To Life, To Life, Le Chaim and Ganesha -- All in the Life of a Day in Paris
Your taste of life in Paris and France Monday September 3, 2012 • Paris, France
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Eighteen years ago today I boarded a plane with my daughter and husband headed for Paris, France. Like all flights originating from the U.S., we landed the next morning on September 4th at the height of "La Rentrée," just as it is today when the entire population is scurrying to get back to work, back to school and back to their normal lives.
Our lives were never the same.
We intended to come for one year to see what it might like to live in Paris, with anxiety and reticence from our eight-year-old who had never been to France before. One year turned into 18 in the 'blink of an eye' with no regrets and a lifetime of fond memories. In Judaism, the number 18 stands for "life," because the Hebrew letters that spell "chai," meaning "life," add up to 18. This is all coincidental, or not?
Life in Paris has been one adventure after another. Nary a day goes by without a story to tell or something to report as unusual or enlightening. No other city in which I have ever lived has compared: New Orleans, New York, Tel Aviv, Knoxville, or Los Angeles. While life in these other cities was certainly full of fun, good friends, good food, etc., they lacked the kind of daily happenstance on which we thrive in Paris.
Just the past few days events have reminded me of the reason I stayed all these years -- the merry-go-round of life in the City of Light. For one reason or another, the events took me to every corner of the city spending a lot of time on the Métro and buses, but realizing how easy it is to travel all over town with total freedom.
On Saturday an almost one-hour Métro excursion took us to the Porte de Versailles to attend the last day of the "Toutankhamon, Tombeau et Trésors" exhibit (a tribute to his life!) only to discover that entry wouldn't be until 6 p.m. that evening. Deciding to forego the idea, we then trekked back by bus to take in the sights along the way, then walking a good distance before arriving home two hours later, but having seen every part of city between the extreme southwestern and the northeastern parts. Turning around one hour later again on the Métro I headed to the extreme southern part of the city just for dinner with friends to return home by midnight.
Just to give you an idea of what a typical day in Paris can be like, Sunday was not exactly one of those do-nothing relaxing days like one might have elsewhere:
8 a.m. - Wake up to do the usual Sunday morning chores and get dressed for the day, stupidly break an apartment window with a hammer (don't ask!); cover broken window with plastic 10 a.m. - Parler Paris Apartments concierge stops by for supplies 10:10 a.m. - Concierge reports homeless man sleeping in entry of Parler Paris Apartment building; police phoned; man leaves 10:15 a.m. - Concierge reports she can't enter building due to electrical outage; guests arrive by taxi; locksmith called; electric company called; suitcases brought up in dark stairwell using iPhone flashlight app 10:30 a.m. - Métro to Gare to Nord for arrival at Ganesh Festival in 10th arrondissement 11 a.m. - Watch Ganesh Festival from 5th floor apartment of friend with other friends and eat scrumptious home-made lunch 12:45 a.m. - Métro to Charles de Gaulle Etoile to meet landlord and client at new long-term rental apartment 3:30 p.m. - Finally, arrival of client two hours late 4 p.m. - Métro to Le Palace des Vosges for surprise visit with newly arrived shareholder 6:15 p.m. - Walk home 8 p.m. - Friend arrives 'chez moi' in panic after wallet stolen on bus; calls made to credit card companies, etc. to cancel and replace important documents 9:30 p.m. - Dinner at Chez Omar 11 p.m. - Movie at home on new DVD player
Naturally, the Ganesh Festival was the highlight of a charged up day. If you haven't experienced it before, the Ganesh Festival takes place every year at this time in the "quartiers" near La Chapelle filled with a riot of sounds, smells, colors and flavors of India and Sri Lanka. The parade began on rue Pajol and moved down rues Perdonnet, Faubourg Saint-Denis, Marx Dormoy, Ordener, boulevard Barbès, rues Labat and Marcadet. It included musicians and dancers, with coconuts broken as an offering to Ganesh (the shell symbolizes the illusion of the world, the flesh individual Karma, water and the human ego). Drawn by two large fiber ropes twenty meters each, a "tank" about five meters high, housed the statue of Ganesh, the elephant-headed hindu god. It was entirely covered with red and white fabric and decorated with many garlands of fresh flowers, arrangements of whole bananas, coconut and arecanut leaves.
