Craziness in the ‘Hood

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Sunset at 9:45 pm, Saturday, June 19, 2010

Greetings, Readers, and welcome, July. Wow. June flew. With its flight, warmth finally has reached the City of Light. We might as well call it the City of Heat at this point, for summer is definitely here! Can you believe the sky up there in that photo? One of the things that blows my mind about Paris is that we are so far north in latitude, sunset around the solstice does not happen until 10 pm (that’s 22.00 in French Time).

What with all the warm weather and late sunsets, the past couple of weeks have been full of pique-niques and musique. And some interesting happenings on the plaza in front of our apartment.

I’m, franchement,  too lazy to go back to find the post now (you can dig in the archives if you like), but back last November when I decided to do the NaNoWriMo competition bloggy-style instead of writing something novel-tastic, I know that I wrote about how I don’t go out so often and so the Paris I often present to readers is the one out of my dining area window.

I’m a bit obsessed with the view out the window, really.

Back when I was a smoker (nine months cig-free, go me! Umm, except for the 10-day lapse in April and the odd cigarette here and there — totally cigarette free for the past six weeks or so, though, and honestly, NO desire to pick it back up *at all* right now), I used to hang out of the window and blow the smoke out of the apartment. I’d watch life happening from my second floor perch (that’s the second floor past ground level, which is how they do things here. So really it’s the third floor to those who consider ground level to be the first floor. Confusing, I know. Welcome to my world).

Out-the-window-watching is a hobby now — a way of interacting with Paris by observing her.  I know it is kind of fudging to claim actually participating with life in Paris just watching her go by, but I claim the Observer Effect, which states that simply observing an event or phenomenon effects changes on the event or phenomenon. I don’t want to get all Quantum Physics up in your stuff, but it is the idea that my watching and reporting on the happenings in my little plaza in front of my house makes me, and then you (by your reading this), a part of the larger phenomenon of “Paris.” Quantum-ly, we all have an effect on Paris by our mere watching and thinking about her.

Cool, huh.

Paul’s Blog

Sorry if I exploded your head there. Out-the-window-watching is kind-of a lame way of blogging about Paris, granted, but then if you want to see all the typical stuff, there are 40 gagillion other cool blogs and websites that do so (check out my links page for some of the coolest ones). In fact, a brand-spanking new one can be found right here. Not to say that this blog is “typical.” It is unique. It’s purpose is to show both typical and atypical people, places, and things in the city as the writer observes and interacts with her.

Guess what? It’s Paul’s blog — my Paul. He has started, after 20 years of living here, a Paris Blog. Paris Inspired: the City of Light as a Muse. This is by no means Paul’s first venture in blogging; in fact, he has had a long online presence in various venues. It’s not even his first venture writing about the city. He was one of the first online authors under a pseudonym to write about Paris in 1999 and 2000! Yes kids, he is a grandpa when it comes to online travel writing about Paris. I’m keeping his privacy about his author’s name and articles from that time as he’s also written fiction which would make your mother blush under that same name, and he’s trying to separate Paul the longtime fiction writer from Paul the travel and city of Paris writer. Paul has some other writing projects in the works where he is writing under his real name, and it would be to his benefit to keep personas separate in the worlds of fiction versus non-fiction at this point. If only he would have thought of this over ten years ago, but eh. We do what we do, and Paul just had one pen name back then which he used for everything written. So it goes. He is now Paris Paul, as I am Paris Karin. Nice that he gets the initial consonant alliteration, no? Sure, I get the mid-word assonance, which works all right, but makes an ASSonance out of me.

Heh. Going for the cheap pun. Low, huh. Guess it is time to move on to the Fête de la Musique.

Fête de la Musique

I’ve read some fun blogs about the events of June 21 and people’s experiences of the noise, I mean, music. I just ran into this one, courtesy of my subscription to the blog A Taste of Garlic, which featured blogger Ed Ward at City on a Hill. His top post the day I read his blog is entitled More Miettes and has a very good explanation about what the Fête de la Musique is really like:

This sounds curmudgeonly of me, I know. Here’s a day set aside for free music, played everywhere around every town! What a beautiful, idealistic event! But the reality is different. For one thing, you almost never see professionals participating in this thing. For some of the groups and individuals who play, it’s the only gig — or almost the only gig — they’ll have all year. For another thing, the spirit of the thing is vitiated by the fact that a large percentage of the “musicians” are DJs. You’re not going to rope me into the “DJs aren’t musicians” debate, for the simple reason that I’ve done lots of DJ work and I know how hard it is to cobble together a set in a club or on the radio, but I will also grant you that it’s easy enough to assemble a sound system that’ll blast your average fiddle band into oblivion with the touch of a switch. Quite frankly, I think that what my late friend Rollo called “guitar operators” and such should be the focus of the Fête, and not record selectors.

