Letter from Paris: In the Slow Lane

Inside entry to Hokusai exhibit at Grand Palais, Paris

Inside entry to Hokusai exhibit at Grand Palais, Paris

We’ve been moving rather slowly after our whirlwind week with Clive’s son and family.

This is partly because we wanted to make every minute count when they were here, and partly because — life being what it is, even in Paris – we both came down with bronchitis (which neither of us has ever had before). Thanks to an unexpected but worthwhile first-time visit to the American Hospital at Neuilly, where we were diagnosed and given several prescriptions, we’re finally getting back to normal. So this week we’ve opted for the slow lane, trying to balance seeing a few current exhibits with walking and bench-sitting and just soaking up this incomparable city.

Coffee and (free!) view at Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine, Paris

Coffee and (free!) view at Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine, Paris

If you’re headed to Paris in the next few months, we recommend the exhibits at the Musée Luxembourg (‘Paul Durand-Ruel, the Impressionist Gamble’), Musée Marmottan Monet (‘Impression, Sunrise – the Biography of a Painting’ – I went twice), Grand Palais (Hokusai, a blockbuster show with amazing depth of detail and many stunning works), and Musée Carnavalet (‘Paris Freed’ photography exhibit & views at the time of 1944 Paris liberation).

Musée Luxembourg, Paris

Musée Luxembourg, Paris

Our only major remaining event is hosting our wonderful upstairs neighbours, visiting ‘chez nous’ for the first time ever. They and their family have lived in the building for three generations, speak no English and yet could not be nicer to us. They hosted us in their apartment earlier this year and I’m pleased (and a bit nervous and excited) that we’ll finally reciprocate. Contrary to the maddening stereotype of rude Parisians, they — and others we know — could not be more kind or helpful.

The next day it will be time to say ‘Au revoir’ to Paris, board the Eurostar and return to our home by the sea in England.

Catching some lovely Vitamin D in the Luxembourg Garden, Paris

Catching some lovely Vitamin D in the Luxembourg Garden, Paris

Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s letter will be from Felixstowe.

Advertisements

5 Responses

  1. Dear Carolyn,

    Hope your soirée with your neighbours went well.

    I share your view – we have a house in the centre of a Bastide in SW France, and our neighbours – French – are all wonderful, kind people. Some speak some English, others none – yet we all enjoy conversations and get-togethers. I speak French (would always like to speak better), and sometimes reach for the dictionary or kindle (with dictionary!) to find “le mot!”.

    Once when I was there on my own, and had been really busy painting and not been seen out for a day or so, one of my neighbours knocked on the door to check I was okay – just wonderful.

    Stereotypes are there to be disproved….

    Best wishes,

    Ruth

    http://www.ruthdent.com

  2. “If you’re headed to Paris in the next few months…” 🙂

  3. Ruth, welcome and thanks so much for your wonderful comment.

    Love hearing about your French neighbours. I think we’re in similar positions (I too will reach for my dictionary — and going to have Google translate on tablet handy this time too!). Your neighbours checking on you is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my post — countless little kindnesses like that.

    Cheers and happy painting 🙂

  4. Larry, highly recommend heading to Paris! I seem to recall you and Judi quite recently were in Europe yourselves 🙂

  5. […] Letter from Paris: In the Slow Lane We’ve been moving rather slowly after our whirlwind week with Clive’s son and family. Link: https://mysydneyparislife.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/letter-from-paris-in-the-slow-lane/ […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: