Posts Tagged ‘Eiffel Tower’

I’ll Buy The Ticket

November 3, 2015

If you find us a place to stay.

Oh my fucking God.

I am now on a mission people.

I was chatting with a friend tonight who has not really been to Paris, except to fly through Charles De Gaulle on his way home to San Francisco, who has some vacation time he has to use before the end of the year.

Paris came up.

We looked at tickets.

I talked his ear off.

Art, art, art.

Museum, museum, museum.

I showed him photos of my bicycle in Paris, cafes I used to hang out at, places I walked around, the Rodin museum, the Louvre, the Palais de Tokyo, Musee D’Orsay.

Oh.

My.

God.

SERIOUSLY?

Seriously.

I could be leaving for Paris two days after my birthday and be there the week of Christmas.

My heart just is leaping about my chest.

The Eiffel Tower at night with glitter lights splashed all over it.

Sitting in Odette and Aime over a cafe creme.

Going to the market at Square D’Anvers.

Apples.

Rabbit sausages in a paper packet from the rotisserie.

The ferris wheel in Place de la Concorde.

The one I never got around to riding on, although I so wanted to on my 40th birthday, but I was taken out to a birthday dinner in the Belleville and wasn’t able to make it to the ferris wheel.

I would go this time.

Oh.

Walking through the Tuilleries at dusk.

Going to see old friends at the American Church and crossing over Point d’Alma to the American Cathedral and heading up Rue George V.

Sacre Couer, midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

The singing in Latin.

I would go to my favorite book store in the 20th, Le Merle Moqueur and buy a book or two and also lots of postcards and then promenade through Pere LaChaise cemetery.

I have posted on Facebook, texted a friend, and e-mailed another already before starting this post.

My friend was dead serious.

I find us a place to stay and he’ll buy the tickets.

Holy moly man.

Fuck.

I’m putting out the feelers.

Just to walk around again.

And play tour guide, since I know the city and my friend doesn’t.

It would be fun.

Also, since I was there last I was broke.

So broke and hungry and trying so, so, so hard to make it work and well, everyone here knows the story, it didn’t work, but damn I tried.

I’m grateful it didn’t work.

It wasn’t supposed to, but I leapt and I moved there and I tried it on for size and found it too tight, too constricting, too much effort to just get by, barely, scantily, scraping by.

“I was going to say it, I’m so glad you brought it up, I think it’s time you went home,” she said to me as we finished doing some reading in the book.

I had tears sliding down my face.

I knew she was right.

It was time to go home.

But.

Oh, the humble pie I had to eat.

When I thought I was going to be there so long.

Forever.

Years at least.

A decade probably.

Nope.

Six months.

But still.

How many people give themselves six months in Paris?

Even poor and scraping and just barely getting by, it was six months of walking the streets of one of the most beautiful cities int the world.

Just saying the museum names makes me giddy with delight and childish greed.

I want to eat it.

Let me lick the Kandinsky Accent En Rose in the Pompidou, let me saunter around the Warhol’s at the Musee Moderne.

Let me go to the Musee Marmottan Monet.

Or just let me walk the bridges.

Pont Neuf.

Pont D’Alma.

Walk over the Trocadero and up the stairs to the Passy Metro station.

Or down towards the Seine and out onto the island with the Statue Of Liberty on it.

The things that I would do that I didn’t do or allow myself to do because I was on such a tight budget.

The opera house.

I never did see the Chagall’s there.

Or the new LVMH Gehry museum.

Or eat oysters on the half shell at a cafe.

I could handle that on Christmas eve.

I would go to Cafe Rouge again in the Marais.

I would go to the little shop I found on a twisty, turning, winding bit of road and buy a hat from the millinery shop in the Marais, I believe it might have been on Rue de Victoire, and I felt like I fell down a little rabbit hole of hats and ostrich feathers and fedoras, felts and velvets, and ribbons, and I just touched with such reverence and looking with my eyes and heart.

I swoon thinking about it.

All the sweet treasured spots I have in my heart for the city.

The churches.

The smell of incense and the warmth.

I could always get warm in a church after much walking with cold toes through the streets.

I would go to Place Vosges and sit at the Victor Hugo cafe.

I would have many cafe cremes.

