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An American In Paris

June 12, 2007

Preparing For The Trip

The Friendly City Of Paris Awaits

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June 28, 2007

Packer Love And Paris

I've just begun an over one-month visit to Paris, but if it wasn't for a Packer fan, I probably wouldn't be here right now.

I cut it a little too close the day of my departure from Chicago (Monday) and ended up missing my United flight out of O'Hare. When I got up to the United counter, the customer service rep informed me that because I had bought a bulk-rate ticket, he could not rebook the flight. Furthermore, there were no other coach seats to purchase for Paris to until the following week.

Things were looking grim, but then I told him that I had plans to attend a writers workshop in Paris and really needed to arrive in time for it. He asked if I live part time in Paris, and when I told him that I live in Chicago but am from Milwaukee, doors opened for me. "Do ya like the Packers?" he asked. "Because I'm from Madison."

I have to confess, I never liked the Packers as much as I did at that very moment.

We talked about how Brett Favre still has some life in him, and how it was a shame to lose Randy Moss to the Patriots. Then my new friend Steve made a phone call and turned away from the desk.

I'm not sure what Steve said, or whom Steve called, but I'd like to think that it was some central Packer Backer station that exists to get Packer Backers out of jams.

When he finished his call, Steve announced that he could get me on a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, with a transfer flight to Paris. It was all rather amazing.

Anyone See Lost In Translation?

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June 30, 2007

My Apartment Building in Paris

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Click here for a Map

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Central Paris - A City That's Over 2,000 Years Old

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Over A Million Royales With Cheese Served

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July 1, 2007

Gives A New Meaning To "Compact Car"

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July 2, 2007

Say It, Don't Spray It

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July 3, 2007

My Major Mode Of Transportation For The Trip

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Street Performers In The Metro Station

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July 4, 2007

Very Timely - N.Y. Times Special Section On The City Of Light

What follows is a blog entry from the N.Y. Times' look at Paris in today's issue. I agree wholeheartedly with this person:

"So many people come to Paris for a few days and just rush from the Eiffel tower to the Lourve to the Musee d'Orsay to a recommended restaurant etc.. and actually miss soaking up "Paris" in it's true sense. Go see the main iconic structures and museums, but spend one day "getting lost" in the city..get on the Metro and just get off at a interesting sounding stop and explore that neighborhood, Paris' delights are to be found in a obscure bistro w/a surly owner, a little paper shop in the 13th, sitting in a garden with some cheese watching children play, Have a picnic with a 10e bottle of bordeaux. Paris is to be ingested, not inhaled."
- Anonymous

http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/europe/france/paris/overview.html?excamp=GGTRparishotels

July 5, 2007

No Need For A Visor On That Helmet

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The Paris Writers Workshop - Classes Held At The Boulevard Du Montparnasse

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The nonfiction workshop was full, but I'm participating in the workshop on an "a la carte" basis while I'm here.

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Cafe Called "With The Dog That Smokes"

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This cafe is close to where I'm taking classes. Insert your own joke about rampent smoking in France.

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Perfectly Stacked Cherries At A Fruit Stand Near Les Invalides

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More Fruit Stand Shots

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Fourth Of July Picnic With Expats

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Berthillon - Home Of The Most Wonderful Sorbets And Ice Cream

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Seen At The Seine

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Not Just A Pretty Picture

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moi

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Brett Favre Is Known The World Over For...

Yet another reference to the Packers. I guess when it comes down to it, you can take the girl out of Wisconsin, but not the Wisconsin out of the girl.

I was talking with a French man on the train yesterday. I told him that I was visiting from Chicago, but then he asked where I was born. He crinkled up his nose when I said Wisconsin, like he didn't understand.

I said to him, "You know... Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre." He looked off into the distance and mumbled "Brett Favre...Brett Favre" as if the name was ringing a very far-off bell.

"Ah, There's Something About Mary," he finally said with a look of great satisfiction. "Cameron Diaz!" It took me a second to recall it, but it is true that Favre had a small role in that movie. He played himself.

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July 6, 2007

Un Chaton Rescued From Inner Workings Of A Van

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Windows

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July 7, 2007

At The Farmers Market Close To My Apartment

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July 8, 2007

Belgium - The Venice Of The North

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Do You See The Rainbow?

