The End of May, Part One

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A little nod to «Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulin» — in the Butte Bergeyre Community Garden, 75019 Paris

So, the last we all gathered here together was the post before my guest post for Misadventures with Andi in which I chronicled the story of how I got to Paris. It was May 19 and it was my 42nd birthday.  About three weeks has passed since then and I have been itching to write about some of the things I have been doing. I decided the best way to go about this would be to create some photo collages and write about how it is that friendship in Paris is one of the things I love the best about Paris. Each person who has reached out in friendship to me has helped me fall a little more in love with the city. Helping myself “bloom where I am planted,” to use the very accurate if worn out expression, is exactly the purpose of this blog, and my friends have been helping me to do that. I want to share with you what has been going on to those ends here in P-Town the past three weeks.

What I have been doing besides writing

I have been reading blogs by my blog friends online. No big shocker there, but part of the reason I am lax in posting is I have been having trouble finding my writing mojo. It comes and goes, and mostly seems to go, especially as the weather is nicer and I am out and about more. Reading and pouring out words in comments has also been more comfortable than writing my own posts. I can organize my thoughts in a careful and caring blog comment in response to your writing. Working things out into a post of my own has been hard for me, though. I also really enjoy reading others’ blogs, maybe more than I enjoy writing for one. So there’s that. Plus, while I blog loooooong, you all blog A LOT. Oh my lord, keeping up with some of you, especially those of you who post in the neighborhood of three or more times a week — oy! I kind of know how you guys feel reading my loooooong blogs when I have to catch up on the posts you have written since the last time I visited! But you, my blog friends, especially the ones who write about Paris and/or France, help me to love Paris more, and reading is a labor of love. So, not so much a labor as a joy, is what I mean.

You may have noticed, too, that I changed themes once again on WordPress. The Theme Foundry came up with a free theme for WordPress called “Paperpunch” and I was really attracted to it. After setting up my new page using this theme, I decided that I did not want a huge blogroll on the sidebar, so I have created a new page called “Links where I list the blogs I like to read, by category. The links page is a shout-out to those people on the internet who keep me going, especially when I am not feeling well and staying in and reading and commenting on blogs is the most I seem to be able to manage.

So there you go. I have been reading. Doing dishes. Washing clothes. The usual. BUT, I am also pleased to say that with summer getting closer and the weather being (mostly) nice of late, I have been out DOING things with people! Yay me!

First there was David…

In my birthday blog, I mentioned that I needed to run off as I was meeting my friend and yoga buddy Karen to go to the book signing for David Lebovitz’s newest cookbook Ready for Dessert. I wrote that I hoped to meet bloggers Res I(p)sa and paris (im)perfect there at WH Smith, which happened.

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More photos in this set on Flickr: David Lebovitz Book Signing

Hopefully you recognize Paris Blog High School Prom King, David in the photos up there. I’m wearing the madras scarf, Sion of paris (im)perfect is wearing the purple sweater, and Karen is the pretty young thing with the la Joconde smile in the photo above Sion holding a Kir Violette. Many thanks to Karen for snapping the pics of me with David and Sion. Isn’t everyone lovely? I realized posting this that I did not get a photo of Isa who writes Res I(p)sa, but I did learn that her blog name is a part of the expression in Latin, “Res Ipsa Loquitur” and means “the thing itself speaks.” Is that a cool name for a blog or what? Karen does not have a blog, but I hope that one of these days that might change. I love the things that Karen has to say when she speaks, and I think that her writing would be the same. In the meantime, you can find David here: David Lebovitz, and Sion and Isa at paris (im)perfect and Res I(p)sa, respectively.

As always, David was witty and kind as he spoke, with a hint of snark, but not so much so that you feel as if you have eaten something bitter. No, David is like a glass of homemade lemonade on a hot summer day: a little sweet, a little tart, and very refreshing. He stayed until every book was signed, and signed copies of his other books, too, which was a good thing as I did not have the cash to roll out for a copy of a dessert book where 99% of the recipes are not edible by me at the moment — too many grains, and too much gluten, sugar, and dairy in his recipes. I’m basically on something called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet right now, as I have been experiencing a lot of inflammation from eating even things like rice, potatoes, cane sugar, legumes (like chickpeas) and other grain-like foods such as buckwheat.

Example of Inflammation:

Me with a bloated tummy on May 22

It used to be just gluten that would cause my belly to swell to a 4-6 months pregnant look, but lately rice, alternative flours like chestnut and buckwheat, sweet potatoes and regular white potatoes, and cane sugar have started to make my belly swell, too. I have not been able to fit in a lot of clothes, although my weight has not been increasing very much. I have just been getting bigger. This usually means I am retaining water. I did more research and realized that I have to go back to a reduced carbohydrate diet as Candida albicans is the likely culprit behind some of the swelling. That, and a histamine reaction to some of these foods, no doubt.

