Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mixed Messages.

"I think you have a boyfriend and you're just not telling me. So let's be honest." he says to me.
"I don't have a boyfriend and I don't know what I want." I reply.

I am surrounded and supported by 6 intriguing men who share the words I reply:

  • "You're very special to me, you're my best friend and yes, I still live with my girlfriend." "You're special to me too and yes, I can't live without you. " I reply.
  • "I love you. You're intelligent, Beautiful and You're Stupid." "I believe you." I think to myself.

  • "You're smokin' hot, I'm attracted to you. Go away.", he says. "Leave me alone but Don't ever leave me. I reply.
  • "Je t'aime et tu es ma petite amie." he says sincerely. "I don't understand." I say.

  • "All I want are ears to hear and eyes to see." he repeats. "You can't see who I am and you don't understand." I think to myself.
  • "I want you back with me and I will wait." he promises. "I'll be back, but don't wait for me." I never tell him.
Relationships on the foundation of mixed messages are a reflection of who I am.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

LIMI feu Paris Fashion Week 2010.

"Don't get your hopes up. Invitations are very difficult to get at Paris Fashion Week." several friends have told me for the past few days.

"Sorry, only fashion journalist and fashion photographers can get into the Paris Fashion Week runway shows." my news journalist friend told me in an email.

"Forget it. It's impossible to get inside those shows." another friend explained.

Still, I "Believed" it would be possible to see a show this week during Paris Fashion Week and without giving up and listening to my well meaning friends, today, I attended the LIMI feu Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion Show.

I don't know the designer, but the collection was "comfortable sexy", and the models were of course tall, thin, gracious and beautiful.

The Impossible Invitation

LIMI feu Spring Summer 2011 Show
Not exactly front row.

2011 Design.


LIMI feu is a design any woman can wear.

A small sample of The Sights and Sounds of Paris Fashion Week.
I wonder if I can consider myself a fashion journalist, photographer and videographer? Maybe not.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Reason to Love Paris.

Beautiful music fills the air. Just one more random reason to love Paris.

A small crowd forms on a beautiful day.

Unexpected Fine Music on a corner.

How many more reasons can I come up with for loving Paris?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Understanding What I Love.

"I don't understand how you can give up your car , your house, your job and everything else to live in a tiny apartment in Paris." my mother complains.

I try to explain:
"I love the corner cafe where I go to have coffee, lunch, read a book, and people watch. The guys who work there are so friendly." I explain.

"I love the fresh fruit and vegetable market around the corner..."
"and the men in the orange aprons seem to understand my French a little better each month, although they still laugh as they correct me." I add to my explanation. I've never touched the fresh fish, but it's nice to know it's there if I ever decide to try it!
"I love the smell of fresh roasted chickens, and the friendly butcher who's always very patient with my French."

I try to explain how comforting it is to know the young man at the Fromagerie knows me as "The American girl who likes Cheddar Cheese." He assures me with a friendly smile, the cheese will always be there waiting for me when I return. I even love the temptation of the boulangerie...and now they have cookies!

Still, she doesn't understand what I love and I can't explain it and better.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dinner with Roger and "Mom"

Saint Germain

"Hello Florence, do you feel like going out to dinner tonight?" Roger called wanting to know.
"I'm really not feeling well. I'm sorry." I explained, adding "...and I have a project that I'm working on."
"Oh, that's too bad. Mom is here, she's coming along and we're going to Fajitas for Mexican. It's my last night in Paris, ya know? Would you like to speak to mom?" he casually suggested in one breath, my favorite restaurant in Paris, adding his mother to the equation (the best mother-in-law I've never had), and his last night in Paris, knowing there would be no possible way for me to resist.
"Oh, Sure. Yes, okay. I'll go." I replied as he gave his mom the phone.

Although Fajitas Mexican restaurant was closed on Monday, Sharon "mom" scouted out a great "comfort food" restaurant in Saint Germain where we all shared a wonderful dinner, dessert and another great evening in Paris...until they return again next year.
Roger, Me and Sharon
Dessert of course.
Until we do it again next year, dinner with Roger and his mother will always be a warm "comfort food" memory.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just Live.

An evening dessert with a friend. Something as simple as enjoying a slice of rich, but not too sweet cheesecake, a nice glass of wine, good conversation, beautiful atmosphere, at a side walk cafe in Paris, fits the definition of my motto: "Just Live".

"....but do something." my friend Roger adds.

"Just Live."

I wonder if he's right? Maybe it is time for me to "Do Something."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bad Times and Good Friends.

No one sees them and you don't feel a thing, they're like the "invisible" mosquitoes. You only know you've been bitten, when it's too late to slap them away."Pick-pockets"

"In the interest of security, keep an eye on your belongs and beware of pick-pockets." The phrase plays over and over on the metro audio system in three different languages, every day, all day.

I took a sip of diet coke, dropped the bottle back into my purse just before entering the metro car. On this day, in the interest of security, I did not keep an eye on my belongings, nor was I aware of pickpockets. No one saw a thing, the doors opened, people moved, the doors closed. My wallet disappeared somewhere in the crowd.

The metro.

No one sees a thing.

Walking down the street with an empty purse, I felt angry, confused, vulnerable, and stupid. "Hey You!" I heard walking past a cafe. "Hey, Florence!" I heard my name, wondering who knew me. It was the perfect moment to bump into a few friends who were just hanging out having a drink. (Paris feels more and more like home, when I randomly meet friends on the street.) "What's the matter?" they asked immediately knowing I was in a fog. "My wallet was just pick-pocketed on the metro." I told them.

"Oh, we're so sorry." They said simultaneously, telling me not to worry or beat myself up. They told me to cancel all my cards, file a report, take a deep breath, be thankful I still had my purse, keys, passport and ID card, everything would be alright. They even offered me money. "Sit with us for a while, have a drink, relax. You'll will be alright." they insisted.

Mike and Alain

Everything will be alright.

Sometimes its strange how good I feel when bad things happen when good friends are around to support me. Alain and Mike cheered me up, with positive support, comfort stories, good wine and laughter. Even when bad things happen in Paris, good friends make everything alright.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Waiting to see Taylor-Something to Blog About.

After sharing a great pizza dinner with "A Very Nice Man" my friend Roger, visiting from Florida, we decided to go for a walk. Just ahead we noticed a crowd of young girls, reporters, camera crews, security, velvet ropes, black limos and a large display of a young blonde girl.

"Excuse me." I said (in French)to a teenage girl standing in the crowd, "What's is this? Who is that girl?" I wanted to know.
"That's Taylor Momsen, she is inside for a commercial and she will come out soon." she explained excitedly.
Looking at my friend Roger to see if he knew Taylor Momsen. His look was just as puzzled as mine.
"Ah, she's French?" I asked the girl in the crowd.
"Oh, no! She's American." she said laughing and surprised that we did not know Taylor.
Roger shrugged his shoulders, still not knowing who the American girl was drawing a large crowd of spectators.

Feeling sorry for the middle-aged Americans standing in the crowd of teenagers, the young girl explained further. "Taylor Momsen is an actress in the American T.V. Show Gossip Girl!"

"Oh, Gossip Girl! My younger sister loves that show!" I replied, still not knowing who Taylor Momsen was. Roger and I waited as long as two middle-aged adults could possibly stand to wait among a crowd of teenage girls, but finally we had to leave before the starlet appeared.

Hmm, What's Going on?

"Excuse me, Who is that girl?"

Taylor Momsen

Filming the Crowd.

Interviewing Spectators.

T.V. crews Interviewing a Taylor Look-Alike?

A Google Photo of the real "mystery girl".

Leaving Before Taylor appears. We can't wait any longer.

"Too bad she took so long to come outside", I said to Roger. "This would have been something interesting to blog about."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Resisting McDo?

Part of the rules of having Google Ads all over a site is NOT to click on the ads myself, nor am I supposed to write about or promote any of the ads.

Randomly the ad below pops up on my blog and woe is me. Is this really an ad offering a coupon for 90% OFF my beloved "McDo"? (sounds like McDough) as the French pronounce it. I can't resist writing about it, but so far I have resisted clicking on the link.

