In Paris, sometimes it’s possible to find three bakeries on a single block–they’re omnipresent. When I rented my apartment, I was delighted to find one just around the corner sharing the same courtyard as me. Living near a boulangerie has it’s advantages: five flavors of tarts at your fingertips, plus pain du chocolate always present and the wonderful smell of baguettes baking.
But bakers get to work before sunlight to ensure that warm pasteries are ready for people commuting to work, children on their way to school and locals who stop by each morning for their daily bread. So at around 4:00 a.m., I am awakened by the smell of fresh baking bread, an aroma powerful and inviting, like a cartoon cloud as it curls beneath my nostrils and gently tugs at my consciousness. To be awakened by such a delicious aroma is wonderful, but 4:00 a.m.?