Tag Archives: Seine

Dinner By The Seine

Bonjour from Paris! I have been having great fun with my good friend Martha who is visiting from Houston. We are just about to walk out the door to go to the giant flea market, Clignancourt, on this sunny Monday (do you want us to pick you up anything?). Before we go, here are some photos from our picnic last week. This weather is made for “les pique-niques”!

We purchased our provisions from Wilson Market, which was abuzz with happy conversations among Parisians grateful for the warm spring morning. IMG_5391 IMG_5392 The strawberries are amazing right now. Solid red- not a thin layer of red surrounding a tasteless, white interior (like so many of ours at home seem to be).  We have been enjoying them in our yogurt for breakfast.

We carried our dinner and blanket to the river and found an open spot just as the sun was setting.

the chosen spot

the chosen spot

Mark and Martha- the perfect picnic companions

Mark and Martha- the perfect picnic companions

photo-bombed by the Eiffel Tower again

photo-bombed by the Eiffel Tower again

IMG_5405 IMG_5406 IMG_5410 Hooray for picnics!

Hooray for spring!

And as always- Hooray for Paris!

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Paris Once More

Bonjour from Paris, mes amis! I am so happy to be back in my apartment and soon to be back in my bed for a full night’s sleep (hear that, jet lag?). We made a salad for dinner, gathered a fresh baguette and some cheese and (duh) butter, and opened a tasty red wine. Now I am in my jammies, burning my favorite French candle and hoping to publish this post without any mistakes, in spite of my fuzzy-headed fatigue.

I went on a wonderful walk late this afternoon, which is the only way to survive one’s first day in Paris. The evening shadows were already growing long at 4:30, and I got to watch the sky glow with color as the sun disappeared. It was cold but not wet; the crowds were happy; and Paris still is festive in her holiday finery.

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I walked toward the Champs -Elysées and was happily surprised that the Christmas market was still buzzing with activity and redolent with the delicious smells of spiced wine, waffles, and churros.

love a Christmas red coat!

love a Christmas red coat!

                             chocolate!

chocolate!

The biggest problem with hot spiced wine, besides the fact that it often tastes like hot cough syrup, is how to drink it while walking in a crowd.

The biggest problem with hot spiced wine, besides the fact that it often tastes like hot cough syrup, is how to drink it while walking in a crowd.

A selfie stick- as seen on TV. And in every place around the world where tourists are.

A selfie stick- as seen on TV. And in every place around the world where tourists are.

After a short walk through the market, I couldn’t take it any more and so I crossed the Champs- Elysées at the Grand Palais and walked to the ever-popular Alexandre bridge. While there I snapped the Eiffel Tower in shades of lavender.

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From the other side you can see the ferris wheel at at the Tuileries.

From the other side you can see the ferris wheel at the Tuileries.

And then this happened and I swear to you it wasn't intentional. I'm sorry.

And then this happened and I swear to you it wasn’t intentional. I’m sorry.

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After crossing the bridge I walked along the river toward the Musee d’Orsay.

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Hello Orangerie through the bare trees.

I remembered to look behind me and loved these pinks.

I remembered to look behind me and loved these pinks.

After crossing back over the river I was in the Tuileries at dusk.

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Back through the crowded market toward home

Back through the crowded market toward home

The Grand Palais was lit in blue for a big exhibition for which there was a very long line.

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Barbie got a mini for Christmas!

Barbie got a mini for Christmas!

window in a chocolate shop near my apartment

window in a chocolate shop near my apartment

The florist near me was finished with Christmas and was moving on to tulips. I’m all for that.

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And now I get to go to sleep. I’m all for that, too.

Bon soir, my friends!

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Take Me To The River

There are quite a few things I don’t like about my neighborhood here in the 8th arrondissement.  I am surrounded by office buildings, haute couture boutiques, the President’s office, and the chain stores on the Champs Elysees , but  there are not many shops for me to use on a regular basis.  I am pretty sure I could buy a Renoir more easily than I can select a nice assortment of cheeses at a fromagerie.  I have to take a bus or metro to do any serious grocery shopping or go to a market.  However, one thing I have always liked about my location is my proximity to the Seine.  Just a fifteen minute walk across the Champs Elysees and past all the fashion windows of Ave. Montaigne, and I am at the Pont d’Alma(the bridge which is almost at the feet of the Eiffel Tower).  I can cross the river and then walk alongside it to another bridge, re-cross and walk back home. When I had Wonderchien here with me, it was a great route for our regular walks.  Up until recently, however, when I walked along the other side of the river, I had to walk way above it, while very busy lanes of traffic zoomed between the water and me.  Not any more!  This summer the City of Paris completed a major overhaul of a 2.3 kilometer stretch of the Left Bank, between Pont d’Alma and the Musee d’Orsay.  The project is called Les Berges de Seine, and it is awesome!

