12 février 2006

The Finer Establishments of Lyon: Friday

Mmm freshness!
I can only start an entry like this with a haiku dedicated to the open air market:

marché on the saone
gives me yummy food to eat
two for price of one!

I'm on a roll. haiku en francais:

vendeurs qui me hurlent
saucisse fromage fruit et pain
coin gastronomique

Beeeeyoutiful weather this weekend!! Il faisait super super beau!

Friday morning (yes, morning, I got up that early) I walked around and discovered that between here and le Part Dieu there is a little pedestrian area with a handful of restaurants. Maybe there will be a good place to try out with Mom and Dad when they come visit. I also realized that the Centre Commercial is much closer than I thought it was! It only took me about 15-20 minutes to walk to le Crayon (big office building that ressembles a pencil).

Musee Africain! Free on weekends!
I got some culture in on Friday afternoon, when I went to the Musee Africain with Caro and her friends. Half thrift store, half African trinkets, this museum showcased masks, figurines, and tools of African cultures in French-colonized parts of that continent. I got to see everything from crocodile worship to death masks to handmade fishing nets. Everything else falls within those categories. It's small, but worth the free visit! The museum must be run by a church, because the building gives off an uncanny "christian missionaries" vibe rather than one of "african tribes." Oh right, that must be from the bazaar of goods on the RDC and sous-sol...You can get african sculptures, drums, secondhand clothing, rugs, books, and other trinkets. Although we didn't get anything, it was interesting to look!

Inspired by this to see more dusty vintage treasures, Caro and I headed over to Notre Dame de Sans Abri (Our Lady of the Homeless), which is just a block or two over from our apt on one of the side streets. I thought about buying a secondhand bike for about 45euro...but I'm still thinking. It's either that or a monthly metro pass (having discovered that the metro will no longer take my credit card...what? why would this suddenly stop working?). Guess I better save my euro coins for more than just laundry and the marché now (how annoying).

But then I discovered that this place had knitting needles galore. I almost flipped out, I could have gotten anything I wanted for only 50 euro cents each! (that is so cheap!!). So I did, I got a pair of double-pointed needles and lots of purple yarn for only 2 euro! Before I thought I was going to have to buy 3-euro yarn at the craft store in the mall (there is NO selection at the mall!) That means I can make a huge bag to carry everything in now! It will be crafty and eurotrashy-fabulous. PS, everything I make is purple, I just realized. I must be really obsessed with that color. Maybe I'll put in some super exciting stripes of blue. Egads. Anyway, Caro was curious and wanted me to teach her how to knit, yay! I taught her when we got home, and it was chill, we were bein' grannies and listening to good reggae music.

On our way home, we also stopped at a Eastern/Mediterranean foods store. It looked tiny and rundown from the front but it was a huge supermarket inside! (Imagine the cave from Aladdin...) Caro was excited because they had lots of foods from Reunion island (that is where her dad is from). I was excited too because all the dried herbs smelled so delicious! You can get like 10 kilo bags of rice and curry there, I'm not joking. That's a LOT of spicy! ...And if you feel bald you can also get your hair extensions there. We got food to make samoussas for dinner (Reunion island food). No hair products for us though. I will definitely have to look up more recipes and go back there! I am in love with that store now! It is all so exotic and new to me. I think part of the reason that Lyon must be a gastronomic capital is because you can not only get French and Lyonnaise cuisine but you can also go to so many Asian and Mediterranean food markets (which are not nearly as prevalent in the rest of France!).

So for dinner, Caro taught me how to make those samoussas (also known as samosas), which are savory pastries rolled up in triangles and filled with anything you want - we made ours with ground pork, tuna, and cheese (not all in the same one though!). To the meat ones, she added fresh chives (very important!) and onions. They are wrapped up in phyllo dough like a paper football and fried. It was so fun to make them, and they turned out deliciously! (I really wish I'd remembered to take pictures!) It was also a fun evening because we had a couple of people come over, my friend Christina and her friend Maude. Hopefully more dinner parties will be in our future!