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A Face in a Pasadena Hop

I have learned to live with myself and my aloneness. I even like it. Yet, on this Sunday brunch day –my ears on sound overload with the cacophony of adult laughter and little kids’ high pitched voices infused with an enthusiasm only they can muster in whine and wonder– the word “alone” acquires a connotation I dislike.

I sense a weird stillness next to me. I turn my head as much as I can, trying to not be too conspicuous. Her head is bent slightly. Her short, jet-black hair pulled back with a slickness no gel could possibly achieve. A headband placed there for pure adornment, for no strand moves. She looks sprung out of one of those Japanese anime. Her food is lined up in front of her: brioche toast floating in a lake of maple syrup, followed by a plate of scrambled eggs, and a little further a bowl of fresh fruit, and coffee, on the far edge of the table, too far for her to reach. She picks up her fork and starts playing with her scrambled eggs. Not a bit of it reaching her mouth. She shakes her head slightly and turns it towards me. Though fascinated, I turn mine away.

From the corner of my eye I see her shove the brioche plate away from her, placing it to facilitate its removal by the waitress. She brings the scrambled eggs plate closer to her, still playing with it. She takes a bite.

My food arrives and I salt it, spilling some of it on the table. I gather the spillage in a little mound, take a pinch of it and, in a move I hope nobody notices, I flick it over my left shoulder. The myth is that if you spill salt it’s bad luck and if you throw it over your left shoulder, where the devil supposedly waits, you will blind him and thwart his evil ways. I’m not superstitious but just in case… I feel a stare and meet her eyes. My behavior probably as strange to her as hers is to mine. She is blazingly staring at me but there is no life in her eyes. I doubt she actually even sees me.

She returns to her eggs and moves it to where she had left her now gone brioche plate. Seems like it all is perfectly choreographed. She brings the fruit bowl closer. Lowering her head she lets it meet her hands and cups it for a moment. I’m not sure if she’s praying or mourning. Picking up her fork she puts piece by piece into her mouth in an almost frenzied pace. And then she stops. Breathes. Lifts herself up a bit from her chair, reaches for her probably now cold coffee and holding it in two hands she takes little sips until there is no more.

At this point I make no attempt to make believe I’m not staring. She doesn’t seem to mind, care or acknowledge me.

Our checks arrive at the same time. I asked for mine. Hers just seemed to magically appear. Our change came in unison as well and I become part of this dance she has choreographed. Fitting that the only two lone diners were placed side by side.

As I am mentally thanking her for entertaining me through my breakfast she looks up as we exit and gives me one of the most disconsolate smiles that I have ever seen. It seems that her alone is not as welcomed or accepted as mine. It saddens me.

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Letting Go and Feeling Naked Once Again…

Two years ago I wrote a blog, On Feeling Naked…, that revealed more of me than I really wanted to.   A lot has happened since.  This post, is a bit of a continuation on a tradition that I started back then.    It won’t deal with travel, Travel as most of you are used to from me, and neither will it have photos that may delight or appeal.  It won’t be long, or at least I don’t mean it for it to be so.  It’s a bit of a stream of consciousness so I perfectly understand if you – just about now – decide to leave.  Monks, kids, leaving

 

I twist it around my finger.  It is loose.  I slowly, very slowly start sliding it off.  My movement is fluid but comes to an abrupt halt as it reaches the nail bed.  Wedding Band, Gold Band I twist the band once again, close my eyes and, in one swift move, slide it into my right hand gripping it and surrounding it.  Three years ago my movements were reversed and I was sliding my mom’s wedding band on.  It took me almost two years  to be able to take it off.   I lost track of where it was after that and assumed I lost it.  In the first days of January of this year it surfaced unexpectedly.  I took it as a sign and decided that I would wear the simple gold band the first two months of the year as a tribute to the union that gave birth to me and made me who I am. Both my parents passed in 2010.  My mom in January and my father in February.  Today, the last day of February, it is time to take it off once again.

Pouting  I hate goodbyes. Goodbye Looking back a few years, it seems that I have been bidding farewell to so very much.  To places.  To life as I know it.  To sentimental bonds.  Every one of those separations, be they physical or emotional has brought me a greeting of some sort that has made me happy, Happy changed me and enriched me but I still am not fond of them.

The band is still ensconced in my hand.   I open my fist and am certain that I will not wear it again.  This time I must really let go.  The song from Disney’s Frozen, Let It Go, comes to mind and am grateful that it does,: for one line says: “Let it go, let it go and I’ll rise like the break of dawn…”

You will always be with me Mom and Dad MaandPa and I will forever be grateful for so much that you have given me.  You can let go of my hand now.  I need to take the rest of the journey alone.  I'll Be Fine

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Fog Guides Me Back to What I Love

It suddenly gets dark in my home office and as I glance out my window I see… nothing.  An afternoon fog has cloaked the beach and the pier and has made them invisible.  I’ve been yearning for a reason to stop doing what I should be doing and haven’t started doing so in a move I have not done in a long time, I reach for my camera, get my iPod and head out without a second thought.

fishermen, pier, Long Beach, Belmont Veterans Memorial PierAs I walk out to the pier the fog is still thick but it doesn’t stop the fishermen from going to their usual spot.

The lifeguards wouldn’t be able to see much if they were at their post.

Lifeguards, Long Beach, fog, beach

The Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in Long Beach is home to homeless, to fishermen, to seagulls, pelicans (and many other, unidentified by me, species), tourists, photographers and more.pier, Long Beach, fog

But I am interested in what happens below it so I take the path downwards.  Where the fog does not seem to interrupt daily activities.

 

pier, beach, Long Beach, fog    Long Beach, fog, pedestrian path, bike path

I don’t follow the path.  I go under the pier. pier, Long Beach, fog, beach, sand  pier, Long Beach, beach, fog

First I look across, fog, Long Beach, sand delaying what I am sure will delight my camera and myself.  And it indeed does  Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fog

Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fog   Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fogBelmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fog

Am I somewhere else?  I must look back and check.   Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fog

And once I’m sure I am not lost I once again enter trancelike state. Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fogBelmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fog  Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach, pier, fog

But my beach is being invaded…  Long Beach, beach, fog

So I look the other way.  Long Beach, beach, fog

 

 

 

 

 

 

To a spot of the beach where birds can play (or fight).   Long Beach, beach, fog, birds

Stare…  Long Beach, beach, fog  Where love is present and blind.  Long Beach, beach, fog, love

Where a congregation is not unruly.Long Beach, beach, fog

Well, maybe just a tad…Long Beach, beach, fog, birds

Where people come to de-stress…Long Beach, beach, fog

Or ignore the waves and the beach altogether…Long Beach, beach, fog

Where unfortunately, man leaves his tracks…Long Beach, beach, fog

Where a father and son bond in daily exercise and share their path with seagulls…Long Beach, beach, fog, runners, father and son   Long Beach, beach, fog

Long Beach, beach, fog, pier I go back to the magnet that the pier has turned out to be for my camera.  Long Beach, beach, fog  Long Beach, beach, fog  On my way there these flowers on their last breath stop me in my tracks.  Is it an offering to Iemanjá, the Queen of the Ocean, in Brazilian culture?  Long Beach, beach, fog, flowers, offering  Long Beach, beach, fog   So much to photograph I don’t seem to be able to still my mind or my steps.  Long Beach, beach, fog  Long Beach, beach, fog  Long Beach, beach, fog  Long Beach, beach, fog  So I go up the pier to where I started.  Long Beach, beach, fog, pier

 

 

Where I am reminded that I really haven’t been traveling at all.  Long Beach, beach, fog, pier

 

 

Long Beach, beach, fog, pierLong Beach, beach, fog, pier

Long Beach, beach, fog, pier   Long Beach, beach, fog, pier

But somehow I do feel as if I have taken a short trip and as I leave the pier I feel recharged and ready to tackle what I had procrastinated in doing.  Pier  Long Beach, beach, fog, pier

Maybe…

 

 

 

 

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Here’s the Key, Need to Get Back to the Rugby Game

St. Malo (or maybe it was just the mussels) has induced me into a sense of complete restfulness.  The day has been jam-packed with visual stimulation, emotional contentment, exercise and it has made me a bit tired.  I am longing for quietness and time spent relaxing doing nothing.

We have made a reservation at a farmhouse not far from St. Malo.  I am so craving the remoteness of it all, though I am a bit apprehensive as to how to get to it.  The owner has given us what seems to be an address.  FarmhouseOur GPS seems quite confused but we head in that direction and… do not find it.  We are on roads where only farmland sees us go and come and go and come back again.  GPS has given up on us and and we on her.  Farmland I text the owner in French on our French sim card/phone (so glad we have one) and he answers “My dear, not an address.  It’s the name of the farm.”  So on our way we see another farmhouse with people outside.  I get out and ask and they in turn ask me “Ah, you are the Australians that are going to stay at Dominque’s?” Yes… I mean no. Where is the farm? Don’t know how, but we reach it thanks to the actual Aussie at the wheel and guidance from above.

I am immediately in love.  Garden The farmhouse attached to the main house is rustic but just exactly where I want to be.  P1190798  The owner and an English-speaking friend are outside to greet us. P1190789A little fox terrier that can’t be dirtier and smellier if he tried is coming down the road.  Dominique introduces us to him. It’s the neighbor’s dog that comes to sleep with him to keep him company.  We are invited into Dominique’s home where he gives us a proud grand tour.  He has built it all by himself.  Even his Japanese garden is designed and planted by him.  P1190808The dog is trembling and I ask if he is cold.  No.  He has Parkinson.  A pang of remembrance of my mom and her disease hits me.  Is this a sign of some sort? My heart skips and I do not refuse the dog when he cuddles up to me, no matter how badly he smells.   We have tea.  We learn about my host.  I am charmed.  He has escaped the rat race after years with a company as their graphic artist.  He also suffered a devastating loss.  This is how he copes.  His visiting friend is building a cabin on the property and easing himself into farm life; he’s a commercial director.

His neighboring farm has cows.  We make their acquaintance.       P1190792  P1190793It’s almost 10 pm and it’s only now getting dark.  Magical hour is here…the sun is going down.

P1190795We settle in for the night.   The bedroom is on the second floor and quirky and fun.  To go up you open a “door” that is technically on the floor.  P1190805  And the bedroom has a lamp made by the owner (as most of the farmhouse).  P1190800  With a typewriter that reminds me that I write. P1190801 And a window P1190803 that looks out to the garden and the cows, and  the pasture and… I’m going to bed now.

P1190817We wake to fresh croissants, bread, a bottle of milk and tea at our doorstep.    I bring them into the kitchen.  P1190799  And go out, still in my pj’s. P1190836 How liberating is that? P1190810 P1190809

We are leaving today and I just want to enjoy every single moment of this peaceful feeling this farmhouse gives me.

I visit the cows and they are more curious about me than I of them.  I am thankful for the electric fence that separates us!

P1190812 P1190815 P1190816

 I’m enjoying the outdoors so very much.  But we must go back in. I look to the side and back and everything, just everything give me this ahhhh feeling. P1190842 (1)  P1190843 (1)  P1190864

I go to the room and pack. P1190838 As I go downstairs at the doorway are two sets of rubber boots!  P1190873 Dominique is outside and he tells me that the boots are just in case we want to take a stroll in the back.  The weeds are overgrown and it may be wet so he brought us boots.  Since I am not going to take him up on this offer he takes me around his garden.  P1190870 P1190878 I so want to stay but we are continuing on today to Cap Frehel and Fort La Latte.  We say our good-byes.

At the Cap we find two lighthouses.  One, built in 1950 you can climb.  P1190880 (1)

P1190881 (1)  We do that and are rewarded with beautiful views.  P1190890 (1)  P1190885 (1) P1190886 P1190887 (1)

P1190899 (1) From here we can also see the smaller one constructed in 1685.

P1190896 (1)

On the way down the 145 steps I wonder why I didn’t make use of this chair when I was going up!  P1190903 (1)

P1190906 (1) We walk the surrounding area.  P1190908 (1)

   It’s windy but I am thoroughly enjoying this walk.  P1190917 (1)  P1190918 (1)  P1190931 (1)

The water is crystal clear in places.

