I’ve just returned to Paris in time for Christmas after being in Anitbes, the town in the South of France between Nice and Cannes where my best friend lives. The “South of France” sounds like it ought to be a warm place, but is really not in winter. My BFF and I froze our keisters off at the beginning of this past week. There might be palm trees and sunshine in Antibes, but balmy it is not in wintertime. It’s chilly.
It beats being in Paris, just for views like this one, though:
Or this one:
Or this one:
Even in winter, the colors of the South — Mediterranean blues, terra cotta reds, sandstone yellows, sage greens — make me feel terrific because they uplift the spirit so! No Paris grays are to be seen anywhere.
Alas, I am back in Paris, and I am posting because it is time for me to wish you a Happy Holidays!
Yes, it is those bears again. Remember them? They are in the windows at Microlithe, the association at 59bis rue Olivier Metra, 75020. I have blogged about this window here and here in the past. Adorable, eh?
I’ve got some more Christmassy photos I’d love to share with you, so if you’d like to have a look, keep on reading.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, lights have popped up in the city.
These are the ones in my neighborhood. They are not super-sexy X-mas lights, but they get the job done, and I am rather fond of them.
The super-sexy lights and windows can be seen at the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores, where Paul and I went on December 6 for a special opening at the Galeries Lafayette for American Express card holders. On our way there in the Métro tunnels, we ran into Tom and Monique of Discover Paris! tours and Entrée to Black Paris. I wrote a huge post about them last year. You can find that post here: Special Report — Discover Paris! I seem to just run into Monique a lot! It has happened a couple of times now — in unexpected places and at unanticipated times. It’s fun! We’re on the same wavelength, I guess.
Here’s a collage of all the grooviness this year on the Boulevard Haussmann.
Neighborhood bakeries are filled with special treats. These treats are from a bakery on the rue de Belleville — it’s on the corner of rue de Belleville and rue Levert. You can see it here on Google Maps. They always have the nicest looking items in their windows. I think they are perhaps a better pâtisserie than boulangerie. Since I don’t eat gluten, I am not sure. I just know that it is often hard for places to be both a good pastry shop and bread shop. But there are always people buying both bread and pastries here, so perhaps it is one of the rare places offering both good bread and good pastries. Someone should go there for me and taste-test.
There were similar goodies in bakery windows in Antibes.
When Paul and I went to the Galeries Lafayette, it was my first time going inside the department store in the three-and-a-half years I have been here. It really is beautiful inside, and the Christmas tree looks pretty cool in the center of the famous domed area.
Here’s a little photo of what it looks like. Click to enlarge the picture.
And here is my artistic messing about in Picasa 3.9 with its new photo editing features. The theme this year was “Rock ‘n Mode,” with Iggy Pop appearing in ads all over town. A little… bizarre — if you ask me. I got a pic of the ad. See below…
Have an Iggy Christmas. Kinda creepy, huh (lol).
But, just like Dorothy in Kansas, there is no place like home. Here’s the Prescott tree this year, taking up WAY too much space in the Ghetto Pad, but making everything smell like a Colorado mountain wood — a little sniff of home for me.
I hope wherever you are, and however you celebrate (or don’t celebrate) this time of year, you are having a good time. In fact, hopefully you are not reading this just yet and you are spending time with friends and loved ones.
We just finished Christmas Eve dinner a couple of hours ago — a tradition Paul keeps in line with the one in France of the big dinner being held on the night of Christmas Eve. Santa arrives at midnight, about an hour from now. Paul’s daughter is in bed — another tradition in his family. Kids go to sleep for a couple of hours before midnight, then are awoken to open presents. Paul’s son, who turned 17 earlier this month, has decided this is the first year he is not going to observe the tradition, and he is going to stay awake as a grown-up. He and Paul are watching the movie “Wayne’s World.” I wanted to finish this, in keeping with my posting once a month through this entire year, and then go and watch with them until Santa arrives.
Bonne Fêtes, everyone! Sleep well, get nestled tight in your beds. I hope Santa is good to you all. Or, the Hanukkah, um, whatever. The Magic Dreidel? Or you know, however it is that you observe and whoever it is that brings you presents! I hope you have a merry time.
Your Alien Parisienne