I nodded a lot when I read this, and the rest of the post (which is great fun to read, too) because this is just what we have had in our plaza for the three years I have been present for the Fête.

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Every Fête there are these cats in the ‘hood who set up this sound system and then either pipe music over the sound system and/or perform (term used loosely) improvisational rap. It’s fun for about five minutes, especially earlier in the day when the little kids are having fun dancing and singing and looking cute. But at about half-past midnight when the rappers have imbibed beverages that have them hopping and they are still going strong (and inebriated), it is basically a pain in the ears (which you will note is arse if you mess with the order of the letters a bit). By this time, their creativity has lapsed as well. At one point, the boyz in the ‘hood kept rapping about the “dix-neuvième,” the “19th,” which is the number of our arrondissement. It went like this:

dix-neuvième dix-neuvième dix-neuvième dix-neuvième dix-neuvième dix-neuvième dix-neuvième

Yeah. Not cool. Since the Fête fell on a Monday, though, they quieted down relatively early (maybe by 1 am?) instead of the 2 or 3 am in previous summers when the Fête fell on a weekend.

One of these years maybe I will venture out of my apartment to go and listen to some of the performances that happened about town, which I read were more professional than this one.

Speaking of music, Paul and I went to see a park named after Serge Gainsbourg, France’s patron saint of musical controversy.

Jardin Serge Gainsbourg

Paul’s first blog is about our journey to this brand new park in the eastern part of the 19th — it is located right at the intersection of Place du Maquis du Vercors / Avenue de la Porte des Lilas. It’s just around the corner from Métro Porte des Lilas and right at the bus stops for the bus lines that end there (buses 48 and 96).

Paul did such a nice job of reporting about the park, I am going to refer you there for more information, but thought I would share my photos here.

This one is a collage of photos of a well/aquaduct thingy (I do not know what the English name of this is, but in French it is the Regard des Maussins)  just near the Métro Porte des Lilas. Oh cool — Paris Promenades has a long article that explains what this is in Water for a Capital.  Here’s part of the explanation:

Third-century aqueducts collected source water from aboveground basins and troughs that led to a ‘collector’ basin. A later and more efficient system, it is unsure from when, collected water in underground conduits of un-mortared stone called “pierrées” and directed it to a collector “regard.” This building served as an accumulator for all pierrées in the area, and held a basin that redirected the collected source water into an aqueduct.

So there you go. It’s an ancient water collection basin. It was interesting-looking. Here’s a link to the Google Maps view, as I had trouble photographing the entire structure because the Porte des Lilas area is under construction for a tramway extension.

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Here are a collection of photos of the park. You can see all of them at my set on Flickr: Jardin Serge Gainsbourg.

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Paul and I decided to take the bus back from Porte des Lilas because usually bus 48 stops right in front of out place at this stop here:

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See the stop across the street there, just to the right of the car? Bus 48 stops there.

But not on the afternoon of Saturday, June 26! Because there was a…

FIRE IN THE ‘HOOD

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We walked up to our street, after our bus made an inexplicable detour and unusual stop on Avenue Jean Jaurès. Coming up to the street, it was taped off with several ambulances and fire trucks lining the streets around the plaza. A building across the way from us was on fire! Smoke was coming out windows as we arrived, but the fire was already under control by the time we arrived back home. Still, there were another couple of hours of window watching and photo ops as the pompiers worked at ensuring the fire was out and the building was safe. I think I took about 140 photos of the excitement. They are posted in this set on Flickr.

Some of the more interesting things I saw were these chicks on Segway-type scooter things. Don’t know what they were doing, but two pompiers were chatting them up for a while. Cute girls, handsome firefighters = certain flirtation, even with a fire crisis at hand. Hey, they’re French! 😉

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We have a lot of Orthodox Jews living in our area. Three young Jewish men stopped to watch on the way back home from the synagogue near us.

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I thought this family walking back home from synagogue was cute, too. I love how everyone was dressed in his and her Saturday/Shabbat best.

