I woke to a quiet room in a perfect little French apartment. Outside you could hear the construction workers setting up a scaffolding next door. They were speaking in French. Maéva warned me about the construction workers, saying it can be shocking to start to get dressed or step into the shower only to realize that you have company.
Maéva has such a beautiful laugh! I smile when I listen to her lovely broken English with a cute French accent. She is very smart and works as a First Camera Assistant (Director of Photography, DOP) on movie sets. She just recently completed a video called Versailles. Cool. She left very early this morning to do some work for a fashion show for Christian Dior.
I never did see her again this day; she got caught up in her work I guess. (We spent Tuesday together).
It’s Monday, the Fourth of July back in the United States and it’s my first full day in Paris. It was a tad overcast but it doesn’t matter, it’s Paris and it’s a lovely day in this civilized city full of so much beauty. I spent the morning unpacking my backpack and washing some clothes. I ate some of the fresh bread from yesterday and washed it down with some extra strength French press coffee.
Even back home people think that I’m so French. I blend right in here with ease…on my walk someone told me that they thought I was Swedish. People don’t seem to think of me as an American and that’s just the way I like it.
Everything is so elegant and appealing to the senses here in France. I was ready for my adventure. I set out with map in hand for the magnificent day about to greet me.
The night before Maéva was so kind to me. She shared with me a view and understanding of what was in this neighborhood. It was extremely helpful, actually; the best part is always knowing were North is. I locked up and put the house keys around my neck so I would not lose them, then made my way down the four flights of stairs. I just love old city buildings even though this one doesn’t feel that old for France. It’s just a wooden spiral staircase creaking from many years of use. I am sure it has many stories to tell.
I got down to the front door with the letter “D” on it and pushed it, but nothing happened.
Then after figuring out that, duh, I needed to press the button, the door finally opened. I was laughing at that point because I really didn’t want to feel trapped inside. A neighbor saw me and smiled.
I smiled back, walked out into the City of Lights, and immediately turned left. There was a huge wrought iron gate that seemed locked. Oh, another twist to my getting out of the complex. I was trying to figure out the gate when this beautiful French woman hit a button on the wall near a door and the gate opened. I laughed once again on how out of place I must have looked…Jean-Marie forgot to mention to me that I had to press the “bouton” to open the gate, or maybe I was not listening.
So I turned left again following my instructions and made my way to a busy street. I stopped to take pictures just in case I lost my way. The street was Rue C. Berhard. At that point I took a right and was just walking, enjoying the city views.
I walked around in a big circle for a long time and finally stopped at a bakery for lunch and coffee. It was splendid. Afterwards I tried to find a tea shop that Maéva recommended but had no luck. So I just kept on walking around, having a great time just hanging out in this grand place that is so pleasing to the eye. I found myself in an Art Supply store (of course) and picked up some watercolors for my traveling watercolor box. It was very, very small (I have to be careful about what I pick up, because everything weighs down my backpack.). The quality of the watercolors is so superb; made in France. A treat to myself.
I’m still blindly trying to find some shops that Maéva told me about, but no such luck. I did find some small independent bookstores. I was looking for children’s books in French for future family members.
(Think August, when my daughter Iris gets married.)
It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I just found a place to sit down after walking around this fine Paris neighborhood for what seems like hours…my feet already feel better than they have in days. I just ate a lovely salad and yes an espresso. The good old French.
It is the Fourth of July, but not here…they have their Independence Day in a few weeks. Bastille Day, you know, the French Revolution, le Quatorze de Juillet (July 14).
My daily wanderlust got the best of me and I was feeling like it was time to get back to my Paris apartment. But first I stopped at an open fruit and vegetable market and picked up blueberries, raspberries, and cherries. (Maéva said cherries (“cerises“) were her favorite). Mine too.
I came back after walking up those four flights of stairs, loving every moment of them. Then Jean-Marie called to see how my day was (he was sweet). Also he wanted to talk about dinner on Wednesday night, the day after tomorrow. Since Jean-Marie’s birthday is Tuesday July 5 he wanted to spend that day with his family. I totally get it.
I retired for the night after writing a bit on the blog.