My summer in Paris

Old Aug 3rd, 2015, 08:52 AM
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People from northern France don't even know how to buy bread in the south of France, so there's no surprise there, pariswat.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2015, 08:57 AM
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Ker
In southern France, we now bake our own bread.
Couldn't find bread we liked.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2015, 05:44 PM
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Kovsie
So pleasurable to read your day to day musings. Wonderful for you to spend such a length of time in Paris with real connections to "ordinary living". I wish...

Question: Paris Greeters - how far ahead did you register for a time with them and were you able to choose location and day? I will be in Paris in October for five days prior to a river cruise and would like to spend a morning with PG.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2015, 06:03 PM
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Travelchat: I discovered Paris Greeters a week before we came. I thought it would be nice to do it early in our trip, but gave later dates as alternatives. They accommodated my 'last minute request' for the first date. I then received a mail from the Greeter assigned to me, and he told me that he would show us Montmartre, where he lives. Because this is my first visit to Paris, I did not much care where we went, everything was (still is) new and interesting.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2015, 06:44 PM
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THE DAY WE WENT TO THE OPERA HOUSE

A Paris building I was longing to see, is the Opera Garnier. Phantom of the Opera had long been a favourite in our family, and there was a time when ‘Music of the Night’ thundered from DD’s room before breakfast every single morning. So off we went in real tourist mode.

I choose to do a self-guided tour, DD prefers the guided one. The only sad thing about this is that we cannot take pictures of each other coming down that lovely staircase. It is beautiful building, and deservedly famous. How I would have preferred to go to an opera there, instead of just looking down at the red plush seats. Perhaps one day I will again be in Paris, in opera season, with the necessary budget!

When we enter at 10am it is quiet, by 11.15 groups start clogging up doorways, people are sprawling on the staircase, two girls lying on their backs to take photos of a ceiling, a young couple trying to waltz down the wonderfully pretty golden room. I am glad I had it almost to myself just after opening time.

Both tours take about an hour. In the end DD did not much enjoy the guided tour. She wants to go again so that she can ‘listen to the music in her head’. In order to make sure that people do not sneak away with headsets, you have to give an ID card to the tour guide, which she returns at the end of the tour in return for the headset. This means that you cannot just leave the tour when you are bored.

For me it was a good experience. The moment of frisson when I stepped unto that marble staircase ... looking up at the chandeliers ... standing on the balcony or the Opera House in Paris ... how great is that!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2015, 06:57 PM
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I have stayed almost around the corner from the Opera house twice and then last trip walked by it several times and next trip it's on my "bucket list" to actually go inside. I've always been heading elsewhere so will make a point to be sure to go in. Will think about tour or not to tour.
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 03:14 AM
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Crefloors: if you are interested in the history of architecture in Paris and so on, you would love the tour. If you just want to experience the building, an hour and a bit may be toooo loooong. It depends!
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 05:03 AM
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Sigh. This is so nice.
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 07:01 AM
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My DD's room in our Paris house belongs to a high school boy. The whole room is decorated with IKEA products depicting New York city - the Statue of Liberty against a cupboard, a poster with yellow taxis and a Broadway sign, the New York skyline as a light fitting and so on. And I wonder: are there homes in New York City decorated with the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame?
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 07:17 AM
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LOL, I don't live in New York, but I have a lot of Paris in my house.

The grass in always greener. I read a blog French Word A Day, and Kristin Espinasse is an American from AZ, married to a frenchman in the wine business and has lived in France for 20 years. She always wanted to live in France. Her son is now doing an internship in Portland OR, and her daughter wants to come to the US, her comment "mom, France is so old". LOL The kids come to the US fairly frequently to spend time with grandparents.
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 08:58 AM
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kovsie, I continue to enjoy your ramblings around Paris. Such a delight.
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 09:27 AM
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THE DAY I DID NOTHING MUCH

On July 14, 1789 — the date of the storming of the Bastille — Louis XVI of France wrote in his diary "rien (nothing)."

In my life, nothing important happened today. I was woken by a good thunder storm at 3am, opened the shutters, watched the lightning play. Walked and walked, Paris is beautiful, the sky is wonderfully blue, the weather perfect. I read about poor, very gifted Napoleon who made such bad choices, I had too much good coffee, sat in the sun, slowly drank red wine, had a great day - one of the best. When we are back at work, these are the days that we dream about.

DD went to the gardens of Versailles and I received several ecstatic text messages - she states it is not negotiable that I also have to go. I was lazy for the many other people, but she says the gardens are quiet - the hordes are focused on the gilded palace.
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 09:32 AM
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Thanks Tudette and LCBoniti and everybody else for such positive feedback ... I appreciate your comments.

crefloors: you really made me smile ... Paris is soooo old
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 09:57 AM
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I am so enjoying this Kovsie. I keep checking for more. So generous of you to share your time in Paris with us.
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 01:03 PM
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What a delightful thread, Kovsie. Thank you so much. I feel as if I'm sitting at your little cafe, coffee in hand, absorbing the aromas & early morning sounds & sights.
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 02:13 PM
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Thanks, Kovsie, for the response to my question about Paris Greeters. I definitely will make plans for a morning with whomever for wherever.

Continuing to enjoy each new post!
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Old Aug 4th, 2015, 10:49 PM
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kovsie - though occasionally there are musical performances at Opera Garnier, the theatre is nowadays dedicated to ballet. If you're interested in celebrities, Benjamin Millepied (Mr. Natalie Portman) is in charge of the Paris Ballet, and has put on some very interesting shows this year.

For "regular" opera, you must go to the much-less-inspiring Opera Bastille, a modern building designed by Jean Nouvel. The acoustics and sight lines are excellent here, so it's worth going - if you just ignore the building itself.
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Old Aug 5th, 2015, 02:13 AM
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Manouche, you are rather cruel to talk about the rich cultural programming that takes place in Paris in just about every month except August. ;-)
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Old Aug 5th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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Manouche, thanks for the info. I have walked past the new opera building, and I assumed that it would be modern and well-planned and provide a better experience once the lights are dimmed. And I did think the 'stalls' of the Opera Garnier will obstruct views. I once paid for an evening in La Scala where we literally could not see the stage. Not.at.all.
But - as kerouac says, by the time there is opera or ballet in Paris, I will be far, far away!
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Old Aug 5th, 2015, 11:29 AM
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THE DAY I VISITED COCO CHANEL’S STORE
'There are people who have money and people who are rich.'
Coco Chanel

I am not a designer bag kind of person, but for some reason I was always fascinated by the life of Coco Chanel. Today I went to her original store. Although the place itself is pure Dubai, all big and shiny, it was nice to walk down ‘her’ narrow street and see the original entrance to her store (yes, just like in the movie!).

I decided to buy a lipstick, and allowed the sales assistant, speaking English with such a charming accent, in impeccable black and white, to assist me in choosing the perfect colour, discussing my skin tone and so forth. I sailed forth with my flat shoes, with a very smart (very small) package with my new lipstick and a few samples of perfume.

I also went to the Fauchon store and bought a small, very pretty and absolutely delectable chocolate mouse and meringue concoction, which they packed in another smart pink and black box and bag. At home, DD and I devoured it from the nice little box with two spoons – delicious.
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