So, no book called Ready for Dessert for me. It’s been more like recipes from the wonderful Elana’s Pantry if I want something besides salad, other veggies, and tuna, chicken, or fish. Elana uses almond and coconut flours and agave nectar in her recipes. Grain and cane sugar-free. I have to watch the almond flour, though. I’ve been experiencing asthma-like allergy attacks, and I was not having these before I started eating nuts again. *sigh* They may be to blame as nuts are a classic allergy-inducing food.

Enough of that for now… I want to thank Karen and Sion and David for making my 42nd birthday a very special time for me. We three girls (David was otherwise engaged, I guess 😉 ) wandered our way to the Carpe Diem Café near Châtelet, thought the name of the place was very appropriate, and the girls treated me to a drink there. I chose the Kir Violette, too, and while I have read that some don’t like it, I thought it was very fun and tasty. A Kir, for those not in the know, is a white wine with liqueur added to it, in this case crème de violette, violet liqueur. More on Kirs at this post at Bent @ the Elbow: The Kir, The Kir Royale, The French 75, & The Bijou.

Onward to…

May 22 and my friend Tess

Tess is one of my dear friends here, as many of you have read before. Originally from Arizona, Tess came to France about eight years ago and wound up getting a job and moving here. She moved first from Paris to the south of France about seven years or so ago, but moved back up to Paris in late 2008. I ran into her by complete chance (or was it?) on an online discussion group , and after a few email exchanges, we decided to meet, which we did in February 2009. She is my first friend in Paris with whom I made friends on my own (i.e., it was not someone Paul already knew or worked with). Since 2009, we have been having adventures in and around Paris, and I have to thank her for getting me out of my apartment on several occasions. Tess is a dear, and I am so very thankful for her friendship.

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More photos in this set on Flickr: Parc André Citroën

On the beautiful 22 of May, Tess and I met up at Métro Eglise d’Auteuil on Line 10. We went to the authentic Japanese restaurant called Sushi Marché:

20 Rue Mirabeau 75016

She bought us take-out lunch there and we headed over to the Parc André Citroën across the Seine on Pont Mirabeau to the Left Bank of the 16th arrondissement.  The lunch was delicious (very authentic Japanese maki rolls, inari, soup, and nigiri. If you are not sure what that all is, check out this Wiki article on Sushi). The sky was blue with the sun shining gloriously all day long. This made for a fantastic afternoon in Parc André Citroën, which is a well-designed, modern botanical-style park and which has an area with water fountains where kids can play.

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You’ll note in the photo collage that there was a woman of a mature age getting her sun on with her top off, too. Go granny! Gotta love France.

Thank you, once again, Tess, for making my life here in Paris a special one.

Paul and Nature Capitale

On Sunday and Monday, May 23-24, the Champs-Elysées was closed to all but pedestrians, plants, and animals. In essence, as the saying has been passed along the internet in articles and posts I’ve read, the Champs-Elysées (Elysian Fields) became a field, kind-of for riz raz. Along with two million other people, Paul and I left the apartment on the Monday Pentecost (Pentecôte) holiday and went to check out the Nature Capitale, something that is old news at this point, but I wanted to show off the photos I took of the event, too.

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More photos in this set on Flickr: Nature Capitale

(There is a great photo and explanation here on Flickr, too: Nature Capitale). The plants, people, and animals withered in the hot sun, and things were way too crowded for my taste, but it was interesting herding along and conceiving of all the effort it took to close a several hundred meter stretch of the avenue — one of the busiest and most famous avenues in the world — so that it could become an event to promote biodiversity, agriculture, and forestry. I was impressed with the amount of work put into the event.

Thanks to my lover, partner, and friend Paul for getting out of the apartment together to check this event out. I was glad to say I was a part of one of the historic closures of the avenue, and it was an interesting way to spend a sunny day in Paris.

Wednesday, May 26

… was kind of an ordinary day, except for that I actually left the apartment before 9 am to go with Paul, his son, and his ex-wife to the American Embassy just off the Place de Concorde so that Paul’s son could get his passport renewed. Such a thing requires both parents to be physically present. Paul wanted to go straight to work after the appointment, if possible, but did not want to have to bring his work backpack into the Embassy (what with all the security checks and so on). I told him that I would go along with everyone and sit in the park across from the Embassy, mind his backpack, and read Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser while I waited.

First of all, I saw this:

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Mounted Gendarmes making a circuit around the park (which is really Allée Marcel Proust off of Avenue Gabriel. If you look at the Google Maps street view here, I was sitting on one of those benches to the right of the path) . That was cool to see. The horses were gorgeously groomed and very fit-looking geldings.

Then something happened to me, by chance. In the Antonia Fraser book, I got to the part about the beheading of Marie Antoinette just as I was sitting across from the place where it happened. I took photos to document it (the page of the book I was reading and the Place de Concorde peeking through the trees across from me):

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Once Paul and his son and ex-wife returned from a successful passport renewal experience, we headed over to the 17th arrondissement where Paul works. Expresso (the ex-wife) had to go back home, but Boy Child and Paul and I stopped for a coffee in a café. It was 11:10 am. Yeah, that young woman is having a glass of rosé at 11:10 am. Paul was saying that he overheard her speaking to the woman who eventually joined her that her computer had been stolen and she was having a really bad day. So she whined over her wine.  Gotta love France, redux.