We watched from above and took in the sights, sounds, color and aromas. On the street, many of the Indian and Sri Lankan restaurants were serving up their best dishes and the shops were open selling their finest saris and other native garb. Being a part of the festival is the closest thing to being in India or Sri Lanka without having to go through airport security!
P.S. On the subject of hindu traditions, yoga "chez moi" starts up again this coming Wednesday. We are looking for one or two more participants in what we lovingly call "geriatric yoga" -- classes with teacher Nancy Szczepanski that are designed to get our old bones and muscles flexible and healthy in an easy and fun way. The cost is only 15€ each for three 'reverse-aging beginners' (30€ if only two show up). All you have to do is dress comfortably, bring your own mat, the cash, and a good attitude. If you're interested in attending on a regular basis, email us at email@example.com.
P.P.S. Mark your "Rentrée" calendar for September 11th, when Francisco Leiva is going to teach us how it takes "Two to Tango" at Parler Paris Après Midi! Visit Parler Paris Après Midi for more information.
Property Investors Network Monthly Meetings PIN Paris
The Property Investors Network (PIN) in Paris is a monthly meeting hosted by Justine Trueman, a Professional Investor and Finance Writer/Editor.
Adrian Leeds will be speaking at every meeting providing an update on the market and from time to time, going into depth on other property topics. For readers of Adrian's newsletters, the first time you attend is FREE! For your free seat, all you have to do is register using the promotional code "Adrian."
This month, Adrian will be discussing "Developing Your Own Fractional Ownership Property."
Peter and Dick Dabner – "Discover the Key to making Money through Joint Ventures in Property Today"
September 2012 Paris PIN Meeting Thursday, September 27, 2012 Networking and Registration 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Meeting 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Chez Jenny, 39 boulevard du Temple, 75003 Paris
Price: £20.00 GPB OR FREE WITH THE SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL CODE "ADRIAN"
At every Après-Midi, a guest speaker of note will come to talk about a topic of interest and then open the floor for questions and discussion.
Francisco Leiva, Tango Instructor and Master Performer
"It Takes Two to Tango"
Francisco Leiva is an actor, dancer, director, choreographer and playwright living in Paris who is an accomplished teacher of contemporary dance and physical theater. Francisco will talk about how he started to dance and why, and the aspects of dancing that he applies to his life. He will discuss the fundamentals of the dance and how anyone can learn to tango and love it -- and will demonstrate some steps. He will also share some special places to visit in Paris that promote the culture of tango. There will be time for questions and answers. Come to watch or participate!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 and the second Tuesday of every month 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais, on the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 3rd. Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers
One of our most amazing apartments -- only 25 square meters, but with lots of light and great views from three large windows, a sweet separate eat-in kitchen, surrounded by great transportation and has what one recent guest says is the most comfortable bed she has ever slept in!
FREE one-hour consultation! Guests of Parler Paris Apartments or Parler Nice Apartments who are considering the purchase of their own "pied-à-terre" for pleasure and profit, can take advantage of a free one-hour consultation while enjoying the apartment in the City of Light or on the Riviera. Simply complete the request form to book your consultation.
Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week -- come as often as you like!
Join us for the annual La Rentrée Party on September 15th after the session at Lutèce Langue.
Special offer that day: 12 sessions for the price of 10, and 24 sessions for the price of 20.
Light lunch and drinks will be provided for free if you register that day, otherwise the lunch is 10 euros.
Note: Parler Parlor will be reopening on September 4th.
Until that time, practice your French or English at free open house style meetings on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at Coolin's pub, 15 rue Clément, in the Marché Saint Germain, 6th arrondissement.
From leading hundreds of tour visitors around the City of Light since 2004 (Nuit Blanche Tours), we know people are staying in many different areas of the city so our walks are sorted by arrondissement (district). We also know that visitors have certain budgets and have an idea in mind of the kinds of shopping experiences they wish to have so our walks also cover a variety of price ranges and fulfill different types of experiences. There is something to suit every taste and budget!
Learn about discount shopping, Les Grands Magasins, pedestrian streets filled with boutiques and shops, and much more!
Written by Karen Henrich, author of Practical Paris and founder of Nuit Blanche Tours, Paris Shopping will help you make the most of your shopping trip to the City of Light!