"Merci Fifi for the wonderful opportunity of writing about Paris in your enchanting Blog"
It was 8:00 AM of a cold December day when Linda and I arrived by train from Milan Stazione Centrale to Paris Gare de Lyon. We could barely sleep that night, rolling and tossing and turning...we thought it would be fascinating like taking the "Orient Express" but even if we paid for a first class Wagon Lit we spent the first hour laughing hysterically figuring out how to move around our luggage, not to mention undress or wash our face in that cubicle! Linda, more athletic, offered to sleep on the upper berth...I tried to read a book to avoid feeling claustrophobic.
Of course we fell asleep an hour before arrival so we had to rush to get ready.
The sleepless night was worth it, I always find it fascinating to arrive in the morning and right in the center of a city. The light was just starting to come out from the clouds. After a short ride by cab the first thing we did was to have a "café au lait" and a "pain au chocolat" while we were waiting for a guy with the keys of the apartment we had rented for 10 days.
The area was Le Marais, the most exciting, friendly and beautiful part of Paris. The apartment belonged to an internationally known photographer with whom I took a workshop in the past, Peter Turnley (the lucky and very talented guy lives between Paris and New York when not in Afghanistan, Brazil, Africa, around the world).
We had to drag our luggage up the last flight of stairs since the lift was stopping at the 4th floor (a 17th century building) and there we were in this Parisian bachelor pad with a balcony and the view of Parisian roofs and Parisian clouds and Parisian dawns and sunsets ( I assure you they are different).
and it was really charming and "très Français" (Linda kept looking for the washer, dryer, dishwasher, to no avail).
During the day we wandered everywhere, from the Musée Carnavalet, worth a visit to know Paris' history
to the Beaubourg for contemporary Art and for the extraordinary view from the restaurant.
to les Jardins du Palais Royal for a stroll and to admire the elegant stores under the arcade.
to Clignancourt for the Flea Market (Marché aux Puces) for interesting objects and people
We went to the most beautiful stores (furniture and fashion) , department stores, one day I even dragged Linda to a Christie's auction preview.
If we did not plan to go out for dinner or for crêpes we were going home with baguettes, Reblochon, Brie, Pâté de Foie Gras, tartes salée, cooked shellfish and of course lots of pastries and gateaux ("Cannelés"were my favourite sweet treats those days, baked in copper molds, caramelized on top to protect a perfectly moist - chewy heart) ....and fabulous bottles of wine, ça va sans dire!
Of course we had to go for dinner at "Le Grand Colbert" feeling part of the movie "Something's gotta give" and we were actually seating in the same spot as Dianne (but Jack and Keanu did not show up...)
Another night at 1:00 AM (yes one in the morning) coming out of a restaurant we saw three Camargue horses standing near the wall...at first I thought...too much wine! but then we realized they were for real, so we ran home (luckily around the corner) and got our cameras.
We then spent an hour just looking at the people's faces coming along the street and suddenly seeing those beautiful animals, I took several pictures and finally what I call "a zinger" a perfect moment captured with the best exposure...click...a picture which looks staged but was instead totally natural and I still wonder if the two lovers ever saw the horses.
It was already 2 in the morning but people were walking by, still enjoying the night and it was December! What a city!
Paris is so magic and changes constantly but always remains the same! when you go there after a few or even many years she embraces you with her charm and her timeless beauty just like French women, beautiful no matter what their age is, real women with grace, esprit, and always sexy even with wrinkles and gray hair. The way they talk, their gestures, the smile, the twinkle in their eyes.
Think about the most famous actresses: Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Adjani, Ludivine Sagnier, Emmanuelle Beart , my favourite Juliette Binoche and many others, they are just like that and they always have great roles to play (like in the past Jeanne Moreau, Danielle Darrieux, Simone Signoret) and even the new generation of actresses like Audrey Tautou, Marion Cotillard, the extraordinary Cecile De France exude personality and charme.
Style, elegance, timeless beauty, respect for the past and looking forward to the future,this is Paris...charmant.
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Merci Albarosa!!! Sharing your FAB visit to Paris along with your BEAUTIFUL photography was DIVINE!!! Everyone please make sure you visit her site and see MORE of her photography... you will not be disappointed... I believe you will be inspired like I was to paint this... oooh la la a bread shop... my favorite thing to eat... yum...