Many, many, many.

I would buy posters and postcards from the book stalls along the Seine.

I would walk through the Garden du Luxembourg at dusk just to hear the gendarmes walking through with their whistles clearing the park.

I would buy some the de Mariage Freres.

Tea.

That is.

I would eat some cheese.

Hello.

And tartar.

Oh.

I would have some tartar thank you very much.

Put it in my mouth.

Sushi face, try steak tartar face.

It’s fun just to sit here and think about the silliness I would get myself up to and sharing it with a friend who’s never been, tres cool.

Oh the delirious thoughts in my head.

The lights at night.

The Christmas lights too.

So beautiful, very different from the United States, but still so pretty.

It would be cold.

But I know what that’s like and I also know to dress warmer then I did when I was living there.

Mwahahahaha.

I just got pinged.

Message from a friend in Paris with a studio near the Eiffel Tower.

She’s looking for a rental, but I bet a good price could happen.

I don’t know that it’s a fit.

But, it’s a start.

And worth investigating.

The hunt is on.

And hey.

If you know of anyone who’s looking to do a San Francisco swap, my friend has a great big gorgeous room in an awesome house out by Ocean Beach, he’s open to a swap.

Hell.

If I could swap my place too I would, but my housemate isn’t into it.

Anyway.

Paris?

Christmas?

What do you say Universe?

I’ve been a really good girl this year.

Pretty, pretty please.

With the Eiffel Tower on top.

Oh Yeah

March 2, 2014

I am supposed to be writing a blog post.

Get to it lady.

Pretty mellow day today, did all my get around on MUNI.  I was so engrossed in a book that I did not realize until I had gotten off at the stop at 24th and Castro that the person I was going to meet was still on the bus with me.

I am currently reading the amazing A.M. Homes, “May We Be Forgiven.”

She is awesome, reminds me of a female Don DeLillo.

I was just buried in the book.

I have been, when ever I could get to it, over the last few days.

I was not going to take the bike out today, off and on rain, and I needed to be in the Cow Hollow neighborhood and then back over the hills (and through woods, er, the Western Addition) to Noe Valley.

Not really bicycling areas of enjoyment on a one speed.

I took the train, N-Judah, the 43 bus, the 22 bus, and the 24 bus.

I am MUNI’d out.

Which was why it was awesome to come home, got a lift home thank God from Noe Valley, and see something in the mail box that was not a utility bill.

My paperwork from the Motorcycle Training course showing my successful completion of said course.

Yay!

Bring on the scooter.

I had stopped by the DMV on Fell St. on Thursday and I grabbed the California Motorcycle Handbook–it is just slightly different from the one the course uses–and I was going to see what the line was like, but when I did, I said, uh, no, no thank you and I left.

Now that I have all the materials it is time to make that appointment and take the written test.  Plus I received a quote from the insurance person who I was referred to and I can totally afford it.

Not like I can’t not afford it, I won’t be able to get the motorcycle licence without proof of insurance anyhow, from what I understand, I suppose I should look that up.

I would want the insurance anyway, regardless of whether or not I need it.

It doesn’t hurt me to think that it is required though.

I am just steps from grabbing that scooter and taking her for a spin.

It still feels a little surreal.

After all these years of riding a bicycle in San Francisco, to suddenly be on a motorized vehicle, it’s going to be something else.

I won’t mind it though, the wait time for MUNI on the weekends is just stupid.

And there’s a lot I like to do on a weekend and a lot of places I like to get out and about to.  I am ready to not be riding my bike there and back at night.

I feel like that’s a huge thing, riding at night on the weekends is just not what I like, the scooter will be perfect for that.

It’s still just a little bit out.

I am setting the intention of having it within the next two weeks.

That’s the plan anyhow.

Tomorrow is going to be chill and depending on the weather I may MUNI it up for one more day.  I have a commitment at 6:30p.m. but the rest of the day is chill.

Nothing planned.

I do have a girl friend coming into town and hopefully we will be hooking up for some tea and conversation.

Other than that, it’s making soup time.

I did not get to do that last week taking the safety course really threw that plan out the window.  I am ready to have my own home made food at work again.