P1190939 (1)

A school group listens their teacher intensely.  I imagine none have vertigo since they are pretty close to the cliff. P1190986 (1)

We go towards where the car is parked to then drive to Fort La Latte.  P1190990 (1)  P1190992 (1)    P1200001 (1)

Forts of all kinds as well as walled cities fascinate me.  Something comforting about a place that protects itself from the outside world attracts me.  I choose to not think of the reason why a wall and such strong edifices are needed in the first place.  The approach to the fort is almost soothing.  You pass the caretaker’s home and continue down the path to the fort.  P1200002 (1)  P1200004 (1)  And here it is.  P1200010 (1)  We enter through a drawbridge.  And as soon as we do there are cannons and other instruments of war/protection.  P1200014 (1)  This is a bricoleP1200017 (1)  The water is crystal clear here too.  P1200031 (1)  The vegetation is so pretty.  P1200040 (1)  P1200038 (1)

And the view from one of the towers is exquisite.

P1200068 (1)

 P1200069 (1)

Once on the ground these daisies along the fence do a lot to keep a smile on my face.

 P1200082 (1)    P1200081 (1)

And I just loved this mailbox on a house on our way to the car. P1200088 (1)   We drive and encounter Brittany’s idea of rush hour!  P1200090 (1)

We have made a reservation at a hotel in Sene:  Chambres D’Hotes Villa Sahara.  When we arrive it looks more like a house than a hotel.  Parking lot empty.  Note on door:  “If you arrive please call this number and someone will be here soon.”  We had paid through a website already so I call the number.  Yes, her son will be there soon.  He arrives and hurriedly opens the door, tells us he needs to go back to the rugby game.  Shows us the room and gives us the key.  Oh, and we are the only guests so we can consider the place ours.  So we own a B&B for a night.  🙂 P1200098 (1)  P1200096 (1) P1200095 (1)  The key ring that he gave us even has an “L” on it.  P1200100 (1)  In the morning we wake up to people coming in to make us breakfast and promptly leaving just to return before we leave onto our next destination!

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An Archangel Burns a Hole in a Skull and Malo Isn’t really Bad at All

The morning was uneventful which is okay by me since the rest of the  day (and this post) is going to be jam-packed with visual delight.

We are renting (“hiring” in Aussie and Brit talk) a car and heading out to the coast.  Our first stop will be Mont Saint Michel.  I’m a bit nervous about the drive.  French drivers are really good but drive at lightning speeds.  Fortunately I won’t be driving.  Dean has bought a GPS for our journey so we won’t be getting lost either.  We don’t have much of a route set up. We are traveling, as always, waiting where the winds – in this case the wheels – will take us.  I like it that way though at times setting up good accommodations requires a bit of knowing our itinerary ahead of time.

I cross the street to buy some croissants and milk and coffee for the road. And we are off.

It’s a two-hour ride to Mont Saint Michel and it just flies by.  Before we know it we are approaching the very familiar site of Mont Saint Michel.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island As we get closer the little spots I see in the distance turn into munching cows that concentrate solely on eating and disregard the island behind them.  They create a perfect photo-op that I can’t let pass by.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island Normandy, France, pilgrimage, abbey, island, cows  We park the Renault (which curiously enough has not been named by us) and take a shuttle bus Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, bienvenue, bienvenidos that takes us closer to the entrance and then walk to the island which is linked by a causeway, which makes it technically not an island any more.  A fact that does not deter from its beauty and impressiveness.Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island  There’s a medieval town on the mount with its expected winds and turns and narrowness.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, medieval town  The hoards of tourists remind me that this has been, through the ages, one of the top pilgrimage sites for Christians.  The abundance of souvenir shops Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, souvenirs lining the quaint (and exercise inducing) steep streets may make you forget that this place has much history, dating from when years didn’t have four numbers.  It also has a peculiar history.  It is said that before the abbey that’s on it was built in the 8th century, the Archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church. Seems that Aubert ignored the archangel so Michael burned a hole in the bishop’s skull with his finger.  The abbey was built afterwards.  First there is a little chapel we visit.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, chapel  And then onwards towards the abbey. Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, Mont Saint Michel Abbey

Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, souvenirs  The abbey is built on the islet’s top point so it’s a bit of a climb. Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, church  It has a gothic feel to it.  The church Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island is more austere Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, church than any of the other churches we have visited but if it doesn’t quite match the beauty of the others it holds its own by just where it is situated.   Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island  Normandy, France, pilgrimage, abbey, island   Before heading back in I am fascinated by how large the seagulls Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, seagulls, birds are around here. Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, seagulls, birds Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, seagulls, birds  And how privileged they are to fly so high and have such an amazing place to land.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel  Once my eyes get unglued from the birds and the view, my imagination takes flight.  I can almost see the robed monks going from one side of the abbey to the other through this bridge.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, bridge  And going about their chores around water source which has the largest faucet I’ve ever seen.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, water, faucet  We go back inside to explore how the monks lived.  I like the simplicity and solidness of it all.   Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island   Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island  As usual, I am distracted by a window with a soft view of the outside.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, window, stained glass  But I concentrate on my steps in the inside for it is dark and a gentleman going down the steps has fallen.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, hallway

Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, Archangel Michael, psychopomp, archangel   I encounter the Archangel Michael in the basement.  He is a plaster replica of the one that is on top of the spire and he is the one I mentioned earlier who burned a hole in the bishop’s skull.  I certainly would do as ordered!  He is also a psychopomp – which I wouldn’t mention except for the fact that the name made me giggle – though the responsibilities of one are quite serious.  He leads the dead and weighs souls (didn’t know souls had weight) on the day of judgment and is often presented with a balance in the scenes of the Last Judgment. I would definitely want this guy on my side!!

It isn’t a sunny day but it almost enhances the feeling of going back in time.  The view, with the tides low around the mount, is a bit surreal.

Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel  Another unique feature of Mont Saint Michel is that the bay around it has the highest tidal variations in all of Europe.  At low tide the Mont is surrounded by sand.  At high tide the water comes in at an astonishing speed, compared to a galloping horse.  In fact, Wikitravel has a warning that says that it is not unheard of for tourists to die after being cut-off by the tide if not crossing through the causeway.  It must be quite a sight but we didn’t stay for we were headed to Saint Malo.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, tides  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, tides Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, tides Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, tides Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, tides I, quite the contrarian, have to look up as we are going down.  A door caught my attention and reminded me that this place was also used as a prison.  What a history!  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, door  As we descend the many steps we pass The Mere Poulard which cooks its famous mega omelettes on an open fire.  I was sorry I wasn’t hungry enough to eat there.  They looked really good, served in a really great setting.  But I am glad I didn’t for the reviews on yelp were pretty bad and at 28 to 60 Euros an omelette it would have been quite disappointing to not have an extraordinary meal.  Normandy, France,  pilgrimage, abbey, island, tides, Mont Saint Michel, La Mere Poulard, omelettes, restaurant  One look back.Normandy, France, pilgrimage, abbey, island, causeway

And we leave.  Mont Saint Michel, car park, Normandy, France  The Renault is waiting for us.  Mont Saint Michel, car park, Normandy, France  We have already paid for our ticket so Saint Malo here we come!

Saint Malo was recommended by a travel group I belong to, The Travelzine.  They said the walled city was lively and a good base to explore the area. We are not staying there (more on that later) but I am fascinated by walled cities and we figured it would be a good place to have dinner before we on to the farm.  We enter the narrow streets of the walled town and are at a loss to where to park.  A delivery van is blocking the street in front of us so I get out and ask him where to park.  He tells me to follow him and takes us to a municipal parking lot (car park for my Aussie and Brit readers) right next to the water and marina.  We cross the street to the city itself entering it through the Saint Thomas Gate.  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  We are rewarded with beautiful views as we climb the steps to walk the wall that surrounds the city.

Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city

I’ll just be quiet now, for the view captivates me and hopefully captivates you as well.

Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city

Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city

Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  Saint Malo.  Malo in Spanish means “bad” or “mean”.  This “malo” is good!!!

Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled cityThere’s a lookout point that has a telescope which points into the direction of areas I have some connection with.  The Falklands (Malvinas to the Argentinians and from where a lot of my friends are).Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  Rio de Janeiro, where I lived for 4 years. Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city Quebec, where two children of a family I considered my own live, one of them who I taught to drive.

A pool on the side of the sea that reminds me of Australia, a country I have learned to love because of who I love.  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  It’s not that warm outside but there are people enjoying it, diving from the board.  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city The city was not only walled but well protected. Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city  I loved the city but later Brittany locals (the region the town is located in) would tell me that they consider it a “sad” town mainly due to its history and the fact that it is walled in.

Hunger strikes me and Dean knows me well enough to get me into a restaurant fast before I get cranky. 🙂 So we dive into Le Lion D’Or.  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city, restaurant in Saint Malo, I’m glad we did cause it had great reviews on Tripadvisor and I would add mine to them.  I had a really great huge plate of mussels that was delicious though the mussels were small and could not compare in size to the Tasmanian mussels a friend and I had at the Sydney fish market, though they were matched in taste. Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city, restaurant in Saint Malo, The city is on the coast after all so I was counting on good seafood.  Saint Thomas Gate, Brittany, France, port city, walled city, marina, boats

Once we retrieve the car we are on our way to another real adventure… which I will tell you all about tomorrow!

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A Blue Day :)

We arrive in Rennes.  The apartment owner, an IT guy for public television there, meets us, gives us the key and we crash.  Train travel just seems to tire us much. We barely have enough energy to go to the local Carrefour to buy some essentials (directions given by the sweetest old lady carrying a bag of groceries).  Wish I could have photographed her.  Her smile just illuminated an otherwise plain face that has not weathered the passing years well. Her bent over body by the weight of the bundle and the crushing force of years on her shoulder generously stopped to guide us. A good omen.

We sleep.  We wake. After almost four weeks in Paris (with some side trips) it is kind of odd to be in another city. The day is beautiful and there is just no excuse not to go off and explore.

There is a park right next to us and it seems to be an oasis, a place of peace.  It is. As soon as I enter I notice this wall of climbing roses that is really beautiful.P1190370  P1190369 P1190368  I’m liking this Parc Hamelin Oberthür P1190378 quite a bit.  Would you believe this is their community center?  P1190372  P1190373 One heck of a buildingP1190377  I direct my attention to a game that is being played and that I absolutely have never seen before.  Just blocks of wood involved here. P1190375 Does anyone know what it is? I didn’t want to interrupt the players and ask. Now I am regretting not doing so.

I should have warned you but I have acquired a new obsession which is blue doors. So you will see a lot of them. Please just resign yourself to it. 🙂  P1190381  This town, as many others, has a Rue de Paris – where we currently reside. Something like Main Street in the United States or 10th Street (my GPS could always find one in every city and state.) I wonder how Daisy (my GPS has a name) is doing. This one caught my attention because it is blue but primarily because the graffiti turned into little hearts.  P1190382  I warned you, so here is another blue door along with windows to match. P1190386 I cross the street to photograph a garden by it.  That balcony up there seems just perfect to have some cheese, a baguette and wine at.   P1190390  This single family home stands out. P1190391 The front gate made of iron and flanked by beautiful yellow roses, my mom’s favorite.  P1190394  So toughtful of this town to place another sign so that I won’t get lost. This one is so French and almost Parisian in its white and black design. P1190398  Another beautiful home. P1190399 This is also a standard in France.  Rent-a-bikes.  First half hour is free and then you pay a nominal fee.  Wish I knew how to ride.  I can hear you snickering… please stop. I have a balance problem that never allowed me to learn. Really. P1190402

I think it’s a blue themed day; this car made everyone turn their heads.  P1190403  P1190408  Yep, definitely a blue day.  This is the door to the municipal pool.  How cool is that?

