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Dreaming of France: 29 Avenue Rapp

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Scrolling through my Instagram& finding this image, I’m surprised I haven’t shared this particular French door for Dreaming of France before. 29 Avenue Rapp boasts what might be the most famous door in Paris. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful.



Designed by Jules Lavirotte in 1901 it’s a striking example of Art Nouveau architecture and features the very risque sculpted Adam and Eve above the door. I first saw the building in the movie Gigi as the building where Gigi's Aunt Alicia lives and where Gigi goes for her lessons in how to catch the right man. Preferably someone rich like Gaston.

Naturally when Mark and I visited Paris, we had to pay the building a visit. What struck us about 29 Avenue Rapp was how many people just walk on by, as if were nothing special, just another old stone edifice, the door, just another entry. I think even if I lived on the block, even if I saw the building and its door every single day, I would still have to pause and take it in. Not a whole …

Vacate the Premises


I read a piece not too long ago, bemoaning the fact that the digital age is ruining vacations. The writer, a young man, had been on holiday with his girlfriend, happily posing for pictures until he got a look at them, moments later, scrolling through the photos on her iPhone. Ew?! That's how I look? He'd sucked in his stomach and smiled, confident that the man he felt like inside was the man who appeared on the screen. Wrong. We lie to ourselves but the camera never does, and there he was, revealed in all his glory: flesh still white and while he wouldn't go so far as to say flabby, he didn't look like the college athlete he used to be. His chin, not exactly weak but no one would mistake him for Chris Hemsworth either. The poor guy's vacation was ruined. He said he wished he could have at least enjoyed his one lousy week away from the office with his illusions intact.

Superficial? Sure. But I can relate. I rarely pose for vacation pictures anymore. That's a half-truth. I rarely pose for any pictures anymore and I'm going to be mad as hell if you try to catch me on candid camera. Some things are better left unseen. I'm exaggerating, of course, that stupid thing some of us older women do.

Still, looking through the vacation photos I shot with my iPhone, the ones I like best from our trip to Florida and the Florida Keys, are people free. The reason has less to do with my insecurity about my looks and aging than you might think. I love the idea of traveling but hate the idea of being a tourist. Those photos with people posing, grinning in front of an iconic destination, from the Grand Canyon to Big Ben to the Eiffel Tower leave me a little cold. I get it. You were there. A great memory, and believe me I've got my share of those thrilled to be there shots. Photographically, I'd like you to step aside please, so I can get a good shot at that place, that view, that stunning sunset.



You can find more #AtoZChallenge Posts in the sidebar to the left.
The Key of Blue is one of my favorites.


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