Paris, 2016-20-22

20 Jun
 

Paris, 2016-20-22

This is the final blog from Paris … for this year. We will be back in May of 2017, and our workshop is already almost half full!

There are three more days in Paris. The time goes so quickly here. Arnie and I can easily see ourselves living here, except that we would so miss our friends at home.

I have a “thing” for Montmartre. The views from up there are magnificent, the Montmartre Gallery always interesting, Sacré-Coeur splendid in its blazing white, and the little back, cobbled streets wonderful. After a heavy bout of rain during which four of us take shelter in a little café, we take the funicular to the top. It beats climbing the some 220 steps that run alongside the funicular!

At the top, we head off in different directions, seeking out photographs, enjoying the views, exploring …

On one little side street, I see these steps with the railing shadows that catch my eye. Turning this way and that, I find a photograph.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

It is lunchtime, and we think we have found a good place … until we go in. It is past normal lunch hours, and the place is not full. Perfect! It will be quiet. There is a table set for two by the window next to it, one set for three that can easily hold four. We find this a good place to sit down, as we are told to sit anywhere.

The proprietor bustles over. We cannot sit like this. These are two tables.

Well, then, could he add one place to the table set for three. Oh no, he could not possibly change the seating!  Harumph!  So,  we leave. I think that is the first time in all the decades I have been coming to Paris that I have run into someone like that.

We move on and find a great place with seating outside as well as in with the outside doors open for plenty of air. Our waitress is Danish and is in Paris applying for her masters in psychology. “Yes, occasionally you do get those people,” Sofi says when we tell her of our recent experience, “but most people are very friendly.” We agree.

She makes an excellent suggestion for wine, double checking with her boss. We approve and order lunch. My salad is delicious and refreshing. The olive oil is superb.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

Sofi tells us, while decanting the wine and carefully turning the decanter in the ice bucket, that her boss has quite a wine collection stored in several places around Montmartre. He is, in fact, a sommelier.

“Could we see the wine?” we ask, and she points out various wine refrigerators. It is clear that she knows a lot about wine, too. We can see it in the way she gently turns the decanter to make sure our white wine is the proper temperature while simultaneously airing it.

After enjoying our salads, I head upstairs to see the storage there. There is a gentleman in the back room. “Are you the proprietor?” I ask, and he acknowledges that he is the director. When I tell him that Arnie and I used to photograph quite a bit for The Wine Spectator, he gets very animated. I am quick to say we have retired from that end of the business, but he still opens up one of his refrigerators, and I salivate at some of the choices.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

He remarks on what I feel is a very rusty command of French, but it must be better than most, because he seems impressed and asks me where I learned it. We talk about ties to Paris, and he invites us to have lunch with him and his wife who apparently speaks excellent English.

“It sounds lovely,” I say in French, “but let me check with the others.”

Meanwhile, he phones his wife, but she is busy. “Dinner?”

“Alas, no, we have a concert tonight, our last dinner together in Paris with our friends the next night, and a dance performance our final night.” We cannot find out a time that works, but we agree that next year, we will make it happen, and I will write him well in advance. He comes downstairs later and presents us with a small bottle of privately-labeled rosé. It is very touching. We tell him he has a treasure in Sofi and that we will give a good TripAdvisor report.

We take our leave with the normal, warm good-byes and head back outside. It has been relaxing and fun and very special.

There is a very sloping wall opposite the restaurant, one that always tickles my funny bone with its display of whimsical ceramics, particularly the bespectacled birds that are there year after year.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

I cannot come up to Montmartre without walking around the square and seeing this year’s array of artists, some quite talented, some, shall we say, catering more to the tourists, using garish colors and not much imagination. This artist has a nice touch for portraits and is definitely capturing the essense of his subject.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

Another artist does light, airy watercolors featuring the classic French balloons. My father lost a red one when he was living in Paris around age 6. There is a charming, French movie called The Red Balloon. And so, when I think of Paris, I think of red balloons. I find a painting I like, but the balloon is blue.

“Do you have any with a red balloon?” I ask, and tell him why. He shows me other paintings, but I like the simplicity of the first one. Ahhh, and he goes to his portfolio and finds just what I want. Perfect!

We all meet at the top of the funicular to head back to the flat. Tonight, the four of us have tickets to a Vivaldi concert in Sainte-Chappelle, a very impressive, and quite lovely, 13th-century, Gothic chapel.

As best as we can count, the string ensemble numbers seven. I think I hear the harpsichord now and then. The acoustics in the tall chapel are such that those seven, very accomplished musicians sound like a whole orchestra.

They start with Pachelbel’s Canon in D. As the music crecendos, the sun comes out, shines through the intricate and stunning stained-glass panels, and bathes the musicians in a golden glow. It does not last long, but I shall remember it for the rest of my life.

