hospital. I had a burst appendix. I was eight years old, in a Catholic hospital on the night JFK was inaugurated. I heard Hail to the chief over and over from the tv in the nurses lounge all night.

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  44. Dexter Friend said on September 24, 2021 at 3:05 am

    We went to Frontera Grille a couple years after it opened. I was so disappointed we missed the tapa experience, but the real, really real Mexican food was the best I ever had. Rick himself was making regular trips to Mexico for peppers and spices back then. If I had lived nearer to Chicago I would have gone back regularly.
    And…as soon as Maricopa County in rattlesnake land declared “No Fraud, 2020”, Texas bowed to Trump and initiated the legal works to begin a recount of the 11-2020 election votes. And…yeah that’s right…Texas went for Trump. So WTF? Here’s the deal: this is a ploy to focus on financing Trump for 2024. It’s so fucking embarrassing to live in this backwards rural place where Trump 2024 signs and giant flags are on almost every city block.
    Also, the hate crimes here have all-but been solved. The LBGTQia folks here have been getting their Pride flags stolen and desecrated. A surveillance cam caught the criminals in action: 3 boys of about 10 years of age. Now where did they learn to hate? Their fucking backwards parents.

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  45. alex said on September 24, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Frontalobampo is what we used to call Rick Bayless’ place. It’s still there? So much has come and gone in Chicago in the almost 17 years since I left, including several outstanding tapas joints.

    So I read this morning that Trump’s Cyber Ninja recount in Maricopa County, AZ, didn’t result in any new findings other than Biden’s margin widening by several hundred votes. Wonder how Fox et al. will spin that one (if they bother to address it at all).

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  46. Deborah said on September 24, 2021 at 8:29 am

    While I read the Cyber Ninjas report actually ended up counting a few hundred more votes for Biden they also said there were faulty processes in how the votes were collected. The whole point was to sow doubt in the process so they can control who votes.

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  47. JodiP said on September 24, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Thank you friends, I am now craving sloppy joes! We make them a few times a year because they’re easy. I do 90% of the cooking, and it’s always about an hour in the kitchen. I love it, but some days I want a break or have something going on so need something quick. This Tuesday, I am volunteering with the league of women voters to register voters from 5-7, so I’ll make sloppy joes beforehand so my tired wife can eat when she get home from her 10 hour nursing shift.

    We are heading to Ireland next Thursday. Some of you have travelled enough to maybe help me out. We’d like to be able to use our phones while there if we need to make a call. While in Italy, I tried in 2019 by getting a SIM card there, but then found out too late I needed a code from AT&T to unlock my phone. Grrr. I’ve done research, and it seems the easiest thing is just to go to an AT&T store and have them set it up. Thoughts/advice? I just don’t want to spend time on the phone with AT&T.

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  48. Deborah said on September 24, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Jodi, I set my phone up to work in France at AT&T before we left, but then when I got there it didn’t work and I spent a long time while at the airport waiting for a train into Paris trying to get it fixed. It did finally work but I was irritated that I had to do that.

    I loved Ireland, especially Dublin. Go to the theater while you’re there. We went to a small one near Trinity College and saw a memorable play, called “The White Haired Boy”, it was funny and sad at the same time. I saw the Book of Kells at the library of Trinity. The book exhibit itself was kind of a dud because all you could see was one spread, but the library was fantastic. Also, the National Art Museum was a cool, they have a Vermeer, at one time I had a goal of seeing all of the existing Vermeers in the world, I’ve fallen woefully short of that goal over the years.

    I also was on Belfast but only for dinner. Mostly driving around the countryside is the best, be prepared for lots of roundabouts. But I remember you saying you drove in the south of France, so you know what I mean.

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  49. JodiP said on September 24, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Thanks Deborah-I will be sure to ask “What if it doesn’t work when we get there?” 🙂

    We are booked to see the book of Kells and then the library. We hadn’t thought about theater–so will check that out! We are being super touristy and going to the Guiness Storehouse too. We are staying in a small hotel near Trinity College–an couple of old renovated Georgian buildings.

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  50. Peter said on September 24, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Wow, so much to say.

    NANCY – If you haven’t been to the Louvre yet, I really recommend a quick look at the medieval art – no one, and I mean NO ONE goes to those galleries – last time we went the only other persons in the galleries were sleeping guards. There’s a cafe near that section that has outdoor seating on an upper terrace, and you can enjoy a cheap meal and look at all of the people waiting in line to get in – it was like we were royalty looking out at the peasants in the courtyard.

