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Posts from the ‘Paris’ Category

on living in paris with the passe sanitaire during covid-19

30 days have passed since I arrived in Paris, and I have lived with the French government’s Covid-19 regulations.

In order to eat in a restaurant or drink a cafe on a terrace or see an exhibit in a museum or take the train to Marseille, I must show my passe sanitaire or other proof of vaccinations or show that I had a negative test for Covid-19 during the previous three days.

During the first 15 days I used my American issued CDC card, and that worked fine. No rejections. At some restaurants I had the sense my CDC card was their first experience with it, but they did know where to look and noted the date of the second shot.

On September 15 I received finally my passe sanitaire, the official government document with a OR code, for proof of vaccinations. I can present it in several ways. I chose the government application called TousAntiCovid. It is set up to display the OR code for the passe sanitaire.

(The photographs in this post were chosen haphazardly.)

I converted my passe to a PDF file, and I can show that without the government application. Others have printed their passe and offered that.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

During the 30 days only two places have not checked it, a restaurant, Café de la Mairie, and a cafe on Butte aux Cailles called Le Diamant. But wait, there’s more!

on always seeing the eiffel tower, more often than not, anyway

The opening shots of the movie scan the skyline of a major city. We will soon see a shot that begins to zoom into a neighborhood or to a building or into a room through a window. But first there is that panoramic shot. Where are we? We see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and instantly we know we are in Paris.

Notre-Dame and Sacre Coeur are also recognizable to an audience but not with the same certainty as the Eiffel Tower. The shot of the Eiffel Tower has become a cliché.

The Eiffel Tower reminds me of a church steeple. I recall, for example, the steeple on the Notre-Dame cathedral that burned and no longer exists.

In The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, Graham Robb tells us that the village church steeple would guide travelers from village to village, the spires jutting above the tree line.

He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn how France was explored, charted, and colonized, and how the imperial influence of Paris was gradually extended throughout a kingdom of isolated towns and villages.”  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

It was thanks to those steeples on cathedrals and churches that helped guide those travelers.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Before smart phones and GPS, I used to carry a compass in my pocket. When I would emerge from a metro stop in Paris, I would pull it out and orient myself.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

If I could see the Eiffel tower, I knew which way was north, depending on my location in Paris. I would not need the compass. But wait, there’s more!

on getting high in paris

One of the pleasures of visiting Paris is the opportunity to go high and look around. The favorite and maybe most often chosen option is the Eiffel Tower. Oddly enough, even though I spend a lot of time in Paris, I have not gone up.

Another option and easier to do than the Eiffel Tower is the observation deck at the top of the Montparnasse Tower. And, it is cheaper, too. The views are panoramic and gorgeous. As with the Eiffel Tower one should go on a clear day.

A third option, if manmade constructions are important, would be the Saint-Jacques Tower. It is a is a monument located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. A reservation is required and some climbing of stairs.

Why not go to the top of the Musée d’Orsay, and from there through some of the windows one can look out over the roof tops toward Sacré-Cœur? The view is panoramic although limited in its scope.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Setting aside the manmade constructions, Paris has plenty of other high points. La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre and the view from the terrace in front of it is spectacular. And, it is free.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

on eating lunch with anaïs nin and henry miller near rue daguerre

I had lunch with Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller at Brasserie Le Feyer, a restaurant in the 14th arrondissement. The restaurant is maybe a five to ten minute walk from my apartment on rue Daguerre. They sat in the corner to my left, and occasionally he would lean in and chuckle. She was reading something to him, from a manuscript, I presume, maybe some erotica from Little Birds or Delta of Venus.

There are several problems with that last paragraph, of course. For one, Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller died in 1977 and 1980 respectively.

But I did eat lunch with them and at Le Zeyer.

Recently, I finished watching—binge watching, actually—the French series L’Art du crime, or in English, obviously, The Art of Crime. One of the main sleuths is not a policewoman, but instead she works for the Louvre as an art historian. She is paired with a lead detective who knows nothing about art, and together they solve murders that have a famous painter as a central motif. For example, one episode involved Courbet.

Florence Chassagne, the art historian, speaks to the painters, long since dead, who appear to her, often when she is examining their art. It is a quirky twist to the stories, but effective because we learn information about them and their art.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Florence knows they are not real. She has had these visions and conversations since she was a child. She has told others about them, including her psychiatrist, and her detective partner.

So, the other day, when the morning was wet, and I did not know where to go or what to do for lunch, I remembered that once upon a time Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller had lived close by and had frequently eaten meals at Le Zeyer. I decided to join them.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!