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After a couple of hours, our plaza, which had been full of all kinds of people watching the action not to mention dozens of handsome pompiers, was once again a peaceful place.

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Check out the photo set for a lot more views of “real people” in Paris. Like these guys:

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Sunday, June 26 – A Picnic with Family and Friends

On Sunday, Paul and his son and I had plans to meet Amber, whom I have blogged about before, in the Buttes Chaumont Park for a picnic with her parents, who are in town for a visit. I asked my new friends, Matthieu and Joanna, if they would like to join us, and so they made the long trek from the ‘burbs of eastern Paris to Métro Jaurès. Métro Jaurès near Line 5 is just where the Saint Martin Canal turns into the Canal l’Ourcq at the Bassin de la Villette.

I snapped a few photos while I waited for Joanna and Matthieu to arrive.

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We had a nice time in the park getting to know Amber’s parents and discussing their adventures in Paris so far. It was a great opportunity for Joanna and Matthieu to brush up on their English. They hope to perhaps move to the States soon as Matthieu may have a job opportunity there, so it was some intensive practice for them. Joanna is dear to me as she is a Chinese expat in France, and her hometown in China is not far from the area where I lived and worked back in 1990-1991.

Here are a few photos from all that I took in the park that day. Paul’s son is in the upper left corner; Joanna and Matthieu, who are an adorable couple, are pictured below him and in the upper right corner, too. Paul and I are in the bottom center photo, and the whole gang that met are in the photo at the bottom right. More photos are at this link.

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Joanna and Matthieu had never seen the Buttes Chaumont before, even though Matthieu is from Paris. They both enjoyed a quick tour of the park’s sites, as did Amber’s mom, Lynn.

Another Crisis in the ‘Hood

It was a week for crises.

A couple of nights ago, I heard what sounded like a big engine idling in front of our building, and when I turned to the window, I saw this:

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My first thoughts were, “Not another fire! Is it in our building? Why don’t I smell smoke?”

I went over to the window, looked at the firetruck below, then looked closer into the tree where the ladder was aimed and saw that there was a large object in the tree:

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I could not tell what it was until later.

Paul and I watched a firefighter go up the ladder…

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… get the object, which I could then see was a large patio-type umbrella, and then make his way back down the ladder with the umbrella in hand.

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He gave it to a lady and her son, who were waiting by the truck.

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All this made me laugh like a loon. It was quite funny, like something out of a film, and reminded me of the old cliché about firefighters retrieving cats out of trees and the like. Cracked me up. In fact, I think the owner of the umbrella heard me because, while walking away with her umbrella, she looked up and gave me a sheepish smile. She had seen that I was taking photos. I smiled back. I’m glad she got her umbrella out of the tree.

The ladder was put back down…

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… and the fire truck drove off into the sunset, another good deed accomplished by the superhero Sapeurs Pompiers de Paris.

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More Window Watching

Here are more views out my window. See the black and white dogs? They were patiently waiting for their owner(s) this day, watching and barking at things going past. They were not yapping constantly, just giving a warning bark or two when other dogs came too near. Other people were doing various things in the plaza, too. I was happily snapping photos of the lady with the toddler feeding the pigeons, the Asian woman who was smoking a cigarette and then talking to a fellow who came up to her as if she knew him. I really should sit down to make up stories about these people I see. They fascinate me with their daily goings on.

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A couple of days later, I noticed something.

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A homeless couple I have seen a couple of times in the neighborhood this summer were resting in our plaza. The black and white dogs are theirs. This  couple appears to be in their 20s, and they look kind of like homeless hippies. I usually see the girl sleeping like she is here, and the guy awake and observing what’s going on around him. I keep wondering what their story is — are they from Paris or another place in France? Are they from another European country? Why are they homeless and/or sleeping on the streets? Are they vacationing? (That may sound stupid, but you know some of those hippie types. This is like a poor [young] man’s version of a traveling vacation: “Hey! Let’s get a Eurail Pass and sleep on the streets of various European cities!” I’ve heard of stuff like that.)

This is a time when I wish I had enough French under my belt. I would totally go up and say “hi” and see if I could get some of their story. But pretty much all I can spit out is “hi” and then there would be not much point. I know, I know — I need to dive in and I am working up the nerve in some other situations, but I’m just going to have to wonder some more with this one.

