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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, 2016-18-19

19 Jun

Paris, 2016-18-19

We have a destination in mind and, as most always, start out walking, this time toward Musée d’Orsay where we cross the Seine to the Tuilleries. On the way, a shopkeeper stands by his outside selection of flowers. His shop is postage-stamp size. The flowers outside nearly hide the lower set of traffic lights.© 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, 2016-18-19

As we cross the bridge, we see that the play area with the map of the world is nearly dry after the recent floods. We watch the children playing, but I love it when a girl leaps across Panama.© 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, 2016-18-19

Following one of the sandy, gravelly boulevards through the Tuilleries, I see a very common scene all over the world, a young Continue reading 

Paris, 2016-16-17

12 Jun

Paris, 2016-16-17

We have done a lot of walking since we arrived in Paris (Prague, too, for that matter), someting less than 90 miles (88.92) in a little over two weeks. Of course, this is nothing for 5Kers and joggers, but on city streets, many cobbled, it is a lot of exercise. But for us, it is also the way to see any city. Metros and buses here are terrific, and while our group had made good use of them, Arnie and I just walk. Our agenda is to travel by whim and whatever the day may bring. Some days we may have something in mind to do or see, some days, not.

If we feel 11-o’clockish (Winnie the Pooh’s expression for those brought up on A.A. Milne), we stop and have a bite to eat, perhaps a glass or two of wine, and certainly some water.

This lunchtime, we sit opposite a very chic store, the manequins almost faceless and echoing Area 51. A young man walks quickly by dressed in a black t-shirt aned jeans, contrasting with the fashion in the window.© 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, 2016-16-17

Eventually, we pay our bill and meander on. A shop window near our flat catches my eye as it has for several days now. I ask permission to photograph inside, since there is artwork hung on the wall. I love the old-world palette and graphics of it all.© 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, 2016-16-17

As we continue back to our flat, I see a man at the window on his cell phone, cigarette in hand, leaning on the rail. How very French!© 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, 2016-16-17

Evening is always a great time to photograph. People are out, and the light is often Continue reading