Next, we hear Four Seasons by Vivaldi. I never tire of listening to that piece, and the soloist on one of the violins is so precise and feeling in her playing that she gets lots of applause when the time is appropriate.

In fact, at the end of the concert, there is a standing ovation and some more music.

Throughout the concert, I keep gazing up at the stained glass and vaulted ceiling that is for me mesmerizing.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadv?Whatentures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

It has been a long day, and everyone is content to just crash.

During our three-week stay in Paris, we have amassed quite a collection of wine bottles. They need to be taken down to recycling now that the strike for the trash trucks has ended, at least for the nonce.

“What? No pictures?” one of our friends asks.

She is right, so I leave the bag full of bottles along the wall while Arnie and I head off for a bite of breakfast.

When we return, we are greeted by the Eiffel Tower, fashioned by Sue out of 30 wine bottles, including that double magnum at the top that we mentioned in a much earlier blog.

“If I had more bottles, I could have done the Louvre.” she tells us.

What she has done is most imaginative and we leave it up for at least another day.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

We should all admit that this splendid creation does not include all the wine bottles consumed at lunch, for mid-afternoon, sidewalk-café breaks, or for dinner.

Each of the three couples has plans for the day. Arnie and I have visited the museums and galleries that interest us this time, but we do want to walk and walk … and walk some more. Now that the floods on the Seine have subsided, the Pont des Arts is once again open. The skies threaten rain, and the dark beyond the bright steel of one of Daniel Hourdé’s sculptures is great.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

We have a bite to eat over on Île Saint-Louis. It tends to be quieter than its neighbor island. We walk some more and pass by a shop that makes the most decadent creations with meringues. Two ladies take the merigues and roll them in various nuts, chocolates, etc. I buy some as a treat for our group.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

Later, after dropping off our purchases, we wander some more. There is one window display that I admire almost every day, but every time I see it, there is one of those security grills over it. I finally have a clear view.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventure (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

The group is heading out for the eight-minute walk to have our final Parisian dinner together. We have fun, and the food and wine are tasty. We have our same waiter, and again, because of Euro 2016, the game is projected onto a far wall.

None of us is quite willing to have the evening end, but it makes sense to wend our way back to the flat. On the way, we pass this splendid, copper beer vat, and I cannot resist a quick photograph.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventure (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

Sue’s Eiffel Tower greets us at the flat, and we talk about the fun times we have all been having.

Our final day. I want to pick up a few things for friends and family. Others have similar agendas. We walk by a door that is in the process of being repainted. I like the gentle palette. It stands there proud, What it must have seen over the years.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventure (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

There has been a lot of rain in Paris this year, and today is no exception. It starts in earnest, and since it is lunchtime anyway, we duck into a handy café and enjoy our surroundings.

I have a last errand to run, and when the rain mostly stops, we head a few streets away to the shop I have in mind. Eventually, we all meet up at the flat.

Our living room is spacious, and there are several tables, including the dining room table. There is a washing machine and dryer, a small kitchen that Arnie and I have not really used but that the others have. It has been a perfect flat for our time in Paris.

It is time to head off on the Metro for the dance performance at the Palais Chaillot, the national theater. the program is modern, a fusion of past and future. While it may not be our favorite dance performance, it is colorful and has interesting segments.

Two of our group have a special dinner in mind, and the other four of us decide that a meal at a place on the Trocadéro sounds enticing. We enjoy yet another lovely bottle of wine, a good meal, and it is so nice and companionable sitting outside with good friends on our last night here.

We enjoy the 10-o’clock light display on the Eiffel Tower, but our view is partly obscured by trees. No matter; we will wander closer to the river after dinner for some final photographs.

I climb up into a now-dry fountain for my shot., familar buildings in the distance that we have often walked by this trip. Farewell, Paris! Farewell until next year!© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventure (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-603-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Paris, 2016-20-22

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4 Responses to “Paris, 2016-20-22”

  1. Anonymous 06-21-16 at 7:09 AM #

    What a wonderful treat to share in your trip….. and get a photo lessen at the same time. Hope I can apply some of what I have seen. We are off to three weeks to small cities in Italy for the next three weeks.

     
    • TBC 06-21-16 at 5:02 PM #

      Doug,

      So glad you enjoyed it. It takes time to do these blogs, and it is great when people weigh in and let us know how much they appreciate them. So glad you got a photo lesson or two at the same time.

      Have a grand trip and make great photographs.

      Take care,

      TBC

       
  2. Ted Jerome 06-20-16 at 6:33 PM #

    What a lovely tribute to a great city!

     
    • TBC 06-21-16 at 5:00 PM #

      Ted,

      How very kind of you! I can’t tell you how much that means that it touched you.

      Take care,

      TBC

       

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