“May Day in “”Parisadise”””
“Le Palace des Vosges” is the two-bedroom apartment located in the second courtyard at number 9 (next to the three-star Michelin rated restaurant Ambroisie) that our team is currently preparing for Fractional Ownership by 13 ‘lucky’ owners. The complete renovation of the apartment is in full swing, including a complete change to the exterior windows and doors to more “atelier” style (artist studio), as approved by the “Copropriété” (homeowners association) last Wednesday.
The annual meeting was even more fascinating and torturous than any “Assemblée Générale” (annual homeowners meeting) I’ve ever attended, lasting almost five hours, with a cast of characters, as Martine di Matteo described as “much like a Fellini movie.” Now when I walk through the courtyard, knowing many of the owners of the apartments on which they have views, I have a more profound sense of belonging to the eclectic ‘cast of characters.’ (Read all about it at http://www.palacedesvosges.com !)
Then, with book in hand, sunglasses on my face, found a spot on a bench in full sun in the Place — not an easy task on such a glorious holiday. The lawns were elbow-to-elbow with Labor Day celebrators simply enjoying their free time under the blue skies and warm breezes. The Linden trees are in full leafiness now and without much debate, is one of the prettiest spots in the city. It’s an advantage to live so close by and to have so many good excuses for going there.
All the parks were ‘getting the business’ this weekend with such beautiful weather to entice us there. The Square de Tour Saint-Jacques has undergone renovation with the reopening of the tower, now in perfect condition, its stone a glistening white. The benches in the park were taken with sun worshippers, lovers and “flâneurs” (strollers). The park used to be more a refuge for the homeless, but no longer — so don’t hesitate to stroll through it and look up the lacy tower that was hidden for years under scaffolding and canvas.
The ‘skirt’ around the Centre Pompidou of open-air plazas, cafés and the Igor Stravinsky fountain was awash with happy tourists and Parisians, taking in the street performers who will do anything to get attention and fill their hats with euro coins. We took in two of the special exhibitions there — the Kandinsky and the Calder — easy to see one after the other and both equally delightful, best to do about 6 p.m. when the lines are virtually gone. (Secret: to avoid the long lines to enter the Centre Pompidou via the security check any time of day, take the red elevator to the left of the entrance, designated for diners at “Georges,” but which will take you to level 1, then you go down the hall past the main elevators to “Georges,” take two rights to take the escalator to the ground level where you buy your entry ticket!…and don’t tell them I told you this!)
One evening we splurged on dinner at “Les Bouquinistes,” Michelin star chef Guy Savoy’s restaurant on the Left Bank near Pont Neuf (the oldest bridge in Paris) under the direction of Cédric j2999sot and Chef Williams Caussimon. For the price of about 75 to 100 euros per person (for dinner, as lunch is about one-third as expensive), it is as perfect a dining experience as one can have in Paris…except for one huge drawback (in my opinion). And that is that there may not be one single French person dining there. So, if you don’t mind that you’re surrounded by tourists, you can make your reservations online quite easily by visiting the Web site: LesBouquinistes.com — and you’ll be happy you did.
Then with very full bellies, in the cool night air, with the streets filled with families, friends and lovers, we walked all the way home along the well-lit streets of “Parisadise” — the urban paradise we can’t live without.
P.S. Mark your calendar for…
1. Parler Paris Après Midi, Tuesday, May 12th, 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.
2. Meet Cara Black, author of “Murder in … Paris” series Wednesday, May 6th at the American Library in Paris 7 p.m. and May 22th at Shakespeare and Company 7 p.m.
3. Hear the poetry of the students of Cecilia Woloch’s Paris Poetry Workshop Friday, May 15th at 7 p.m. at Shakespeare and Company.