Once upon a time…how many stories of our youth began with those four words?
And some days we find that they still lead to avenues for adult adventures.
Thus…once upon a time…the well-hyped No Reservations television show, which aims to appeal to wannabe travelers and travel writers, foodies and photographers, began a pretty damn successful series of episodes—100 to be exact—at the city of the scenic Seine in Paris, France.
And, tonight they return to the scene of great cuisine.
This new episode piggybacks onto a special hour of “what were we thinking” reminiscing, where we learn that Tony hates the episode-concluding philosophizing, the so-called “sum up,” almost as much as we sometimes do.
How does Bourdain, himself, describe the basic theme of the series?
He says, basically, he eats too much, drinks too much, and talks too much.
Tell me I’m not perfect for this job description.
Back to his return to the show’s roots.
Our snarky, sassy, and sexy (to some) host, Tony Bourdain, reminds us that there is much to do in Paris (some of which seems almost obligatory according to what?, the guidebooks, friends that preceded our visit, movies, and yes, television shows), but we would be well served to just go out and experience what the City of Love presents to us on a daily basis.
While no one will ever confuse me with Rick Steves, I will point out a few things that might help guide your visit.
Don’t just expect to find fine French cuisine. Sometimes, as my wife and I discovered on our walk back from Montmartre, past the famous Moulin Rouge, on our way back to Rue Cler (or Rue Rick Steves, as some people call it), you find interesting foods from other locales, or combinations thereof.
No doubt you have heard that Paris is home for more than a few museums, maybe none more well known than the Louvre.
But, there are many, many more. I think my wife had me visit about 75 of them.
We stopped in at one, primarily to see a famous statue at the Musée Rodin à Paris, as you can see in the following picture.
I’m not sure, while assuming the identical pose, why I look like I am napping while Mr. Thinker Dude looks deep in contemplation.
Maybe I should have posed sans clothing.
While there, I also photographed a group of very young students on a museum tour with their teacher. If you take a look at the following picture you will surmise two simple facts.
First, by immersing these young kids to the beauty of a naked woman—in an artistic sort of way, of course—do you think that they might just grow up with less sexual hang-ups than children that are vigorously “protected” from seeing similar scenes? Just wondering.
Also, with the look at that young lad’s eyes, I wonder if we see a future career path of fine art forgery.
And, here is a picture of someone with, what looks like, size 14 shoes (that’s a staggering 48+ in European shoe sizing), framing a famous landmark in Paris.
The so-called guidebooks, or pseudo factual websites, such as Wikipedia, will claim that Point Zero is at the geographical center of maps, not only of Paris, but all of France.
I say, HA!
Point Zero is a monument in Paris, placed strategically right in front of the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame.
And, do you know what is directly above your head when you stand over the monument?
This is the view looking up towards the sky.
The real reason this point was labeled as Point Zero is that a “certain group,” and they know who they are, have placed certain menacing statues that can be made to quietly fall on an unsuspecting person, who would have “zero” chance of survival.
How do I know this controversial factoid?
Well, I just happened to have downloaded an advanced copy (sent to me by a Nigerian Prince in return for doing him a favor of cashing a huge check for him and sending him just a few thousand of my dollars) of the Da Vinci Code, Part 9, where Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks at age 83 and in a wheelchair) chases some scary albino dude around Paris, solving colorful mysteries involving questionable historical and religious facts, with an ominous soundtrack playing in the background.
I’m sure Bourdain will have some of his own impressions of his two visits to Paris, 100 episodes hence.
And what makes this show different from the dozens of other foodie programs that litter the airways?
Well, Tony says while other shows edit out the bad s#!t, the producers of No Reservations just wait in hope of Bourdain might “shat his pants.”
Past show highlights include his worst meal ever (shark meat that has been marinating for months in urine) and yet another glimpse of our favorite fixer, the infamous Zamir.
Here are some of Tony’s travel tips for the soon to be tipsy:
Yes, for many of you, the new episodes have already aired, but—trust me on this—they are repeated over, and over, and over on basic cable, or however it is you pick up the shows off the web. All you missed was watching a whole day of past shows, and we all know you have better things to do with your time.
Like, getting ready to watch the show on Paris by opening that bottle(s!) of wine—and “sampling it,” just to make sure it is still good…
warm up your loaf…
and cut the cheese.
In one more tip, Tony reveals your chance of getting “lucky” with a date after enjoying a nice meal with a bottle of wine is inversely proportional to the descriptive name of the bottle seal, e.g. if it had a screw cap vs. a cork.
(Think about it.)
À votre santé.