Monday, April 26, 2010

Qu'est que c'est Paris?

Ok- I am sitting in Glorita's tiny flat right now. This is the only place I have been able to find wifi in all of Paris, so I will take you on a photo tour of what makes Paris, Paris. (Let me first apologize for all the misspellings of the French words- but I think you will be able to decipher what I am saying. One of the most amazing differences is the tiny little stores where people go to buy things. There is, of course, larger grocery stores, but most people go to the Patisserie for their sweets; they go to the butchery to buy their pate; they go to the boulangerie to buy their baguettes.
These shoes are real chocolate. They cost about $50.00 each!!

The displays in the patiseries are amazing. I have taken a fancy to the macaroons... delicious!

Here is Loren biting off the end of a freshly baked, warm baguette!

Here is a display is a shop that only sells Fois Gras. Did you know that Fois Gras is NOT pate? Pate has other parts of the animal in it; Fois Gras has ONLY the liver. Can you imagine a dtore that only sells Fois Gras?And the store fronts of all these places are works of art in themselves. Everything is displayed so beautifully.

Another very French thing are the markets that are in different parts of the city on different days. One of the best ones is right in our part of Le Marais. Here is a picture of a man in the market place fixing crepes! Yum!

Another very unique tradition is for lovers to put locks on one of the bridges as a symbol of their attachment to each other. Isn't that wonderful? The French are so romantic; there are couples kissing every where. It is kind of contagious!!

Most large cities, of course, have a public transportation system. But the Paris Metro is like no other. This picture is one of the Metro stops. Many of them are designed almost as works of art. I think it would be wonderful if all the artists of San Francisco could bid for a design of all the Muni stops. Wouldn't that be charming?

I also want to give you an idea of why the song "April in Paris" was written. We couldn't have picked a better time to come. The trees are just beginning to blossom, and you can feel Paris waking up after their long winter. Notre Dame in April is magical!

I think also because the weather has just turned so warm that the cafes are bustling. Everywhere we go the sidewalks are filled with people drinking and eating and laughing. I still haven't quite gotten used to hearing the French- it surprises me and is a constant reminder of where I am. The French language is so beautiful to hear.

We went on a hop-on-hop-off city bus tour yesterday, which was wonderful as it gave us a real sense of the layout of the city. We stopped off and had lunch at Montmartre - a very touristy place, but full of energy. After lunch we went and actually bought a latte at Starbucks. It was so familiar- with Tall, Grande and Vente sizes, but the latte itself tasted very different. I think the milk over here has a different taste. Montmartre is where the Moulin Rouge is- a bygone era, but still an attraction for the tourists.

We saw the Place du Concorde, the Opera House, the Invalides where Napoleon's tomb is, the Arc du Triumphe, the Champs Elysee, but by far the most amazing up close and personal thing was the Eiffel Tower. What a beautiful structure that just screams PARIS!!

I love San Francisco for being such a wonderful walking city, but it doesn't compare to Paris. We have walked all over, and I find myself drawn to the river each time. There are pathways that take you down along the river, and at night time all the young people spread blankets along the banks of the Seine with their wine bottles, cheese and baguettes. This picture is looking down towards the Ile de Cite and Notre Dame at sunset. Who could not fall in love with this place?


Off the Grid said...

All that in one-two days? sounds great!
But I must say..STARBUCKS? where is your spirit of adventure???

Unknown said...

Let us know about the la foire de paris this week (from the 04/29 to 05/9)