    JODI – We were in Ireland a couple of years ago visiting my wife’s relatives in Donegal. I don’t know where you’re going, but if you have a chance make a pit stop in Westport, on the west side of County Mayo – wow is it picturesque. If you’re doing any of the Wild Atlantic Way, make sure to stop in Glenveigh National Park, Donegal town and/or Ardara, all in County Donegal.

    How friendly are the Irish to tourists? This friendly – we were in her dad’s hometown, Turlough, just outside Castlebar, looking for ancestors in the town cemetery. A crew was doing road work nearby, and said hi to us – when my wife mentioned she was looking for some graves, they said an ancestor of hers may be in the next town over, and we should look him up. We said we were short on time, so they drove over to the next town, picked him up, and brought him to the cemetery to say hello.

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  51. basset said on September 24, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Never been to Paris or Ireland, but I can share our sloppy joe analogue, which Mrs. B’s family calls a “spoon burger”: browned and drained burger meat, can of Campbell’s gumbo soup, squirt of mustard, squirt of ketchup, mix it all up, heat it through, and there ya go.

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  52. JodiP said on September 24, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Peter, that is so kind of you! We are going to split our time just in Dublin and the city of Cork, using that as a base for day trips, so unable eto make it up to County Donegal or Mayo.

    I had a wonderful get together with 3 other women last night. One is a great traveller and re-told the tale (which I had completely forgotten!) of the trip to Ireland she and her guy did. The went through an outfit that rents horse caravans that you just drive around on your own with an itinerary suggested by the owner. Many, many funny stories of Guinness their stubborn horse (my friend grew up with horses, so knew how to handle him). She also shared the many times the locals were helpful, like the one time her guy pal managed to get the caravan hoisted on a stone wall.

    IDK which outfit they went with, but here’s an example:

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  53. Deborah said on September 24, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Speaking of Guinness, the brew not the horse, it is so much better over in Ireland. I never really liked it here, too bitter, but in Dublin it was amazing, smooth and the foam was creamy. We stopped at a pub every evening and had a pint. So even if you’re not a fan here, check it out there, you’d be surprised.

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  54. Suzanne said on September 24, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    This is a great thread from Maricopa County on the AZ audit findings

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  55. Dorothy said on September 24, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Jodi two years ago this month we spent a week in Ireland and a week in Scotland, and in July that year we went to Verizon to buy new phones (it was time – our contract was up) and took that opportunity to talk to a rep about our international travel. Got it all set up, no problem. I think we used some kind of package deal and paid $10/day for each of us and we found it worthwhile. We used our phones a great deal – we rented a car in both countries and covered a lot of ground. Knowing we had consistent, reliable cell service was worth the price we paid. We didn’t want to take the chance of navigation systems in our rental cars not working. Each place we stayed had WiFi.

    Also – just today I saw an Instagram post and a picture from Trinity College and it made me sad we didn’t know about this two years ago. Behind the library there is the Museum building. Make sure you go inside. Google it to see what the interior looks like – simply gorgeous!

    A must-do for us was to visit the little town (Abbeyfeale) where my mother’s father was born in the late 1800’s. And we went to the cemetery where some of his siblings and nieces & nephews were buried. It was solemn and wonderful to be there. Our first stay was in Dublin near St Stephen’s Green. Our favorite place? The Dingle Peninsula and driving up Connor Pass, when we thought we had hit the top of the world. It was scary and exciting and tremendous fun. I know you probably won’t get there – it’s very far south in the center along the border – but it was just gorgeous. The Cliffs of Mohr were a close second.

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  56. Dorothy said on September 24, 2021 at 7:20 pm


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  57. Dexter Friend said on September 25, 2021 at 1:43 am

    Parisian thoughts of art and…sloppy joe memories.
    I too have eaten my share. LA Mary’s Jersey sloppy joes are a different thing altogether.

    We made them sorta like this: brown and drain ground beef,add some chopped yellow onion, a shot of ketchup, two or three shots of BBQ sauce, 3 oz. of water, some sort of drained tomatoes or tomato paste . We found we didn’t like to use tomato soup, but go for whatever. It’s best to get it all hot and bubbly, then shut the burner off and let it just cool down slowly on the stovetop for maybe 90 minutes to 2 hours, then re-heat it with a good dose of Tobasco sauce for a finish, to a boil and dig in. Ya just about have to have potato chips. 🙂 …and beer for the drinking woman or man or ginger ale for non-tipplers like your humble narrator.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 25, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Dexter, that’s the recipe of my youth. Some put half a jar of chopped banana peppers in the pot, but that was living on the edge.

