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MlleFifi's week in Par(ad)is, with a side trip to Nancy

MlleFifi's week in Par(ad)is, with a side trip to Nancy

Dec 21st, 2008, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,418
Very enjoyable report! Thank you so much.

PS: I would kill for that black coat you're wearing.
lennyba is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Well how cool it that? I love it that you went to the Porcher toilettes in Place de Madeleine based on my website!
I took my mom there when we were there in October and yes, I noticed the new "no photographs" sign as well.

Love the photo of you too-you're adorable!
I'm always so impressed by (and a little jealous of) people who are comfortable traveling solo. That's just way out of my comfort zone, even given how much I like to travel. You go girl!
Kristina is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 09:18 AM
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Try a half-solo trip, where someone joins you for half a week but you have couple extra days before or after to yourself. That's what I did the first time.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 10:34 AM
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Still enjoying this report very much. Thanks for sharing, I know how much time it takes.

I agree about the half solo trip. That's what I did with a friend last March, and I enjoyed my three days alone at the end of the trip so much that I rented an apartment for two weeks by myself in November.
Nikki is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 10:47 AM
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wonderful report,
lovely photos(and coat
thank you.
cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Wonderful report of my favorite city.
I loved looking at your photos as I read the text. It was far more interesting than seeing them all at the end.
Paris calls us back time and time again. I could almost taste the pastry in your photos.
TPAYT is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Reading your TR and looking at your photos, reminds me of those lovely articles at Travel + Leisure. You should work for them!

May I ask what camera you used on this trip? I'm very impressed with the clarity of the photos in (seemingly) low light conditions.
yk is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 11:16 AM
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BTW, MlleFifi, I'll be in NYC in mid-March to catch a couple of operas at the Met. If you're interested in meeting up, you can drop me an email. I posted my email address towards the end of my London/Oxford trip report. If you can't find it, let me know.
yk is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 11:20 AM
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So nice to be back online for more than 10 minutes and enjoy a report like this! I really like the way you inserted the pix along the way, makes you feel like you are there. I too have to put Nancy on the short list, LOVE the architecture!
laartista is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 11:33 AM
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I agree with all those praising the report. And I love your photos, especially the way you are including them in the body of your essay. Now that's an organized Fodorite!

Thanks for a fun read.
Leely2 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 02:54 PM
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I've really enjoyed your report and pictures M.Fifi. Thanks so much for the tip on Ecole Lesage. I'd love to look into that!
Images2 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 04:30 PM
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I also want to add kudos for a fabulous report! You've really done a stellar job of bringing us along with your truly offbeat trip. I can't tell you how much I love your report of Nancy - I, too, love art nouveau, and was thrilled with the photos. Add Nancy to the list of towns to visit!

Loved your "tour" of the dance studio as well - really made me feel like I was there with you (I wish!).

progol is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 07:27 AM
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Day 6-- Marais, Printemps, Festival d'Automne

Ballet class. M. Lazzarelli tells me again and again to "tends le genou!" even when I think my knees are straight. One window faces the back of Centre Pompidou, and I envy the classmates who can be here regularly. One of them lives near St Michel-- 3 mornings a week, she walks past Notre Dame and Hotel de Ville to come to class. Sigh...

Today I'm going to the Marais, but first a quick stop at Forum des Halles (http://images47.fotki.com/v1400/phot...11B5282-vi.jpg) to pick up a ticket from Fnac. Seeing a Parashop (Walgreen-type store), I replenish my stash of bootleg sunscreen-- Avène eau thermale emulsion in the orange tubes. Forget complicated skincare routines; a good sunscreen is the only fountain of youth.

L'As du Fallafel (http://images48.fotki.com/v1407/phot...1B5298e-vi.jpg) does live up to the hype. The fried chickpea balls are light and crispy, not greasy at all. http://images46.fotki.com/v1414/phot...1B5305e-vi.jpg One falls out while I'm fumbling for a napkin, and a group of birds immediately swoop down and gobble it up-- they must be old hands at this, perched nearby looking out for clumsy eaters-- wonder how many balls they score in a day? At least these get some exercise; pigeons around Notre Dame look as obese as genetically-altered mice: http://images42.fotki.com/v1378/phot...11B6662-vi.jpg.

Next stop, some dessert from the pretty boulangerie-pâtisserie Florence Finkelsztajn (http://images47.fotki.com/v1402/phot...11B5308-vi.jpg), and then to... what, when did Goldenberg go out of business?! The name is still up, but the space is empty. Guess I haven't be back to this area in a long time. http://images47.fotki.com/v1401/phot...11B5309-vi.jpg There are posters up for some klezmer concerts-- I love klezmer music-- too bad they're for much later in December. Funny that the concerts are to take place not here in the Marais but "au Centre de Culture Chinoise."