Street Cleaning

I have written about street cleaning before, but in mid-June, Just Another American in Paris wrote an informative post called “Sweeping Clean,” in which she notes the hard work that the street cleaning crews do to keep Paris’ streets looking good. Our plaza is no exception. Not long after reading her post, I caught a worker opening the gutters, just as she’d explained, and sweeping the rubbish away. Some pigeons also got to take a bath.

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Just Another American in Paris also wrote a wonderful post called “Soundtrack for My Street,” which captures so well the feeling of summertime in Paris. What she wrote is the authentic truth of Parisian summer streets in a very poetic way. I loved it. I hope you will, too.

Recent Happenings

This past week, I had the fortune of gathering with three lovely women.

Wednesday night, June 30, I connected with Brigitte and Dawn, whom I met at the picnic that blogger Leesa had organized a couple of weeks ago. We sat under the Eiffel Tower at sunset (which, remember, is between 9:30 and 10:00 pm) and had a lovely picnic. More photos are at the end of this set on Flickr: June 2010. I got some phenomenal shots of the Eiffel Tower, so go to the set to check them out, if you like. (There’s a video there, too. I would have put it on YouTube, but the upload there bonked so I did not bother further with it.)

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Just this morning (Friday, July 2), I connected with Piglet in France from Lyon!

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We met up and went to a Starbucks near Pyramides just down from the Opéra Garnier. I took the photos of us on my camera, and noted to Piglet how they looked like those photos you get in a photo booth, so I played with them and make them look like a film strip. 🙂 If you would like to see it in color, go here. To see another really lovely photo of Piglet, who is just as kind and bright as she is in her blog, go here. I am so glad that I got to meet her!

Blogiversary

In closing, it will be one year on July 5 since I posted my first entry here at An Alien Parisienne. This year has gone quickly, but looking back over my entries and Flickr uploads for this past year, I have done a lot of things. I have this blog to thank for meeting several people I now call friends, and it has transformed the way I view Paris, which is exactly what I hoped it would do!

In the coming year, I hope that I can share more of my stories of what is sometimes an extraordinary life here in Paris, but is more typically the view from my dining area window. 😉

Thank you, all of you who come and read, and a big thank you who leave your kind words and helpful advice in the comments. It is a joy to participate in this Parisian experience with you.

Over and out.

Karin

An Alien Parisienne

P.S. Happy Independence Day to my American compatriots! I almost forgot that was this weekend… We’re kind of more focused on the World Cup quarterfinals and the end of school (which is today) here. And La Fête Nationale is on the 14th. We’ll combine the two events, I think, in our household, although tomorrow we are participating in something interesting! More on that soon, I hope.

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47 thoughts on “Craziness in the ‘Hood

  1. Sorry, I didn’t really have anything to say.

    Certainly nothing of any importance, anyway…..

    I just wanted to be the first commenter.

    Anyway, It’ll take me hours to read one of Karin’s posts!

    All the best

    Keith

  2. Well, happy blogiversary!!

    And I totally think you should make up the story of all those people, especially the homeless couple. It would make a really interesting novel, just the story (and back story) of one person after another, as seen through your window. The fact that you can’t just ask it of them makes it even more interesting.

    • Thank you, Wendy. It’s nice to have another blog that I have had for a year.

      I’ve been thinking more about the story, too — the stories of all those people. Time to try this out, methinks.

      Hope you are having a good 4th. 🙂

  3. Rats..I wanted to be the first one….actually had time to read the whole thing thru…Yesterday was Canada Day so we had Thursday off but are back at “work” today…though no one feels much like doing anything at all….so I read your latest epic during lunch….I was reminded of that scene in Out of Africa where she asks them to give her the first line of a story and she will make up the rest…that’s you watching the people out your window..they give you the first line…you make up the rest of their lives…

    and you can’t beat a street that has firemen on it as much as yours..

    take care Karin…I’ll go visit Paul’s blog too….

    • Well, next time, Deb. 😉 I am so glad you got to spend lunch with the blog! I bet no one felt like doing anything. Do Canadians not know about 4-day weekends when the holiday falls on a Thursday?!? Aw, US Americans don’t know about it, either, lol. Silly companies…

      I remember that from Out of Africa. I’d forgotten about that… What a great movie and an even better book! I like thinking about how the people out the window are the “first lines.”

      Aren’t firemen great? They are good looking worldwide, huh. 😀

      Have fun at Paul’s blog and thanks for visiting there. Take care, Deb.

  4. Debbie in Toronto – I’ll hang back to give you a chance for the next one – promise!

    But, I do think you’ve been telling a little porkie pie if you’ve been able to read the whole blog during lunch! It takes me most of the day to read one of Karin’s posts!

