Art and the philosophy of life

The green bookstalls, filled with things French people would never buy, but tourists, hungrily purchased and shoved into their bags.

I took the chicklets to Paris a couple of times and they really enjoyed it.  I fell in love with it, of course, as so many people do.  I don’t actually care if I ever go anywhere else.  I just want to go back to Paris.  I wish it wasn’t so far away.  LOL  I wish a lot of things, since I know the virus won’t allow Paris to be the same open and friendly place it was, last time I was there.  But still, I read about Her, remember, and I dream.

Shakespeare and Company.  The big tree out in front.  The shelves of books, the cat, the typewriters.  There’s a restaurant in part of it now. The billions of words I have digested about Sylvia Beach and her original shop.  Her life, and those who were in it.  It doesn’t matter that it has been run by George, another American (he bought the name and named his daughter Sylvia, for Beach), for years, and now it’s run by daughter.  It’s an American symbol in the City of Lights.  I loved it.  It’s a business, but the books I’ve read made it so much more.  And that’s what life is.  It’s always about the things in our heads, and when I’ve been in the shop, all those people I read about, came alive and nothing else mattered.

A waiter who worked in the tiny cafe on the corner, right by the hotel, blew kisses at me every time I walked by and drew hearts on my bills, along with love notes, when I ate there.

And flower shops were everywhere.

The BREAD and the CHOCOLATE.  The fresh food, right from the earth, and people with their baskets shopping everyday for what they would need for that evening’s meal.

Wine and cheese shops. Shops dedicated to gloves, or one or two items.  And the people who worked in the shops KNEW EVERYTHING about what they were selling and they concentrated helping people make the best choices.

But don’t touch anything.  The people who work in shops will do that for you.  It’s insulting to touch, or try and help yourself.  Found that out right away.

The gardens, the white buildings, the wide boulevards.  The trees and the ice cream.

The people were wonderful.  Helpful and kind.

One does have to watch for pickpockets and women dressed like little girls, in plaid skirts and white blouses, holding clip boards.  They ask questions, while their partners rob you.  Crimes, and the signs warning you about them, are everywhere.

And sometimes a few Americans horrified me.  Easy to pick them out by the way they were dressed and how loud and even obnoxious some were.  It made me understand why some French people don’t like us.  I didn’t like us.   If they wanted to be treated nicely, with respect and courtesy, they should have acted that way.   Bellowing, being demanding, rude and awful, hurts everyone else.

Winged Victory, Louvre

I think you can skip the Louvre.  I went the first time I was there and was sorry I wasted part of the day.  It’s too crowded and the art…well, the best part was a musician outside, who was playing his cello.  That is wonderful.  Even with a pass and guide, to get in before it opened, wasn’t worth the time.  Although, Winged Victory was gorgeous.

The Love Locks were covered last time I was there.  This is before all the damage happened.

I think the best part about being in Paris is to just walk around and discover things by surprise.  And there are definitely surprises.  Like cool street art.

Paris, Street, City, France

I love that some of the tiny shops are one step away from the curb, their walls rolled back, so the entire shop is wide open.  You just step in and point, or ask, if you can, for whatever you want.

While almost everyone speaks English, it’s good to learn the important words to say in French and aways say Bonjour and Merci.

Eiffel Tower at night

You must see the Eiffel Tower at night and boat rides are always fun and beautiful, especially if they start in the late afternoon and you are on the water when the sun goes down.  The sculptures on their bridges are gorgeous.

Be prepared to walk…a LOT.

My hairdryer melted, the first time I was there.  I did use a special plug thing but apparently it wasn’t the right one.  It literally melted.  Lesson learned.

Crows in Paris

It was so wonderful to see crows  everywhere.  I miss them so much.  The bird flu killed ours and they are very slow making a come back.  It’s terrible.  So, I was thrilled to see so many everywhere I went.  They are used to being around people.

The men in Paris are, well, the men are so beautiful, I hardly know what to say.  They are perfectly dressed. Their haircuts, amazing.  As I said, beautiful.  I’ll just stop there.

I know that the things I found attractive and wonderful, are just day to day things for the people who live there, but the house painters I saw and spoke to, on a walk, were dressed in all white.  They were leaning against the building, smoking, and I couldn’t believe how amazing they looked.  No torn T-shirts and baggy jeans, instead, pristine white t-shirts and white cotton pants.  White caps and wow…mini works of art.

The desserts.  OMG  Seriously.  And I do believe they can make ANYTHING AT ALL, out of chocolate.  Some of the chocolate shops looked like high end jewelry stores.  Everything is an art that is taken seriously.  I will never eat another eclair.  After the one’s I had in Paris, ours are like thick, heavy globs of whatever.  Their desserts are so balanced for taste and beauty, it’s hard to describe, although I still like Ding Dongs. 🙂

Well, I’m obviously getting lost in memories of Paris, and I should probably get back to the books sitting in front of me, but I just wanted to tell you that if you can go to Paris, never say, “No.”  And if you go…leave your preconceived ideas behind and just let yourself fall in love with the city.  .