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Something else strange happened in our neighborhood that same week, the last week of May. On Tuesday, what I determined later was a catering company of some kind set up a tent in the plaza in front of our apartment. On Wednesday, it appeared that they served lunch to people:

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Lunchers

Then they took the tent partway down:

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And they set it back up on Thursday and apparently did the same thing before disassembling the whole works and putting it all back into the trailer from which they had unpacked it later that afternoon.

Really, this is of no interest whatsoever! I just was fascinated with the whole thing from the traveling kitchen in the truck to wondering what everyone was doing. I’m still wondering, and it was a little frustrating to not be able to just go up to the dudes in the truck and ask, “Whattup? Whatchya doin’?” and find out. It was making me a little crazy watching this all go on and not knowing. I’m going to turn into a nosy old lady, aren’t I. One of the crazy Neighborhood Watch people.

It has been a theme on this blog to photograph what’s outside my window, though, so this was pretty good stuff for that. If you want to see all the photos, they are here. What do you think could have been going on?

Peter and Butte Bergeyre

Peter of Peter’s Paris and I met up on Thursday, May 27 to check out something that Sion had posted about, the Butte Bergeyre (Sion’s post is here at paris (im)perfect.)

Peter also just posted about the area on his blog: Butte Bergeyre.

Rather than bog you down with a repetition of the information they have already written about so well, I will just show you the photos I took via a couple of photo collages. The entire set of photos is here on Flickr.

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Peter is in the center photo.

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Flowers in the community garden on the Butte.

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The view and the vineyard — also the entrance to the community garden in the center photo and behind the fence. The Sacré Coeur is in the distance.

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Some of the homes in the area, which date from about 1925-1930.

If you are interested in walking to this area and want a partner, let me know. Here is the general area on Google Maps, too: link to Butte Bergeyre.

Peter has gone with me on three walks in Paris now. I have enjoyed his company very much, for he is an intelligent, inquisitive, and knowledgeable person. His blog posts are crafted exquisitely, from the wonderful photos he takes to the bounty of information he passes along to his readers. After 36 years of living in the city, Peter is even more in love with Paris, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Thank you, Peter, for helping me to love Paris more.

Karen and the Bois de Vincennes

On the last day of May, Monday the 31st, my yoga buddy and friend via this blog, Karen and I went to check out the Bois de Vincennes. Near the 12th arrondissement, Karen and I walked from the Port Dorée entrance near Métro Line 12. We walked all around the Lac Daumesnil and the two little islands in the middle, the Île de Reuilly and Île de Bercy, and we got chased by a mean goose:

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He really ran after us and waggled his tongue at us, too. He made us scream and run, too!

Mean old goose.

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We had a gorgeous and very serendipitous journey. Not only did we see a huge chunk of the park, but we also went to the Parc Floral de Paris, which is nearby the Bois de Vincennes and happened to be free on the day we went (there are several free days during the week, until the annual summer jazz festival begins there, it seems). We saw an art exhibit, talked to a photographer (in French!) about his photos, saw some poodles in a window (dog show? We weren’t sure), and walked through lots of beautiful greenhouses full of various kinds of plants. We saw a small butterfly pavilion, too!

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It was such a magical afternoon of discoveries. They day happened to us in such a wonderful way. Karen called it a “miracle walk,” which she said is a reference from the artist S.A.R.K. (This post from writer Megan Hills on My Burnout Thing.com explains more about who S.A.R.K. is and what a miracle walk is, too.)

I am really very excited about a lot of the photos I took of this area, and of the Château de Vincennes, too, which we walked past. If there were one set of photos that you should check out, it would be the ones from the Bois de Vincennes.

Karen is such a joy to be around and I find her presence to be relaxing and calming. She has a good soul, and I am so glad that we have been able to spend time together. She definitely has helped me love Paris more.

I have decided at this point that I am going to create a second, Part Two to this piece and post it early next week. I will continue to write about how friendship and adventures has helped me love Paris more.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! See you back here next week for the conclusion to The End of May.

Over and out.

Karin

(an alien parisienne)

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Categories: Food Intolerances, Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Beauty, Paris Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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53 thoughts on “The End of May, Part One

  1. Dang, girl. You’ve been getting around! I like the new blog look and your photo sets (as always) are fab. Good for you for going out there and enjoying Paris! I have to say, I like the girl smoking and drinking at 11 AM best. (What does that say about me?) Gotta love it.

    Looking forward to part two.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Hi Sion! Yeah with the better weather, things have been going on. It’s been fun and good for me.

      Re: the drinking/smoking girl in the picture — oh, no kidding! As a former smoker and former drinker (I still have a tipple now and then), I had some envy going on, watching her! 🙂

      Hope you have a good weekend, too. Take care!

