Just came back from a brief stay in Paris and these are some of my pictures:
The Louvre is glorious in early morning,
some jet-lagged tourists were the only people around,
early birds can witness the majesty of an empty Louvre Court.
When you wake up that early in the morning, everything is beautifully calm even in the nauseatingly crowded Paris,
Another lonely hyper-connected dude:
I met Jon Stewart at Deux Magots for breakfast that day—he made me laugh…
Angelina still has the best Mont Blanc of the city and it’s my duty to check the quality every time I am in town:
Of course my favorite is always “un petit noir au comptoir” (a quick small espresso at the cafés’ counter):
Couldn’t resist adding this image of Maryam from a couple of years ago…
Pretty girls who wish to model for you are not rare in Paris and I found a great one, Lisa Tahmassi, to walk with me in La Butte aux Cailles neighborhood . You are never sure whether it will rain or not—an umbrella is usually a must in almost any season.
These two old gentlemen were so out of place in this very chic neighborhood (ok, the café was pretty beat-up)—they couldn’t take their eyes off of her!
Ah…the never-retiring beret…
It was too early to start drinking anything but an espresso at the counter:
I love these no-fuss cafés of Paris where you can have the best “petit noir” for 1.5 euros.
A world in turmoil screams for our attention,
the financial meltdown was starting to hit the front pages.
I have more pictures of Lisa but they have to wait for another post, another day.
Putting these images together, I am reminded of this terrific, light-hearted song about being young and in love in Paris by Jacques Brel,”Les Prenoms De Paris” (Names For Paris); listen to it here.
“Le soleil qui se lève
Et caresse les toits
Et c’est Paris le jour
La Seine qui se promène
Et me guide du doigt
Et c’est Paris toujours
Et mon cœur qui s’arrête
Sur ton cœur qui sourit
Et c’est Paris bonjour
Et ta main dans ma main
Qui me dit déjà oui
Et c’est Paris l’amour
Le premier rendez-vous
A l’île Saint-Louis
C’est Paris qui commence
Et le premier baiser
Volé aux Tuileries
Et c’est Paris la chance
Et le premier baiser
Reçu sous un portail
Et c’est Paris romance
Et deux têtes qui tournent
En regardant Versailles
Et c’est Paris la France
Des jours que l’on oublie
Qui oublient de nous voir
Et c’est Paris l’espoir
Des heures où nos regards
Ne sont qu’un seul regard
Et c’est Paris miroir
Rien que des nuits encore
Qui séparent nos chansons
Et c’est Paris bonsoir
Et ce jour-là enfin
Où tu ne dis plus non
Et c’est Paris ce soir
Une chambre un peu triste
Où s’arrête la ronde
Et c’est Paris nous deux
Un regard qui reçoit
La tendresse du monde
Et c’est Paris tes yeux
Ce serment que je pleure
Plutôt que ne le dis
C’est Paris si tu veux
Et savoir que demain
Sera comme aujourd’hui
C’est Paris merveilleux
Mais la fin du voyage
La fin de la chanson
Et c’est Paris tout gris
Dernier jour, dernière heure
Première larme aussi
Et c’est Paris la pluie
Ces jardins remontés
Qui n’ont plus leur parure
Et c’est Paris l’ennui
La gare où s’accomplit
La dernière déchirure
Et c’est Paris fini
Loin des yeux loin du cœur
Chassé du paradis
Et c’est Paris chagrin
Mais une lettre de toi
Une lettre qui dit oui
Et c’est Paris demain
Des villes et des villages
Les roues tremblent de chance
C’est Paris en chemin
Et toi qui m’attends là
Et tout qui recommence
Et c’est Paris je reviens.” Jacques Brel
Ok people, brace yourselves – this is going to be an image heavy post! I will take you through a couple of days in Paris – the way I like it: hitting the streets early in the morning to catch the blue hour of this great city; Montparnasse is a very busy neighborhood at 8:30 am.
This was my first time witnessing the changing of the ads:
I walked to a favorite café that reminds me of my twenties, La Rotonde.
I don’t like them anymore (remember the whipped cream out of a can?) but nostalgia and Balzac take me to them every year.
Of course anything that remotely reminds me of Los Angeles while I am in Europe is not welcome so this kind of restaurant/café just makes me wince but the worst offender is Starbucks and its paper cups.
I bought a pariscope from this news stand,
and had a coffee while looking for the hottest exhibition in Paris.
I decided to see Giacometti in Centre Pompidou . “It was never my intention to paint only with gray. But in the course of my work I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray, gray, gray! ”
What a great show it was – complete with the artist being filmed while painting and sculpting.
His drawings (included some fabulous small notebooks), paintings and sculptures made a large window into the soul of this great creature…
Even though I am not a big fan of the Centre Pompidou, I have to admit that the view is breathtaking…
I visited the Maillol museum a couple of days before this and liked its architecture as much as the collections:
Maillol is very different in his style from Rodin – they were good friends.
The picture bellow shows the plaster versions of the bronze sculptures above.
On a more colorful note, living in Los Angeles, I am deprived of pretty store windows – abundant in New York, Paris and London.
I am ending this post with two images of my loyal laptop that’s getting very old but gets the job done.
Café crème or Petite Arvine, a good post I hope.