TRAVEL with pat and lew

* impressions of Paris … July 2011

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 14, 2011

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Of course it’s a cliche. But you see it everywhere and it is beautiful, especially at dusk.

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We had a wonderful dinner with our friends Marilyn and Bernard, and on the way, Marilyn took this picture of us … the church in the background is one of the great shots from Woody Allen’s new film, Midnight in Paris, which of course we saw in Paris.

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Paris is a city of beautiful women … a photo shoot at the Opera … coffee at Starbucks … Madame Lenny emerging from a delightful passage … a classic lady on a bike … some younger women assaulting the studs at Abercrombie & Fitch on the Champs Elysees

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Strangers having dinner with Jim Haynes … he’s been organizing these events for 30 years or so every Sunday night … The cost is 25 euros, more or less … his friends cook the dinner … the location is Jim’s house and the adjacent garden area, in the 14th arrondissement … people learn about this from Jim’s website (http://www.jim-haynes.com/) and sign up until the guest list has filled the available space (less can be accommodated in winter than in summer) … the food and wine were excellent and plentiful … and the company was delightful, mostly English speaking, although from many different countries … everyone there was looking to meet others in Paris, for a variety of reasons … the result – a unique and entertaining evening

Jim is the guy in the apron … next to him are a couple who met at one of these dinners 13 years ago and have been married for the last 12 … lower left corner are  a professor at Queens College and a student at the same college, who had just met

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A fabulous experience at an afternoon auction at the Drouot Hotel … as many as 8 rooms operating at the same time … art, books, coins, cooking appliances, and a whole roomful of Louis Vuitton bags going for 250 or so euros

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Paris is loaded with great old passages … stunning architecture, beautiful shops, sometimes even bargains, espcially during July’s annual sale days

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Pat planned her trip to the Louvre for months … she had a list of the art and the details of each work she wanted to enjoy … on the way, I bought a sketch pad, two pencils and an eraser … I found a chair near this Greek fellow … I will NOT post my sketch!

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Adrian Leeds is one of the busiest Americans in Paris. She posts a blog (http://www.parlerparis.com/) which Pat reads regularly … very high content about what’s happening in Paris … Adrian also buys, renovates, sells and rents apartments in Paris … and she runs a monthly (2nd Tuesday) get together which features a speaker … this week that was Jeffrey Greene (author of French Spirits) who spoke entertainingly about living in the Burgundy area of France … we had a delightful afternoon and met many expats living in France including with our new Queens College friend from Jim Haynes’ dinner

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These are the steps where Owen Wilson waited for F. Scott and Ernest … up a hill and just below the Pantheon … there was no magic transport available at noon … but we did go to see the movie, for the second time … it is a marvelous, cultured fairy tale that is really a love story … for those who love the enduring beauty and eternal aura of Paris … thank you, Woody

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FOOTNOTE: after we we returned to Collioure, I was sitting on our terrace, looking out at a glorious panorama of white clouds floating above the Pyrenees Mountains. Suddenly, there were the same blue, white and red smoke trails I had seen in Paris. Nine powerful jets put on a display of precision flying that took my breath away. Rapid turns. Dives straight down from rather low altitudes. Soaring out over the Mediterranean Sea in broad swoops, at what seemed like barely a wing length apart. Turning on edge so it seemed as if there was but a single plane. It was just spectacular.  A private show just for me.

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Bastille Day … crowds along the Champs … an impressive military parade … jets overhead … Nicolas Sarkozy, the 23rd president of the French Republic … and the very real presence of Charles de Gaulle, the 1st president whose unique combination of arrogance, grandeur and political skills seem to infuse France as much today as they did in the aftermath of WWII

… but Bastille Day ??? … honoring a day when 6 criminals were set free and a process initiated that ultimately became one of the bloodiest episodes in civilized society, a time when nobody’s head was safe … I have read and read about the French Revolution and I still don’t understand what happened and what results it accomplished … but we nevertheless enjoy the day and wish the French well

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7 Responses to “* impressions of Paris … July 2011”

  1. Susan Otradovec said

    Her daughter isn’t too bad either!

  2. You two make me sick! I’m so jealous. Sounds fabu-
    lous. The pictures are wonderful. You MUST read
    The Paris Wife. It is Allen’s movie in print.
    Love, Lois Brown Schaffer

  3. Cheryl said

    Your picture story is lovely —- makes me want to pack my bags and head to…. guess where??

  4. Nijole Ladd said

    Wow- what a great post!!! Loved every bit of it- and sure did enjoy 14 Julliet celebrations today! It was great seeing you while in Paris. See you when you get back!!

  5. Linda Dixon said

    I enjoyed the visual renewal of Paris – a trip I made there several years ago. The City of Lights never looses its luster.
    Thanks.
    Linda D

  6. Linda said

    Thanks for the delightful walk down memory lane. Paris is as beautiful as ever. And Midnight in Paris is charming no matter where you see it. How wonderful to find the locations. Enjoy, enjoy!!
    Linda

  7. Kerry Lenny said

    Have you ever seen a more beautiful woman than my mother? I didn’t think so!

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