Posts Tagged 'Paris'

The Best

Pain au Chocolat from The Bakery in Auroville

The Bakery in Auroville makes the best Pain au Chocolat in the world. Period.

I say this after having done decades of research in Paris. My work has not been as methodical or exhaustive, perhaps, as the arrondissment-by-arrondissment croissant sampling performed by my friend, Rich Pekelney; but it has been reasonably extensive.

It is not that the dough has the diaphanous flakiness of that little bakery on the Rue de Fourcy or uses a chocolate of the silky richness of the place on Rue Saint Louis En L’Ile. On both counts, the Auroville pains au chocolat rate acceptably, not superbly. The true measure of greatness of these pastries is largely a function of location.

There may be a place on this earth in greater need of high-quality pain au chocolat than South India; but, with all due respect for authenticity and origin, Paris is not it; and I’ve yet to discover it. By meeting this serious necessity with deftness and abundance, The Bakery at Auroville wins my vote for the best pain au chocolat in the world.


Holding the Line Against Filial Hair Removal

hairy mess

Years ago, my sister was a member of the shaggy armpit club. It was not a look my mother particularly favored. Sometime after college and a stint in the Peace Corps, my sister shaved her pits and memorialized the occasion with a framed photograph as a Mother’s Day present.

My mom thinks it is about time for me to prove my filial piety in the same manner. It’s her last day in Paris, and she says that nothing would give her more Parisian pleasure than to find a salon with aestheticians brave enough to touch my hair. Or, more precisely, to cut it.

Will I give her the satisfaction she craves? Or will I continue to prove myself a rotten and unworthy son? Bet on the latter.

Dinner at Benoit


Benoit is a century-and-a-half old, one-star take on classic bistro food. It’s beautiful, traditional (and traditionally cramped) dinning rooms and friendly wait-staff are the epitome of the genre; and the food, though uneven, is generally a cut above. Not every dish at our table was excellent, but mine were:


Soup cremeuse d’ecrevisses à la ciboulette

Sauté gourmand de ris de veau, crêtes et rognons de coq, fois gras et jus truffé


Assortiment des chocolates


Meursault – Limozin, R. Monnier (2005)

Tisane de vervane

Jet Lag

Getting over jet lag is as much a matter of will as of inevitability. That determination can be a bit hard to summon when it is time to roll out of bed in the morning or sleepiness descends in the mid-afternoon. Especially, when you are four.

Not surprisingly, Tenzing is wide awake, and quite chatty, every night when most of the rest of Paris is sound asleep.

Continue reading ‘Jet Lag’

Football in Parc Du Sceaux

Tenzing and Rafael Playing Footbal in Parc de Sceaux

Continue reading ‘Football in Parc Du Sceaux’

Blasts from the Past

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.


... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.


... because everyday is Mother's Day.


... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.


... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.


... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.


... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.


... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?


... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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