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  59. Deborah said on September 25, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Many of the sloppy Joe recipes I saw online called for diced green pepper, so I did that. I didn’t use one recipe but a sort of amalgamation of some of them. I used diced green pepper, diced yellow onion, ground beef of course, ketchup, mustard powder, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, tomato paste and garlic. Most of the ingredients except for the beef, onion and green pepper were small amounts. Prairie Woman’s recipe was the closest, except hers called for 2 1/2 lbs of ground beef, I only used 1 lb and adjusted all of the amounts of the other ingredients in proportion.

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  60. alex said on September 25, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Spoiler alert. If you read Gene Weingarten’s column today you’ll discover by the end of it that it’s his last and you may be as majorly bummed out as I am:

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  61. Connie said on September 25, 2021 at 11:58 am

    My childhood sloppy joe recipe is similar to Bassetts, except Campbells tomato soup. Brown and drain two pounds ground beef with onions. Add soup, three Tablespoons brown sugar, a good squirt of yellow mustard, one teaspoon onion powder. Add half a soup can water and simmer it down. Sloppy Joes must be served with potato chips, they are used to scoop up the spilled sloppy joe.

    I will note that I consider onion powder to be a secret ingredient.

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  62. LAMary said on September 25, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    None of these recipes have convinced me to have a second sloppy joe. I only had one appendix. God only knows which organ would be attacked by the second sloppy joe.

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  63. Julie Robinson said on September 25, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    These all bear too much resemblance to the Spanish rice made by my MIL, with the addition of Minute Rice. Nas.Ty.

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  64. Jim said on September 25, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Julie: you keep hatin’ on my 2nd favorite childhood food.

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  65. Icarus said on September 25, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    I suspect Sloppy Joes, BBQ, and chili, along with other dishes I cannot think of at this moment, were probably invented to 1) use up meat that was on the cusp of going bad and 2) use up other ingredients that were also about to expire.

    A little trial and error and people found the combination that worked for what they needed.

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  66. LAMary said on September 25, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Julie I think there’s a good Spanish rice recipe in the NYT recipe website. If you don’t have access let me know. I do and I will fetch it for you.Minute Rice was the only kind I had until I was 18 and moved out.

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  67. Julie Robinson said on September 25, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you, Mary, but I don’t care to revisit it in any form, and realistically, D only wants it made the sainted mother way. Didn’t we all grow up with Minute Rice, though?

    Sorry, Jim, and to further promote heresy, I never want to eat tuna noodle casserole again either. Don’t tell me that was your very favorite.

    I made Covid booster shot appointments for my mom and husband and then for the heck of it, put my name and birthdate in. For whatever reason the Publix site let me make an appointment even though I’m a month short of 65, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I will feel so much better about the NOLA wedding with that third shot in me.

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  68. LAMary said on September 25, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Never had tuna noodle casserole. On!y had the green bean mushroom soup chow mein noodle stuff once. Homemade smoked eels? Many times.

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  69. Deborah said on September 25, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    I’ve never had homemade smoked eel or eel fixed any way and I can’t say I ever want to. I remember going fishing with my Dad in Miami and seeing an eel for the first time in my life. Nope.

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  70. Dexter Friend said on September 26, 2021 at 2:25 am

    My mother made the best Spanish rice, never with MinuteRice though. Mom was of Swiss origins, but she made pizza crust from scratch and then made the best sausage or hamburger pizza I ever had. Her homemade loaves of bread were after-school snacks for us…Mom gave us Lipton or Tetley tea on freezing days when we exited the school bus, then we had fresh, hot bread just out of the oven, with butter and home-canned strawberry jam. Those memories sorta keep her memory glowing in my head. She was a great cook alright.

