Today my friend Gabrielle and I had lunch at Studio 38, which is "guarded" by a very large dog. As the dog sleeps directly in front of the doorway, one literally has to step over the dog to enter the restaurant. But the food is nice and the atmosphere genial - except for the diner seated on my left. She had finished her meal and blew smoke over ours, while we were eating. This is France, after all. Lots of smokers here; I should be used to it by now.
Last night my husband and I had dinner at La Blanchisserie, a combination art gallery, jazz club and restaurant/cantine. La Banchisserie was once a French laundry and retains the beautiful original building, tall chimney tower, cobblestoned courtyard and beautiful brick walls. We were seated outdoors, with the only light from votives flickering on the tables and a small ground-level lighting system.
At a table nearby, an elegantly-dressed woman was sitting with her four-or-five-year-old daughter. During the first part of the meal, the woman talked incessantly on her cell phone, ignoring her daughter. In the child's bid to get her mother's attention, she wandered around the courtyard, rearranging glasses and table arrangements, running around the empty tables and plugging and unplugging the ground-level lights.
The woman completely ignored her child, until she unplugged the lights. Finally she stopped talking on the phone, insisted her daughter sit down and then chatted with her. The little girl was still loud, but stayed in her chair and ate her dinner - all she'd wanted was her mother's attention.