Mint, French Idol, Night Walk & Anniversary …

Over the years, each time I’ve passed La Monnaie de Paris – the French equivalent of a Mint in English – I’ve wondered what actually went on in there. I understood it was the place responsible for manufacturing circulating coins for the French Republic, but it was one of few very centrally-located public buildings that I’ve never wandered into. This week, La Monnaie de Paris, working with UNESCO and Cartier, issued a limited-edition (29 coins) coin containing one kilo (2.2 pounds) of gold as well as diamonds from Cartier. The coin pays tribute to the Taj Mahal, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Perfect excuse to finally go in La Monnaie de Paris.

Limited Edition Taj Mahal tribute coin made with 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of gold and Cartier diamonds

There was a short ceremony from executives of La Monnaie de Paris and Cartier with the highlight being the free food and drinks of course. The inside of the building was pretty spectacular and was lit in a beautiful way. It wasn’t the most interesting event but I’m glad I finally got to see the inside of a building I’ve walked by so many times.

La Monnaie de Paris

Suffered the indignation of photographing Adam Lambert in concert in Paris. I literally had only heard this guy’s name once or twice before in my life but evidently he seems to be pretty well-known certainly in the US and in some countries abroad. Here in Paris he played in a very small venue – Le Trabendo in Parc de la Villette – but in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd. I have no idea about this guy’s music but his show is pretty good for the camera.

Adam Lambert in concert - Le Trabendo in Paris

We had one night this week where the weather wasn’t so cold and it happened to be on a Saturday. I had the feeling that everyone in town felt like this would be the last night of reasonable weather for the year so there were a ton of people out and about. I grabbed my camera and just went for a night walk in my neighborhood.

Rue Mouffetard - Paris

It’s so nice at night around here, even more so when it’s not the manic energy that’s often on display during the hot summer nights. Cruised around the 5th arrondissement, walking by the Pantheon, through Place de la Contrescarpe and finally along rue Mouffetard. Sat in the Place for a while and just observed; I really enjoyed reconnecting with my neighborhood, which too often becomes so familiar that it goes unnoticed.

Rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève - Paris

Finally another anniversary of my birth took place this last week. M took me to what is considered the best Mexican restaurant in Paris – Ahuacalli. The restaurant is right around the corner from my apartment and yet surprisingly, I’d never been there before; maybe because I find it difficult to stomach paying about $20 for a burrito.

Birth Anniversary Mexican dinner

The meal was pretty average by California standards but above average for Mexican food here in Paris. They really don’t have a lot of competition, except for the more casual Mexican place that I recently blogged about, which I think has better food.

One thing I don’t want to forget on my birth anniversary week is to once again apologize to my mother for the ridiculously long labor I put her through on my first day on earth. Sorry mom! 😉

Some photos of the week:

Man observing Taj Mahal coin - La Monnaie de Paris

Adam Lambert in concert - Le Trabendo in Paris

Alley off of rue Mouffetard - Paris

Some people leave their dogs outside when they go in a bank; some leave their baguette


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by The Second Baseman on November 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    The La Monnaie de Paris interior is beautiful…I wonder what the value of the coin is…Must be worth a few bucks or euros…


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