Why this blog?

To understand why this blog was created and where it got its name, start here

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The fountains of the Trocadero gardens (across the river from the Eiffel Tower) are not often working. So when I passed by recently, I wanted to be sure and capture the moment.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Patrice's younger brother, Pascal, passed away early on Monday morning -- less than three months after his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He was only 61 years old. He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday morning, and by Sunday evening we were informed by the doctors that he might not make it through the night.

He was conscious until the end, although in much pain. At 3:00AM he turned to Joelle, his companion of many years, said goodbye, and took off his oxygen mask. Within an hour, he was gone.

His family is relieved that his suffering is over.
Services will be held on Friday morning.
I never had a chance to know Pascal. And this is not the way I imagined I would meet the rest of Patrice's family.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Highs and lows

Life is good here in Paris.

Lunches with girlfriends:

Oysters chez Francis with Sophie and René:

Outdoor concerts - the grandson of Django Reinhardt

However, we are preoccupied with the other, less cheerful thoughts. Patrice's younger brother Pascal is gravely ill. He is suffering from pancreatic cancer and we have no idea how long he'll hold on. It is especially disturbing for Patrice whose mother, father, and wife succumbed to cancer. Patrice has no other brothers, sisters or cousins. Needless to say, this casts a pall over our daily plans as well as our plans to come to the U.S. in August. We'll have to play it day by day as we cherish our own health and good fortune.

On a more optimistic note, I'm starting to get used to the motor scooter. It still makes me a little nervous, and I certainly don't drive it! But it is a good way to see Paris from a different angle.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Maillol sculptures

The Tuileries garden near the Louvre boasts several large sculptures by Aristide Maillol, a French sculptor of the early 20th century. But these kids don't really care who created them.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Domestic bliss

My life has taken a quite a different turn here in Paris. I'm spending a LOT of time with Patrice -- and enjoying every minute of it. We enjoy going to the movies and to art exhibits, and we also take regular excursions just outside of Paris to visit historical sights.

Yesterday we visited the town of Moret sur Loing - a small town known as a river crossing point - as far back as the Roman empire.

We also visited the nearby ruins of this basilica in Larchant

But we also spend a lot of time at home sharing domestic tasks.

It's heavenly.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Art in another form

In my last post, I described a traditional art exhibit featuring the Caillebotte brothers' painting and photography. On Saturday, we went to the Museum of Decorative Arts (part of the Louvre) to see an art exhibit of another kind -- the Ralph Lauren collection. No, not clothes--Ralph Lauren's classic car collection.

The cars were absolutely astounding. Here's a link to the French site. And one in English. Check 'em out.

Photographs weren't allowed, but I managed to sneak a few:

I think I enjoyed the exhibit almost as much as Patrice.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Caillebotte exhibit

This afternoon Patrice and I went to the Jacquemart André museum. We wanted to check out a special exhibit featuring the Caillebotte brothers.

I was familiar with the paintings of Gustave Caillebotte--an Impressionist painter and patron of the arts who was a close friend of painters such as Renoir and Monet--but I was completely unfamiliar with this brother Martial, a photographer. It was fascinating to see the brothers' paintings and photographs hanging side by side. The exhibit also featured amazing images of Paris during the late 1800s.

I also appreciated the fact that Patrice enjoyed the exhibit just as much as I did - one of the many interests that we have in common.

p.s. Here's a link to a recent story on NPR about the Caillebotte exhibit. Thanks, Cindy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The coast of Brittany

Here's the itinerary we took during our trip along the coast of Brittany:

I drove part of the way

Point A was Chez Jacky.
Point B: Walking along the wild rocky coast at the Pointe du Raz.

A day visit to the Ile de Sein across from the Pointe du Raz

The village church in Locronan (point C)

Off the coast of Crozon (point D) - a visit by a classic sailing ship

The Pointe du Penn-Hirr

Then north to visit with Patrice's daughter, Florence, who lives in St. Brieuc (H). Here we are in Paimpol (I):

Next, Perros Guirec (J) and the pink granite rocks

Finally, back to Paris. The city suddenly seems busy and crowded after spending a few peaceful days hiking along the coast.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chez Jacky

I love oysters, (as you've probably guessed by now), and so does Patrice. Our first stop in Brittany was to visit a restaurant known for a special variety of flat oysters known as "bélons." The restaurant, Chez Jacky, is situated on the banks of the Bélon river, the only place in France where these oysters are found.

I'm wearing a bib in the photo because our oysters were followed by grilled lobster. A fabulous dinner, to say the least.