    Keithy

    • That’s generous of you, Keith. 😀

      Maybe Deb’s taken speed reading courses or something, eh? LOL.

  5. and I so wanted to be first. LOL

    Time and time again, I will get a well meaning friend that will tell me the way to escape my troubles is to live where they are or I’ll get that meme question “If you could live anywhere in the world…”. I live in the SF bay area for many related reasons, climate, politics, beauty and history. Folks freak out about earthquakes, but I prefer them to tornados. California does have places where I can visit extreme weather, but summer is fog in the morning and sun in the afternoon, carried in by a chilly north wind. If the wind drops, we need to look for shade (of which we have plenty). The conservatives have the hot farmlands of the cetral part of the state while the liberals can relax at the beach. I see redwoods and ocean every day. Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones one derided the states for only being 200 yrs old by telling us of the ancient chalas he dig up in the yard of the castle he owns in England. That is fine Bill, I can simply pick up arrowheads, prehistoric sharks teeth and petrified redwood anywhere I go along the coast here. I’d love to visit, but this is my home.

    Paul is a wonderfully creatve writer and his new blog should be a good read.

    Have you though of maybe encouraging up and coming musicians that you meet throughout the year to concider playing the 19th next year? I am sure that Pauls kid could round up some of his peers/competition and while it would be unfair to displace the traditional users of your little plaza completely, there could be a sharing of time that would make their rap sound a little “fresher” as it would be broken up by other styles and your growing circle of Paris friends could also help scout new talent for your area.

    Were you able to share any chinese with Joanna?

    Man, I would hate to have to manuver a truck the size of that fire truck around the narrow streets of Paris.

    Although Paris is a big place, when one’s life is focused there, one happens into a good deal of the population in passing over time. There is a change that they would or may have already crossed your path, but with out the face to face meeting and knowinn\g who you are meeting we would all be anonomous faces in the crowd (maybe they were in the background of a photo you had taken at some event). So many names to put to faces and stories to put to names. Will there come a time when we all know one another personally?

    • You did not do first, but you did do complete. 🙂

      Home is where the heart is, huh.

      Paul is a great writer, and I can’t wait to see how this blog does.

      It’s possible that maybe we could scout and join in — I’m sure that anyone who wants can go out and do whatever. On the other hand, the guys that are down there seem a little proprietary about “their” spot. I don’t know if there is, like, a music mafia going on, but it kind of seems like you have to be in the loop or part of the gang to get in on what they are doing. Yeah, next year may mean venturing out!

      Yes, Joanna and I could speak a little together!

      No kidding on trucks in Paris. It’s scary to watch them, honestly, but they are good at tight turns.

      I’ve thought that same thing — “maybe they were in the background of a photo you had taken at some event” — that somewhere “out there” I am a person in the background of someone’s photos.

      If you believe in the interconnectedness of everything and everyone, then in a way, we already do “know” one another. The whole six-degrees-of-separation thing… I know what you are getting at. I’d like to think that with communication being what it is with everyone wired up on computers and phones, we are getting closer to knowing and meaning more to one another. The more we feel connected, the harder it is to objectify people in violent acts, I think. Ergo, world peace.

      *crosses fingers*

      Thanks for your comments, Ken.

  6. Amy

    Okay. Maybe this is a silly question, but are there any free French classes offered in Paris like we have free English classes around here? What I’m trying to say is … I really want you to get to the bottom of the story of the homeless hippies!

    • Not a stupid question, Amy!! Yes, I have actually know there are free newcomer classes offered through the district town hall for my area. I think I might need to be, ummmm, more official than I am to be able to participate. Also, I have heard that there are waiting lists and that for relatively educated, Caucasian women like myself, there is — how to put this in a proper way? Less of a priority. However, this is just the kind of class that David Sedaris took when he writes about his French classes in Me Talk Pretty One Day. I’d love to be able to get into one of those classes. Maybe I can ask Paul to look into it…

      I know, though! I want to know their story, too!!

      Thanks for the comments. Hope you and your wee one are hanging in there with the heat. 🙂

  7. Nice post, Angel! You really cracked me up with the description of the “un-rap festival” on the street below us! Funny because it was so true.

    Also, the pictures that you have in the set linked to “June 2010” are absolutely gorgeous. Anyone who doesn’t take the time to check them out is really missing out on some fantastic Eiffel Tower pictures!

    • Hey there, sweetie! The “un-rap festival” — lol. Good name for it! I’m glad I could crack you up.

      I am so glad that you liked the photos, too! I am seriously always envious of the photos you take because you have a good eye. So if you think mine look good, then I realize they probably *are* because you know a good image when you see one. Thank you. 🙂

      Maybe I need to do an ET post soon…

  8. Karin! Hello, blogfriend. Oh, how I wish I had a window like yours. I, too, would sit and stare all day. Unfortunately I only have a view into our courtyard and believe it or not, there’s not much going on down there.

    I love your long blog posts. I know I can settle in with a coffee and be entertained for the entire cup. Bye!

    • Hi MJ!! Great to see you here! I need to make it over to your place, too — I see you have posted, and I have not had a chance to get there, yet. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the view that I have when I see some of the other views people have. I realize I am quite lucky to look down on a plaza like that.

      I am so glad that my posts are coffee-worthy. 🙂 See you again soon, MJ.

  9. Great post – I have the same habit of observing people. I’m sure it’s 1000 times better though when your high up in a parisian apartment in the best city in the world! And I enjoyed the fact that you put some french words in there – I’m still learning French each day – and today I learnt “franchement” thanks to you!

    • Thank you Brittany! So nice to see you here again. 🙂 I just took a quick peek at your blog and you have so many more lovely recipes posted!! Great stuff! I will be over there for a longer read soon. What I looked at was making my mouth water…

      It’s true — I have not had this kind of view from an apartment in my life — never such a good place from which to observe people. That is one cool thing that cities have over suburbia.

      Thank you for noticing the French words — I have been trying more and more to throw some in there. I learned franchement not long ago by watching a TV show where this chick kept saying it over and over and over. I asked Paul what it meant, he told me, and now I hear it all the time. I’m glad to help you learn a new word. 🙂

      Take care, and see you again soon.

  10. Paul’s blog is very cool, I really like the idea of doing a blog just for Paris street art…. great addition!

    Love the photo montages you did!

    • I’m glad you like Paul’s blog. The rue Dénoyez post is just one of many I am sure he has planned, and not just on street art. I think he has a whole lot of things in mind. I’m glad that he is interacting with Paris more again after the 20 years he’s spent here. It makes me happy to see that! Thanks for the props on the photo collages. I use Picasa — a free photo editing software from Google. It has a “create collage” feature I like to use. I had done some in much older posts, but had gotten away from it. I’ve been taking so many photos, though, it seemed like a good idea to get them going again.

      Stay cool, Lindsey. 🙂

  11. Great post, Karin!

    Love all the views out your window; I think they’d make a great little book, especially with your text/descriptions, changes in the seasons, holidays and special events (the ’19th, 19tth, 19th …’ is not funny exactly but made me smile!) — and of course your increasing use of French words and maybe stories about all the different people … and it’s in PARIS!

    I’m just catching up on my favourite blogs and have to go back and re-read your end of May, Part II (can’t believe it’s already July) — am so happy you connected again with Dawn and Brigitte (don’t think I’ve met B. yet) and the sunset photos are gorgeous.

    Happy blogiversary to Alien Parisienne and as the Aussies say, good on ya 🙂

    Hope we can catch up in person next trip! Cheers for now from back in Sydney.

    • So maybe I am on to something, eh?! 🙂 Well, I will for sure keep posting here, and see what happens. Maybe something will “gel” from putting things here.

      I hope you are getting back into a post-travel routine again — that’s a lot of traveling to do! I can imagine that you have had some catching up to do. I’m so happy that you made it here, though. Thank you, and I will return the favor next week.

      Thanks for the happy blogiversary wishes, and absolutely, we will connect one of these days, when the time is right. 🙂 Take care, Carolyn!

  12. “it is basically a pain in the ears (which you will note is arse if you mess with the order of the letters a bit)”

    Hahaha…love your brain. Happy Blogiversary M’dear.

    • Thank you, dear Aimee, and I have that little bit to thank the fact that “strikethrough” does not want to work on my posts, lol!! A little anagramming later and we have a funny. 😀

  13. Karin: I’m glad you liked my post about the soundtrack of my street. As I’m writing this on Sunday morning, there are church bells ringing. Always at 9:15, never at 9, perhaps that’s when mass starts?

    As for the view from your window, as MJ said, it’s awesome and thanks for taking the time to document it and share it with the rest of us.