The first time I saw the Guimard synagogue on rue Pavee many years ago, I had no idea what it was-- just loved the undulating curve of the facade. http://images43.fotki.com/v1388/phot...11B5343-vi.jpg After reading more about it, I wanted to see the inside, but in 2002 a "NO TOURISTS" sign was taped on the door. I got lucky in 2005-- that time, there was no sign, and the door was ajar. Asking to use the toilettes, I was allowed upstairs and got a good view of the interior from a high balcony. This year, there's again a sign posted on the door-- not as harsh as the previous one-- something more diplomatic like "Due to security concerns, we regret that visits are not possible." In the few minutes that I spend admiring the facade this afternoon, many visitors approach door, see the sign, and sigh in disappointment. I feel fortunate to have peeked in at the right time.

When I arrive at Musee Carnavalet, there's a large group of high school students. I move quickly to the next room to avoid the crowd, but their teacher is giving such a good lecture that I soon tag along to eavesdrop. He explains that the pearly shimmer of the Wendel ballroom is achieved by a layer of white-gold leaf under the paint. http://images43.fotki.com/v1384/phot...11B5361-vi.jpg Among the period rooms, I revisit a few old favorites such as Proust's bedroom http://images48.fotki.com/v1407/phot...1B5458e-vi.jpg and the Fouquet jewelry store. http://images47.fotki.com/v1398/phot...11B5390-vi.jpg

A few other miscellaneous photos from Marais:
Rue des Rosiers http://images47.fotki.com/v1404/phot...11B5296-vi.jpg
a shop window http://images45.fotki.com/v1429/phot...11B5297-vi.jpg
a pedestrian http://images47.fotki.com/v1397/phot...11B5351-vi.jpg

The free map from a hotel has a discount coupon for Printemps (haven't been able to find one for Galeries Lafayettes this time), so before going back to G.L. to buy the suitcase, I stop by Printemps to see if they have the same Delsey model. They do, but I find a different one, by Lipault, that's much lighter-- only 2.2 kilos! And it looks good too. http://www.rayondor-bagages.fr/LIPAU...JPF%20020.html (the brown one). Since it's collapsible and comes with a carrying case, I won't even have to drop it off at the apartment before going to the theater tonight.

Printemps' trompe l'oeil facade during renovations, with sparkling lights resembling fireworks: http://images43.fotki.com/v1389/phot...1B5519e-vi.jpg

The Festival d'Automne usually coincides with my trips, and this year I finally try a play-- Marivaux's "La Seconde Surprise de l'Amour" at Theatre des Bouffes du Nord. Although I speak very little French, I can read a lot (learned with French translations of the Harry Potter series and have moved on to regular books now). Having downloaded and read the script (http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/La_Sec...%E2%80%99amour), I'm able to follow about 90% of the dialogue tonight. The old theater itself (built in 1876, once called Theatre Moliere, currently home to Peter Brook's company) is worth seeing too: http://images47.fotki.com/v1404/phot...1B5553e-vi.jpg
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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Just realised that my title is a little misleading. I was there 11 days total-- the "week" plus arrival/departure days plus the 2 days in Nancy. A ballet classmate asked "why do you always come for such a short time?" Short? She didn't know that this is one of the longest vacations I've been able to take in ages!
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 08:20 AM
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My camera is an old Fuji F11. All of Fuji's F-series does well in low light. There's very little noise at 400 or even 800 ISO. 1600 gets fuzzier but is still much better than most other small point-and-shoot cameras.

I'll check Met Opera ticket availability this weekend (been procrastinating for too long) and email you.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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Your report could be a book in itself, love it and your appreciation of architecture and design.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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I agree - thank you again for continuing this very enjoyable trip report.
LCBoniti is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing your photos and experiences! I've been transported to a most beautiful part of the world. I'm definitely adding Nancy and Metz to my next trip to France, whenever that is.

My friends will be pleased to know that I am not the only person to take photos of beautiful or interesting bathroom features.

Your attention to detail is most impressive.
Thanks once again.
kiwigirl is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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Denise is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 05:30 PM
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Congrats on finding such a lightweight suitcase, and getting a discount too!

BTW, DH & I visited Musee Carnavalet on our last trip, and I swear we didn't see anything that you mentioned, LOL! Guess we'll have to go back for a revisit.

Your photos of Theatre des Bouffes du Nord seemed to show that it's in dire need of a facelift? Was it water damage in the ceiling and walls?

P.S. those pigeons are obsene!

P.P.S. I have tix for Rusalka (Renee Fleming) on March 12, and La Sonnambula (Florez) on March 14. Looks like Rusalka is close to sold out at this point, while there are still tix for La Sonnambula.
yk is offline  

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