14 May 2011

April in Paris

Wow, it's actually raining outside this morning! This is the first time we've had real rain in so long — I'm tempted to say "in living memory." Let's hope it continues for a while and we get some significant water out of it. It's time to plant the garden now, and the soil needs moisture.

On the rue de Buci in Paris on April 1, 2002

With the Blogger outage yesterday, I was able to focus on yard work rather than blogging. I tilled up two more garden plots. The ground was like concrete – it's mostly clay, and clay has two states: squishy-muddy, or harder than rock. Since it hadn't rained in a long time... well, you get the picture.

The Blogger outage was a first, if I remember correctly. I've been blogging for 5½ years now, and never before have I not been able to post anything because of a Blogger outage. In the past, we've had DSL outages. We've had power outages. And there have been days when Blogger wouldn't accept pictures. But a total Blogger outage was a new experience.

Another café on the rue de Buci that April 1 evening

In a comment on my last post, Judy a.k.a. Seine Judith, asked about a picture she noticed in one of my photos of our ongoing renovations and re-decorating. It's the first picture above. I said in a comment that it was a picture of Walt's, but it turns out to be one that I took. It was April 1, 2002, and we had arrived in Paris 48 hours earlier for a two week vacation. Over the weekend we had gone to the Casino de Paris for a concert by Alain Souchon, and to the Olympia for one by Serge Lama. We were jet-lagged, exhausted, and ecstatic.

Le Café des Deux Magots, and the Café de Flore in the background

The apartment we had rented for the vacation was on the rue Mayet, just off rue de Sèvres near métro Duroc. On Monday, April Fool's Day, Walt and I wandered around nearby Saint-Germain-des-Près, the neighborhood where he and I — and Judy — spent a lot of time back in 1981-82. Actually, she and Walt both lived for a while in a pension de famille there, on rue du Four.

La Brasserie Lipp, a St-Germain institution

It was a beautiful evening, and I was taking pictures with one of my first digital cameras, a Kodak DC4800. It was a clunky camera by today's standards, but I always liked the pictures it took. I was enjoying the look and colors of all the cafés and restaurants, which were just turning on their inside lights and their neon signs, and the nice weather.

La Taverne St-Germain

That April trip to Paris was, unbeknownst to us at the time, our last actual vacation in France before becoming residents. By April 2003, we had come back to France, found a house to buy near Saint-Aignan, and become homeowners here. We both quit our jobs that year before moving ourselves, our dog, and all our possessions to this house that we are still in the process of improving and renovating.


  1. We were in Paris in May of 2009 and were invited to dinner at Le Café des Deux Magots, by some American friends from Michegan. They had borrowed our apartment near Evian for a couple of weeks and were then in Paris for some meetings with my husband. Barb adores Paris!

    The food was delicious, and our waiter handsome. If only I was 30 years younger .......

  2. Oh, my heavens, my heavens, my heavens... how wonderful it is to see these colorful photos of Paris cafés :)) I feel completely transported :)) I LOVE PARIS!


  3. Beautiful pictures of the cafes. Your paint job of the stairwell looks great - such an improvement. It's amazing that the prior owners even did the ceiling in wallpaper. I know that was fun to remove.

  4. Beautiful pictures - they remind me that it is an awfully long time since we have been to Paris.

  5. You may not know that the Taverne St-Germain is no longer there, having been taken over by a more bobo establishment a few months ago.

  6. Love these pictures. The colors are amazing.
    I think maybe you had one of your other outages while Blogger was down simultaneously because this is not the first time Blogger has disappeared.

  7. Hi Shelli, that would explain why I had a hard time finding La Taverne St-Germain on the Google map of the neighborhood.

  8. it's a cold damp, grey day here.
    Your cafe photos warmed me and put such a longing for France in me.

  9. Nice photos. http://calogeromiratraveland.wordpress.com


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