In Paris listening to a daily dose of philosophy mostly espoused by Americans in a poorly ventilated room of a French University. It is a very bizarre experience and during my non-conference hours I go to the grocery stores or look for apartments online. I imagine it is worthwhile getting to know what philosophers of mathematics are up to because they sometimes ask interesting questions and they greatly outnumber historians of mathematics in the United States. In an ideal world, they will all become devotees of history and buy my (future) book. For now, I consider the new vocabulary of modes, search space, and overspecification.

Yesterday, though, included a far more Parisian experience (well, not truly so since I imagine the grocery shopping is rather authentic) and a delightful surprise. When I told my mother that I had bought a couple dresses during the sales she recalled that a couple of devotees of this very blog (!) we’re also planning to be in Paris during the sales. So last night we met at Frenchie Bar à Vins.

The experience was fortuitous. Reviews repeat the near impossibility of getting a seat without arriving at 6:45 to queue before the doors open. We were all late (for a couple of reasons) and managed to be seated without a moment’s hesitation. It’s a tasty restaurant, the best part was the tortellini–both gorgeous and delicious–and not unlike many small plates places in Brooklyn, except the delightfully low cost of wine! At the end of the meal I went to use the toilet, and when I returned a conversation had been struck with our table-mates (it’s a tight space). They were a couple from Israel: a chef and a photographer. When my devoted relatives described me as a cooker of foods (not in those words), the chef grabbed my hands and examined them. I thought this might begin an awkward palm reading, but he was simply looking for scars, and I have a couple so that checked out (phew)!

The night ended with ice cream (well, sorbet, to be technical) on the île st louis and then a very long night of tossing and turning in 90 degree weather (had been 103 when the sun was shining). We may have a future ice cream related rendezvous (if you’re reading this, let’s definitely do ice cream Saturday night!), in the meantime it’s back to objects, representations, and things in themselves.