Monday, 3 May 2010

Parisian Life


It's been a month, now, since I was in Paris.
How dream-like it seems now.  But isn't that the way with most breaks from real life?
I left for Texas less than 24 hours later, and have never really had time to process either the pictures or the memories from that trip.  Thank goodness that one (the pictures) leads to the other . . . because I only have to look at the face of this funny little dog to remember that Sunday morning at Le Marché des Enfants Rouge.  He hopped up to the counter, eyes bright and senses alert to all of the gustatory pleasures of the market.  Watching the denizens of Marais going about their Sunday business made me feel like I could almost slip into the skin of a true Parisienne.


I'd rather have a good baguette than all of the croissants, pain au chocolat, and dull, dry toast in the world. 


Fromage, anyone?  I could eat Salade Chevre Chaude for nearly every meal.


These pink parrot tulips were a shock of color in the city of gray stone and spring gray skies.

(Postscript on a tulip:  I couldn't wait to get home from my travels and see the tulips flowering in my own English garden.  Sadly, the deer couldn't resist them.  Only one pale green tulip escaped their voracious greed.)


The rather prosaic sight of a family walking in the rain.  And yet, what a grand backdrop! 
So much to look at on the street, but the eye is drawn upwards, too.


The sheer scope of Paris -- its historic sweep -- makes a person feel rather small.


Tourists are tiny dots of colour -- so minute, compared to even the Rose Window in Notre Dame.


Ours was a pedestrian adventure.
Maybe next time we will cruise down the Seine.


In the pursuit of falafel, near the Rue de Rosiers, we spotted this musician.
The lines are really long on a Sunday . . . so it's nice that entertainment is provided.


I can't remember what this guy was playing.  What I DO remember is that he jumped up and demanded a euro from me after I snapped his picture.  I obliged him, of course.


Putting on the Ritz near the Hôtel de Ville .
I was completely captivated by this charming performer.
She favored sensible shoes -- quite unlike some of the funky fashions we saw in the nearby shops.


The Marais is fab for window-shopping.
We didn't bother with the museums.  We were too busy watching the entertainment on the streets.


Teenagers huddled in packs outside of their lycées. Apparently, they use their breaks to work on their smoking skills.
Variations on the student uniform include black, stripes and plaid.
Bikes and backpacks are the student accouterments everywhere, I guess.


Even the cool grown-up kids wear black and sit outside . . so they can light up.
This homme is quintessentially Parisian to my eyes.


Happy Birthday, Jenni! 
Even though she was the guest of honour, she got stuck holding both umbrellas more than once.
(And she was a jolly good sport about it.)


The Café Charlot was our "local."  We were only in Paris for a few days, but we managed to drink there often enough to compare the café crème to the chocolate chaud.  Oh, and I may have had a Kir there as well . . . but not for breakfast.

My idea of bliss.

30 comments:

Beth said...

There’s something very positive to be said for such short jaunts – you can’t possibly “do” all the sights so you’re content to simply “be” – to observe the life around you and enjoy...
Such lovely pictures of both you and your friend!

marja-leena said...

Oh, this so makes me miss Paris, especially Le Marais where we stayed, and Notre Dame and the Batobus that we used daily. The baguettes and cheese are to die for! A week was not enough.

Lovely photo of you!!

Catalyst said...

Exquisite. I was there once. Once is not, ever, enough.

ArtSparker said...

Croissants dipped in one's morning coffee in Paris are not to be sneezed at, though, as I recall.

linda said...

my goodness, ALL of this is my idea of bliss....i would be such a glutton, i don't know if they would let me back on the plane home but then, there weren't any anyway...how strange to go from this lovely place to texas, i am not a fan, i'm afraid, although you always seem to write of it from a slant that makes me see there are other ways to "see" the place....and why is it they are always making the stupid freeways wider?? is it that the people are getting wider? ah well, that wasn't very nice now was it...

back to bliss....sigh :) and those chocolate croissants...you just had to say it.....i have yet to make peace with the fact i shall never eat one again.....ever, will i never....goodnight, my friend

Delwyn said...

Hi Bee

I have not been to Paris yet so I enjoyed the style that you presented your memories in today...you have captured a slice of Parisian life for us...not just the cathedrals and museums...but a sample of a day in Paris...

Happy days

Dumdad said...

Lovely snapshot of Parisian life.

fairyhedgehog said...

What wonderful photos!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Oh how I loved seeing Paris through your eyes, Bee. And also to see your dear face. XOX

rachel said...

