Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas in the City of Lurve

First, a photo of the SPECTACULAR view out my window! I could see the Sacre Coeur as well as the Montparnasse Cemetery. And much of Paris really. This is looking roughly North I think.

I started Christmas with a little excursion on my own. I went to meet and interview Jim Haynes (see www.jim-haynes.com). He is a super cool dude who has been having people over to his house for dinner every week for almost 40 years. Not just people...50+ people that he has never met. Just email or call him (he likes email) and see if you can get on the list. He can have about 100 in the summer, but must cut back in the winter since he loses the use of the outdoor space. He's been everywhere and done everything. He knew Yoko and John before Yoko knew John. He accidentally stayed with Mama Cass and got picked up by the Beverly Hills police for the suspicious activity of going for a walk in that neighborhood. More recently he serves on the board of the Calcutta Film festival and on and on. He agreed to meet me Christmas morning and since we're both godless heathens that worked out great. Jim had forgotten I was coming despite me calling him the day before. Oh well. He was happy to host me in his robe and jammies while having coffee in his little loft bedroom in his atelier (that's like an artist's studio/loft thingy but in France). His current atelier-mate, Yarra (I don't know the right spelling! Sorry Yara/Yarra/Yarah/Yarrah/??), stays there as well while she decides what to do with her life. Jim talked about his life and the importance of putting yourself out in the world and meeting people. He's personally introduced over 130,000 people from all over the world. It seems to me that that activity goes further to promote global peace and harmony than many of the more overt things done in the name of peace.

Anyway, I walked to his place after getting SUPER detailed instructions off google maps. It was about a 20 minute walk from the hotel. There weren't many people out and about on Christmas day, but it was still lovely. The people who were out said hello (actually "Bon Jour" or "Bonne Fete" (happy holiday)). One guy appeared to be homeless and he said something more complicated while loading up his bike. I said (in French), "Sorry, I my French is not good enough"...so he repeated it IN ENGLISH! Lordy. Even their homeless people are more cultured than the average American.

On the way home I took a slightly different route but still found the hotel and even found the odd shop open. Nice.

After that I met up with Chris and Pat. After a quick exchange of very small gifts (literally small...no need to lug big crap around the world), we started at the Montparnasse Cemetery where we visited some of our fallen heroes and one grave where the owners had perhaps the creepiest statue ever put on their grave...it's them in bed together having a chat. I know...it could have been worse.

Jean Seberg, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre

At some point I saw this awesome car! Check out the tied on muffler...a little spot of Plummer in Paris.

Then off for a bit of time at the street fair on the Champs Elysees. Pat had canceled our dinner reservations so we could enjoy the street food on offer with out worrying about ruining appetites or having to stop and get a subway back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I thought this a wonderful idea. I had a nutella crepe and some fries. The fries were not supposed to be mine but I partook anyway. Chris tried a tartine...sort of a tiny pizza heated up before they hand it to you. Pat had a wide variety of heavy delights. Both Chris and Pat enjoyed some Vin Chaud. That's "Hot Wine". Pretty much what it sounds like. Pat likes his fortified with rum, but did not think my suggestion of finding some hot Thunderbird was helpful.

Look who we spotted at the street fair! Or friend from yesterday. See how he has dressed down the coat with sweats and running shoes? That is one versatile jacket. It goes with EVERYTHING (that or he only owns grey, black, and white garments).

This is the only bidet I would ever have in my house. But if I spent that much on an item, I'm going to want it in the living room. I suppose I could put glass on top and use it for a coffee table....AND put fish in it. Damn. Totally should have bought this. It was at the street fair.

I'm pretty sure this is the day we rode the ferris wheel though my notes are lacking. That IS the date on my ferris wheel photos so I'm putting them in now.

The wheel (this is actually after we rode...it was more dramatic in the dark)

Chris and Pat were across from me. While taking this photo I became intrigued by the sign behind Pat's head....

Apparently there is no kneeing, punching, or kicking allowed on the ferris wheel.

We tried to find the Bastille but aren't sure what we saw. It may not exist anymore. Anyone want to bother googling that and letting us know?

We did some window shopping in the Latin Quarter and got home quite late.

All in all, a lovely Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Yay, another travelogue. Did you take a picture of the creepy statue on the grave site (the two in bed)? If so, you MUST publish it. Also, what's Thunderbird? I'm guessing it's a low-level booze like Mad Dog (which THE ANGELS got me hammered on the night before I graduated from Iowa State. What's MORE shameful than having your mother tell your college friends, "Oh, Angela never could hold her liquor"??? Looks like you had a fabulous time, and your interview with Mr. Famous Jammies sounds like a real hoot. Did he serve you cah-feee and bahrs like Iris?

Fly Right said...

Wow, that tombstone is almost as whacked out as the one I envision for myself! (you know, the evil clown holding a bunch of balloons that are planters for all the flowers that people will want to put there. . .) Thanks for putting up more pictures--when do I get to see Dutch people?