My beautiful Parisian landlady, Stéphanie, took me to lunch at a Montmartre restaurant with panoramic views of the city (where she explained why it is so hard for single Parisian women to find love and romance in Paris.) I went running (away from baguettes & butter) on the Viaduc des Arts – a lovely 2.8 mile trail with gardens that used to be railroad tracks. I sat on the same steps where Owen Wilson’s character in “Midnight in Paris” waited for Heminway and Fitzgerald to pick him up and take him to Gertrude Stein’s place.
Gotta love Paris graffiti! My family name is “Floyd”– not a name I associate with the French.
Bastille celebrations start the night before at local fire stations all over town where firemen and police host massive parties, serve alcohol to the public, DJ the music with a sound-system that can be heard for miles around, and dance and flirt with the locals. No one is worried about liability–something you’ll never see in the US.**** I started Bastille Day, July 14th, at a brunch hosted by a French chef and her New Yorker husband, where the other guests were from Germany, Canada, Puerto Rico and England. Later, faculty and classmates from my writing program watched the Eiffel Tower fireworks from a boat on the Seine. ****The American Cathedral in Paris is a peaceful place to spend Sunday mornings.
I performed a reading of my work at Café Universal–a Paris jazz club. ****Love the constant show of lights at night outside my living room window. ****Went sales shopping at Galleries Lafayette.****Saw “Stage Fright,” a 1949 Hitchcock movie with Marlene Dietrich at one the cinemas I frequent–Christine 21, on the Left Bank.**** Found a bar dedicated to my father–“Cool Bob.”
Returned to classes at the Paris American Academy where, this year, I am a fellow. Imagine taking classes in rooms with beautiful crystal chandeliers, in a building with the sound of choral singers practicing nearby while outside, fountains gurgle. I’m making new friends and reconnecting with incredible faculty and old classmates. And having a student ID card always makes me feel young! My new apartment is at a major intersection across from a Metro station–which provides great people watching. I love all the street noises. I take different routes home from school, and to the gym, and each day I discover little gems (like an ancient arena in the middle of a shopping district.) I’m also not far from the nightly tango, salsa and bopping that happens on the banks of the Seine each night. Met up with American friends on the 4th of July, at Joe Allen (Paris vs New York), had hamburgers and the whole restaurant broke out singing God Bless America. On Sunday, people line up to go to the church of Louis Vuitton and dealerships featuring race cars. My classmates and I had weekly outdoor soirées all over town.
The other day I went to see “Funny Face” and cried (and then laughed at myself for crying) because I was watching Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn dance and sing around Paris — in Paris.
A beautiful gloomy day in Paris. Although I could have taken the Metro, I walked a few miles in the rain, Does anyone have a trick for drying puddle-soaked leather shoes?
Last Sunday I walked through the Luxembourg Gardens on my way to lunch at Brasserie Balzar, near the Sorbonne. As I sat at a corner table looking out on the street, a man came up and slapped a card down with a handwritten phone number – no name. I had not noticed him in the restaurant and he quickly headed for the door as I looked up from the card. My friend says that is how casting directors sometimes scout “people who look interesting” for film and TV in Paris. I’m going to stick with the possibility and enjoy the ego boost rather than call and learn the truth.
Lunch with my incomparable friend “Holly” at Josephine Chez Dumonet. Holly inspired my purchase of Paris specs last summer.*** Took a break from writing and walked to Gare Lyon where I decided to treat myself to lunch at the opulent Le Train Bleu. ***Went to the 70th Birthday party of Terrance Gelenter, consummate expert on all things Parisian and made new friends with a number of Americans who have figured out how to live in Paris full-time (I think some baseline cash is key.) ***Attended a presentation on Art Deco at a fascinating little shop on Blvd. Beaumarchais. A 1925 poster of Josephine Baker was on sale for only 35,000 €. I bought a 1920’s postcard for 10 €.
Back in my favorite Marais apartment climbing those 70+ steps. It’s been in the mid-90’s, providing me with an excuse to go to my favorite store, BHV, for an extra fan. Bought caramel au beurre salé sauce and managed to put some on ice cream (versus just eating it out of the jar.) Went to bed, smiling, with a big Solstice party happening in the square outside my bedroom window. Someone was playing a song with a repeating refrain of “Everybody’s doing drugs” — or that’s what it sounded like. Today — bought peonies, walked through Place des Vosges, went to the cinema (hoping to beat last year’s record of 12 films) and joined a gym — the instructor was very easy on the eyes (bien sur!)
Last Post from Paris 2016– Saw my 11th movie at one of the great old cinemas around town (Magnificent Obsession with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman 1955). I also saw Casablanca in a 50-seat theatre where it probably premiered as a new release in 1942. Said goodbye to my favorite ice cream lady who I saw everyday. She would see me coming and have my cone of Caramel Beurre Salé ready for me. I had a 17 € Martini at the Hemingway Bar in the Ritz. It comes with a rose — that must be justification for the price. My friend Holly and I had tea at the Mosque de Paris. I found my favorite Paris park statute — a lord amused by a crow feeding bread to a fox (which is one of Aesop’s Fables.)