  2. I’m totally loving the new layout Karin! What a busy, busy bee you’ve been. As always your photos are fab! Its a really good idea to put them into collages as you’ve done. Very interesting and makes a change.

    Kudos to the woman in the park, I dare not get that bare on a beach yet along a park in the city! And how about Rose at 11 am? I always fight with myself during the summer about what time is socially acceptable for wine o’clock?

    Poor you with your tummy. That’s quite something isn’t it? I’ve emailed you with some of the things that make me bloat, somedays I’m huge but I keep a food diary now and have started elimating things so generally tummy stays at normal size. I hope you figure it out and it settles. Is it possible that it could be stress also?

    Looking forward to part two!!

    • Hello, Piglet! (whenever I write that, it sounds like Winnie-the-Pooh in my head, BTW. Sounds a lot more like ‘Hullo, Piglet’ in that Pooh Bear kind of way, though. 🙂 )

      I am so glad you like the photo collages. I like doing those and it had been a while since I had, so I am glad you think they worked.

      There is a kind of bravado and strength to many French women, a kind of “F-you!” attitude that can come out of some of them. Hmmm, maybe that is true of all women, from every culture. Anyway, point being that they have some guts to do stuff like that and I admire it, too.

      The food diary is the best way to track things down, for certain. I have been finding that if I eat too much of any one thing consistently, after about 6 weeks I can get symptoms like this from almost any food except salad greens and chicken. I think it just means my tummy is not healed yet. Yeah, it was stress several years ago that played a part in all of this starting. I have had symptoms of Candidiasis for over three years now, so this is something that is ongoing. Stress exacerbates it, for sure.

      Thanks Piglet, for visiting and adding your views, too!

      • Yay! That’s exactly the same way Piglet sounds in my head!

        I saw an Osteopath today (no idea how to say that in English, sorry) for my neck and dizziness problems. I was expecting him to crack my neck around but no! He spent a whole hour working on my digestive system saying that it was all blocked… My bloating isn’t as bad as yours but he told me that stress has caused my system to block itself which in turn is having repercussions elsewhere. So I’m not going crazy afterall!

        I’ll keep you updated on progress as it may just be something you could try if you haven’t explored this already.

        Take care and keep well 🙂

      • Hey! Thanks for the osteopath information! That is really interesting, and yes, keep me posted about the whole thing and how it goes. I may have to look into that!

  3. lol… you have my blog listed as “Urban Pirate” instead of “Urban Primate”

    Arrrgh!

    anyway… I love these posts… love the photography. When I was in HS I had the chance to go to Paris, but my parents changed their mind about paying for the exchange program just weeks before we left. I never really thought about France or visiting France again until I found this blog.

    • LOL!! Hey everyone — thanks for all your comments so far, and I will reply to each of you individually, but I just had to tell Dorid here really quickly that I fixed the name of her blog.

      YARGH. So sorry about that, m’dear, but I laughed a lot at my mistake, too, hahaha!

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed the photos, Dorid. I really like being able to share these views with people and help them feel like they are here, seeing what I see. Awwwww, that is kind of sad about your parents changing their minds about visiting France… But, now you know someone here, and maybe fortune will have her way and you can come here to visit one day very soon. In the meantime, I am glad to provide vicarious travel for you. 🙂

    • I dunno, either would be appro, doncha think?

  4. HI Karin….between sneaking a peek at the world cup games and reading your latest I’m not getting much work done..oh well…
    Love the pix..love the bit where you’re reading the book and you are where it was happening..that’s cool and I would have done the same thing…document it.

    I’m intriqued by the Butte Bergeyre area…looks lovely and one of the few places where you actually see houses in Paris..imagine living in on of those? I’d love to see that in person.

    Have to ask you a couple of questions..what kind of walking shoes do you recommend…do you ever ever just break down and wear sneakers?

    And how much french do you speak?

    • Hi Deb!

      We watched the France v Uruguay game last night, or most of it until it became apparent that it was going to be a 0-0 tie. It was a rather boring game, really, lol. I hope things pick up for France. I am looking forward to watching the US v UK tonight! I hope the US does not get spanked too hard, though, lol.

      Deb — when you get here if you want to do the whole Buttes Chaumont/Butte Bergeyre/Parc de Belleville walk, just let me know. We can set aside some time for that! I may be a little busy in the afternoons come September (more on that as I know more…), but I will be free in the mornings.

      Actually, I don’t really break down and wear sneakers, except when I went to the Bois de Boulogne a few weeks ago. There are a lot of Parisian joggers who wear them to the parks like that. They really are very conspicuous and label a person as “American/Canadian” which is totally cool if you are comfortable at being stared at on the Métro as someone who “sticks out.” Sometimes I am fine with that, but most times, I like to be as anonymous as I can, which I know is still not that anonymous, lol.