Temptation is everywhere in Paris...and now "he's" on my blog! (everything in French has a gender)

Who can resist McDonald's?

How can I resist such an ad?

Every now and then I just can't resist.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thread of a Text Message.

Walking down a random street in Paris, my phone chimes with a text message.

A Random Street in Paris.

I look down at the message: "I think I want you back." he says.
"I think I want you to go to hell." I think back, but don't text in return as I hit the delete key.

Rhianna's duet lyrics of 'I Love the Way You Lie' play through my mind:

("You don't get another chance. Life is no Nintendo game.")

Still the thought of being with him again, pulls on my strength like a loose thread unraveling a hole in a favorite sweater. The strength to never call, never text, never think of him again, weakens with one message from him.

I blog and write to pull it all together with matching thread to close the hole; now almost unnoticeable to the naked eye. Almost never seen, like a deleted text message.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rentree Party at Parler Parlor

Every year after the French return from the August vacation, Adrian and Elisabeth celebrate "Rentree" at Parler Parlor. This year the theme was "Free Sandwiches".

I somehow managed to over compress the photos of a delicious rentree, but the food was plentiful.

Fruits and Cookies.
Adrian and Me.

...and more sandwiches, all made by Elisabeth.

A wonderful way to celebrate rentree (Return from Vacation).

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Action!" at Place de Voges.

Today was another one of those perfect sunny days in Paris, where I walked around admiring the beauty of the city with a smile on my face that comes only from "Just Livin'" in Paris.
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye everything in the surrounding area was magically transformed back to the year 1950 or maybe earlier. Old fancy cars were parked along the streets and a few went racing down the narrow alley. The Parisian even seem to blend in with the change of time.

With my head in the clouds, I must have missed seeing the "Rue Barree" (Street Closed) sign as I actually wandered upon a live film set, in the middle of filming! at the Place de Voges.

As quickly as the action started, everything stopped.
The people on the streets and sidewalks were actors. All of them, except me.

As the action stopped, the 1950's actors, crew and extras only looked at me. (admiring my 2010 fashion maybe? or did they assume I was merely a lost American tourist?)
My mind began to process the reality of not quite fitting in as an "extra" in this particular film as I quickly wandered off the set and back into reality.

Surprisingly, no one yelled or chased me off the set. The director only waited patiently, then quickly clicked together the film board yelling "Action!".

Street Closed.

Old Cars fit right in with the backdrop of Place de Voges...(and me).

Magically Back in Time.

Magically Back to Reality.

The "original" version of this film features an African-American woman crossing the pedestrian cross walk just between the two white cars. (click on photo to enlarge)

The "Sound Man" recording the sounds of laughter and conversation in the park. I silently walked past, resisting the temptation to greet him with a cheerful American "Bone-J'your! "

Another beautiful day at Place de Voges.

Action on this beautiful late summer day was everywhere.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Happy Birthday at La Fontaine de Mars.

"Where should we go for his birthday?", I asked Adrian.
"Go to La Fontaine de Mars. He'll really enjoy that!" she suggested.

"Ah, this is where your president had dinner with his wife last year." he said pleasantly surprised when we arrived by taxi with the driver keeping the birthday destination a secret as I handed him the directions.

Once again, I was the last to know that just last year in June President Obama and first lady, Michelle, also dined at this cozy neighborhood bistro just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower.

My friend truly enjoyed the surprise dinner.
La Fontaine de Mars which specializes in rustic dishes from France's southwest region was the perfect place to celebrate a birthday.

Our reservations placed us in a cozy corner, where we shared interesting conversation with a few employees on vacation from the U.S. Supreme Court!

The perfect place to celebrate a birthday.

A warm and inviting welcome!

Wonderful Food.

Just before dessert and a surprise.

Ah Dessert!

The surprise birthday candle and ice cream.

Singing Happy French (of course)!

A wonderful evening.

View from the Cafe.

A beautiful after dinner stroll.

Friendly staff, great food, good conversation, laughter, and dessert, makes a happy birthday evening at La Fontaine de Mars, Paris.