Published: July 10th 2012July 10th 2012
First off, please enjoy a few scenes of some of my favorite places in Paris... You will probably notice, however, upon reading the text and the captions of the other photos (39 in all), that rather than an actual "travelog," this particular blog entry is quite personal. Hopefully, it will give you an idea of the life of a Franco-American living in Paris and "the flavor" of this beautiful city.
As my friends and family know, Paris has been my "adopted home" for more than 40 years. I returned here from San Francisco in early June, and I must say that it's nice to be back for the summer, even though the weather has been rotten. There have been grey skies and showers for weeks on end;you can count the days on one hand where the sun has been shining all day or even appeared between the clouds.
Despite the bad weather, and as the photos and captions will attest, I've been keeping quite busy. It's been lovely babysitting for my 2-year-old granddaughter, visiting with my sons and their partners, and having "coffee dates" with friends. I've taken photos of quite a few of my recent activities, but there
are also other things I've done here that I haven't recorded with my camera. For example, I've really been enjoying listening to local French radio and TV --such different issues than in California! I'm also enjoying CNN International (based in London), BBC World Service, France 4 in English, and Al Jeezera in English--all of which I get on cable TV here but have to watch on my computer in the U.S. I like the international perspective you get in Europe and wish the U.S. would follow suit in broadcasting more international news.....sorry, but this has always been one of my pet peeves!
In a nutshell, and in addition to the ones mentioned on the photos, here are some events I've been to recently: A "Support Obama" concert sponsored by Democrats Abroad at the Atelier de la Main d'Or; a reading by two authors at the American Library, and a reading by Alice Kaplan at the Village Voice; and Village Voice owner Odile Hellier's "farewell party." By the way, everyone here is very sad that this great independent bookshop is closing after 30 years' of existence. Read about this at http://publishingperspectives.com/2012/06/closing-of-paris-village-voice-bookshop-marks-end-of-an-era/
To keep fit, I've walked all over town
and been on hikes outisde Paris with a local hiking group, Ile de France Walks. I attended a garden party, a dinner, and a July 4th barbecue of three American associations I belong to here. I went to a church service and later a dinner organized by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris; I also attended one of Patricia Laplante's "Paris Soirees" at a Tibetan restaurant in the Latin Quarter. One of my bookclubs met "chez moi" in late June; they are returning in mid-July for another meeting.
A French consulting firm I used to work for hosted a lovely cocktail party, and SIETAR-France held its annual GA. It was fun reconnecting with former colleagues and fellow "intercultualists". I've attended meetings of the Paris Writers Group, and I went to a theater in Belleville to see "Waiting for Godex", a play written by Corneliu Mitrache, a fellow PWG member. I also attended a play-reading at Carr's Pub, where StephanieCampion's group, Moving Parts, meets twice a month; and I heard Timothy Jay Smith speak at Adrian Leeds' Parler Apres-Midi get-together in a cafe in the Marais.
Come this weekend (Bastille Day is Saturday, July 14), things are going to
slow way down, for as always, Parisians usually vacate the capital between July 15 and August 15. Among them this year will be my two Parisian sons (my eldest son, a musician and singer/songwriter, lives in Portland, Oregon), their partners and my granddaughter, as well as most of my friends. So rather than stay behind on my own, I've planned a trip to England from July 27-August 12. After staying in London (apartment exchange) for 5 nights, I'll travel up to the Lake District by train to join a "Ramblers" hiking group for a week of trekking through a lovely part of the British countryside that I've always wanted to visit (in the footsteps of Wordsworth, other Romantic poets, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Beatrix Potter, no less!).
More to follow about this trip to England in my next blog entry.
There are more photos below