      I usually wear flats: ballet ones, or some Mary Jane ones I have from Rocket Dogs from a couple of years ago, or, like I did recently on a walk, a pair of Crocs, but they are some Mary Jane flats, too (the Malindi) — not the clunkier original style. They can get a little slick on wet streets, but I really like how squishy they are and they don’t stick out as being foreign like tennies.

      On a scale of 1-10, 10 being very, very good at French, I am *maybe* a 1.5. It’s pathetic. I actually do understand quite a lot of what is going on on TV or in conversations, especially if I have a solid context, and my reading is about a 4-5, I think — maybe better if you consider that I get 80-90% of the general idea. I’m worse at details, though, and when it comes to those, my comprehension is only about 20-40%. As an estimate.

      I really hope that I can have some solid opportunities to learn more, formally and in an organized fashion. I feel like I really need it.

      Thanks for your comments and questions, Deb.

      • HI Karin…last time I had these land’s end walking shoes and they were fine (just a bit dorky) but I need something new this time …I wouldn’t wear the sneaker either (even though my walking sneakers are the most comfortable shoes on earth..bloody french)

        may take you up on the walk around the 19th (morning)..great way to meet and see things at the same time…

      • Well, it is a date then! We’ll get the deets sorted out as the time gets closer.

        I like Land’s End stuff, but yeah, their things can sometimes be high on the dork factor. Let me know what you wind up getting. There has to be a comfortable and stylish walking shoe out there that will work in Paris, I just know it!

  5. Great post, Karin! I so look forward to — as I have previously nicknamed them — the next installment of ‘Karin’s epic adventures in Paris’ — always lovely to read about your activities and thoughts about your life here as it unfolds.

    Clive and I walked through Butte Bergeyre last year and I’ve loved your, Sion, and Peter’s photos and posts (ours was a chilly November day so no gorgeous flowers in bloom!).

    Can’t imagine what was going on outside your apartment but it was indeed fascinating 🙂 I think you will be out there sooner rather than later, asking them in French what’s going on.

    Keep writing — looking forward to Part II!

    Cheers for now.

    • Hello Carolyn!

      I like the idea of “the next installment of Karin’s epic adventures.” 😀 Makes me feel like I am a Hobbit in a Tolkien book, and the geek in me loves that. I do feel a bit like Frodo some days with a huge task: adjusting to a foreign culture. And there are days where it really does feel like I am in Mordor and scaling up Mount Doom, hahaha. Most days it is more like hanging in the Shire, though, and these journeys were more like that, thanks to all the Samwise Gamgees in my life. 🙂

      Did you post about Butte Bergeyre, Carolyn? I will check out your blog but if you read this, and have done so, leave the link please, would you?

      I hope you are right: there will be a day soon where I ask people all kinds of annoying questions! 🙂

      Part II soon. Writing it now. Be well, and cheers back!

  6. Hi Karin – Love the new look!

    I do have to admit that it confused me when I first clicked on the link but then I saw the picture of the topless granny and thought… “well, perhaps it is Karin’s blog?”

    I did think that I was the only person in France brave enough to post photos of Garden Gnomes on a public blog – I thought there was a law against it.

    If there isn’t, perhaps there should be?

    I agree with Sion – the picture of the girl smoking and drinking at 11 AM is great but…. you want to see my local bar (in deepest rural Brittany) at 8am – red wine for breakfast?

    Even I would have to think twice about that!

    All the best

    Keith

    • Hi Keith!

      I am so glad the topless granny tipped you off. 🙂 Hopefully my black and white mug up there was another clue, too. 🙂

      I dig garden gnomes and am not ashamed of it! 😀

      BTW, look what else we saw at the Château de Vincennes:
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      The Citroën 2CV or whatever it’s called, lol. I think these are some of those, right?

      We ran into the gathering of people who were ready to depart for the Paris to Peking to Paris journey. Website here: http://www.raiddesbaroudeurs.com/ Apparently there are caravans that make this journey annually. I wanted to write more about it here, but kind of ran out of words and room. So this is a bonus blog in the comments, haha.

      Here is a picture of the journey on the back of one of the RVs:
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      Their program for the journey Paris-Pékin-Paris is here: http://ffcc-paris-pekin-camping-car.com/pdf/programme.pdf

      Looks fascinating. I’d love to do something like that.

      Yes, I want to see your local bar at 8 am with red wine for breakfast. Totally. Blog about it and then send the link. 🙂 I dare you, lol.

      Thanks, Keith, for reading, and I hope you have a good weekend.

      • I’m a lousy driver here, so just forget about my driving in a foreign countryside, but I wouldn’t mind being driven (something slow enough to see what is around me and flexable enough to change course on a whim or stop when something strikes my fancy)

  7. I love the Bois de Vincennes – I go there to run, it’s such a beautiful, peaceful space (except during the half marathon, when it was madness!)

    It was so fun meeting you girls at David’s signing – are you still interested in having a bloggers’ meetup? If so, please let me know if I can help with the organizing!