    • Thanks for coming by, Anne, and how curious that the bells ring at 9:15! Maybe churches in Paris and/or France don’t worry about starting on the hour so much… But I guess it is regular, huh. We had sirens at an early hour this morning, and some guys talking in the street.

      Glad you could enjoy the view from the window, too. 🙂 Have a good rest-of-the-weekend!

  14. Jaime

    Amazing how it never quite feels that way at the time, but when you put it all together, our days are interesting and so busy! Very cool … love getting a glimpse into your life like this :oD

    • Hey Jaime! Very true — curious that when we put all the pieces together it is something interesting and busy! Perceptive you are, m’dear.

      I think that’s just it, though: these kind of things appease our inner voyeurs, huh. I’m glad you liked peeping *out* my window, too. Tee hee! 😉

  15. Hi Karin, wow you certainly have had a lot to blog about in this post …. well done, and your photo collages are amazing.

    Oh how wonderful to see my friends Brigitte and Dawn on here.. I miss them .. hope fully get back soon. Miss Paris and Miss my friends.

    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful stories too!

    • Hullo, Anne! Thank you for visiting, and yes, I had a lot to talk about, lol. It usually works out that way. 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed the photo collages! I’ve been having fun making them.

      I wish you could have been with us! One of these days, I know it, we’ll hang out. I’m sure Paris misses you, too. 🙂

      See you again soon, I hope, and I will be around the bloghood to visit you, too. Take care!

  16. Hi Karin, Happy belated Blogiverssary and 4th July!! Oh how I am glad you started a blog so that I could meet you 🙂 I really enjoyed our Starbucks on Friday and sincerely hope that it will be the first of many many meetings in the future. Thank you and thanks also for helping me find my way to my meeting!

    The pictures of us our cute, I love how you put them in the filmstrip – thankfully they’re better than photobooth pictures :)In fact, they look like they should be from some type of movie, maybe the lost girls of Paris?

    Paul’s blog looks great. I love street art. It is a shame that I am not familiar with Paris as some of the places mean nothing, but at least I can admire the art 🙂

    I was worried about fires all weekend, fancy you having a fire in your quartier as well! Definitely needs to be a campaign for smoke alarms. I’m going to go test mine after 🙂

    You have to wonder how a parasol ended up stuck in a tree though don’t you? Oh yes, today I am going to go parasol tossing! Even if it fell of someone’s balcony (which I would have thought is quite hard and very dangerous)can you imagine the likelihood of it getting stuck in a tree? Good job it did though, however, it got there!

    Once again I love your photos collages, I am going to have to try this out too!

    Take care Karin and enjoy your week!

    • What a fun comment! I was giggling at things throughout (you are such a good writer, you are), like the part about “Lost Girls in Paris” and “Parasol Tossing.” The first one sounds like the title of a good novel, too (a chick-lit one of course, lol) and the second sounds like a new, urban, neighborhood sporting event! So THAT is what the woman was doing! 😉

      Yes, we need to start the campaign, methinks, on the whole smoke alarm thing.

      I am so very glad that we got to meet, too. And I am glad I started the blog as well, and that you found it. I think you are right: many happy meetings to come. Don’t we look cute in the pics?

      The photo collages are fun to play with — Picasa is a great little free program. Paul likes their web albums, too, which I would use if I did not already have a proFlickr account. I hope you try it out.

      Here’s to a good week for you, too, and see you again soon I hope, here or face-to-face!

      • yep, the pics look cute, and just like movie stars! I’ve decided you must write the book – The Lost Girls of Paris. You can have a chapter on Parasol Tossing.

        I’m off to have a look at Picasa! Ciao ciao for now 🙂

  17. Hi Karin,

    thanks for stopping by my blog and I’m just whizzing in from the suburbs to ask whether you’ve found a biocoop near you? they stock a good range of gluten free flours. And the other site I luurrrve is: http://www.gourmetsansgene.com/boutique/liste_rayons.cfm which delivers (really quickly) gluten free goodies to your home.

    there, hope that helps, love all your pictures, do you use picasa to do your groovy arrangements? HOpe you don’t have trouble sleeping in the heat tonight, I drove into Paris this evening, it was 36 degrees C. Yuk.

    Cheers,
    Pig x

    • Hello, Pig!! 🙂 Thank you for returning the favor!

