Freshly got back from the US and I can still have a taste of it, at home. What a blissful feeling and experience to stay connected in different ways to destinations we have been to!
Debbie is in Paris.
Who is Debbie? Debbie is a young laid-back and funny lady. You guessed right, she is American, from New-York. She stayed at The Generator (Paris, 10th, Métro: Colonel Fabien) for a week – and by the way she highly recommends this hostel, she was really happy with her stay there – but in reality with a getaway in Amsterdam. Right.Why going on a trip to Europe to explore no more than a single city? That being said, I knew from the start we would share a lot. However, one huge bad event broke into the picture and was not welcome…to say the least. Both French people and tourists were concerned.Yes. I must mention that my dear Debbie arrived at some time when France was not “looking her best”. It was exactly two days after the terrorist attack that happened in Nice on July, 14th. Needless to say, I had this bitter sweet feeling yet my role was to keep going with my mission and make sure she would have the best experience.
Moving on to our adventures, let us acknowledge that the spontaneity of our plans came with beautiful surprises and sometimes failed attempts, and it is totally fine since there is always room to do better just like everything that happens in life.
Highlights of our itinerary (or best of memories).
Between a bohemian early evening and a jazzy night-out, we started as high as we ended this week.
- Notre-Dame, to begin with. When Debbie met Notre-Dame…without its Hunchback. Wink to Victor Hugo (1831).
So, I introduced this pretty and pretty impressive “lady” to Debbie. A must-see. And the amazing part is we were on the same wavelength. She asked to go there, and it is one of my favorite areas in Paris, if not my favorite. I promise to tell you why so when you come to visit. Debbie looked amazed and she couldn’t wait to get inside this master piece cathedral; as for me I was more focused on taking pictures for the blog. While that part of the job can be less enjoyable, I personally have a lot of pleasure doing it. With her being totally stoked and happy I realized that it was exactly the kind of emotion that inspired me. When friends from all over the world come to Paris, you explore it with them, it is nothing like when you are by yourself, they make you fall in love with “her” again.
- Wait, whaaaaat? No Latin Corner anymore!
It is true, life goes on no matter what. Things have changed during the time I was abroad. While my life had stopped in Paris and going on the other side of the Atlantic, my little Latin Quarter did not wait for me. Yes. Among the “bad” surprises…No more Latin Corner. Here is the short story. I had discovered this place with one of my best friends six years ago. Funny and sexy experience if you are open-minded. Can’t reveal more! Be my guest!
We had dinner at Le Paradis du Fruit (an easy one, “paradis” in French pronounced “paradee”,”s” is mute, means paradise, so paradise, again…!), Place Saint Michel, that used to be further down the street (Quai des Grands Augustins). Changes, changes…Chain restaurant. Good, healthy food and suitable for vegans. I had my favorite drink the “Josephine baker” (small is 6€, tall is 8€).
- We witnessed love and the musical print in Opéra area
The day after, we went for a stroll nearby the Opéra. I think it is the first time I saw the Boulevard Haussmann that “empty”. Great. It was early evening, so an almost perfect setting to be able to take pictures of the shop galeries. No crowd and not so noisy. You know what I am talking about, this place is usually overcrowded. We ended up on the steps of an other master piece. We enjoyed free “live” music at sunset while “chasing” musicians’ names on the Palais Garnier. We were surrounded by good vibes.
- No flea market at Porte de Saint-Ouen-Clignancourt, instead we had deep talks and a peaceful night-out with artists in a little green jewel outside Paris (in Aubervilliers)
When Debbie got back from Amsterdam, we were invited by two friends of mine to a dinner/BBQ in a cute and quiet garden called “Une oasis dans la ville”. Jude and Greg, both artists: one is an authentic and funny story-teller and the other, a one-of-a-kind songwriter-singer. What a team! Just the name of the place was already the promise of an exotic evening-night trip through stories of all kinds, in French, English and Creole! Unfortunately that piece of paradise is a private place. But hey! That is the kind of experience my guests have with me. The best is to give access to the hidden treasures in Paris area. I am positive, anyone can “afford” the tag of a great host/hostess.
- The exhibition “L’atelier en plein air, les impressionistes en Normandie”, at Jacquemart-André Museum
I had waited so long to go to this exhibition, too long. Well, travels lately are part of the explanation. Eventually, the fact that Debbie came to Paris was an opportunity to make that happen and to make her discover MyParadise as well. There are two reasons why I was initially interested in it: I am a visual art addict and I love Normandy. This was a heavenly combination! I had a crush on “La plage à Trouville” by Gustave Courbet and “La Seine et l’Ile Lacroix en hiver” by Albert Lebourg. Emotional trip!
Some details: 158, Boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris. The exhibition ended on July, 25th. But if you like “Impressionnisme”, there is Marmottan Monet Museum, 2 rue Boilly, 75016 home to a permanent collection.
The last night, while having dinner in Rue Mouffetard a famous French muse was telling us one of her favorite stories. Ah that golden oldie “La vie en rose”!
Talking about music, our ultimate most genuine discovery remains – to me – Autour de midi et minuit. This time we let Jules Day – the artist that night – take us to her paradise: countries she has been to such as Brazil (Rio), places that inspire her in Paris and her love for the city, love and other beautiful or painful feelings. We could hear in her sweet jazzy voice her cute American accent when she dared to sing some of her songs in French; we actually loved it. As it is kind of an “intimate” place and atmosphere, it facilitates the interactions with the artist.”Hi Debbie!” That was Jules greeting her American fellows while on stage . Check out the video. You get what I mean now!
I still need to go back there to confirm my/our opinion.
Some details: small room, I would recommend to come earlier the show time. 11 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris. 18€ drink + show (from 10PM-1AM).
Bottom line, my guest and I both love music, having fun, we only like good food and going places. It was hard to recover. I might want to go to New York some day soon! It has been a long time!
One word, Thank you Debbie for coming by! Anytime.
To my readers, what sounds good to you? I’d love to hear from you!
~Your warm French-Caribbean hostess~