What’s On in (My) Paris: June 2017

June Sunday on the Champs de Mars, Paris

Happiness is booking your next Eurostar (or ferry or flight) to Paris.

In just over a week, Clive and I will make a short visit to our home away from home. We decided to bring our July trip forward to get ahead of the summer crowds.

As always, part of the pleasure for me is the anticipation, which includes reviewing my Next Paris list – actually a running, pages-long Word document – of what we might do and see while we’re there.

Of course in Paris, as elsewhere, one of the best experiences is to make unexpected, new discoveries while simply strolling and being a flâneur. Still, to make the most of our time there, I enjoy looking over my notes and preparing a flexible starter list.

Always time for café sitting – especially where Vlad, our favourite waiter, works

Exhibitions with near-term closing dates head the list. My top four this month:

* Musée Luxembourg – Pissarro à Eragny (Pissarro in Eragny, nature regained, thru 09 July)

* Hôtel de Ville, whose free exhibits are usually excellent Le Gouvernement des Parisiens: Paris, ses habitants, l’État, une histoire partagée (link in French; The government of Parisians: Paris, its inhabitants, the State, a shared history, thru 22 July)

* Musée de la Vie Romantique – Le pouvoir des Fleurs (The power of flowers and a contemporary journey of crafts, thru 01 October but summer’s a nice time to visit this museum and its courtyard)

Clive at a table, reading in the courtyard/salon de thé of the Musée de la Vie Romantique

* return to Musée Marmottan, a frequent destination, for Camille Pissarro, le Premier des Impressionnistes (thru 02 July); not specifically for ‘my’ bergère, or shepherdess, as she lives at the Musée d’Orsay and can be seen there, but to soak up once again the many other pieces on loan from private collections and faraway museums we may never visit in person.

me and my girl, Pissarro’s bergère, March 2017

Additional exhibits if we have time (wishful thinking): Grand Palais, Rodin: The Centennial Exhibition (thru 31 July) and/or Jardins (thru 24 July); Quai Branly, Picasso Primitif (thru 23 July); Orsay, Portraits by Cézanne (thru 24 Sept.).

After exhibits, we juggle old favourites with new places, whether bookshops and papeteries, cafés and restaurants, parks and squares or walks along the Seine, on new streets or through new quartiers.

Summer on the Seine, Paris

For our vie quotidienne (daily life), we’re after a new shredder (an important household item!) and I want to have a large, non-standard-sized print from Sydney framed at BHV. On our last visit, I talked with a woman in the BHV art department and she assured me I could select the frame, leave the print there and pick it up on a future trip. Clive and I never mind a visit to BHV.

Surf’s up: Clive carrying our table-top ironing board home from BHV, 2009

Above all I anticipate the joy of just being there, waking to the lilt of French conversations rising from the courtyard – though no joy in the wake-the-dead crash of glass recycling bins – the aroma of Clive’s freshly-brewed coffee with morning baguettes and croissants or maybe a pain au chocolat, and the knowledge all of Paris is just outside the door.

Ben Franklin and his summer flowers, Paris

There’s never enough time for do everything and see everyone we’d like, especially since we value our ‘couple’s time’ as well as reconnecting with our dear neighbours and old friends, and sometimes meeting new ones, too. Not fitting everything in gives us a great reason – not that one ever needs a reason – to return to Paris.

Summer in the Luxembourg Garden, Paris

For now, back to pondering the possibilities and enjoying early summer in Felixstowe.

Thanks for reading and à bientôt.

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