Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Paris In August

From NatGeo, where this vid (Ed: I removed the vid, the code didn't work.  But go to the link and watch - it's good.) comes from...
"The Eiffel Tower pulses like a nagging cell phone, weekday traffic on Place de la Concorde snarls and honks, sidewalks along Rue de Rivoli resemble ant colonies, cafés jam and jangle, waiters frazzle, market vendors push and pull, hawkeyes snag park chairs. . . . Every week of the year I pray for Sunday. And when Sunday comes here in Paris, where I live, I pray for August."

So begins "The Longest Sunday," the cover feature of our July/August issue, written by James Morgan, which celebrates the quiet lull of the City of Lights when many of its residents have left for their August vacations. Watch the video, above, and get a sense of how Paris feels on these lazy summer days.

What do you love most about Paris in August? 
Well... let's let Frank answer that:

Back to Paris in August... been there, done that.  The sole two surviving tee shirts from that trip (click for larger, click twice for largest)...

 Main dans la main à Paris

 Sur La Seine près de Notre-Dame

When we lived in London in the early '80s The Second Mrs. Pennington and I were lucky enough to have a friend who had a flat in Paris.  Said friend was a colleague of TSMP's at London Central High School and he lived in London most of the time.  The flat in Paris, when vacant, was available to his friends just for the asking and we took advantage of his kindness.   Paris is fun anytime, as Mr. Sinatra noted; it's MUCH more fun when you have your own space... and that space is free.


  1. I went once in February with an MWR tour. We should have gone in August. It was a frigid time in gay Paree.

    The photo albums are turning up some great stuff. Keep up the good work.

    I believe the old saying goes feed a fever and drown a cold. I prescribe multiple hot toddies for that head cold.

  2. Lovely pics. And free digs make the memories even that much more lovely!

    We did Paris in July with the daughters. July is when all the Parisians are seriously jonesing for vacation and are less than pleasant in some quarters. But, it was still Paris -- and it was still magical at night.

    Keep 'em coming!

    And feel better.

  3. Anon: TSMP and I went several times while we were in Ol' Blighty. And each time was MAGIC.

    Moogie: I have a surly Parisian waiter story... The first time TSMP and I went to Paris we went by train. Our first stop after arriving was a bistro not far from the Gare du Nord, where we walked in, seated ourselves, and waited patiently for a waiter. Ten minutes passed, or maybe 15, and we could see waiters hanging around the bar. I'd had enough of that shit after a bit so I went to the bar, ordered drinks, and brought 'em back to our table. Not two minutes later a waiter walks up to our table and sez (in French) "Where'd you get your drinks?" "At the bar," sez I. "Well, if you BOUGHT 'em at the bar, DRINK 'em at the bar!" sez he, turning on his heel.

    "What'd he say? What'd he say?" asked TSMP, breathlessly (the entire conversation was in French; I used to be fluent). I told her and she replied "That sonofabitch!" We found another place to eat...

  4. Gare du Nord, Good Lord, we call that Harlem :-)

    Anyway, I was wondering, if there is a Gare du Nord, how come there is no Gare du Sud??

    Curious minds want to know...

  5. There was a Gare du Nord because the French were in constant battles with the English in the Middle Ages. As France extended to the Mediterranean to the south, there wasn't much need to Gare du Sud.

  6. My SIL is heading to France againg this fall semester - I think I should join her for a bit.

  7. Anon1: Well, there is a southern terminus (the Gare de Lyon), it's just not called the Gare du Sud.

    Anon2: Say what?

    Lou: GO! Is your SIL returning to the same school, or going somewhere different this time?

  8. I think Anon2 was doing some sort of word play that went right over our heads :-)

    I was mostly kidding myself.

    My French is terrible. I can understand a lot, but can't form sentences fast enough.

    I love French chanson type songs. It isn't rock or pop, and the singers don't have any props to hide behind. That kind of music just doesn't play much outside of Paris though.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.