Parisian Love Affair
When you visit Paris for the first time, you can't help but want to catch all of the main tourist sights.......the Eiffel Tower, the museums, the Champs Elysee, the Sacre Coeur........you really want to soak up all of its beauty. Once you are fortunate enough to see all of the sights, the rest of the city is yours to discover!
I have been fortunate enough to have visited Paris 10 times within the past 10 years. I can blame my "love affair" with Paris on Hollywood. It was watching the old classic movies as a little girl that got me hooked. The first time I saw Audrey Hepburn's "Sabrina" and heard them play "La Vie en Rose," I knew that was a city I wanted to visit. It looked romantic, it looked magical.....and when I visited for the first time....it was exactly that. Then every time Paris was portrayed in the movies, as I got older, I started making "mental notes" of the places I wanted to visit. By the time I was old enough to jet out on my own, I made all those cinema fantasies a reality.
Smelling the scent of the chestnut trees lined up on the Champs Elysees on an autumn day........or the fresh baked bread in the patisseries along the streets of the Latin Quarter.......Each time I return to Paris, I fall in love with the city all over again. There have been so many fond memories of Paris, it's hard to select just one. The one that does stand out the most was when I took my mother for her first time to this city. She had never traveled to Europe in her life, and to see her face light up as we ascended up the Eiffel Tower........that was priceless.
Pictures of masterpieces.
Don't worry about taking pictures of the artworks of the Louvre or Orsay. You'll find that they're always disapointing.
Instead, write down the names of the pieces that you like, then check out http://www.photo.rmn.fr. You can download decent-definition (600x450pxl) pictures for free.
You can do this for all of the National Museums (RMN = Réunion des Musées nationaux).
The 18th Arrondissement
The 18th is a popular tourist destination full of contrasts. It's noted for the Neo-Byzantine Basilique du Sacre-Coeur sitting high on the "Butte" Monmartre overlooking the Paris landscape and village Monmarte to its west. The animated Place du Tertre is a virtual tourist trap unless you arrive early in the morning. Village Monmartre has winding cobblestone strets, vestiges of former windmills, and delightful green spaces. Here you'll find former haunts of the artists and writers who lived in the area at the turn of the century; the oldest and still operating cabaret; Au Lapin Agile, a functioning vineyard and several small museums.
Quartiers in the 18th include the Butte, Abbesses with its Art-Nouveau Metro entrance, the rather sleazy Pigalle, Barbes, La Chapelle, and La Goutte d'Or, a vibrant haven of primarily African and Arab immigrants.
Paris' largest flea market is at the northern edge of the 18th at the Porte de Clignancourt
Dessins d'humour: "Les Parisiennes" de Kiraz
Long before the world knew of Naomi, Linda, Claudia & their likes, Kiraz "Les Parisiennes" had been both inspiration & mirrors for effortlessly chic Parisiennes.
The two blond & brunette, both slim, long-legged, tanned & long-haired used ( & still use) to be the characters of Kiraz sketches found in French magazines & ads. There, you could see them at a restaurant, in their apartment, in their bathroom, au volant (!), with a lover at reach. However, most actions used to be staged in the street with sexy, cool, lighthearted, mischievous Parisiennes doing what they enjoy most: windowshopping & handling their designer (shopping) bags, them fashionistas!
Not bimbo at all ;-) the cuties always have humour in most situations, not that they laugh. Humour is rather in their reflections about the world around them (mostly: lovelife). Something like "I know I'm in love when I'm told something silly & that I enjoy it" or "I'd like to find a rich guy whom I would marry not for his money".. ahem. Still, they are institutions in French media. Through them, one can have a glimpse on the women's world, its minor & major upsets.
"Les Parisiennes" series of sketches used to be released as comic strips with one theme for each album: "Les Parisiennes au volant", "Les femmes", "Jamais le premier soir" [: Never (no sex) on first night :-)]
And.. where else than in Galeries Lafayette Haussmann to hold an exhibition on the fashionistas? That was Exposition "Kiraz, les Parisiennes et la Mode" from March 30 to April 23 in 2005. A huge success, I was told! I would have liked to buy the tote with reproduction of some "Les Parisiennes" sketch on it.
My "Les Parisiennes se marient" was stolen years ago :-( They've grown up. Funny to read about their thoughts on marriage. If you read French, have a look at those Parisiennes. You'll be charmed, I'm sure, as were those who discovered "Les Parisiennes" in Jours de France magazine in the 70s & still laugh reading them in "Gala".
We passed this wonderful Arena en route from the airport to our hotel,its a fantasic place to go and watch a sporting event such as France vs England in a rugby International,mind you tickets are like rocking horse sh*t,VERY RARE !!!!!