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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 Continue reading 

Paris, 2016-13-14

9 Jun

Paris, 2016-13-14

More walking. We love walking in Paris and other cities. For us, it is the way to savor an area, although it does often take longer to get from one destination to another. For us, however, it is more about the journey than the target. Day 13 saw close to 5 miles of walking, Day 14 a mere 4-1/4.

But people are out and enjoying Paris as they usually do. While some of the lower walks are still flooded. people line up on steps, soaking in long-absent sun.© 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, 2016-13-14

We pass by a building, and at first glance, two people are up a story looking down on the passers-by. Woops, someone has a sense of humor; they are just manequins.© 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, 2016-13-14

Dogs rule in Paris. This is not usually a good thing, as there are lots of hazards to avoid. We were in shock the other day when an owner actually cleaned up after his dog! This elderly dog helps welcome customers into his owner’s shop.© 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, 2016-13-14

It is getting towards evening, and we are enjoying the late light. Arnie and I see an elderly gentleman, looking natty with Continue reading 

Paris, 2016-05-06

1 Jun

Paris, 2016-05-06

Paris, 2016-05-06

We have had two rainy days in a row. It’s Paris, and Paris needs some rain. Well, perhaps not as much as they have had, as the Seine is right up to the lower promenades where all the barges and house boats are tied up. I’ll have to get some images of that.

Meanwhile, near Saint-Suplice, there is usually some sort of fair. A photography one is going on, and we have enjoyed some of the exhibitors in the past. This year, we are disappointed, but even with the rain, they are getting quite a bit of traffic which is always good.

We leave and find we are right by an exhibit we had seen on a poster featuring the work of the late Belgian photographer Marc Lagrange who did some amazing, sensual photographs of women. The prints are stunning, and we enjoy the beauty of his work.

We stop in at another gallery/bookstore almost next door and take a look at the offerings, but it is time to move on. We have to do some marketing for the flat, as we are eating in. Poullet Roti, cheeses, fruits, etc., and we are also ready to have lunch.

The restaurant we have in mind is closed for lunch, only serving tea-time fare. Arnie and I head across the street, and settle in to an outside table under the protection of the striped awning and watch the Parisian scene on this corner while enjoying a salad and wine. Various colored umbrellas sail by. A blue Vespa sits across the street. We wait for a good combination of umbrellas color and action. It is hard.© 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, 2016-05-06

We don’t end up making many images today. That is alright, as we need to occasionally take a break. Besides, we were wet!

So, we sit around the table with our friends, enjoying our dinner, talking about the next day’s possibilities, and finishing off the last of the birthday double magnum of Chateau Margaux. And, we actually get a decent night’s sleep.

I get up early and have breakfast in. We have picked up fresh fruit at the market, and that suits me just fine. I am looking forward to another hot chocolate when Arnie gets up. The restaurant prepares a thick chocolate “syrup” ahead, pours some into a cup, then tips the cup four ways to make a pretty design. It is served with hot, frothy milk that the customer adds. It is lovely, both in looks and taste.© 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, 2016-05

The agenda for today includes buying tickets to a dance performance (most are sold out weeks and months in advance) and continuing on to Musée Marmottan Monet that houses the largest collection of Monet paintings in the world.

We needed to grab lunch first and find seats along the sidewalk in a café and savor “the scene.” The reflections of legs are always fun, and in Paris, a well-dressed fashionista needs a good pair of Continue reading