I am very sad about yesterday’s shootings in Paris. It is such a beautiful, magic place, populated with wonderful, friendly people who enjoy life and rich with history, architecture, art, cuisine and culture. My heart is heavy for the victims of the shootings and their families, and for all Parisians as they struggle to recover from the shock and horror of the violence.
My tiny contribution to the healing process and return to normalcy is to reinforce the positives. Today’s post is just a quick couple of photos I snapped on my iPhone as part of a texting dialogue with my son while I was walking along the Seine. He traveled with me to Paris 5 years ago and we had an amazing experience, but that is literally another story (click here for “The Thankful Foreigner”). He has great memories of Paris, and longs to return.
Me: “I’m at the Pont Neuf!”
My son: “Photos, please!”
Me: (photos below)
My son: “Wow! you went on the right day!”
It was after work on a Friday, a glorious afternoon, and I was due to fly out the next morning. After depositing my computer in my hotel, I walked around for hours, along the Seine, through parks (including the Tuileries Garden), past the Louvre, and down the Champs-Elyseés, absorbing the sights and culture. Paris is a beloved city of the world, and cannot ever be ruined by individuals or groups doing evil deeds.
More raving over Paris can be found in these posts:
I have the good fortune to be in Paris over the weekend, and stumbled upon the Rue des Martyrs (Street of Martyrs for those of us who don’t “parlez vous francais”). What a wonderful street! Vibrant colors, great smells from a variety of cafés, fantastic people-watching, actually, make that people-and-dog-watching, a myriad of store and tiny boutiques and, the most tempting to me, a marvelous array of food and flower shops. It was like an extended farmers’ market. What a great street for an afternoon walk on a beautiful April day in Paris.
Back at the hotel, I did some quick internet research on the Rue des Martyrs and found a review of a book that raves about this magic street even more than I did just now. Published in November of 2016, The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs, was written by Elaine Sciolino, the former Paris Bureau Chief of the New York Times. Reviewer Sinclair McKay from the Telegraph (London) said in January of this year: “She argues with seductive force that here is where you will find the undying soul of the city; real Parisians from all walks of life – the “intimate, human side of Paris”, somewhere with ‘the feel of a small village’.
Yes! That’s exactly how it felt just now when I was traversing down this authentic, neighborhood-feeling street. I learned from the article that, along with 60 other streets / neighborhoods in Paris, the Rue des Martyrs is protected from ever having chain businesses move in.
If one artisan business moves out, it can only be replaced with another. Only the French would dare to try and hold back the ineluctable corporatist forces that have conquered the rest of us.
So of course I ordered the book from Amazon, of course I will go back to the Rue des Martyrs the next time in Paris armed with all of my new knowledge, and of course I took lots of photos to share with you. But just the food and flower shops – I have my priorities.
The fifth post in a series about the New Orleans Jazz Festival covering food (restaurants and recipes), fun, music and travel tips.
In the run-up to our Jazz Fest trip in early May, we are building anticipation by looking back at past good times in New Orleans and sharing our travel tips. So many of you have had your own wonderful experiences in New Orleans, so I’ve asked for guest bloggers and content on the Glover Gardens Cookbook Facebook page (and – it’s not too late for you to contribute).
This plea reaped a reward for me, a NOLA-experienced friend who provided worthy content in the form of pictures and home truths. Therefore, this post is a serious discussion about The Importance of Hats at JazzFest. According to my friend Nancy:
The importance of hats at Jazzfest cannot be emphasized enough! Then, of course, one finds much whimsy, and with luck, a lovely friend.
Nancy also emphasized the importance and versatility of bandanas as a Jazz Fest accessory:
I highly recommend including bandanas! I have about 7 that I bought for a dollar each at Walmart. Very good for covering burnable décolletage or back of the neck. Easy travel gear! So many colors!
Seriously, it can be very, very hot in New Orleans in early May, and the sun is as strong as their chicory-laden coffee and those marvelous drinks they call Hurricanes. A hat and bandana are required for a successful Jazz Fest outing.
And finally, just for fun (because the New Orleans Jazz Fest and hats inspire this sort of thing):
“Take off your hat,” the King said to the Hatter.
“It isn’t mine,” said the Hatter.
“Stolen!” the King exclaimed, turning to the jury, who instantly made a memorandum of the fact.
“I keep them to sell,” the Hatter added as an explanation; “I’ve none of my own. I’m a hatter.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass