Tag Archives: Saint Germain

Staying Cool In Paris

Friday was a scorcher in Paris, with the high around 91 degrees. I knew it was going to be hot, so I planned to leave the apartment early, avoid enclosed spaces, and be home again soon after lunch. The last place you want to be on a hot day in Paris is in a restaurant or, even worse, in a store trying on clothes. Just don’t do it. Unless you happen to find a store with really good air-conditioning, in which case call me.

I walked up my side of the river all the way to the lovely Pont Neuf (which means “new bridge” but it’s actually the oldest, because the French like to confuse you that way), which I crossed to the Isle de la Cité.

I adore this bridge. The first stone was said to have been laid for it in 1578 by King Henry III.

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You can look over this bridge for a nice view of one of the best picnic spots in Paris. This little park is called the Square du Vert-Galant, and is at the very tip of the Isle de la Cité.

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IMG_2268I wandered around on the little island until I found myself at a small square, all tucked away and quiet. This was its name-o.

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Yeah, some grass would have been nice, but on this hot day I was happy to find empty space with shade.

Place Dauphine was surrounded by several restaurants and some pretty old buildings. It backed up to the Palais du Justice.

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Palais du Justice

Palais du Justice

I found a table on a terrace and lingered over my Diet Coke and lentil salad. My bottle of soda was five euros and the waitress happily brought me more ice, so it was totally worth it. The guys sitting next to me (as in six inches away) were already discussing their plans for les vacances. I love these people.

After lunch I crossed over to the other bank and walked through Saint-Germain. The sidewalks were full of people eating and drinking and savoring the summer day. I enjoy seeing what the Parisians look like when they are unwrapped from their coats and scarves and boots. Most women wear loose skirts or sundresses and sandals, with an occasional straw hat. Hems are on the short side but not overly revealing.

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Rarely does a French woman wear shorts, although some of the younger ones attempt the shorts-with-tights look, which I simply cannot get behind.

Just no.

Just no.

I am loving this bright blue color, which seems to be popping up everywhere.

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This woman opted for an orange Goyard, a color choice I particularly applaud.

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This little guy was clearly hoping for rain.

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A few more favorite shots of Saint-Germain, where I must have lived in a previous life because I love it so.

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IMG_2275My Fit Bit finally buzzed and I opted to catch a bus the rest of the way home. When I got on the 83 I knew before even swiping my Navigo transport pass that the temperature inside the bus was at least equal to its number. The wave of heat hit me as I climbed up and then turned to face the miserable passengers, furiously fanning themselves with anything they could find to move air. The buses, though un-airconditioned, are rarely this hot. I stayed on as long as I could stand it, and then flung myself off when I couldn’t, and walked the rest of the way. Lawdy, that bus was broiling.

So that was my Friday! I went home and enjoyed the breeze blowing through my apartment. And I wrote blog posts. Which I hope you enjoy.

Signing off.

Staying cool.

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Filed under Isle de la Cite, Paris

Sunday Morning Walk to the Raspail Market

“Bon dimanche,” as one sometimes hears in France. Or, “happy Sunday”, as one never hears at home. My Sunday began gray and cold, but I was determined to take a long walk and the dreary weather did not deter me. As it turned out, a puffy coat, warm scarf, hat, gloves, and a brisk pace kept me perfectly comfortable. The sun surprised me along the way, (of course it did, seeing as how I hadn’t brought my sunglasses) and the morning developed into a lovely day. I enjoyed my outing so much that I found myself wishing for a walking companion with whom to share my joy. Being solo, I opted to take a lot of pictures, and I hope they will communicate some of the contentment I felt along the way.

These red cranes were lined up on the Champs-Elysées near the Grand Palais. I loved the way they looked through the bare trees

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I think I might have gotten cold if I had been waiting in this looooong line at the Grand Palais. All these folks had waited until the final day of the Hokusai exhibit and were paying the price for their procrastination.

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Um, no thanks I”ll pass.

It was a tad chilly for the upper deck of the tourist tour bus.

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After crossing the river, I began walking with my eyes looking up at the elegant buildings lining Blvd. Saint-Germain.

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Also along this street are several sad signs honoring soldiers who died there in World War II.

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Many pastry shops still feature the lovely “galettes du roi”, which are made of puff pastry and almond paste and eaten in December and January in observance of Epiphany. Each contains a darling little “feve” which one hopes to get in his or her piece but also hopes not to break a tooth on. He who gets the prize gets to wear the crown! Need I mention that these taste infinitely better than American king cakes? I didn’t think so.

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I walked a bit longer than I needed to behind this mom and daughter because she was so darned cute.

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Hellooooo? Does anyone up there want to go on a walk with me?

My destination was the Sunday organic market at Avenue Raspail. I didn’t need to buy produce, but it’s always entertaining. And beautiful. Oh my.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

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Bonjour Madame!

Bonjour Madame!

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

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Winter produce is so photogenic!

I wandered around a bit after leaving the market, because it was just too pretty to hop on the bus for home.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

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Cuteness abounds.

Cuteness abounds.

When at last I got on the 83, I sat in the very back of the bus, which is an elevated row of seats. I pretty much felt like the Boss of the Bus.

Home, James.

Home, James.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Instead of my usual bounty of produce, today I have only some delicious baked items from my trip to the market.

This gorgeous English muffin was delicious with a cup of tea when I got home. Of course, it was really just another vehicle for salted butter, but whatever.

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And what do you think these are?

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If you said “tomato and onion and cheese tartlet to go with your lentil soup tonight”, you are correct. If you said they look like boobies, you are just nasty.

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Because they clearly look like eyes. And the nose and mouth are “chaussons aux pommes”. Apple turnovers to you. Dessert to me. Yum!

I really loved my Sunday morning. I hope that you found some joy in yours, too. Thanks for letting me be part of it!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Marche Raspail, Paris in winter