    • I love the Bois de Vincennes a lot more than the Bois de Boulonge, I discovered. I’m not sure why: there is a more peaceful vibe, maybe? I kind of like the area in the 12th more than the 16th, too. It’s got a more “tucked away,” magical kind of feel to it, in my opinion. I can imagine the half-marathon was madness, though, lol.

      I am glad that you had fun meeting at DL’s signing, and I emailed you some info about a meetup that is going on already. It would be fun to do another one, too, though, so yes, let’s keep something in mind, maybe for the end of June or July?

      Take care, Res!

      • Do a regualar thing and organize it on Meet-up dot com (do they do that in France?) and then all the bloggers could blog about their adventures at the meet up (now for a clever nae for your group)

      • There are some meetups that are going on… and I heard about a Twitter one, too. I don’t know if Meetup.com is here in Paris yet, but there is definitely a network of connected bloggers.

  8. It was a pleasure reading/skimming through your post!! What a nice blog- it will be nice to meet you one day… I really liked the post you wrote about coming to France!
    I will keep you posted about any upcoming picnics.. I would LOVE to go to the Buttes Chaumont for a walk/break at the lovely Rosa Bonheur tea salon there…
    Take care and hope to meet you soon… Leesa

    • Hi Leesa! So glad you could stop by. I’m planning on the Friday meetup (going to try to send you an email now) and maybe we can connect about a walk when you have time in July. It would be a lot of fun!

      See you soon, Leesa.

  9. Hi again Karin — to answer your question above, no, I didn’t post about Butte Bergeyre, only about Buttes Chaumont, which I think I linked to on one of your prior posts (they day you went there and took FABULOUS photos of flowers, etc.!) – will include below again just in case.

    Probably like you not including re the 2CV – I think I just felt I had enough to ‘say’ about Buttes Chaumont that day – and in thinking about it now, I guess I wasn’t really dazzled by Butte Bergeyre. I thought it was charming as a little pocket tucked away up the steps, but possibly because of the grey weather I didn’t get that ‘wow’ feeling I often do here in Paris. This is why I’ve SO enjoyed the recent posts by you, Peter, and Sion about it — maybe we should return one day and stroll through there again 🙂

    I think I’d continue to suggest/recommend it to visitors as an adjunct to going to Buttes Chaumont, if time permits. Anyway, loved ALL your photos!

    Take care – here’s my post re Buttes Chaumont:
    http://mysydneyparislife.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/autumn-in-parc-des-buttes-chaumont-paris/

    Cheers for now.

    • Hi Carolyn! Ahhh, right, the Buttes Chaumont post. There are too many places with “Butte” around here. 🙂 And I know what you mean about leaving certain things out in blog posts. Orrrr, wait. Do I?! 😉 j/k I do get it.

      I think that the community garden and view of the Sacre Coeur is worth seeing, but yes, in warmer weather. I can imagine things seeming a bit bleak in that neighborhood in winter. As it was a rainy day when we went, I know what you mean about it not necessarily having the “wow factor.” But for a quiet hidden corner of Paris? It does have that, I think. I’m glad you liked all the posts, too.

      I really liked your post, and yes, I remember that one. It is such a pretty place to see in all four seasons.

  10. Maybe I have a harder time than you in that I almost rarely “blog”, I do post an awful lot and try to include my own thoughts as to why I thought to share something, but for that free-form content that is entirely mine, I need inspiration. This is probably why, like yourself, I thrive in the comment sections of other peoples blogs. This gives me focus and a sense of having to pick my thoughts carefully as this is going on someone else’s page and not my own.

    Did I ever tell you that I have several dead yahoo groups that I just haven’t had the heart to nuke? There are two I inheirited, but they were dying before I got them and after a while I was just sharing long posts for my own enjoyment and I stopped posting. There is one that still gets the occational posting from a couple of members, but it is not on a popular subject and I do not see it growing either and have all but abandoned it to them.

    I do have thoughts during the day of things I want to share, but somehow they never make it to the keyboard. This is what makes blogmenting so seductively addictive to me, it is so immeadiate. The thoughts and framework were already set down by the blogger and I can come along and expound on certain ideas (hence my long answers).

    I suppose I have some tired old excusses for my lack of inspiration/blogging. I will not say that nothing ever happens to me, but it is all small special moments (such as when I was trying to move the ice plant that Google had removed and piled up in campground. As I was working and occationally breaking to show a visitor something special about the parks, I noticed the baby rabbits feeding nearby almost too young to know to be afraid. Then suddenly one screamed and ran into the path. I looked over and asked (like it would answer me) “what’s-a-matter? weasle chasing you?” and no sooner had I said that when a weasle popped out from under a lupin and did chase it around a bit). Small moments and over time repetitive till I just want to blog, “more of the same”. Then there is the lack of tansportation and finances that would keep me from going somewhere new, finding new adventure and if I did, not having a working camera to capture it would be more frustrating than the joy of getting out and living is worth (to me anyway).

    I’d be very interested in being a walking partner for you, but my bus pass has its limitations.

    Ah, what a pleasent blog. Like a relaxing stroll around Paris with a dear friend, a little something sweet to eat and then an exhibition.

    • Hey there, Ken. Good to see you here. I am glad you feel like you can write things here. I know what you mean about finding that balance between writing and commenting and blogging or not blogging. We have a lot in common that way, huh.

      Yeah, I don’t think your bus pass will get you all the way here, but I do have you and others like you in mind when I write. I hope that you feel you are *here* and can enjoy things vicariously, which it sounds like you did, so I am happy.

      Be well and see you for Part 2, eh?

      Take care, Ken.

  11. You know I felt a metallic clang in my dry little heart when you had the book/building moment, right? Right? I wear my envy on my sleeve, right next to my desperation.

    • Awww, chick. I know you, you ass-kicker novel-writer you. 🙂 You will use it all as motivation to keep going. You just put “The End” on yet another something, which is loads more than I have even done, so no wearing any envy, you. 😉 Much love, and just KEEP WRITING. (more on that later. Maybe, lol)

      • I would LOVE to see you lay out your heart and dig deep into your writing “future” or what prevents you.

  12. Jaime

    Ooooh I wish I could blog like you! *laughs What a WONDERFUL end of May and it’s just PART ONE! I love the pictures and the flowers, it feels like you can feel the warmth or the humidity and practically smell the flowers.

    And how wonderful you’ve been able to meet with so many people and do so many things! I hope your … diligence? regarding your diet helps your body’s reactions. Uuuugh it must be SO frustrating to have to worry so mucha bout how your body processes foods.

    Much love!!!

    • Why thank you, dear Jaime. 🙂 But I quite like the things you write, too. Most of all I am glad to read that I could transport you here. That makes me feel really good and I have met my goal if you have felt that.

      Thank you for the kind words about the food stuff. I have my good moments and my bad moments with it. Right now, this second, I am okay. Last night when everyone was eating McDonald’s but me? Not so much. It’s a minute to minute thing to stay positive, but I am hoping to do just that as I think it will make a big difference. Thanks for the support and understanding.

      Love back atcha!

  13. Weather, green space, flowers … and, of course, especially friends seem to contribute to your ever increasing love (acceptance?) of Paris! I appreciate a lot if you believe that I have to some extent contributed to this and would be so happy to continue this “campaign” whenever we find the time.

    • Hello, Peter! Yes, you very much have helped me grow in my acceptance and emerging love for Paris. A “campaign” — what a good word for it, lol. Sounds like Paris is trying to get my vote, or lay siege to my heart, haha! I would love to carry on the project, too, so let’s figure out something soon, hopefully on a super-sunny, super WARM day!! LOL. Seems that we find the crummy weather days. I say that we will have beautiful weather for a new adventure very soon. Take care, Peter.

  14. We made a spontaneous day trip to Paris last weekend, two weekends ago, actually, and ended up in the Jardin des Plantes. The kids loved checking out the bones at the natural history museum and I, as always, was content with just breathing in the Paris air, no mater how filled with diesel fumes it may be. Paris was absolutely crawling with riot police. Still not sure what that was about. We eventually ended up at the Musee Rodin, another great hit with the kids. My favorite part of that experience was hearing an Irish woman stand at the base of what is perhaps Rodin’s most well-known sculptures and saying, “Look! It’s the tinker.”
    Gotta love that Irish accent. Why I am telling you this, I have no idea. Your wordy posts always rouse the wordiness in me.
    Blog on.

    • Hiya Betsy! 🙂

      Oh I really LIKE the Jardin des Plantes and I have meant to see the natural history museum, too, especially after seeing the flick “Adèle Blanc Sec,” or, “Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec,” as its full title was in French. It featured the natural history museum and was a cute movie, I thought.

      Riot police, eh? Probably there was a manifestation, eh? Or, that was the weekend that the Nature Capitale was going on, so maybe there was increased security for that…

      “The Tinker.” Hee!! Too cute. Ahhh, those Irish. And Scots, too. I am a total sucker for the accent, too.

      I love that I make you wordy. 😀 Just keep it up!

      I’ll be by numbmum and Babe’s blog again soon, too. Take care, Betsy!

  15. The photos you take and the collages you put together are fantastic, just wonderful. Clearly you are not bored in Paris either, I love how you are continually exploring every corner of the city. There are places I have not been to and love learning about them through your blog and your photos. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll, I feel honored. I am thinking of organizing a blog-up (like a Tweet-up) when I come to Paris in October so that I can meet as many of my wonderful blogging buddies as possible!

    • Thank you, Andi! There is so much inspiration here, I do have to say that for Paris. It’s so hard to take a bad photo in Paris — I mean, one really has to *work* to take a bad photo, really! But I like to see how my eye is becoming more trained by practicing, and I am really glad to share the things I see and hopefully some of the feelings that I feel when observing life here in the city. I love knowing that what I share is giving something to other people.