And of course the sky is as blue as it gets.   P1190413  We walk on and it makes me laugh to see this signage.  I thought Los Angeles parking signs were complicated! P1190416  We enter the street and it turns out to be such a wonderful surprise. P1190417

But first, another blue door.P1190421  The little cobblestone street we are on is super narrow and it’s not pedestrian only so it becomes a tango dance between cars, scooter, people, and café signs.  All careful to not kick each other in a misstep. In fact, Dean needs to move this sign, as we sit in our chosen bistro, so that this car could go through. P1190426  The meal is fantastic.  I have a salmon salad and a fried fish.  Just ultra yummy.  No guilt, for by now I have lost any feeble attempt I may have made on this trip of continuing to keep a healthy, low-caloric diet. P1190429 P1190431 Once well fed we carry on to discover some more.  P1190433  And discover we do.  A little festival of sorts P1190452 where farm animals and their babies are brought so that children and adults can see them.  Also there are fresh, organic, farm offerings of eggs, meats, jams, and breads as well as crepes and sorbets, but we have eaten so we pass by rapidly.

This little piggy went to market…. Remember the children’s rhyme done on their toes?

P1190436 P1190438

These are La Limousine cows. Original from Limousin and not the ones you can ride on. 🙂

P1190444

These are examples of La Blonde D’Aquitaine.  P1190447 P1190448

We continue on.  What?  P1190455 And topple onto the most wonderful circle of buildings that I am smitten with.    P1190456

We enter an ice cream place that is all natural.  Sounds good.  And oh my gosh, was it!!!  Probably the best I’ve had on this trip.   P1190460   P1190459  I am loving the view of the plaza as well. P1190461 On home we go.  P1190464  As we walk a little balloon is floating in the air. We turn into children and play volleyball with it for a while.  Can’t show you photos because I was way too busy having fun!  This square signals that our street is not so far away.  P1190467

And I can’t resist but bring you another blue door before I close mine to sleep. P1190470

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Memory Left Behind Brings Me Back

I left a memory card behind at one of our places. That’s bad.  Left it at our houseboat, Soleil.  That’s good.  I have been in contact with the new guest there and she has agreed to hand me the memory card – which the owner of the boat set aside for me – this morning at 10.  I wake up early and instead of hanging around I head out the door at barely 7:30.  20th arrondissement, Paris, France, Pyrenees metro station I get lost going to the bathroom in my own home so this venturing out alone is a big thing. I usually get to where I am going… eventually.  But today everything runs smoothly. I expected to see lots of commuters but, to my surprise, they are not out yet.  I exit at the Trocadéro station instead of the Passy station (which is closer to the péniche) or Bir-Hakeim (which is closer to the Tower itself) so that I can enjoy the Trocadero Gardens and the walk, with the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine on the horizon, on my way to the dock.  Trocadéro, metro, station, Paris, Fance The surroundings of the French icon are almost deserted. P1190252 This pigeon and I are the only ones perched on the ledge. Only difference is that he can’t be bothered with the tons of steel and looks the other way while I can’t get my eyes off it.P1190253

I descend the stairs and look back.  P1190256 I am feeling like I own the place.  As I turn the corner a reminder that there are others who this belongs to more than me.  A man and his dog in what seems a daily routine. P1190257 A statue that is impassive as to my disappointment.  P1190258 Another that seems as entranced with the tower as me.  P1190259  P1190264  And another reminder that the area belongs to those whose daily routine includes it. P1190266

Is this a plea, made through graffiti, from the City of Love for me to love her or to just love?  Regardless, yes on both counts!   P1190269

I descend the stairs that will take me to Port Debilly, Port Debilly  P1190273 where the little houseboat I called home is. It’s still early but I will check if perhaps they have woken up and can be found enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck.  The weeping willow marks the spot.  P1190275  The roses in the garden under it have bloomed. P1190278 I call out to Fifi (aka: Yaya) but she is nowhere to be found, as neither are the new inhabitants of Soleil.  I head in the opposite direction past the bridge.  I follow the jogger P1190280 at a much more relaxed pace. My step is slow but my heart beats fast. This city energizes me. No roses to smell on this side but lots to focus my eyesight on.  A statue peeking from between the branches of a tree.   P1190281   And the Statue of Liberty raising her torch from the prow of a boat, oblivious that she is only a mini-me version of the one in the New York harbor and that she is being overpowered by the Eiffel Tower.  P1190283 I have to make some time till our rendezvous and it occurs to me that the new guests, which have moved in only yesterday afternoon, would appreciate some good croissants to start their day.  I know of an excellent pattiserie close to the boat so I head to my familiar underpass to reach it.  P1190286  In it there is a homeless man that has parked his mobile home of shopping cart and bags for the night here.  I almost feel like I am barging into his home but still try to take a photo unnoticed.  Unfortunately the result is a blurry mess. Homeless

My gaze is directed up when I come out of the underpass.  That apartment on the tippy top would be kinda nice to live in. P1190293  I’m on Rue de L’Alboni P1190296 where I will take the steps up, P1190297

passing the Passy station that doesn’t hold the best of memories.  Click here to read about it.  As I prepare to cross the street I spot this couple with their dog that seems so in sync both in color-matching clothing as in direction of their gaze.  P1190298  Think I’ll have my morning coffee there before going to the patisserie. I cross the street. P1190301 Spot a familiar face on that billboard. P1190305  I sit and enjoy seeing the city wake up around me. P1190306  I go buy the croissants and return towards Passy P1150652 to descend the rose flanked  P1190308 stairway P1190310 P1190309

I cross Kennedy Avenue.  P1190312  And go into the underpass again.  The homeless guy has relocated. It is now being used by business people in their bikes.  P1190315  Half of the recently married couple that is staying at the boat is saying good-bye to her husband as I approach.  They are a lovely Irish couple on their honeymoon.  I give them some pointers on the area, hand them their croissants, they hand me my memory card and I head back hoping that the world hasn’t woken up, that I can return home with a conviction that Paris and I had a thing going on if only for a little while.  P1190317  But that was not to be for as I climb the stairs I see the tourist are out in droves. P1190318 This statue just seems to shrug and say “What did you expect? They are always here!” P1190322  I go back into the metro and amuse myself taking photos of the different stations.  In 1999 the programme Renouveau du Métro was implemented, renovating designs, styles and decoration of the different metro stations. Still a work in progress.  Each station has its own “identity”. The benches are all in one color at each station to help recognize them at a glance.  République is yellow.  P1190330 Belleville (as is Trocadero -please see above) is green. P1190334 My station Pyrénées, at least until today, is orange.  P1190337 And, of course there is the confused one… Metro The metro’s tiles are beautiful in all of the stations.  P1190331  The interminable stairs that take you to many floors above are a constant in all. Some with escalators and some without.   P1190340  I exit  P1190341 and reach the yellow door P1190342 of the building in just a few steps. I still get a thrill of using my key or code to a place that I feel as ours in a city that becomes, at least temporarily, one we call home.