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Sharing A Beverage With Kanae

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July 10, 2007

Cafe Talk

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The Rude American

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They say there are two sides to every story, and I found an example of that today. I'm realizing that when the French are rude to Americans, they often have a reason.

This afternoon I walked into a tiny ring shop in the Latin Quarter and was simply appreciating the old-timey feel of the little store. The owner asked several times if he could help, and told me that if I saw something special, he'd be happy to show it to me. The place smelled of dust and cigarette smoke, in addition to leather from the shopkeeper's smock.

The placid seen was quickly disrupted, however. A blond woman wearing resort gear barged in with her children. She pushed her right hand into the shopkeeper's face. "Tell me how much it's worth," she said in English.

The store owner continued to slowly move a row of rings from the case. The woman pushed down the tray he was holding, and said "I don't want any of that. Just tell me how much my ring is worth."

After speaking with me only minutes earlier in perfect English, this man acted like he had no idea what she was blurting. The woman looked at him like he was a statue. "Let's get out of here. He can't understand a word I'm saying," she said. Her kids cackled, and they spun around and left.

There should be stricter requirements for getting a passport. Human decency should play into the mix.

July 14, 2007

Bastille Day Eve

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Nightlife Close To Notre-Dame

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Notre-Dame

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July 15, 2007

The Correct Way To Eat Escargot

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Dinner at a French restaurant. The Frenchman behind me, Teddy, coached me on the right way to eat escargot (holding the snail in tongs with the round side of the shell toward the body, and using the butter and garlic left in the shell for bread).

Carlos, who is sitting across from me, is originally from Argentina and is currently working at North Carolina University to find a mechanical means to restore vision to the blind.

July 16, 2007

Beautiful Birds Used As Pets

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T'Ain't Nobody's Business...

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All indications are that the French are very private people. They rarely discuss personal matters in a public setting and they usually keep their voices down in even casual conversation.

My little Paris apartment only has one bedroom, but there are six doors. The windows are equipped with outside shutters that completely block out the light.

A Bookstore By Any Other Name...

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Shakespeare And Company is an independent American bookstore in the 5th arrondissement that serves as both a seller of books and library. It was mentioned in Hemingway's A Movable Feast, and has reopened a few times - legend says once after closure because the store's owner refused to sell the last copy of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake to a German soldier.

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Shakespeare And Company (shakespeareco.org) allows travelers to stay at the shop if they earn their keep by working. The travelers are referred to as "tumbleweeds."

I hope to participate in a writers' group at the shop next weekend. The rule is that you bring something of your own to read and five copies to share.

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July 21, 2007

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The Catacombs

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Dressed For Any Occasion - White Gloves And A Gun

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A Paris Cop Directs Traffic

Van Gogh's Front Door In Montmartre

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Van Gogh moved in with his brother at this address from 1886 through 1887. He shared the cafes and nightlife with other painters including Modigliani and Toulouse-Lautrec (whose claim to fame is doing paintings of the Moulin Rouge cabaret, which is also located in the area). During this time, Van Gogh experimented with several different styles, including Impressionism, Japonaiseries and Pointillism.

The Moulin Rouge

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Afternoon At The Park - It's Easy To See What Inspired The Impressionists

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One of the signs on the gate says that no dogs are allowed. Dogs are welcome in restaurants, on the Metro, in hair salons, grocery stores, book stores, bakeries, and in airports, however.

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July 22, 2007

Andy Warhol's Secret Girlfriend

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During the last few weeks I worked as a production assistant and actress (tiny part) for a New York theater group's production called "Andy Warhol's Secret Girlfriend." This is the majority of the group involved with the play and some of their family members.

Here's a little info on the production: www.theatreonline.com/billetterie/infos_spectacle.asp?i_Programmation=18631

Mugging With Frank C., Director

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The Stage

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This this the venue for the production. The play received some very favorable reviews from the audience.


July 25, 2007

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Homer Speaks French!

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http://www.simpsonsmovie.com/intl/fr/?cid=fr

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Musee Du Louvre

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July 26, 2007

Louvre - The Building

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Ary Scheffer, 1795

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She's A Very Popular Lady

The Mona Lisa is encased in a climate-controlled and bullet proof glass enclosure. Recent scientific studies with infrared cameras have shown that she was originally wearing a bonnet and clenching her chair. Evidently Leonardo made the changes as an afterthought.

May 2008

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