      I really have so many people like Peter to thank for this off-the-beaten path thing that I have been trying to do. His blog, paris (im)perfect’s blog, Adam at Invisible Paris… All of these people have given me inspiration of places to go and things to see.

      You are very welcome for the addition to my blogroll. I love what you do with your posts and writing, and so I am very happy to do it.

      About a blog-up in October: let’s make it happen! 🙂

      Take care, Andi!

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  17. Looks like a busy month, but a lovely month! That was certainly a novel!! I love how all of your posts are illustrated so I can imagine going along with you on these adventures. Makes me think that maybe some day I should give Paris a second chance — or just continue to live vicariously through your blog!

    p.s. tagged you over at mine, if you’re interested..

    • Hi Amber! Yes, May wound up being very busy. I’m glad that the photos help you go on the journeys, too. 🙂 I am really coming to understand that Paris is a lot better when shared — with friends to share Paris with, it becomes a whole different experience for me, I find. It’s true that I think Paris is more lovable in the smaller, hidden places, too. It’s that idea of “miracle walk” that Karen shared with me, too. Maybe a trip to Paris with some good company and the idea of taking a miracle walk will change your view!

      Thanks for letting me know I have been tagged! I appreciate it. I’ll be over now. 🙂

  18. Wow Wow Wow .. how wonderful to have all these fabulous friends to go about Paris with. It would be great if you could meet my friends over there too, Leesa, Barbara, Kim, Jennifer, Dawn (leaving this year to go back to the USA) Brigitte and Andrea… I met them all through blogging, we have had such fun trips around Paris, London and Oxford in the last year, we met April 2009 when I visited for a Blogger/expat day out:-)

    I have yet to meet Peter .. everytime I have been over, he has been either in South of France or Sweden.. hopefully one day we will have one of the walks.

    • Hi Anne!

      Guess what? I am going to meet Leesa tomorrow night at a blog meetup. 🙂 I am excited that will happen. I don’t know how many of the others will be there as well, but I hope to meet lots of new people. I have seen some of the photos of those meetups, and it looks like you have all had such fun.

      I am very grateful for the people I have met so far, for certain.

      Peter is *everywhere*, no kidding. 😀 He is a busy fellow. I hope that he will be around the next time you are and be able to go on a walk. He is a wonderful person.

      Thanks for coming by and reading.

  19. Sorry .. me again, I see that My Sydney Paris Life is on your links list .. I have met Carolyn too, back in April 2009 at the lunch with Clive her partner, and Leesa and Barbara , met up with them last week or week before when they were in Paris .!

    • I heard about this, too! Carolyn seems like such a lovely person, and I hope to meet her and Clive one day, too.

  20. Hi karin .. I have been to Buttes Chaumont too.. last time I was in Paris , which was in May, it was fantastic.. yet to do posts. been a bit slow..

    How Fantastic that you are going to meet Leesa at a big BLOG meetup.. oh I wish I was over there for this… Is it down at the Seine? I had a picnic there last year that Leesa arranged for me 🙂

    Hope you have lots of fun, sure you will 🙂

    • It was a really good time! Leesa is great fun, and meeting some of the people she knows, too, was very cool. Yes, we met up on the banks of the Seine in the 5th, just down from the L’Institut du Monde Arab, where the Musée de la sculpture en Plein Air is, too.

      I hope to write a little about it *very* soon (I am almost done with Part 2 of this blog. I’d hoped to be finished already, but eh. I’m not! Soon soon soon…)

  21. I am in California right now for another week and while waiting for the others to get ready I am pleased I went on the computer and read your posts. Your photographs are lovely and your narrative so interesting. You are lucky to have found friends speaking your language, but I guess there are more Americans or English speakers in Paris than French ones in the Atlanta area, as I know none. While on a trip like this we eat in many restaurants so when I get back to Georgia I’ll have to watch my diet. My daughter told me she likes a blog called the Hungry girl – here is the link: http://www.hungry-girl.com/.
    Your roses are lovely. Yesterday we went to a big garden botanic garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. There was a rose garden with at least 300 varieties. It is hard to stop taking pictures of roses, they are so lovely. I read Peter’s post on the Butte Bergeyre. It must have been a lovely walk.

    • Hello Vagabonde! Good to see you here!

      Yes, Paris really is a small kind of world where finding English speakers is not a big problem. I can imagine it would be tough, being a French speaker in a place like Atlanta. I am sure French speakers are few and far between there, indeed. I do feel very lucky that my transition here is “cushioned” by being able to speak to others who share my mother tongue.

      Oh wow! The botanic gardens you saw sound amazing! I bet that was just beautiful. Also, thank you very much for the Hungry Girl blog link. I will check that out. 🙂 I’m glad you got to check out Peter’s post on Buttes Bergeyre, too. he does such a nice job of blogging.

      Happy travels to you in California! I hope it is nice weather there! I swear, we are still having *winter* here in Paris. It has been so cool and cloudy it is unbelievable that tomorrow is the first day of summer. *sigh* I hope it warms up soon here!

      Take care!

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