Paris Journal 2002

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July 8


Barbara & Tom settle into Paris

Dog sleepily greets customers at antique shop. We arrived in Paris on Friday morning, and spent the rest of the day recuperating from jet lag.  Oh, the luxury of being here all summer.  We don't worry about wasting a day with naps.  So, other than going out to eat at a place around the corner (La Folleterie), we did nothing on Friday.  It was a cool, rainy day anyway -- a welcome break from the heat wave that we'd been putting up with in the U.S.

So, it wasn't until Thursday evening that we went for a typical promenade.  This nice dog was greeting customers at a nearby antique shop on Avenue Emile Zola.

Price of toilettes in euros Don't expect this to be a typical tourist oriented journal.  This is the fifth summer in a row that we've been here.  We feel like we live here in the summer; we aren't tourists.  We did most of the touristy things in the first two or three summers.   

What you'll see here are the off-beat, odd things that we notice.

This year, one of the big diffences is that the Euro is now the official currency.   We were curious about how this would affect things.

For example, the price for using the public toilettes that are scattered throughout the city is now 30 cents.  Before, it was 2 francs, we think.  That was about 28 cents.  In most cases, prices were rounded up slightly in making the change to Euros.

Wooden toy shop on rue de la Convention We delight in walking the streets and taking in all the little shops everywhere, such as this one that specializes in toys made from wood.  Sanibel has nothing like this kind of streetscape, of course.  And Columbus has bits and pieces, such as German Village and the Short North.  But in Paris, it goes on forever and ever, it seems.  In Paris, the pedestrian rules.
Gutenberg statue in front of National Printers We walked down Avenue Emile Zola and turned left when we were almost at the end of it -- almost at the Seine.   Rounding the corner, we were at the head of the longest street in Paris, rue de la Convention.  The beginning of this street is home to the Imprimerie Nationale, the national printers.  A statue of Gutenberg graces its front courtyard. 

The frieze on the statue's pedestal depicts the masses who benefited from Gutenberg's work on developing a printing press.  I won't go so far as to say that he invented it, because I seem to remember seeing something at the Jewish Museum last year or year before that indicated that a Jewish inventor may have actually beat him to it.

Imprimerie Nationale The Imprimerie is surrounded by a beautiful tall iron fence - a typical sight around an institutional building in Paris.  And the trees along streets like this and Emile Zola are magnificent.
Euro coins in Imprimerie shop window A couple blocks farther east on rue de la Convention we rediscovered the gift shop for the Imprimerie National.   It wasn't open, but we had fun staring into its shop windows.  In this one, they had a couple piles of oversized euro coins -- these were undoubtedly put on display last year, as part of an attempt to get Europeans used to the look and denominations of the new coins.

The coins are beautifully designed, by the way.  My favorite is the 1 euro coin.  (There are no paper singles in this currency; the smallest bill seems to be a 5.)

Le Mont Athos Okay, this isn't in Paris.   It is Le Mont Athos in Greece.  I took this shot from a poster on the Imprimerie gift shop's facade.  It promotes one of their lovely coffee table books, this one about this stunning place in Greece.
Purple chaise We found zany furniture like this purple chaise in a shop very near the apartment.  Sorry about the reflection, but you can see that it is me, actually taking the photographs.
Square Paul Gilot Enticing little parks are to be found everywhere.  This one, Square Paul Gilot, is near the Imprimerie Nationale on rue de la Convention.  These parks are part of what makes the whole city so liveable.
Pagoda in Square Paul Gilot The park is tiny, but it sports this cool octagonal pagoda like building.  Under the protective storm windows are stained glass.  Look carefully at the design in the wall under the window -- the PG monogram is worked into the middle of it.


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