Friday, June 12, 2009

Ca vaut la peine -- Paris walking

Thought you might like a glimpse of my new shoes -- might have put a few too many kilometres on them the other day, walking to Le Petit Palais to see a great exhibition of William Blake's work. I had to buy the black tights here because it was so wet and cool, but yesterday and today it's been much, much warmer. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes, Pater packed along a pair of flats which I changed into --- in relief! -- on the walk home.)
Here's a fellow who knew how to stride along! Still such an icon when I was growing up, I wonder how well-known he is to more recent generations.
Unlike the great man, however, sometimes, as the photo below suggests, I do surrender . . .
Here I am, another day, stopping for a very welcome afternoon Badoit (my favourite water!) on a walk back from the Pompidou Centre.

By the way, the French sub-titled Japanese film we saw the other night was wonderful, vraiment formidable. Okuribito, called Departures in English, won an Oscar for best foreign film. I can't imagine a better choice for our introduction to the Parisien cinema experience -- intimate room with plush seats and a very respectful audience -- no huge tubs of popcorn! If you get a chance, you really will want to see this one.

Yesterday we walked too far for too little reward (saw an exhibition on Jazz at the Quai Branly) and missed out on something I wanted to do because we couldn't remember the address (some pouting may have been involved -- I desperately wanted to have tea at Laduree in the 6th and forgot that it was below, not above, St. Germain). Travelling together is very good but occasionally challenging and yesterday afternoon I admit I wasn't the best companion. Luckily, Pater is patient and persistent in seeking solutions -- I ended up agreeing to go out about 8 for a little stroll (hah! I should have known . . . ) to find dinner, and we ended up back down on St. Germain at a pleasant little cafe, eating moules frites and people-watching from our sidewalk table. Afterwards we strolled to the middle of one of the bridges over to the Ile de St. Louis and watched the lights sparkling on the tour Eiffel while hundreds and hundreds of young people sat below in campfire-like circles on the banks of the Seine, chatting, laughing, singing, watching the fire juggler move along the bank and the boats full of tourists churn through the water while the Grande Dame sat serenely and gothically above us all as she has for centuries -- a perfect evening, I had to agree, as we walked home. Definitely worth the walk -- ├ža vaut la peine!


  1. The shoes are fabulous! That blue is definitely *your* color.

    Mon mari and I have both had our cranky traveller moments. Fortunately we both seem to get over them quickly. I've learned that for us it's better to have a set agenda. He likes predictability and I love spontenaety, so the last time I planned in a "free" day toward the end of the trip for wandering and poking our noses into whatever shops caught our eye. It seemed to work well for us.

  2. That first photo could be on The Sartorialist! Very chic!

  3. Your booties are formidable!

    re Pseu's comment, we always plan ample separate time to accommodate our different interests and pace. I am always stunned when someone tells me "I wanted to get to (a place) but my husband didn't want to go". One time Le Duc was leading a GF and I through Paris on a forced march, he was so eager for her to see it "all". We rebelled after an hour, and he left us to wander twisty streets, poking into whatever caught our eye. Bliss!

  4. thanks, Pseu, Patricia, and Duchesse on the shoe compliments -- Patricia, Sartorialist-worthy? Wow!
    Pseu/Duchesse -- yes, there's an art to travelling together and it doesn't always require being joined at the hip. Pater and I spend so much time apart, living in different cities through the week, that we try to maximize together time here, but I'd never let him take the blame for me not seeing something I want to see. We sometimes split up for me to shop while he sits at a nearby cafe with Le Monde -- he's such a news junkie, he loves spending a few hours on his own like that. And we're really thinking about your approach, Duchesse, of taking an apartment for a few weeks -- hotel life is not very satisfactory for this long -- I'm longing for a meal I've cooked myself!

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