Filling Your French Agenda…Fast!
The re-entry to Paris made La Rentrée regrettable and unforgettable. I will not bore you with ALL the details, but it started with a four-hour delay on the train caused by a person who committed suicide on the tracks near the Golfe-Juan station, just minutes after our train left the Nice Ville station. Fortunately, sitting on the train is pretty comfortable and I got plenty of work done, watched several episodes of Amazon Prime’s “Fleabag” and chilled out since there was nothing any of us could do about it.
At the station, because of the now late hour, instead of taking the bus home which I normally do, I opted for a taxi.
The taxi line was long, but that wasn’t the problem. Because of the new taxi exit route at Gare de Lyon (indirect and idiotic) and the construction happening on the street to create the new bus and bike lanes, the taxis could only exit one or two at a time waiting for the red light to change to green, causing them to back up so that it created a total gridlock of taxis lit-up red in front of the station. Everyone was annoyed, including the taxi drivers. The entire process took an extra hour before I was home. Ugh.
Once home, I discovered a bit of a mess. My daughter forgot to empty the trash before she left the apartment days earlier, causing the apartment to stink. The foyer light bulb had burned out so I couldn’t see anything as I entered. The toilet hadn’t fully flushed (meaning…you don’t want to know). A package of lavender-scented, concentrated fabric softener had leaked out all over the products sitting in the bathroom cabinet causing everything in sight to turn a gooey purple. There was a mountain of unwashed towels left me to wash and several of my favorite plants had died from the heat and lack of attention. To put it mildly, I was not happy.
My poor daughter got the brunt of my frustration as I texted her in ALL CAPS at the late hour, expounding on all of my woes, more to “vent” than anything else, but also to make her as unhappy as I was (wink). Once I cleaned up the purple mess and made a few messes of my own in the process, I took sleeping pills and went to bed without touching my baggage. Oh la la, La Rentrée had begun and vacation was definitely over!
Up until Sunday, the supermarkets and pharmacies were virtually empty, the cafés were only half-full and the streets were quiet. It was eerie…like the lull before the storm. At Café Charlot (38 Rue de Bretagne) I had more tables from which to choose (although I try to sit at the same one every time) and more attention than I needed. The chef sent over a special treat with my lunch as a “petit cadeau” (he must have been bored, too). At Au Petit Fer a Cheval (30, rue Vieille du Temple), front row seats on the street were wide open so I stopped in for 15 minutes for a quick café. Even the bees were bored, working hard on the lipstick left on the rim of the cup.
But by Sunday afternoon, the city was seriously hoppin’ again. The streets, shops and cafés were buzzing with people, not bees. It went from zero to 100 in just about 24 hours. It’s so weird how this repeat performance is so predictable year after year after year. The weather has turned, too. Summer is over and the cool air is back. I’ve already started to put away the fans and the summer clothing. It’s a bit of a shock to my system and it’s disheartening to think there’s no chance to show off that great tan I got dressed in fall duds.
For the rest of the week and through the weekend in preparation for today, I didn’t take a breath. It is expected, as I have written before, to have everything that was left undone to be done by the first week after vacation during La Rentrée. Everyone is in the same boat. Emails start flying, dates are made to meet up, the wheels start to turn and life goes back to a kind of normal. By Sunday the mountain of paperwork on my desk was reduced to a small stack and I was feeling like I could breathe again.
But enough of what was. Let’s look forward to what will be. If you’re filling your agenda (I still use the old-fashioned paper kind that is losing popularity year after year), there’s the onset of new exhibitions and events that start up in September. Make note and fill your agenda, too:
Start with “Les Journées du Patrimoine,” September 21st and 22nd, 2019. European Heritage Days involves not only France, but now all 50 signatory states of the European Cultural Convention under the motto, Europe: “a common heritage.” This is your opportunity to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. Begun here in France in 1984 (doesn’t France start just about every popular public festival?), the French Minister of Culture proposed that the project be internationalized under the Council of Europe. Learn more about it here and check out the program to see what you want to visit. (The website might make you nuts trying to find the venues, so take advantage of their press listing in a pdf document.)
Next, check the Paris Info website for a list of the new exhibitions:
Francis Bacon is coming to the Centre Pompidou on the 11th with Bacon en Toutes Lettres;
The Golden Age of the English Painting is opening at the Musée du Luxembourg, also on the 11th;
Degas at the Opera opens at the Musée d’Orsay on the 24th;
In October, Toulouse-Lautrec will be featured at the Grand Palais opening on the 9th;
Canons of Elegance will be displayed at the Musée de l’Armée as of the 10th;
and on the 500th anniversary of his death (!!), Leonardo Da Vinci will be exhibited at the Louvre from the 24th.
Oh my! Too much to do in the City of Light!
To be certain you won’t miss out, be sure to get your tickets early. You can actually book quite a lot directly from the Paris Info site! Just click here.
Happy La Rentrée!
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(Mona Adrian,” — Photo of Mona and Concept by Patty Sadauskas, who thinks that if I were Mona, this is what I’d look like!)
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