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Monthly Archives: September 2007

A wuthering ballet at La Opera

1) I had never been to a full ballet; 2) Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is my favorite book (well, maybe with the last section lopped off); 3) Heathcliff desperately calls out, “Cathy! Cathy, my heart’s darling!”; 4) The Opera is a half-hour walk from my apartment; and, 5) my ticket was only 10 euros. How could I […]

In Paris, you’d better know your -eries

Walking through Paris, I see many specialty shops sprinkled among the supermarches (supermarkets), clothing stores, restaurants, and bars. You need to know the kind of store you’re walking into, though, and what names will lead you to what you’re looking for. You don’t want to walk into a charcuterie if you’re looking for a screwdriver. Here are a few French store […]

Raft of the Medusa

Last week I visited the Louvre, the palatial art behemoth sprawling on the right bank of the Seine. The Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and Venus di Milo may be the Louvre’s most popular artworks, but there is another masterpiece that puts me in absolute awe: Theodore Gericault’s Le Radeau de la Meduse (The Raft of the Medusa). The […]

It’s all about les foulards (the scarves)

Scarves in Paris. Thin and casually hanging from a simple foldover over the jacket. Thick and folded in blousy knots just under the chin. Silky shine, flower and bird patterns, paisley prints, “Paris” in cursive writing, Arabian stripes. Scarves fluttering and whipping around in the wind at the stalls along the Seine. Magenta, turquoise, orange, olive, silver, and red ones on […]

Tennis shoes at Yom Kippur services in the Jewish Quarter

Last Friday my friend and I toured the Memorial du la Deportation on the eastern tip of Ile de la Cite. The small, stark memorial honors the 200,000 French Jews, resistance fighters, and forced laborers who died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Containers of dirt and ashes from each of the camps line the […]

French words you already know. Part A.

There are many French words that mean nearly or exactly the same thing in English, though the spellings and pronunciations are a bit different. Here are some French words starting with the letter A, listed without accent marks. I am sure you will be as astounded at the number as I was. abandon,  abdication, abdomen, aberration, abject, abnegation, abominable, […]

The history of my neighborhood, the 2nd

My apartment is in the second arrondissement, one of the 20 “districts” of Paris. Thirza Valloisis, author of  Around and About Paris, Volume I, II, III, gives us a taste of the 2nd’s history below (with some editing by me). ***** The 2nd arrondissement drew in the most destitute segments of society between the 15th and […]

Farewell, Bip

Though my personal disdain for buskers in general and mimes in particular is well known, it was very sad to hear of the death in Paris today of Marcel Marceau. Especially in light of Yom Kippur this weekend, his death was especially poignant. A Jew who hid his identity with the adopted last name of Marceau, Marcel […]

Two months in one pair of socks

In preparation for this trip I remember piling all my under things on my bed. The sock pile, however, was apparently a memory from another pack job, so I’ve worn this one wonderful pair of Thorlo walking socks for four days. Now a Parisian sock source needs to be found.

Above Paris

I’ve been above Paris in two ways: by book and by Eiffel Tower. The book Above Paris, with photographs by Robert Cameron and text by Pierre Salinger, is a collection of aerial photographs taken over Paris in 1984. The book includes historical maps and drawings, and is divided into sections on Paris, the periphery and […]