      I have a great Biocoop, Naturalia, and now a La Vie Claire that I just discovered the other day all around me, and they do carry good gluten-free flours (my personal favorite is chestnut). I am totally grain free right now, so the only “flours” I am using, and those sparingly, are coconut and almond meal. The almond meal/flour is no problem: even the Leader Price near me carries it (although not certified gluten-free, i.e., there may be some contamination from the processing plant). The one I am having problems tracking down is the coconut flour. I will check out that link up there to see if they have it! If not, I am going to see my friend in the south soon, and her La Vie Claire has it. Thank you so much for the link!!

      I use Picasa, indeed, and have the most fun with it. Best free program, ever! You stay cool, too. I know, HOT at night, too hot to sleep, isn’t it. Looks like a bit of cloudy weather today, though!

      Take care, Pig in the Kitchen, and I hope to be by your site again soon, too.

  18. Hi Karin,
    Came by after reading about your meet-up with Piglet on her blog. Love your blog. But I am curious, WHY Paris? I mean I did read your introductory post and the mémé et a couple of other posts, but why Paris?

    Hope you’ll come visit my blog sometimes and if you’re ever in the Loiret…!

    • Hey Dedene! I’m glad you came by. 🙂 Why Paris? Three words: Paul was here. Simple as that. If he’d had lived in Timbuktu, or Texas, I would have gone there. Okay, maybe not Texas, UGH (lol — aw, it’s not all that bad. But I did not like living in Dallas much. I bet Austin is okay, though).

      I will pop over to your blog now! 🙂 Take care.

  19. Karin: Just occurred to me that you might be willing to write a post about living gluten free in Paris for Posted in Paris — advice on food stores, finding particular products (and their names) and perhaps menu reading. I’d need about 500 words (which I’m guessing would not be a problem for you! LOL) plus specific links and/or addresses. Let me know.

    Anne

  20. Happy anniversary to your blog.
    I think you are becoming a Parisienne because observing people is certainly a Paris trait – that is why they have so many térasses at the cafés! You sit and watch people walk by.
    When I was little I used to love going to the apartment of my great aunt and uncle. They lived Boulevard Raspail and had a window looking on the boulevard. Then when I was a teenager my mother would wait for me once a week when I left school early and we would have tea at Le Café de la Paix, near the Opéra Garnier. The cakes were really good and we would watch the women walking by and my mother would critique their clothe styles – we would laugh almost constantly.

    You seem to have a great view from your window to observe life going by. Have you been in some old towns in Italy? They always have big windows for observing people. I was forgetting Marseille. My godparents lived downtown Marseille, close to the station, an area that is totally north-african now but very nice still (I went back last November.) She was a dentist. I used to love watching all the people walking in the street – many were ladies of the night and for a 6 years old, that was something I did not understand. I mean I did not understand why they kept staying near doors like they were doing nothing. When I came to San Francisco I lived in the Castro area and was very disappointed that windows did not open fully like they did in France. Windows … memories.

    • Thank you, Vagabonde!

      Ahhh, so that’s it! I am becoming more Parisienne. Hmmmm. Maybe I do have more connections with the place and the culture than I thought…

      I loved reading your memories about watching people, V. And I am with you — while sometimes I don’t like the French windows for all the dust and grime they let in, I *love* being able to open them fully and hang out of them! I love the ability to people watch effectively out the windows. Thank you for helping me see the things I am growing to love here, and how maybe I am more Parisienne than I have thought. 🙂

  21. Pingback: My Life as a Nancy Drew Mystery Novel « An Alien Parisienne

  22. Girl, I am telling you, if you break up your posts you’ll have material for weeks, LOL

    Congrats on kicking the habit ~ keep at it. I quit October 18, 2001. And yes, I remember the date, because it was that important to me, ha ha I have had about 3 cigarettes during that time and had absolutely not desire to go back to this filthy habit that I had for far too many years. But for some reason, whenever I visit Paris, I get the desire…probably because everybody there but me smokes, LOL

    I wish I had a Parisian window to hang out of, smoke or no smoke 🙂 I’ll settle for yours.

    • LOL! Yes, I have thought about this… (i.e., having material for weeks). Who knows. Maybe I will start to break these up! In the meantime, the latest post I did only came in at 1,300 words, which for me is pretty short. It’s good to know I can do it. 🙂

      Congrats on your quitting, too! It’s true — it seems everyone is a smoker here, which makes it challenging when you want to quit. But it *is* possible. When you next visit Paris, you would be more than welcome to come and hang out of my window for a while.

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