Dan talked me through preparing this dish (while he grilled garlic rosemary lamb chops on his deck) when we stayed at his place in Amsterdam last weekend. It’s an extremely simplified version of bruschetta, designed to be served family-style, preferably with a half-dozen friends and a few good beers.
The lady at my bakery handed me a warm baguette this morning and said, “Merci, à bientôt.” It felt like an achievement. When I first arrived, and began to stumblingly ask for “un, er, une baguette, sil vous plait?” it was always met with a stony look, a stone cold baguette, and a “Merci madame, au revoir.” But now, having patronized this place for two months, sometimes with visits both in the morning (for our daily baguette) and afternoon (for un petite plaisir — a canelé or mille-feuille), perhaps I’ve made it clear that I’m not a tourist, and I’ll be here for a while. And so, à bientôt: see you later.
You would like Amsterdam. It’s not just weed and hookers (though the pot haze that hangs over certain parts of the city at night is certainly part of its charm). Amsterdam has a certain glow about it that no other city, not even Paris, can emulate. It’s the sun glinting off the water, the trees that rustle at the slightest breeze, the constant brrring ding of bicycle bells. Even the seedier habits of the city seem to elicit little more than a shrug and a smile.
Lyon is France’s “second city” (though I guess Marseilles could also be called that). It’s like a smaller, cleaner Paris, with red roofs instead of blue. It was in Lyon that we had our first “long” trip since I’ve been here. We stayed for about a week while Tim was helping out at the WWW Conference.
I struggled to find the poetry in Munich. The boy and I were there for about four days, visiting with his best friend Zipper while he was in town for a conference.
The trouble with traveling in Europe is that, unlike traveling anywhere in California, where the weather is generally dependable (or at least predictable) for most of the year, a marginally sunny weekend in Spring has, so far, been beyond our reach in Europe. Munich was grey and dreary the entire time we were there, which certainly puts a damper on any kind of sightseeing excursion and can make even the most charming cities seem dull and damp and lonely.