Sunday, August 1, 2010

Final Paris Blog: My Favorite Photos

Here are some of my favorite photos from this three month stay. Pourquoi? As the creator of the photograph, I look for something that meets any one or more of the following requirements: It is a beautiful scene, a special event, an interesting person who might have an unusual story, a fantastic building, a "cameo minute" that I wouldn't want to forget.
It could be a sad clown in Montmartre, a silly teenager with two colors of hair, a stunning (or crazy) building, nine new-born puppies, a child dancing with her fire-fighter Dad, lovers embracing (blurring protects their intimacy and adds a feeling of a painted portrait, I think) or anything that makes me want to step back and relive that moment.

California here I come...

The Last Few Days

I have been indulging myself fully this last week. The weather has drastically improved and allowed me to do whatever the heck I want.
In my restaurant reviews it shows that my friend Robbin and I went to a restaurant called "Drouant" as our splurge luncheon. We researched, debated and agreed on this as a good choice, but while it was alright it never approached the WOW status of our luncheon at Tour D'Argent last November.
On Friday I met with some "old" friends from London, Paul and Claire and we walked the Plages together and then went out for lunch. So good to see them. BTW, at the Seine Plages Claire and I joined, if but briefly, a tai chi class (photo). Paul caught us hamming it up. OK, he caught me hamming it up....
On Friday evening my new friend, Shahla, and I met in Montmartre for dinner and a nightclub. She is a lovely woman, who, while born and raised in Iran, now lives (officially) in New Zealand. She (photo) has started a new tour group called Women Tour Italy. I can only imagine that her tours will be as first class, intelligent and fun as she is. If you know of any women who are thinking about touring in Italy spread the word. Her official website is: .
We were excited about a nightclub that came highly recommended by Martine, our guide in Paris. It is called "Lapin Agile". A painting of this nightclub by Picasso sold for $50 million smackers in the 80s and now is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So off we went after dinner to this place. It was one of the more odd experiences I have had in Paris (she, too). It had a chintzy red interior with wooden tables and uncomfortable benches. The owner, his wife, the waiter and what looked to be their family and friends, played a variety of instruments and took turns singing or leading singalongs. But for the Anglo audience, which composed a good 50% of the guests, it was boring. They needed to teach French lyrics, intersperse well-know French and English songs so that the entire audience became involved. If that weren't enough, you could order three drinks: Water, Red Wine (one house wine) and Cherry Brandy. And to top the icing on the cake was a large crucifix across the room. It was so dark at first I didn't see it. The Shahla pointed out Jesus to me: "Do you see Jesus?" she asked. ?? Well, I'm Christian, but I don't actually see...."No, across the room!" she laughed Sure enough. There he was. Save your 24 e and spend it elsewhere. We spent a whole hour there (which felt like three) and left. The night street photo is of Montmartre at ll PM at night. Pretty, huh?
I have eaten in at least thirty restaurants just this trip alone and I have the price to pay when I get home. I probably will go Vegetarian till I get back to my right weight. I am too vain to do otherwise.
Of course, as I reported in restaurant reviews I had a fantastic dinning experience last night at Montparnasse restaurant on the 56th floor with panoramic views of my Eiffel Tower and WOW cuisine.
Today, Sunday, I have been very lazy. I should have taken off to Versailles to bike today but I decided to stay home and clean and pack (two of the things I like least in this world). I am also getting my blogs done! :)
As I have said from the start, if you want to get the heartbeat of Paris you need to go walking and observing. Today, I did jaunt on over to Parc de la Villette, the pac closest to my apartment. I could hear the concert (photo) from my apartment. Every ethnicity, every age, every flavor of humanity are in the parks here on weekends. I stumbled upon some absolutely beautiful black girls who were meeting for the first time through Facebook. Some spoke English. Most were Parisennes but they all were lovely, gracious and beautiful (photo).
Tonight I said good-bye to the Seine at a picnic dinner with my friend Robbin on the embankment of the River (photos). Usually on the bridge Ile St Louis there is entertainment. Tonight there was an American "band" complete with their own "vintage" dancer (photo) which we listened to from where we were on the embankment below. Other photos show our view from our picnic place.
Tomorrow night, Monday, we are going to a classical music concert at Eglise St Madeleine. I heard it before on my last trip but it really is so beautiful it is worth a return.
I hope for good weather so I can get one more time to bike in Versailles. And I also hope to see Marmotten Museum one more time, which I am ashamed to say I haven't seen this trip at all. That and a couple more farewell meals and I will be winging it home on Wednesday, the 4th of August.