I got caught with my pants down one day at work when I realized my fridge was empty and I needed to go shopping, no problem, the nanny gig was in Cole Valley, loads of stores, Whole Food, Cole Valley Market, but it was the day that it down poured.

I was not leaving the house.

I had oatmeal for lunch and raw carrot sticks.

Not the worst thing ever, but not my best plan.

So tomorrow I really will be making some soup at the house, do a little laundry, maybe take a stroll down on the beach, and definitely read some more of the book.

I don’t think it will make it through the week even.

Sometimes I can eke out a book for a while, but this week I have a solo nanny gig in the Castro on Monday and Tuesday instead of my typical Cole Valley share, then back to Cole Valley, then over to the NOPA, then back to the Castro.

Woof.

No wonder I want a scooter.

I am in great shape though, I noticed that today, hey girl, you’re looking a little skinnier.

That was one thing I shared recently, my one fear with getting the scooter is the loss of bicycle exercise I get with the commute.

Then I thought, ha, I’ll have a scooter, I can go swimming, I can go to the gym, I can go to yoga, hmmm, I could walk to yoga too, I still have yet to take that free class I was offered through Ocean Beach yoga.

Leads me to think that yoga there may not be my bag, but it’s there, and I do have a class coming.

This has got to be the most rambling ass blog ever.

I just wanted to add I came up with my back piece tattoo as well–I ran into Barnaby and it just popped right out of my mouth.

I want an Eiffel Tower.

I know.

Right.

How crazy am I?

But the Paris experience really continues to shape me in ways and despite not wanting to live there, at this point in my life, I was really influenced by it.

I want an Eiffel Tower in the old Art Deco mode with the words: “il etait une fois”.

Once upon a time.

It means something to me being a professional nanny and it also speaks to my own story.

Once upon a time there was a girl who rode a one speed all over, even around the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Here are her adventures, and misadventures, thereof.

I bet it would make a great story.

Or.

Even.

A decent blog.

Ha.

Gitanes and Coffee

February 19, 2013

“Am I really sitting here in Paris at a cafe with you and Cliff?”  He said with a wide smile on his face, “drinking coffee and smoking Gitanes?”

REALLY?

Yes, yes you are.

Smoking Kills

Smoking Kills

His suitcase was to my left and his plate of quiche was to my right.

“My God!  This tastes amazing!”

He said gleefully, taking another forkfull into his mouth with a wide smile, “does all the food taste this good?”

“It better for as much as it costs,” my friend to my left stated with a wry smile.

I love Bert’s, but it is expensive, unless you are just getting a coffee and there they have it nailed.

1.70 Euro for a cafe Americaine.

That is the cheapest coffee I have found anywhere.

The quiche, however, is another story.

But my friend was happy eating it, then having a coffee and a smoke.  The traffic, both cars and foot, verdant on this sunny day in Paris.

A day fraught with the threaten of Spring.

It is not here, but I feel it just there on the horizon.

The sun was out, it was not grey, I told my friend he brought the good weather with him.

After getting him to his hotel, making plans to meet later in the evening and having already done what I needed to do today to take care of the insanity, as a good friend said, “the monkey is off my back, but the circus is still in town,” I had three hours suddenly on my hands.

I left my friend and decided to take a walk along the Seine.

I got to see the Eiffel Tower from a vantage point I had not seen.

I got photograph happy.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

I walked along discovering new things to see, being swathed in sunshine, giggling, almost out loud, to myself at my sudden freedom to just be taking a walk on a Monday afternoon in Paris.

There were very few people out and I felt as though I had a secret entrée to a part of the city I had not really seen before.

I knew there were tourists about, I could spot one or two of them, but the majority of people I saw were locals doing what locals do, out enjoying the winter bright sun bouncing light gold bangles off the Seine.

I walked toward La Libertie.

I have seen it.

But I had not seen it up close.

I did not realize that there was a little spit of land in the middle of the Seine, a walking park.

On one end La Libertie stood blazing in the light.

La Libertie

La Libertie

 

There were a few people at the foot of the statue sitting with their faces glowing in the sunshine.

The base of the sculpture provided a wind block and caught up the heat of the sun.  A perfect place to sit and smoke a cigarette with a girlfriend.

The men walking their little dogs.

A mother playing with a son.

The water rushing past.

So quiet.

