07 November 2014

Moving on up

This is one of those mornings when I've sat for an hour in front of the computer just gazing at my set of Paris photos. Well, not just gazing, but cropping and otherwise editing a lot of photos. I think this blog will stay in Paris a while longer.

When you walk up to the top of the Rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, you arrive at this big intersection.

Here's another view. Do you recognize the grand building or the restaurant?

A lot of professors supposedly are this restaurant's regulars.

Walt and I had lunch here once, years ago (not the only time). A well-dressed, very Parisian woman came in and took the table next to us. When the waiter came to take her order, she asked for just one thing: a big plate of creamed spinach. Then she started talking to us. « Je reviens d'un séjour de quelques jours en Espagne, » she told us, « et qu'est-ce qu'on y mange mal ! » She said she was just dying to eat some good vegetables again. I would never have dared order just a plate of vegetables in such a restaurant. Maybe she was a professor and a Brasserie Balzar regular.

Brasserie means "brewery" and brasseries are restaurants that are essentially or originally Alsatian. You can also order wine, of course, and the food often includes Alsatian specialties like choucroute garnie.

Yes, the big building is the Sorbonne.

It was in this building that I took masters-level classes on teaching French as a foreign language in the mid-1970s, and I also consulted as a native-speaker informant with Sorbonne professors who were teaching courses in American language, culture, and history. Later, I taught such classes myself in a different university building in the Latin Quarter.


  1. We'll be in Paris for our last week in France in three weeks time so we'll be watching your photos Ken.

  2. We've had several fine meals at the Brasserie Balzar. The first one was at your recommendation.

  3. Ken

    We try to go there on every visit except in 2011. Well in between the 2008 and 2014 visits, we found out that they have done some major renovations and have changed management. They have maintained the same menu but I was disappointed that I couldn't get museaux de boeuf. Ils ont leurs habitués who will move outside after their meal to do people watching whilst sipping whatever they've ordered

  4. I had a tentative plan to eat lunch at the Balzar when I was in Paris last week, but even after my long walk from Concorde to the Sorbonne, it was still too early for lunch. So I continued walking, thinking I might have lunch at Le Trumilou, on the Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville on the Right Bank.

  5. the building university is interesting. In the past Mary Sklodowska - Curie the first woman Polish Noble Prize Winner worked here


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