Well, that was enjoyable, despite the weather! I've always thought that Paris is a city to enjoy when you haven't got much money - walking, street food, flea markets, searching out the little places of interest where you aren't going to be fleeced, just add to the enormous pleasure of being in such a beautiful city. It's time I went back.....

slommler said...

We are planning a trip to Paris next spring. I am so excited about it. Thanks for sharing your pics and your thoughts. I have so much to learn before I go!!
Hugs
SueAnn

willow said...

Thanks for sharing your delightful trip with us, Bee. Paris is high on my bucket list. I must visit one day. I will.

Nimble said...

Le Marais! Yay! I'm glad you got there. Grey stone, I'd forgotten how of that there is. The last picture of you with cup in hand is wonderful. Bisous!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I am really impressed with how expert you are getting with your photography. You frame your shots perfectly! So perfectly, in fact, I am now yearning for a jaunt to Paris.

spudballoo said...

Mmmm Paris! I'd forgotten you were going - super photos Beth, really captures it. Love the one of the family in the rain.

You look so radiant in the cafe. Pre or post Kir? Hope you resisted the Pimms....

So fed up that my friend who was living in Paris last year moved to Dubai. Pah, just can't compete with that French charm can it?

x

Val said...

I visited Paris 24 years ago but your pictures brought memories flooding back. Wish I could be there again.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

And how well you both look on it, Bee, in spite of the drizzle.

Paris is always a wonderful city, no matter what or when, n'est-ce pas?

And I loved seeing the cute little chien. I often do feel that I could slip under the skin of Paris, too, except in not so elegant a way as a Drunken Bee... Fond regards, Fhi x

kristina said...

What wonderful photos--and sounds like the perfect trip! K x

skirmishofwit said...

My idea of bliss too! What a lovely trip and terrific photos. You captured Paris perfectly.

Lucy said...

Lovely. That dog one has a kind of timlessness about it - could be Doisneau or something even older...

I agree about croissants etc, one of the nice things about our last B&B stay was there wasn't a smidgin of viennoiserie in sight, just good bread, and real home made crepes. I've heard the Brits now eat more croissants for breakfast than anything else, and probably more than the French do!

Reya Mellicker said...

What a beautiful pic of you at the end of the post. And what a great "tour" of Paris.

Paris is such an earthy city. I can't believe they won't let people smoke those intense cigs indoors anymore. And you MUST have rumpled hair in Paris. Or greasy and slicked back. Oui? Oui!!

My aunt lived in Montmartre for 60 years until her death in 2006. (She moved after WWII to help place refugees from the camps, and never left.) After a decade or two, she began smoking Galouse (sp?) and her hair began to rumple. It's in the air there.

Sarah Laurence said...

Yeah! The Paris Post is up. My favorite image is of the baguettes. I agree that they are the best of all. The rain image shows how gorgeous Paris is in any weather. I don’t miss the smoking. You look rather Parisian chic yourself at the café. Thanks for taking us along!

Kristen In London said...

Oh, Paris ENVY! The last time I was there I stayed near a campus of the Sorbonne, and yes, the teenagers! So evocative...

Nothing like a true Parisian baguette. What a lovely, heartwarming, French-loving post. And I think it's funny that you and I both started out the same way in our post-holiday posts: "how has it been a month?" How life speeds up.

Anne said...

Love! Thank you so much for this little tour of your time in Paris. Bliss indeed. I'm sorry about the rain, but hopefully it made the chocolat chaud that much cozier. (And anyway, to my eye, Paris manages to be beautiful no matter what the weather might be.)

Elizabeth said...

Well, the Gitanes arrived this afternoon
so thrilling
and so now I can play
at la vie parisienne.........
so very many thanks

I really look forward to your next Paris posts!

Anna said...

Bee looked like you had a blast wondering on the streets of Paris. It is amazing how photos are very important for the trips, because always so much happens and it is hard to remember. Thanks for sharing, love the images, and the rainy one too. Anna :)

Tessa said...

Wonderful, wonderful! It's not called The City of Light for nothing is it? C'est magnifique.... and how very pretty and Parisian you look too!

Marcheline said...

Great trip, great pics! Thanks for sharing them both. Love men in black leather, but "sans cigarettes".

elizabethm said...

HI Bee, I have come to you via Friko, whom I have met as she is not too far from me. Just as interesting as you might expect. I have spent many years in cities and love your Paris. Now I live on a hillside in North Wales. Love it all. I am just greedy and want everything.

Relyn said...

The bread in a brown paper bag? Stunning. Simply stunning.