This beautiful part of the river is no longer flanked by zooming cars, but has been transformed into a multi-use recreational area for walkers, joggers, bikers, skateboarders, kids, picnic packers, and those who just want to enjoy an apertif or a light meal while gazing at the river.  I have heard from my French friends (yes, BOTH of them) that this is pretty controversial in Paris because it has closed a major traffic artery, making the traffic problem in the city worse.  But since I don’t drive, I have no complaints at all, other than I wish they had done it sooner!

Mark and I walked down there last Sunday night after unpacking from our weekend trip to Bordeaux, and we were  delighted with the facilities and the buzz of activity happening there.  There were people everywhere- jogging, riding bikes, roller blading, walking, and picnicking on the edge of the river.  There are little bridges that connect the riverbank to floating  gardens with comfortable chairs and even some green grass.  Mark and I found an empty table at one of the many cafes set up there, and we enjoyed a cold beer while watching the scene on the Seine.  It was divine.

I returned this morning (Thursday) to get some better photos, and there were very few people, but security was apparent  and there was no trash to be seen.

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running lanes and a climbing area for les enfants

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I could rent a bike and never have to venture out onto a Paris street!

I could rent a bike and never have to venture out onto a Paris street!

These little rooms are able to be reserved for your private use.  Book club, maybe?

These little rooms are able to be reserved for your private use. Book club, maybe?

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view from above

view from above

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bridge to floating gardens

bridge to floating gardens

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plenty of bathrooms, water fountains, and trash cans- look how clean!

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this skateboard ramp was very busy on Sunday

bridge to floating gardens

bridge to floating gardens

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byo sunscreen

byo sunscreen

looks like a cruise ship!

looks like a cruise ship!

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Well done, Paris, well done!

Next time you are in Paris you must check it out.  Just don’t ask your taxi driver what he thinks of it.

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We’ll Always Have Paris—-just not this weekend

Paris Beach

Bonjour from Paris!  I arrived Thursday morning, feeling fairly perky due to an unexpected upgrade to Business Class.  I texted Mark from the Air France Lounge in Houston that I was already loving flying business.  He responded with,  “Don’t get used to it.” and I quickly shot back “Too late.”.  I explored all the bells and whistles of my seat when I got in it, and almost wept when I saw the buttons showing me how to make my seat go completely flat, as seen on TV.  Wow.  That is the way to fly.  It would have been even nicer if I had not dragged a corner of my napkin through the dollup of mayonnaise adorning my shrimp, crab and mango salad, and then carefully placed it in my lap, unaware of my faux pas, thereby managing to sully not one but both pieces of my outfit before I was even over Cincinatti.  I might as well have been wearing a sign saying “Business Class Imposter” or “Not Yet Ready for Business Class”.  The good news was they didn’t kick me out , and I had a washer, dryer, and iron waiting for me in Paris.

I spent the day getting to know my apartment, as this was the first time I had seen it with our own stuff in it.  I think it looks as though we bought our furniture with this space in mind.  I’m so happy with how it all fits.  Here are some visual aids, although I will do a more thorough tour for you once we are completely  moved in.

Living Room (former sunroom furniture)

Den (with Martha's M's favorite red chairs)

Soooo Mark worked a lot on Thursday and Friday, as I had expected.  We were looking forward to having the weekend together before we flew to Spain on Monday morning.  However, an unfortunate development at work  required him to fly off to New York Saturday morning.  He hopes to meet me in Spain on Tuesday in time for dinner.  And so it is that my romantic Paris weekend for two has turned into a party of one.

Determined not to sit here and mope, I bought a few groceries and then set out to see Paris Plages, which I had read about but never seen.  For several weeks each August, the banks of the Seine are transformed into a sandy beach, complete with palm trees and deck chairs.  It’s a nice diversion for the few Parisians who don’t get to flee the city for the month, and for those tourists lucky enough to be here for it.  AND it’s completely free!

I took pictures for you.

Paris Beach

Pay no attention to the couples making out in the middle of the photo. Ewww.

I decided to make a sand castle while I was there. I thought it turned out pretty good.

Tiny people in a deck chair.

On the metro ride home, two cute little girls not more than 9 years old tried to lift the wallet of a woman standing right next to me.  I seem to attract pickpockets on the metro.  So when you come visit, don’t stand by the doors, don’t carry a purse that doesn’t zip, and don’t ride in the same car I do.  Because I would so hate for any of my friends or family to have to endure the hell that is the Texas Department of Public Safety, which was the worst part of having my wallet lifted on the metro.  Don’t let it happen to you.

Be careful, my friends.  Even little girls are out to get you.

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