Place des Vosges – Tuesday 5/22/2007

We set off throuh the city on our way to a couple of parks suggested by Eric Maisel as good places to write. I’d written for two hours in bed before we took off, so I was feeling rightious and ready for a little more scribbling. (Since arriving in Paris, I’d been writing at least 2 hours a day. That was the deal.)

We saw this street art on the rue San Andres des Arts, I think.

Lions on one of the four fountains in the Place des Vosges. I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I’d be. I mean, on of the things they are proud of about this place is the uniformity of the buildings, as you’ll see if you click on a link. Huh. I mean one of the things I like about Paris is that the builders will give you 10 angles on a roof that in the States you’d only be able to muster one or maybe two for. (I know I have an example of this somewhere in the 1770…)

We followed Maisel’s directions to a perfect little park called V???? Saint Gilles. Just a small place where like-minded people come to quietly enjoy lunch. This guy was feasting on one of the crisp and delish panninis you can buy on the street.

We saw examples of this street art recurring in various places. Wish I’d taken more shots of them!

We went from the park in search of a shop called Cornershop that I’d seen an ad for in the Metro. Cool little designer housewares. Then to Monoprix, where I found a perfect carafe for my eau for only 2.60 Euros!

On our way back to the busstop, we ran into the amazing ceramics and silverware shop La Vaissellerie. Absolutely my kind of place. I bought some little espresso spoons, six for 3 Euros, and a little yellow pot I’m using for butter, and a couple of other little things. We’re not big shoppers, but when we do, we enjoy ourselves.

Cute baby’s tee shirt we saw in a shop window on the way home… “My mommy always says yes.”

Booked a hotel for our last night just around the corner from the cybercafe. Whew. Nice to have that settled. We’d enquired at about 8 local hotels, but they were all full. Hmph. And Vladimir had told us not to worry, he’d help us find a place. He did not. Ah well.


Pere Lachaise – Monday 5/21/2007

Now this is the way to clean a street. None of this riding around on a machine that just kicks the dust around, like they do in L.A. You don’t even have to move your car for these guys to do their work!

We went back to Montmarte because Mom hadn’t gone. Had a nice stroll around, but didn’t find the same square that Hydra and I had visited. We’d planned to take the funicular to Sacre Couer, but it wasn’t running!

Stopped for lunch in the neighborhood. We had so many cafe au laits (Mom) and regular espresso-style cafes (me) that I thought I should get a photo of them. Great way to top off a meal.

We bought a map at the entrance to Pere Lachaise cemetery, and the vendor let us pay 2 US dollars rather than 2 Euros, which is a savings of about seventy cents. In order, he said, to show his company’s continuing gratitude for the U.S. liberating Paris. Nice surprise.

Just liked the look on this woman’s face.

Oooh, now this is what I was hoping for more of. Sort of creepy stuff. There was less of it than I expected, but I liked this a lot.

Another expressive statue.

There were also a handful of more recent graves. These pebbles were arranged on the tomb of an infant. Toys had also been placed all over the surface.

Just a shot of our supper. Typical meal at home in Paris for us. We are beginning to seriously crave veggies.

O, How the Mighty Are Fallen – Saturday 5/19/2007 and Sunday 5/20/2007

You may or may not have noticed that I don’t post photos of myself very often. Well, I don’t take photos of myself. So it stands to reason that I’d feel compelled to post this one, which is completely unflattering. It’s a reenactment of my tumble down the stairs from our loft bed in the studio apartment. I was heading down to write early in the morning.

May I just say OUCH! There was seriously a moment after I’d fallen (my feet had been about 3 feet above floor level before I fell) when the breath was knocked out of me and I wondered if I’d ever walk again. I still don’t understand how I didn’t break my neck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about this.

Poor Mom, having to hear all that! Yikes. I did go into shock. Shivering and all that. Went back to sleep on the couch downstairs for a few hours. Developed a hematoma on the back of my leg (don’t Google hematoma, you’ll regret it). Trust me when I say that I had one before of the variety that is a sort of bag of blood under the skin, without a lot of skin discoloration until a couple of days later.

I felt pretty good, other than my leg hurting off and on, but getting out and moving seemed best, so we did.

Small bottles of olive oil hung as a chandelier at Olivier & Co., on rue Cler. We went back to this market street to pick up wedding gifts.

This was our shopping day. Rue Cler, and then off to the Marais district where we found the BHV department store. Where I found gifties for my writing group! We found out from a couple of guys on the bus that Samaritaine has been closed because fire hazards were discovered. No wonder we couldn’t find it in the Yellow Pages! (And it was about 4 blocks from our apartment, if we’d only looked UP!)

It was our day for getting roughed up. As we got on the Metro, the doors slammed shut on Mom! Whomp. She wasn’t getting out without a bruise. Scary!

Hydra called this evening, sounding like a French woman, and I was completly stumped, thinking it must be for Vladimir, the owner of the apartment, until I heard him trill Chevrolet coupe’! Sheesh!

Okay, I messed up when I posted this the first time because I was looking at the photos, not my little notebook. We went back to the Musee d’Orsay on Sunday the 20th. But the rest is all true all the time.

Safe inside the Musee d’Orsay. Yes, we went back and spent another few hours here, and had lunch in the cafe, behind the clock (not this clock). This photo was taken from the observation platform at the top.

One of my favorite pieces. And the light from the window was very helpful.

I was waiting for this hallway to be clear of people in order to take a photo, but one or two stragglers would always be there, and they often stopped to look out through one of the small openings down to the floor below. (This is the wall shown in the overview photo above.) Finally, I got it: this is the picture, not the empty hallway!

Stopped by a traiteur (no not a Vichy sympathizer, a deli) on rue de Buci to pick up a couple of salads to go along with our bread and cheese for dinner. Mmmm.

The area we stayed in was dotted with art galleries. This installation went in kitty-corner across the street while we were there, I think. Seemed like we’d seen it empty when we first arrived.