I take the steps instead of the elevator. P1190344 I lie face up for a brief moment admiring the moulding in this old building.  P1190350 Open the closet to start packing.  P1190345 These old buildings rarely have closets and most buy an antique one to match the architecture. Sometimes because it is cheaper than buying an Ikea one (which is huge in Europe). P1190346 I close the pink Ikea curtains that coupled with the old mirror, and maybe my not so good eyesight, gives my skin color a soft hue which is quite glorious.  Will miss that combination. 🙂  One last look at the entryway/kitchen. P1190349 And we are off to train station to take the TGV to Rennes where our next adventure will begin or, better said, where our adventure continues.

We are not leaving from Gare du Nord which is massive, chaotic at all times, and where someone tried to scam us.  I am grateful for that.  We are leaving from Gare Montparnasse which isn’t as big but to my dismay, upon arrival, turns out to be as chaotic as Gare du Nord.  What I also notice is that at these major hubs the signage is not the greatest so we roam around a bit with our luggage in tow before we find where to buy the tickets.  We both have the same method of travel which usually is no method at all (though at times we do plan ahead) and it serves us well in the most part except when buying tickets on the train. The Eurostar was bought months in advance and was quite reasonably priced.  The ticket to Rennes was bought on the day and we end up paying almost double if we had bought it ahead of time.  P1190357  Our train leaves in 35 minutes P1190353 so we wait.

The train is comfortable and we settle in for our two-hour ride. P1190356

As the train lulls Dean to sleep the clouds have my gaze and my imagination starts weaving stories of what may lie ahead.

Sky

 

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Finding a New Obsession… or Two, or Three.

We move again.  This time from a hotel to another apartment.  It is also the day that my scene will be shot.  The day starts relatively early for us since there is quite a bit to be accomplished.  For now I lazily get out of bed and go down to the café for breakfast.  A sacred ritual that must not be set aside even in the most hectic of days.  Must not let a heavenly croissant and noisette wait long. I watch daily life pass us by as I sip and go over my lines mentally.  Paris, France, 20th arrondissement P1150632 Then it’s onward to finish packing, doing my hair and getting into a taxi to our next home.  We get one quickly.  On the way he tells us that the neighborhood we are staying at is very much a village within a city.  I’m liking the sound of that.  We have been given instructions to ring the bell of the apartment owner’s neighbor and that she will give us the key and let us in.  Filming starts at 1:00.  It’s 11:30 and no one answers the bell. I breathe in and try not to think that I still have to find my wardrobe (for the shoot) in the suitcase, iron it (after searching for the iron in a new place), get make-up ready, hair retouched and centered for the scene.  We text the guy.  We wait. I breathe. I entertain myself with the floor tiles which are old and I really like. Paris, France, floor, tiles He texts back from California where he lives. That amuses me. I’m in his place in Paris while he is in my hometown. He, on the other hand probably isn’t amused since I think it’s about 2:00 am for him when we text.  We ring her again and she finally answers.  So we go in, and my mad dash begins.  Clothes found.  Iron inexistent.  Ring neighbor. May we borrow your iron?  Check.  Iron.  Good that I don’t have to search for the adapter. Go over lines. Make-up done. Hair retouched. And is it a film wrap (end of filming)?  No. It barely has begun. We film. I grab my camera when they do the other actress’ close up.  La Pleuresse, Paris, France, filming, short film They shoot my close up and then it really is a wrap!

The next day I wake up to my usual calm self. I look out the bathroom window and see the usual windows with flower boxes that I so like to look at. Flowers, window, Paris, France Flowers, window, Paris, France

We are off to the Sacre Coeur but knowing us, there will be a lot side trips before destination.  Already after coming out of the metro metro, Paris, France, Sacre Couer I see so much to photograph.  An old car antique car, Le Progrés, Paris, France, street scene, cobblestones, café, Parisian bistro that seems to be positioned just right for people to capture it on film.  I find it amusing that it is parked next to a café that is called Le Progrés (progress).  Is it trying to say something to this antique car?  Would love to identify what kind of a car this is. This building caught my attention Building, Paris, France not so much by its architecture but because it was on the top of a steep street and would probably have the best views. I find the balcony architecture, Paris, France, building, balcony that I would like to look out of every morning (second after the deck from our beloved péniche, Soleil, on the Seine.) We are in Montmartre; I’m hungry.  Grant you, no relation of one thought to the other but in my mind there is, for as soon as I see a place to eat my pace quickens and ends up in this café, Le Carrousel, which has gotten terrible reviews but I found really good with great friendly service.  I do notice, as I am heading there this group of women that have stamped on their T-shirt my feelings about this city: “J’adore Paris!” t-shirts, Le Carrousel, Montmartre, Paris, France Once mydog, street scene, water fountain, Abbesses, Paris, France tummy is full sandwich, pizza, hot sandwich, salad, food, Parisian bistro, latte we continue our exploration of the area. I’m enjoying seeing bits of life happening around me.  A woman kneeling down to get water from a fountain for her dog. Abbesses, Paris, France, buildings  Streets so steep it seems that they are going right into other buildings. Signs that make me think and laugh internally.  Imagining a conversation that goes somewhat like this:  Hi! Where are you staying? At My Hotel in France. Really?  Which one? Just My Hotel in France. Oh?  You own one? hotel, Montmartre, Paris, France Buildings that keep on making me look up.  Paris, France, Montmartre  Then off to see a street, rue Cavallotti, that a friend had mentioned to me that when the shutters are down, art comes up.  P1180924_2  P1180927_2   P1180929 P1180930 P1180931_2  Aside from the shutters I look into the few stores that are not shutter closed.  I love the mannequin on the window of a vintage clothing store with the reflection of a building on the glass. vintage clothes, rue Cavallotti, open-air gallery  A Do Not Enter sign made cute by graffiti. P1180935 We walk on and bump into Le Moulin Rouge.  The plaza is teaming with tourist, tour buses, people in line to go in.  I would like to see a can can dance but the place is crazy expensive and we have already done something crazy at Les Jules Vernes so I content myself to look from the outside.  Loving the red car in front of the place matching with the Moulin.Les Moulins Rouge As usual I find a window to be amused by.  Window  We walk a bit more. Loving the ups, downs and curves. P1180957   P1180958 And enjoying seeing an old windmill on top of the restaurant Le Moulin de la Galette.  Wait, a windmill?  Yep, one of only two remaining from 1717 (from 14 originally).  windmill, 1717, Le Moulin de la Galette  Did you know about D.E. Inghelbrecht? He was a pretty famous self-taught composer and director and we pass the building he lived in where he also has a statue commemorating him. music, classical, French director, composer,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9sir%C3%A9-%C3%89mile_Inghelbrecht  We are starting the roundabout climb to the Sacre Coeur.  Le Consulat I have a feeling this restaurant has been photographed a lot.  I look up, as always, and photograph one of its windows. It has a flower and bull (symbol for Taurus which is my astrological sign). Window

