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I’m re-reading Julia Child’s My Life in France which was written very near the end of her life with the assistance of her great-nephew Alex Prud’homme.  These “late-in-life” recollections are particularly poignant.  She simply fell in love with Paris and France and the French culture of cuisine.  She shared her love so enthusiastically that many of us have fallen in love too.

HôtelPontRoyal

First night in Paris for Julia and Paul Child

In addition to her home in Paris at 81 Rue de l’Université, her book names other specific addresses that I’m adding to my “Julia’s Paris Connections Tour”.  The Childs’ spent their very first night in Paris at the Hôtel Pont Royal located at 7 rue Montalembert.   Julia recalls arriving there, unloading some luggage and then Paul driving off to find a garage in order to safely park the car.  Paul got lost (it was a dark and foggy night…).  An hour later Paul reappeared and recounted how he had ended up going in the wrong direction on Boulevard Raspail and “then got stuck on a one-way street”.  In my Franglish post titled Forbidden … I make a strong case against trying to drive a car in Paris nowadays.  Aside from the horrendous traffic, many streets are one-way when you least want them to be.  It seems as if driving in Paris was problematic even back in 1948.

Paul also mixed up Boulevard Raspail and Boulevard Saint-Germain.  I wanted to shout <<Moi aussi!>> (Me too!).  I too have gotten lost (when it’s been bright and beautiful).  After way too much walking I came to physically understand that Paris streets simply **do not** run in a parallel or grid fashion.

RATPmap-Julia's-quartier

Welcome to Julia’s neighborhood.

Once again the fabulous Paris bus system comes to your rescue.  Every bus shelter/stop has large, beautifully printed maps naming the street you’re on, where you are relative to the neighborhood, **and** where the other bus stops are located.  Honestly, I use the information available in the bus shelters even when I’m not taking a bus at that moment.  This RATP <<Plan de Quartier>> shows what bus lines are close at hand just to the right of Julia’s former residence at 81 Rue de l’Université.  Welcome to the neighborhood.