No one had a camera but me.

I felt like I really had stumbled upon a magic spot.

As though there is so little magic in Paris.

This sudden understated surprise, this strip of land in the middle of the river with La Libertie on one end, then the view of the Eiffel Tower on the other.  Down the center a path lined by trees, green moss on the trunks, green grass molding to the hill, faded mint green painted benches.

River Path

River Path

I traipsed slowly along, taking in both sides of the river, happy in my silence.  Smothered in light, saturated with simple happiness.

I practised saying it out loud.

“Je suis hereux.”

I am not sure if that is correct.

But I said it anyway, softly, under my breath.

I am lucky.

I am happy.

I am walking in the pre-Spring afternoon light on some little island in the middle of the Seine that I did not know until I was on it, was there.

I was in a movie.

No, I was in Paris.

No, I am in Paris.

Yes.

I am in Paris.

Then this quiet violin trill rose into the air.

Ah, yes, thank you, I was looking for the score to my soundtrack.

I walked further and saw him, under the bridge, case open in front of him, head bowed, eyes closed in a squint, chin pressed down, he pulled the bow across the strings and the warble of the melody bounced off the roof of the bridge and spilled out in a puddle of notes at my feet as I walked past, batting my eyes at the change from light to dark as I went under the stone archway.

Violinist

Violinist

The song of the violin stayed with me and I walked further, coming to the end of the island I climbed up the stairs and marveled back again at the park, the trees, the sun, the violin music still slipping through the air.

My new favorite place to walk in Paris.

Discovered simply because I said, sure, I will get you back to your hotel, happy to be of service.  And I really am, glad to be a help, grateful that all those days walking and getting lost and navigating the Metro can let me be helpful to another.

Then I discovered my next newest most favorite of places, the bridge way by Metro Line 6 Passy.  It was almost too much goodness.  I kept taking photographs.  I could not stop.

Bridgeway

Bridgeway

The lights especially, the drops of glass, the wrought iron curlicues.

I was enamored.

Lamps

Lamps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replete with my walk I hopped the Metro back to the house.

I did a quick trip to the market, did a little laundry, downloaded the photographs (I took over 100 today), did some editing on them, then left to return to meet my friend.

We connected, walked, wandered, and whiled away the evening.

It was divine.

Yes, that is you smoking Gitanes and drinking coffee in Paris, and I am so happy I get to show you my city.

It is dazzling.

Dazzle

Dazzle

Welcome, to my home.

 

 

 

 

Wore Out

December 16, 2012

In a good way.

I rode my bicycle all over the place today.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

I rode right past the Eiffel Tower, but I did not stop to take any photographs close to it.  The area was over run with tourist buses and taxi cabs.

I took the bridge at Pont Alma and got to the right side of the Seine between Pont Alma and Pont d’Alexandre.

Pulling off into the green way I propped the bike up for a few “I was here” shots.

Ride By Tower

Ride by Tower

 

 

 

 

 

Pont d'Alexandre

Pont d’Alexandre

 

First a kiss

First a kiss

 

 

 

 

The landscape was beautiful.

There were many historical monuments and art.

Oh, the art.

 

Then I got lost.

Oh good grief did I get lost.

And I was not in a neighborhood that was full of art.

I was by Gare du Nord and the canal.

I had a moment when I was crossing over the bridge by the tracks when I thought, maybe I will stop and take a few photographs.

Then I thought, sure, I will take some photographs of getting mugged.

There were too many people out, too many people who did not look particularly friendly.

I kept going.

I was lost for longer than I would like to admit.  I over shot the mark to my turn off, then when I wanted to get back to it, I over shot it again.

If only I could see Sacre Coeur!

I sent up a little prayer.

I realized that I had pin dropped my address on my Iphone map in the wrong locale which was part of the overshot the mark problem.

I was, however, nowhere near a place that was giving me service on my phone and as I stick out anyway, add to that a glitter speed demon of a bike and the tattoos and the Iphone, I was rife for being tackled and having my possessions striped.

All is not pretty monuments in Paris.

I turned another corner, I could feel the wind pick up, the rain was coming, I could smell it in the air and I could feel the coolness ahead of the clouds.  I just wanted to get to a place I was familiar with.