Chat NoirHere is probably the most bought souvenir image Tournée du Chat Noir and just in case you have been wondering as to the history, as I was, click here. More windows.  Windows And please say it ain’t so… a Starbucks amongst all this? Starbucks  A gallery window to counteract. Gallery  Wall art of something I couldn’t possibly have in this town.  Wall Art, Montmartre, Paris, FranceAnd more wall art of something that rhymes with it, but could be closely linked to it in reality.  Repression often brings depression. Repression

I’m learning so much about people I didn’t know existed.  Now we see the house where Maurice Neumont, a lithographer and painter who made propaganda posters, died. And I am loving the door.  P1180985_2   P1180986_2

I may have a new obsession with street art.  P1180987 P1180991_2 P1180992 P1180990 P1180982

I try not to dilly dally though, because the Sacre Coeur is just ahead. Sacre Coeur  I go into the basilica remembering my mom. The view from up here has always been so magnificent. P1180999

Sacre Coeur

We eventually make our way down passing the carousel.  Frankly the view looking up isn’t half bad either! Sacre Coeur

P1190042  Sacre Coeur  Carousel Horses

I wonder if this guy ever gets tired of his view? His apartment faces the basilica.  Window

Well, time to go back home so we get on back into the streets, Street Scene into the metro, Anvers metro Anvers and are able to reach home with enough light to look out the window onto a garden in the sky that our neighboring penthouse has.  Garden in the Sky

I know I have said this before but I do love this town!!

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Sensory Overload. Oh My! Wow! Ay, ay, ay!

Today I left with some sadness the apartment that we called home on Rue de la Liberté for the past 6 days.  But I must admit I am excited about our next abode: a houseboat on the River Seine with the Eiffel Tower on our backyard, or better said back river (Is there such a thing?).  I wait for my taxi and say my final good-byes to the street I am familiar with and the neighborhood I did not feel alien to.  Our 4 bags and I are alone on the cobblestone enclosure on the first floor.  I am to move to our houseboat alone and will be met afterwards at noon.  A few hours before a visual adventure that I will tell you about soon.

I have an address composed of only two words:  Port Debilly and a phone number to call the owner of the houseboat just in case the taxi driver does not know where it is.  I am happy that I have that because the driver did not know where I was going so called Jean and was directed how to get to the péniche (barge).

Jean greets me at the garden and helps me with the luggage.  I would not have been able to do it alone and am happy that he is there.  See the plank I have to cross to get to the boat.  péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river,   I go in péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river,  to a boat with classical music on, a view that is to die for,  péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river,  Eiffel Tower a living room that invites reading and marveling at Eiffel Tower, péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower flowers in the kitchen péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, galley, kitchen (or galley), péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, galley, kitchen  péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower a porthole through which I still can see the Eiffel Tower, péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, porthole, galley, kitchen  and a bedroom péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, bedroom with a skylight so that when we open our eyes we can see the leaves of the weeping willow above us, péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, bedroom (and yes, I still get incredible views from here).

I want to share this and the only one available right now is Tutu so I sit him on a chair akin in color to his.  péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, koala, antique chair  He complains he can’t see the tower so I place him on a table.  koala More complaints so I make him the captain and he seems to be happy!

péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, captain, Tutu, koala

I go out to encounter first hand one of the many tourist boats that will be gracing my back yard.  Most of the tourists are facing the tower but some are facing me and the boat and taking photographs.  What conversations will I be included in with a “How lucky is that Parisian to be where she is?”  péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, Batteaux Mouches, tourist boats What I didn’t expect was two Parisians walking on the Ave. de New York 6th arrondissement, Paris, France, Rue de New York(the street above the dock) and as I look up, one saying to me:  “Madame, vous etes privilegie!” and pointing at the tower. Yes, I consider myself very, very lucky!  And if the Eiffel Tower view weren’t enough, the Sacre Cour is off at a distance.  péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Cour  The Eiffel Tower, the weeping willow (the only one on the dock and the one that is in on the other side of the boat), and the deck.  Oh my!!! péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, weeping willow, boat deck, deck And then a surprise as I look to my left.  A young little cat that seems very much at home on this boat.  I have a feeling she will be another house guest while we are here.  péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, cat, kitty

