Planning to live out of a suitcase for a three-week European tour isn’t easy, and there are a few items that I can’t live without in my garment bag––a sport coat, comfortable jeans, and a pair of warm leather gloves. But the most critical item for me is a dependable pair of running shoes.
Considering the type of haute cuisine available in a city like Paris, you would think that my main motivation for jogging is to justify the butter, Bordeaux and Foie gras. While that’s partially true, my main interest is to get out and explore the city up close and in detail –– something you just can’t do from the back seat of a cab or tour bus.
Of course I’m not the only runner in the LA Phil. Small groups form often and I rarely hit the pavement alone while on tour. I enjoy getting to know my colleagues better this way, and it probably enhances our musical performance on some level.
After we laced up our running shoes and took the expected photos at the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, we ventured to a somewhat obscure landmark in the 11th District –– Le Pure Café. Situated on a corner lot, this spot was once a meeting place of the Parisian Proletariat, but is better known as the backdrop of a scene from the Academy Award nominated film Before Sunset.
It was difficult to find, in a slightly dodgy part of the city, and unfortunately closed Sunday Morning when we got there. Whoops. We didn’t get to sample the coffee or pastries, but that wasn’t entirely the point. It was satisfying to capture an image that will remain in my memory much longer than the conventional Arc de Triomphe photo.
P.S.––As in the aforementioned film, I was half expecting famous French actress Julie Deply to show up looking for someone to share coffee, but I must have missed her this time around. Very disappointing