I looked up and there!

Off in the distance, quite a bit further than I thought it should be, man did I get turned around, was Sacre Couer.

Sacre Couer

Sacre Couer

I had never been so happy to see the church on the hill as I was at that moment.

I was also way past my lunch time and seeing the church so close to my home, my tummy growled at me.

It was three o’clock when I got back to the apartment.

I had left my point of departure at 1:15p.m.

Only took me a half hour to get from the apartment to my original destination and an hour and forty-five to get back.  The round trip mileage should have been about ten miles, as it was I probably doubled that with all the additional riding I did.

It was a good day for a ride, however, no rain until about an hour and a half ago.

When I got home and threw my late lunch together I realized I had forgotten to turn on my phone after leaving my commitment and I had a message from a number I did not recognize.

This is not altogether that unusual, however, I suspected it had something to do with the job I had responded to.

I was correct in my assumption.

I do not know what it was that stole over me at that moment, but the greatest reluctance to even listen to it sprung up.  I breathed.

Make lunch, get some food, you are worn out and it was exhausting being that lost.

Overwhelming really.

I had a sudden craving for a nap.

Breathe, I remonstrated to myself yet again.

If it’s the right thing it will be the right thing.

If not, you will know.

Just take the action and let go of the results.

I picked up the phone.

I listened to the message.  I called back and left a message.

I got a phone call five minutes later.

Six minutes later I had an interview, for this evening, at five pm, an hour and a half from that moment.

Holy bats.

I put down the phone.  I plated my lunch.  I put on a coffee.  I normally would not have made another big cafe au lait at this time of day, not that I am opposed, but normally if I have a coffee in the afternoon it is a little guy.

I felt tired, dejected from being lost, overwhelmed by the city, and hungry.  I did not feel like pulling on my big girl pants and going to an interview in a neighborhood I had never been to before, in an hour and a half!

Ok.

Take it moment to moment.

First eat lunch.  Then have your coffee.  Then look up the address on your phone.

I mapped out the Metro.  Programmed the address into my Iphone, I may not have phone service, but thank god for this little map application, it has saved my behind a number of times now. It was not going to be as challenging to get to the interview as I had thought.

OH MY GOD.

I have tattoos.

Newsflash, I gently reminded myself, if they don’t like me because of my tattoos, they are not the people who I want to work for and some one else will be.

It is just about taking the action and letting go of the results.

As the case may be, the mom said, “you’re from San Francisco!?  That’s where my husband and I met.” And crazy of crazy, where had she lived, Dorland Street.

Dorland!

That was a sign.

Ah.

Big sigh of relief.

They have seen tattoos before.

They knew what Burning Man was, despite not having gone, they knew, so when I said I had nannied at Burning Man, they did not look at me with big questions in their eyes, rather, the look was one of deepening respect.

“That must have been quite the experience, something to write about for sure,” said mom.

Yes, indeed.

I told them I was a writer.

Turns out so is mom and dad, in addition to what they do for work.  Which I did not quite understand, but was more than obvious that they do well for themselves, the apartment was on the six floor, the top of the building, in a very well-kept neighborhood in the 7th.

The kids were smashing.

I got a long really well with them and before the interview was over they were both crawling in and out of my lap and I had a tickle session with both of them, was given stickers, asked to come back soon to play, and shown art projects that were being worked on, spoke French to them, shook hands, did an Eskimo kiss with the little girl, showed off my screen saver on my phone–my two monkeys, the Bug and the Reno–and had pretty much nailed down the job.

I will be working New Years Eve.

How funny, I was baby  sitting last New Years Eve as well.

I will have three monkeys, the brother and sister and their cousin who will be visiting–a seven-year-old boy, five-year old girl, and their three-year old cousin.

Mom is e-mailing me the dates she would like covered during the holidays.

I made it clear I was available for more.

It felt really good.

It’s not enough to live on, but it’s enough to get me through until the something that is enough turns up.

One little step at a time.

I left with a googly-eyed sticker on my knee, a huge hug and kiss from the sister, and a serious, very formal hand shake from the brother–who then broke out in a grin when I shook his proffered hand just as serious and added to it a formal bow.

“Come back soon!”  The little girl said.

I think I will be.

 

 

 

 


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