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  71. Dexter Friend said on September 26, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Yesterday I scheduled my Pfizer booster; I must wait 3 weeks, but I am going to get it. The Health Department of the county here just got the OK to schedule shots, to seniors and other qualifiers.
    News, of course, so I went to the local Facebook page to post this news. And I was attacked by about a dozen creeps and trolls calling me “dumass” and other insults, and ridiculing vaccinations and claiming the virus is “a hoax”. I have reported here about all the Trump 2024 banners and flags and nasty anti-Biden banners here in town. Only one woman criticized the trolls , asking what is wrong with a post of information about life-saving vaccine availability. I simply deleted my post and quit that page for good, deleting my account. This part of the nation really does want Trump 2024 to happen. It is kind of creepy living in a sea of fucking morons.

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  72. Dorothy said on September 26, 2021 at 7:33 am

    My mom never made tuna noodle casserole but she made up a recipe that we called Tuna Fish Rollup. It was tuna, onion, celery, egg, salt & pepper, a scoop of dry Bisquik mixed up and then baked inside Bisquik dough. Topped off with cream of mushroom soup and we still love it in our house. That being said, a friend/former neighbor once made me a tuna noodle casserole when I had to go to a funeral. She had it ready for me when I got home and was too wiped out to cook. It was delicious. I still make it to this day. As the kids say on Twitter, DON’T @ ME!!

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  73. Deborah said on September 26, 2021 at 8:18 am

    I haven’t had tuna noodle casserole since I stopped going to church and church suppers, which was over 30 years ago. I don’t believe I ever made it myself, but since I’m on a nostalgia kick I’ll have to try it.

    I was the casserole queen in my former life. I used to cook up a storm on Sunday afternoons. I made enough casserole meals for the coming week, then would freeze everything so it could be microwaved by my then husband because I usually worked late and would reheat a portion for myself when I got home. When I think back on those days it was all a bunch of glop. After I left that life food got better.

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  74. Jim said on September 26, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Julie: nope! Meat loaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.

    I note I am only speaking of Mom’s cooking. Going to either grandmother’s resulted in some truly heavenly things.

    Here is what my school cafeteria served all the time:

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  75. Beobachter said on September 26, 2021 at 9:38 am

    The Ehe für alle (Marriage for all) referendum passed today with 64% Yes Swiss wide.

    The most anti-canton voted 49.2% against, it’s the same canton that waited until 1991 to allow women to vote.

    This month’s week long getaway was ebike-ing to the border, crossing the Rhein and pedaling into the Black Forest.

    Lots of Einkaufstourismus (shopping tourism) in the area, with folks pulling shopping trollies (aka rolling bag cart) over a wooden covered bridge to save 20% on German meat.

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  76. alex said on September 26, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Funny the conversation should turn to casseroles.

    Yesterday I made one for a potluck, Chicken Tetrazzini from the Casserole Queens cookbook. Munching on some right at this moment, matter of fact, because I always make a double batch. No canned soup in this but a roux made from scratch and a panko and parmesan topping.

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  77. LAMary said on September 26, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Other than lasagna the only casserole thing I make is zucchini and tomato casserole. Thin long slices if shoes layered with thin slices of tomato, mozzarella and Asia go cheese, garlic And basil. Its the end of summer vegetable thing. I recall the spouse of our hostess here saying he would never eat Campbell’s soup. I’m in agreement, mostly. I’ve never used canned soup as an ingredient.

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  78. David C said on September 26, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    I can’t see chicken tetrazzini without thinking of and laughing about someone here, I think either LAMary or Sherri, saying they called it chicken tetra-chloride in high school.

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  79. Julie Robinson said on September 26, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    Meatloaf, mashed potatoes (if not instant), and green beans (if fresh) is a lovely meal. Two thumbs up. I concur with Alan on products from Campbell’s.

    Alex, how has your recovery from nasal surgery gone? I’m really interested if it has helped your breathing. Since moving into a four-animal home I’m maximally clogged 100% of the time. An old friend just posted the after-pics from his and he looked miserable.

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  80. LAMary said on September 26, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Chicken or turkey tetrachloride was not my invention but I shared it. My high school cafeteria also had some type of soup that smelled like armpits when it was being cooked.

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  81. alex said on September 26, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Julie, I’m breathing a whole lot better. The first few days post-op were miserable and I’m still irrigating with saline multiple times daily to promote healing and flush out clots and stuff. But I’m two weeks out as of tomorrow and should be fully back to normal very soon.

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  82. Julie Robinson said on September 27, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Excellent news, Alex, and I’m glad to hear it.

    And what’s all this about Jefferson Pointe kicking out Barnes and Noble for a Burlington Coat Factory?

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