Comments on: "I’ve been reading about Paris…actually, I’m ALWAYS reading about Paris. 9 pictures" (28)

  1. You speak of Paris as I do of Tuscany. I cannot wait to return and absorb everything that is.
    There are similarities, for sure 🙂

    • Certain places speak to something inside us. I understand that and I’m half Sicilian but Italy, while lovely, didn’t do it for me. Venice was great and a lot of fun, but Paris just took my breath away. I felt as if I was home. Maybe I was French in a past life. 🙂 I haven’t been to Sweden or Norway, to check out my other side but I’ll never get there because if I can go anywhere, it will be back to Paris. You’ll go to beautiful Tuscany.

      Monet’s garden was gorgeous, but I just wanted to get back to Paris. LOL It’s like something pulling on us. But if you ever go to Paris, don’t miss it. They have chickens too and you can go in Monet’s house.

      I hope you get back to Tuscany soon. When this virus thing is under control. It’s good to be in places you love.

      • It’s funny how that happens. I stepped foot in Tuscany and I felt like I belonged. I love that Paris did the same for you. But, I haven’t been anywhere else so I really can’t judge. Who knows what France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, etc… will do 😉 I’m only now starting to travel (ridiculously late, but hey.)

        I would love to see Monet’s garden. I promise you, it will come one day.

        Yes, I only saw such a puny part of it.

      • Venice has the best gelato anywhere I’ve ever been. Have it two times a day because you won’t find anything that good anywhere else. That might seem like a lot, but believe me, it’s not. LOL And you might not feel that way about anyplace else. You may have found your place in Tuscany and that’s great. Italy is so earthy and full of churches. The colors are wonderful…earth tones and beautiful. Paris is white. The artwork everywhere is truly overwhelming. Rodin’s museum, Notre Dame (before the fire, of course( was a dusty carnivorous place, I never want to go into again. It’s almost kitty-corner from Shakespeare and company, but I think religion is silly so churches seem to be a waste of space and money. Anyway, Italy had such wonderful food. Did the Spanish Steps, great ice cream at the bottom. Best pizza ever on a side trip and the people were great. American embassy sucked, a guard pulled an automatic weapon on me because I was trying to take a picture of the sign. They made a teenage girl at the hotel cry, they were so mean. But I was just in Rome and Florence, which I loved, and a few other places. I was not in Tuscany. My cousin and I want to go to Sicily, since that’s where our grandparents came from, but I doubt we will make it now. And I just started traveling as well. Never too late.

      • Florence is in Tuscany, so yes, you were 😉 I didn’t go to Rome. Yet. Nor any place outside of Florence, Siena, Cortona, Montepulciano. So there is still LOTS of Italy to get to know. I do want to go to France – was supposed in April 2019, had to cancel, then in April 2020, had to cancel… A friend I made in Tuscany wanted me to join her in April 2022 but I said if I did, it would be totally last minute – I can’t cancel on these people a third time! This was a Cook in Burgundy thing (I did the Cook in Tuscany to start my trip, then spent the next 9 days alone, exploring) That was my plan with Burgundy as well but dang. No matter. Will happen eventually!
        So many places to visit in the world. I really do need to retire. Sigh.

      • I loved Siena. What a work out for those people going up and down those steep hills. That’s where I had the best pizza ever! And yes, you need to retire and travel. Definitely. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of restrictions because of the virus and who knows where you could get stuck, locked down. Maybe a little longer before you start again.

      • It was my favourite (so far). I had the best pici there!
        Yes, of course, when the world is right again (or as right as it can be), I shall definitely plan accordingly!

      • Excellent. You will have a fabulous time. It’s so wonderful to be able to travel. I go with my cousin (her mom and my father were siblings). We have a good time together and like the same things, usually, so it works out well.

      • That’s fantastic. I have decided not to wait for anyone to keep me company if I am inclined to go. Sure, it’s nice to travel with someone if you are on the same wavelength. Mick was great and my sisters’ families – we amazingly had so much fun all together.

      • I couldn’t agree more. And, FYI there are women only tours and trips. But if you can go, go. Doesn’t matter if anyone is with you. it is nice, but if you’re always waiting for someone to be able to go, you may never get anywhere.

      • Blech. I’m not the type to go on tours. Tuscany was my first (of many to come) trips where I did not wait for someone 🙂 The first week was with Cook in Tuscany, which was a great way to break myself in. One week with this group (not like a tour group!) was just what I needed as a boost.
        But yeah. Those days of waiting – to see a movie, play, concert, etc. Are OVER.

      • Excellent. My cousin and I used a fantastic tour company to go to Italy. It was nice having our bags cared for and several other things. We walked around by ourselves and did our own thing, but our hotels were out of this world. So beautiful and perfectly situated. We did everything ourselves in Paris. She and her daughter had used the company when they went to Italy before. We used them again when we went to Hawaii. I wouldn’t use anyone in Paris.

  2. I love paris as well. Its such a beautiful city! ❤

  3. I’ve always wanted to go and you make it sound sooooo magical! ❤

  4. Effin Covid. Nothing..not Paris, nor Vienna, nor Chicago nor even Toronto will ever be the same.
    We, the people are to blame. Our governments have let us down. They are chasing their tails.
    We voted them in. We always vote THEM in.
    The planet is over crowded. There is naught to do, because as Covid shows us Mother Nature will take over when we won’t.
    We really don’t know how many have died globally from Covid. Please! Third world countries are reeling.
    The good news is, we have cats (and dogs).
    EGADS…. now I’m worried(again) about cats and dogs in 3rd world countries.

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