Postcard from Toulouse, France: Is there any logic to the wandering eye?

Above: Place de la Trinité

When I started sorting through our images of Toulouse, more shots seemed to be landing in the random file than normal. Part of that is the patterns of the city itself. The imaginative use of brick and stone, far more striking than the staid formal Williamsburg-look abundant in my original home state. And the way Toulouse tends to reuse not tear down the old, with an unbridled free-spirited approach to mixing centuries of architectural styles in the same block.

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Postcard from Toulouse, France: Flavors with a different accent

Above: Vegetarian version of the generous planches found at Prosciutteria

When traveling and eating out every day, sometimes you crave breaking out of the regional mode. A wild abundance of vegetables was our goal when we ducked into Prosciutteria on Rue des Filatiers. We found ourselves well-rewarded with a vegetarian appetizer board, so abundant we shared and ordered nothing else. Well, aside from wine. Subsequently, we found their salads and bruschetone equally as fresh and good.

Rue des Filatiers was our neighborhood, so we tried several other casual spots there as well, all with fine street-side people-watching opportunities. We found ourselves grabbing amply filled empanadas to-go for cocktail-hour snacks from El Almacen – Empanadas. Miss Fish appeared to be brand new, or only recently reopened, and boasted a nice variety of seafood. It seems a place that should prove particularly popular with British travelers missing their fish and chips.

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Postcard from Toulouse, France: Arts festival reflected on contemporary condition

“Going from Nowhere. Coming from Nowhere,” a neon installation by Maurizio Nannucci, casts reflections onto the Garonne River during Le Printemps de Septembre.

When we were in Toulouse this past fall, several of the city’s major museums were closed for remodeling, COVID or a combination of the two reasons. They were all scheduled for reopening in early 2022, so probably have unlocked their doors by now.

The arts were not being ignored though, particularly during Le Printemps de Septembre, a month-long city-wide celebration that ran through mid-October. The theme for the 2021 festival was “Sur les Cendres de l’Hacienda/On the Ashes of the Hacienda,” a theme selected pre-pandemic and promoting artists who expose disaster, stand up to it and look ahead. For the gallery-hesitant, the night-time illuminations along the banks of the Garonne River were stunning.

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