Archive for April, 2010

Five years in Paris, Sublime, Surreal, Sobering

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Time rolls by as Jim and I marvel at five years here. We marked the date, April Fool’s Day, with breakfast at Breakfast in America on rue des ecoles and a round trip city bus trip on the 69 bus-one of Rick Steves’ fave routes, opting not to get off at Pierre La Chaise cemetary because the weather was still too cold-go figure. We recently attended the so-sublime American Women’s Group wine auction gala at the Mariott Rive Gauche where we bid and brought home a Sonia Bignall artwork. Monday, March 29 found us in he 15th for a Seder dinner at the MJLF Jewish center, in the quartier where Parisian Jews were taken in the July 1942 round-up. As detailed in the current haunting movie La Rafles and the book Sarah’s Key, it was a surreal place to observe passover. A female rabbi led the ceremony and invited me back on April 11 for a Shoah service where all names of the 76,000 Jews deported from France to concentration camps and death were read out loud.  

     Contradictions still intrique me about living in Paris- contradictions between the beauty, dirt, good and ugly history.  My favorite Paris poem remains Cecilia Woloch’s “Filth” – my poetry teacher’s ode to the smog, soot and street dirt  of Paris in all its glory. Google search “Filth” and read it for yourself.

The view from our balcony is shown in the two photos. Les SoirToit View and Les Jour Toit View, night and day views first of the Eiffel Tower in the evening and then of the Notre Dame towers during the day.


Jour View From Balcony

     A first in five years has happened- my change purse was lifted at the Mabillion metro station- lost 60 euros and my navigo bus and metro pass, and felt violated. Travelers- pickpockets abound- watch your belongings.

     The New York Times recently featured some young chefs. Jim and I hot footed it to L’Agrume at 15 rue des fossés in  our quartier, the 5th. We have been twice and the food is great with a 14 euro lunch formula.

     In May I am leading a tour to Chartre where Kat Beaulieu, trained and once employed by Lauren Artress will help guide the labyrinth walk.

    The volcano clouds are lifting in Europe, planes are flying and the weather is warmer.

      Happy Spring,

Pam Leavy in Paris


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