Thursday, October 24, 2013

Paris Journal IX: The Air France Business Class Lounge at CDG

Air France Business Class Lounge at Charles De Gaulle
One of the hidden jewels of France is the business class lounge at Charles de Gaulle. The lounge has a delicious selection of cheeses, including an excellent brie, potage au legumes, abundant cornichons, roast veal and Lay’s Chips a Ancienne, all served buffet style. Save up your frequent flier points and travel to Paris (the business class at JFK is no slouch either and makes Delta’s new addition look lame) and stay in the lounge if you want a taste of la vielle France. Then come right home, aller et retour en Francais. The truth is that the food and just about everything in Paris sucks. If you want to eat a casserole composed of beans, sausage and a fatty duck leg (confit de canard), then give them cassoulet but the City of Light is a far cry from the days when Hemingway marched down the Champs Elysee with victorious Allied troups and repaired to The Ritz.  L’Arc de Triomphe, Le Place de la Concorde  and Le Jardin deTuileries are all on the skids and have been hurting for quite some time. Today the municipal market off St Germain is the equivalent of your average suburban mall, with the Gap and other chains proliferating and the venerable old pomme fritte or French fry is nowhere to be found (with the exception of American fast food joints like Burger King and McDonald’s). OK, everyone is always going on about Le Louvre, the Louvre, the Louvre. Yet even the Louvre has been turned into a shopping mall. It’s not worth the 45 minute ride in from the airport.

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