The Adventures of a 12 pound Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) going to Paris.


Tom & Maxine like to travel. Blogging helps us create a record of the trips, and share with friends and family...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Good Stuff & Bad Stuff -- Chocolate Report #1

One of my 'projects' on this trip is to research chocolate stores. Really, I'm only doing this as a research project, but, it is an important one. Maxine & I met working for M&M/Mars and this is simply a continuation of that work.

Okay, so I like to eat chocolate. My first research trip was to a nearby store called "chocolates of Bayonne". I don't think they were talking about Bayonne, New Jersey, but I did notice that they are somewhat of a chain store with branches in numerous places.

So, my first real chocolate research was to a store called "Denise Acabo/A L'Etoile D'Or". Her store is, because of metro connections, about 20 minutes from our apartment and near the Moulin Rouge. Here's what Patricia Wells says about this store in her book, "Food Lover's Guide To Paris", "How does a chocolate-lover visit Paris and yet manage to sample all the best homemade chocolates from all over France?... reach the charming old-fashioned storefront of Denise Acabo. She's round and pig-tailed, with an obvious passion for chocolate. Show a little interest and, no questions asked, she'll take you on..."

When I got there (a very tiny! store) I managed (or mangled), the phrase, "I understand that you have the best chocolate store in Paris and since I like chocolate, I am here to visit". She agreed with me and was, as Patricia Wells says, very welcoming. She told me that she'd just gotten back from a swimming vacation (I'll guess that she did other things as well, but my French is limited) and that all her chocolates were fresh. I spent about 20 minutes in the store, learning about different producers, products, regions, etc. In the end I bought a 3 day supply (!) including handmade marshmellow, handmade caramels, and about 20 pieces of chocolate. When I left I told her that I was here for 2 months and would be back!!!

... As to the "bad stuff" I refer to in this blog's title, here it is. Denise's store is about 2 blocks from the Moulin Rouge (Maxine & I think the movie is very good) and I was at the corner trying to place in my mind where the various camera angles/view points were. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a small car buzz by (someone I'd read referred to the small cars as being powered by blowdryers for engines). Just around the corner from me I heard a sound like three or four 2 liter plastic soda bottles being crunched together at ones, then a gasp from a number of people. I went around the corner, the little car had managed to hit a woman hard enough that she broke the windshield, and was now laying on the street. In the 10 minutes I was there she did not move her body, a young frenchman put his jacket over her and knealt on the ground talking to her until the ambulances arrived. It took 5 people to move her onto the stretcher. I don't know how she is -- I only know that it looked very sad. Without trying to be too profound in this tragedy, I guess the lessons are to be careful as a pedestrian because cars are more powerful than people, and, as a driver not to rush too much.


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