Category Archives: Seine

Sunset In Paris

One of my favorite parts of summer in Paris is the lingering daylight. Even though it really messes with my sleep patterns, I love how it stays light here now until 10:00. Paris is beautiful in any light, but there is something magical about the glow from the waning sun.

Mark was out of town on Monday night and I ventured out to the Pont des Arts (which has now re-opened with the temporary panels) to watch the sun set from the Seine.

The inside panels of the bridge have been decorated by several different street artists. As you can imagine, not everyone approves.

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of course the graffiti has already begun

I kind of like the melting locks

I kind of like the melting locks

The Pont Neuf was particularly lovely in the changing light.

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As you can see, the little park at the tip of the island is not only a favorite picnic spot, it also is popular with the sunset crowd. Not that you can’t do both simultaneously.

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I loved the numbers on this  bouquiniste  box.

I loved the numbers on this bouquiniste box.

The buildings turn toasty gold in the setting sun.

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Now facing west from the other side of the Pont des Arts, toward the Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower.

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I crossed back over the river at the Tuileries, which was trying to close for the night.

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looking to the other side of the Tuileries at the Louvre

Looking straight down the middle of the Tuileries, as the obelisk slices through the Arc de Triomph.

Looking straight down the middle of the Tuileries, as the obelisk slices through the Arc de Triomph.

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Finally, I strolled up Rue Rivoli to catch the metro home.

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I was tired and a little chilly, as I had neglected to bring a sweater, but pleased to have seen the show.

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C’est fini.

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Filed under Eiffel Tower, Isle de la Cite, love locks, Musee d'Orsay, Paris, Paris sunsets, Seine, Tuileries

More From The Weekend

Don’t worry- I promise not to go on any more about our boss seats at the French Open Women’s Finals on Saturday or that you might have seen us on TV sitting right behind Serena. Not another word.

If you come to Paris this summer you shouldn’t miss the Berges de Seine, which I have featured here several times. We love to walk down to this re-vitalized and pedestrianized bank of the river between Pont d’Alma and the Musée d’Orsay. Lucky for us it’s not too far to walk carrying a picnic or just a bottle of wine, as we did on Saturday evening. The sun is not setting here until close to 10:00, which allows plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings, the wine, and the sunset.

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Hey- didn’t I see you on TV earlier today?

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The Petit Palais was aglow when we passed it on our way home.

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Sunday afternoon Mark had to go to the office and I wandered around the Marais a bit. While many parts of Paris are closed on Sundays, the Marais is reliably hopping.

I was reminded that we are well into tourist season here in Paris. The streets were thronged with happy travelers, and the lines for falafel and gelato were staggering.

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The Place de Vosges was as crowded as I have ever seen it.

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I wandered off a main street and found this quiet spot.

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This lovely place, the Hôtel-de-Sens, was built from 1475-1519.

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A few other random things caught my eye.

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pomengranate juice, anyone?

pomegranate juice, anyone?

And finally, this group had attracted a nice crowd on a shady corner.

Do wop, do wop.

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Filed under Marais, Paris, Paris sunsets, petit palais, Place de Vosges, Seine

#lovewithoutlocks

You have probably heard about the “love lock” craze sweeping across Europe, driving thousands of tourists to memorialize their affection for each other by attaching a personalized metal padlock to bridges and tossing the key into the water. Paris seems to be particularly vulnerable to this frenzy, being the “City of Love” and also home to so many bridges. Sadly, the locks have spread like kudzu since they first appeared in 2008, becoming both an eyesore and a destructive hazard to the old metal bridges crossing the Seine.

The Pont des Arts is decorated with lovely iron work and hails from the 1800’s. The locks on this bridge are said to weigh in at a staggering 45 tons. It is not surprising that the bridge is stressed by the added weight, and has become in danger of dropping pieces of iron panels into the river. The locks are also an eyesore, completely blocking the view through the grills.

Sadly, the lock scourge is not limited to one bridge. The locks are appearing on every bridge that can accommodate a padlock, and also on metal structures throughout the city.

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Although the City of Paris has been expressing concern about the locks for five years, it wasn’t until this week that any formal plan of removal was activated. On Monday workers began removing the panels from the Pont des Arts and replacing them with temporary panels painted by street artists. Later, custom-made plexiglass will be installed over the historic grill work. A second bridge is also slated to be “unlocked” and protected from future abuse.

This photo shows the lock-covered panels leading to the Pont des Arts. This is what the bridge panels looked like before they were removed and replaced with the temporary pink and white panels seen in the background.

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Although the plexiglass solution will address the damage to the bridges, I fear that it will not do much to improve the aesthetics of the old structures. The panels are said to be washable, but how regularly do you think they will be washed? This replaced panel attached to the Pont Neuf is likely a sign of what we can expect the bridges to look like after the locks are removed.

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Aren’t people wonderful?

I will do a follow-up post showing you the Pont des Arts after its make-over. And all you lovers out there, consider lip-locks rather than love locks. Your favorite cities will thank you.

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Filed under Paris, Pont des Arts, Seine

Under A Winter Moon

Sunday evening we went to another vegetarian restaurant (Paris has more than one!) near Notre Dame. Although the day had been grey, the full moon shined brightly that night. Who could resist Paris under a full moon?

Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville

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IMG_4924The restaurant was called Le Grenier de Notre Dame. It was much cozier than the one we tried the night before, and the menu was more extensive. The food was quite good.

We ate upstairs, accessed by the tiniest spiral staircase you have ever climbed.

We ate upstairs, accessed by the tiniest spiral staircase you have ever climbed.

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As you can see, my camera is not really up to capturing the moon properly, but you can’t blame me for trying- that moon was really something. I hope you were able to enjoy it in your sky, too.

 

 

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Filed under Notre Dame, Paris, Paris dining, Seine

New Year’s Eve In Paris

How can this be the last day of 2014? It seems like we just got here.

Today was cold but not windy or wet, which is just about perfect winter weather for me. Our older daughter, Claire, arrived from Sweden (man that girl gets around) yesterday and this afternoon I dragged Mark and her out to enjoy the lights and bustle of the city.

Our first stop was Merci, one of my very favorite stores located in the northern Marais. Transforming an old wallpaper factory, Merci changes its themes and appearance many times a year, and is always edgy and cool. It sells clothing for men and women, and also household items and just generally fabulous stuff. I love it. Mark and Claire loved it, too.

The store is kind of hidden from the street- you have to walk down this pretty little hallway.

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The courtyard is always decorated with fun stuff, which usually includes a little car.

Precious sisters posing by the cute car!

Precious sisters posing by the cute car!

I love this viewing spot from the upstairs. Isn’t it cool the way the candles appear to be suspended in mid-air?

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Trying to beat the sunset, we hurried over to Notre Dame. I wanted to see the Christmas tree and was afraid that tonight might be its final appearance. The church was so pretty in the evening light.

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We were in need of a little warm-up, so we crossed the river and went to a brasserie for coffee and beer and maybe a banana-chocolate crepe. When we came back out, the sun was almost gone.

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If we can stay awake long enough, we plan to walk over to the Champs-Elysées at 11:30 for a celebratory light show. I”ll let you know how that works out….I am not known for being a night-owl.

Bonne Année to all from Paris!

See you next year!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Marais, Notre Dame, Paris, Paris sunsets, Seine

Meanwhile, Back In Paris

As others before me have noted, returning home from vacation is always a little easier when home is Paris. And, to make my homecoming even better, two of my favorite women are coming to hang out with me. On Thursday my fabulous mother and her equally fabulous sister are arriving for two weeks! Fortunately they are not ticketed on Air France, which (of course) is striking at the moment. I am beyond excited and have been busy thinking about what kinds of adventures the three of us can have together. And, of course, where we should eat. Because I am always thinking about my next two or three meals, particularly when I am eating them in Paris! Actually, it doesn’t matter where I am. My mind is perpetually on The Food Channel. Is that weird?

Monday I did a bit of tromping around, including a wonderful walk across the river and then across the Champ de Mars and then to lunch at a delightful little bistro called La Cantine Du Troquet Dupleix. I usually eat soup on this sunny little terrace, which is what I did yesterday- a delicious vichyssoise with potato and something else green which I have forgotten. It was a perfect, light lunch shared with a fun new friend from Boulder who writes here. Check her out!

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love this Passy bridge

love this Passy bridge

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Later in the afternoon I walked over to the newly restored Peninsula Hotel where my friend Mary Kay and I hoped to sip a cocktail at the rooftop bar, L’Oiseau Blanc. Much to our dismay, however, a private event precluded our visit. Never fear- I will not be deterred so easily, and I will try yet again to wrangle my way onto that fancy schmancy terrace. I  might even take my mom and auntie, if they promise to use their party manners.

If you have a moment, go to the Peninsula site and watch the video about the $999,000,000 renovation, and catch a few peeks of the inside of this glamorous hotel. At over 1000 euros per night for the starting rate, it’s the closest I will ever get to a room there.

I did take these pictures of the outside for you (fo free!).

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Not to be denied our right to pay an outrageous price for a drink, we marched right next door to the Hotel Raphael, where we had no problem getting a table with a view. I didn’t take any pictures, unlike the better blogger who snapped this great photo of the terrace and the view.

As you can see, it was a very tough day of post-vacation re-entry.

I do my best.

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Filed under Paris, Paris dining, Seine, Uncategorized

Paris, You Can Be A Real Beach

When people ask me what they should pack for their upcoming trip to Paris, I do not usually include flip-flops, beach towels, and sand toys in my recommendations. However, if you are planning to come to Paris between now and August 17, you might consider throwing those things in your suitcase. It’s that time again- Paris Plages- when segments of the Seine are transformed into a tropical wonderland. Well, almost.

I always enjoy taking pictures of this annual free event, which was designed to be a treat for those forlorn Parisians who are not able to flee to the beach this time of year, when so many others do. There are fun activities like sand castle competitions and dance lessons, and plenty of beach chairs for those who prefer to simply close their eyes and imagine the sound of the pounding surf.

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This summer the Louvre is getting in on the beach action. Activities designed to involve children in art are scheduled in this space.

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Thanks, mister!

Thanks, mister!

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These folks were getting a dance lesson when I walked by.

These folks were getting a dance lesson when I walked by.

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I loved this Eiffel Tower made of bistro chairs.

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And of course, a cute play area for the kids.

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I have never drunk a glass of rosé on the beach before, but this seems like the perfect beach to try it.

Cheers!

 

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Filed under Paris, Seine