Dean returns from the first shoot on his film and takes it all in quickly since we have reservations at the restaurant at the Eiffel Tower:  Le Jules Verne.  The day is only at its midpoint and I don’t know if I can take any more excitement!  But we head out there walking since it is only about a 10 minute walk.  Eiffel is even more impressive up front.  Paris, France, Eiffel Tower, 6th arrondissement  The entrance to Le Jules Verne péniche, Soleil, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, boat, Paris, France, quay, river, Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne, view, food, Parisian restaurant  where you get into a private elevator that catapults Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, 6th arrondissement, Parisian restaurant, table with a view, Paris, France you to the second floor 213 meters up.  Paris, France, Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, table with a view, food, Parisian restaurant,

The food was acceptable.  Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, 6th arrondissement, Parisian restaurant, table with a view, steak, Paris, France The view beyond compare.  Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, 6th arrondissement, Parisian restaurant, table with a view, Paris, France  We get some madeleines as a gift when we leave to go out to the viewing deck.  Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, 6th arrondissement, Parisian restaurant, table with a view, Paris, France More amazing views.  Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, 6th arrondissement, Parisian restaurant, table with a view, Paris, France

And we return to the boat with even more excitement on the way.  A wedding…6th arrondissement, Paris, France, wedding photo

A photo shoot (with a car as its protagonist). Car, antique car, photo shoot, 6th arrondissement, Paris, France  We make a side trip to buy stuff for dinner so we can sit on the deck and watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle.  We take the underpass, Paris, France, 6th arrondissementup some stairs, Stairs buy our stuff and later that night sit on the deck as the tower surprises us by being multicolor in honor of the South African season in France.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, colors, twinkle, night view of the tower, 6th arrondissement

I have to go to sleep now because I really don’t think my heart can take any more excitement.  Nighty, night!

Categories: 6th arrondissement, Eiffel Tower, France, Paris, Ramblings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Tus Ojos Son Mi Ventana!

Today, again Dean is off to help out a friend on his short.  But contrary to yesterday, for me it’s a day of play.  I intend to say good-bye to my neighborhood by visiting its many alleyways, villas – as the French call them.

cobblestones, Parisian apartment, door, entrance, mailbox, 19th arrondissement, Paris, FranceAs I leave I take a last recognizance look of the cobblestones and door I will cross only a few times more.  The cobblestones take me back to my hometown of Asunción where they are common.  I almost expect to see a horse carriage when I open the heavy wood door.

Quartier de la Mouzaia is a working class neighborhood (and I proved that yesterday with all the chores I did.) It was built between the end of the 19th and early 20th century.  Running down the hills (one where our apartment is located) are some twenty pedestrian street or villas.

Each has its own feel to it.

19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, villas, pedestrian street, Paris, France, cobblestone street, 19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, villas, pedestrian street, Paris, France, cobblestone street,    19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, villas, pedestrian street, Paris, France, cobblestone street,    Villa3    19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, villas, pedestrian street, Paris, France, cobblestone street,  I didn’t visit them all but did not tire of walking around.  Of course, there had to be one with a scooter as its emblem .  Villa

Red brick is predominant on the houses 19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, Paris, France, red brick, lavender, window, door, building  but, as the villas, each has its own unique character. And you see burst of colors which in previous walks I had not noticed.  19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, Paris, France, door   19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, Paris, France, window, door, pink façade, pink building  19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, Paris, France, window, door, blue and green façade, building

And then there is a surprise graffiti that is in Spanish!  Tus Ojos Son Mi Ventana, 19th arrondissement, Quartier de la Mouzaia, Paris, France, window, graffiti

I have yet to visit my local park Parc des Buttes Chaumont and if I don’t do it today I have a feeling I won’t do it at all so I go to the metro Botzaris metro, 19th arrondissement, Botzaris, Paris underground, subway, Paris, France where love is in the air and enter the park from a side street.  Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 19th arrondissement, Paris, France, park  Boxing, or tai bo, in the open air may be fun.  Parc des Buttes Chaumont, tai bo, 19th arrondissement, Paris, France, park But a bite to eat at the park’s entrance may be a better idea. Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 19th arrondissement, Paris, France, park  Maybe some sunbathing after that. Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 19th arrondissement, Paris, France, park  While enjoying the view. Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 19th arrondissement, Paris, France, park  Going to ignore vandalism in this oasis.  Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 19th arrondissement, Paris, France, park

As I leave a see a vendor with maté by his side.  I automatically assume that he is either Argentinian, Uruguayan or Paraguayan so I ask him in Spanish where he is from and it turns out he is French but lived in South America for a year and adopted maté as his drink of choice.  It is a small world!

Getting late and I’m meeting Dean at a station Metroat the other side of town so I go back home passing another villa (alleyway / path) where a cat makes sure I understand this is his villa.  19th arrondissement, Quartier de Mouzaia, Paris, France, villa  19th arrondissement, Paris, France, Quartier de Mouzaia, cat, cobblestone street

I notice that my front door also provides that burst of color that the Quartier is known for.  19th arrondissement, Quartier Mouzaia, Paris, France, door, red door And I photograph the inner courtyard. 12 Rue de la Liberté, Paris, France, Quartier Mouzaia, courtyard, windows, Paris, France Everything seems to have character here.  Even a window with clothes drying.  12 Rue de la Liberté, Paris, France, Quartier Mouzaia, courtyard, windows, Paris, France

I get to Portes de Vanves metro, Paris, France– and I must say I am very proud of myself for getting there on time after two transfers on the metro – (Everyone who knows me knows that I have zero, zilch, no sense of orientation so this was a feat for me!)where we are checking out another possible shoot location.  The market of Antique and Old Books.  Portes de Vanves, book market, antique books, Paris, France   Portes de Vanves, Paris, France, books, antique book fair  Another window I like.  window, Paris, France  Back to our neck of the woods to have a great Vietnamese meal at Chez Kim.  Chez Kim, 19th arrondissement, Paris, France

And enjoy our last sunset in this part of town.  19th arrondissement, 12 Rue de la Liberté, sunset, window

Sunset

Wait till I take you to where we are moving to tomorrow!!!!

Categories: 19th arrondissement, Botzaris, France, Marché du livres ancien et d'occasion, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Paris, Ramblings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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