Claude liked the restaurants he did, I think, at least partially because he could depend on them. He valued consistency and tradition. For him, the real Paris, while not mired in the past, knew the past, and appreciated its glories; novelty was diverting, but why would one want to be diverted from something one enjoyed just as it was? "Do you still like Paris?" I asked Claude once, after he had been going on about the disgracefulness of Parisian taxis or some such. He thought for a moment, grimaced, ticktocked his head back and forth a few times, and said, "Oui, apres tout, c'est pas mauvais." Yes, after all, it's not bad. This, from Claude, was a veritable encomium. "Does it still seem beautiful to you?" I continued. "Yes," he replied. Then, after a pause, he added, "And one eats rather well, too."