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Out and About in the City of Light

It’s been “Hotel Leeds” for the last two weeks with girlfriends visiting from Canada and the States. They were staying in the guest room and on the couch, going and coming to and from London, switching beds depending on who was here when and creating massive amounts of laundry…but along with all that, creating a ‘helluva’ lot of fun times. By this morning all the guests were gone and the washing machine spun away the remnants of revelry, making way for my daughter’s arrival from New York later this week. This means more laundry, more revelry, more fun times.

When you live in Paris, you can expect to have guests. We all do, even if we don’t have room for them! The couch and the floor, have both known to ‘get their business’ In fact, you will discover friends and relatives you didn’t know you had, once they discover you live in the City of Light.

One of the huge benefits of having the guests (even though Ben Franklin said “Fish and visitors smell in three days.” — Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1736) is that it helps you see the city through fresh eyes. They ask questions you had answered for yourself many moons ago, take note of things you had long forgotten were different from your own ‘cultural default mode’ and visit places you hadn’t been to for a long time or perhaps had never seen. It’s akin to being a tourist all over again, as they snap photo after photo with their new little “Cyber-shot®” or “iPhone” while you had left your camera behind gathering dust in the drawer.

This is such a glorious time of year to visit Paris, too. Even though the weather is unpredictable, Paris comes alive in April. The trees go from bare to breathtakingly beautiful in a matter of minutes, or so it seems. This year’s April has been stunningly bright and sunny to add to the cheerful mood in which everyone appears to be.

There are more great art exhibits to see than one can visit in a month! I’ve been ‘running’ from one to the next and know it will be tough to see them all. To avoid the long lines, show up mid day while everyone is at lunch or if the museum is open in the evening (as is the Centre Georges Pompidou), it’s a perfect time to enter while the hordes are exiting. At the Centre Georges Pompidou, if you managed to choose a peek moment when the line to enter is long way beyond the plaza, take the elevator on the plaza level just to the left of the entrance — no one knows about it!

From the top galeries where the two newest exhibits take place (Kandinsky and Calder!), you can see all of Paris, the happenings below, as well a peek on the tables at the restaurant “Georges,” each adorned with one very long stem red rose.

For an uncharted excursion, take a picnic to the Canal Saint-Martin. Everyone has their feet dangling off the edge while sipping on wine and taking in the cool spring air. You’ll discover a Paris perhaps you didn’t know existed on and off the water.

At the cafés in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, that everyone knows exist (!), those who want to see and be seen are there in all their glory. A friend observed that Les Deux Magots attracts the Italian tourists and real estate agents, but if you want to be with those in the know who prefer to see rather than to be seen, sit inside or upstairs at Café de Flore. The same observant friend spotted French fashion desighner Sonia Rykiel there Sunday afternoon in her red frizzy mop of hair looking ‘very French’ and ‘very Sonia.’

Then, get ready for the month of May. May 1 is Labor Day. It falls on Friday, so expect everyone in France to “faire le pont” and take a long weekend. May 8th is Armistice Day. It falls on Friday, too…expect more ‘bridging’…and May 21st is Ascension. It falls on a Thursday, so you can bet the bridge will be spanned for an even longer weekend. Then, there is Pentecost on June 1st. It’s a Monday. You know where everyone will be, right?…

Out and about in the City of Light, of course.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. If you don’t have friends in Paris with which to stay, or you have friends coming to visit and don’t have a guest room or couch, visit Parler Paris Apartments — and stay in your own luxurious “pied-à-terre” in the City of Light. Be sure to see the newest offering, “Le Trésor du Marais” right in the very heart of Le Marais! Visit Parler Paris Apartments to reserve your next stay.


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