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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 …

New look, same old me

Camille Pissarro, Les chataigniers a Osny (The Chestnut Trees at Osny), 1873

I'm changing up the look of my blog again. I knew my old design, which wasn't really old at all as I'd switched up the format just a few months ago, wouldn't last. I know myself. I get itchy, restless. Some women change their hair color. Others go shopping for a new pair of shoes. Me, when I get twitchy like this, I usually think about moving. Over the past month I've found myself looking in the windows of a vacant property I pass on my morning walk. I love the layout, the light that puddles across the hardwood floor, the glimpse of the stairway that disappears to who knows where. I go round back, peer in through the slats of the blinds at the patio door. The pull is nearly irresistible. But that fantasy won't fly. We can't move again. We simply can't. We've moved so many times, mostly when I get that itch. My husband would almost certainly—and rightfully—divorce me. 

Instead I retreat to our upstairs bedroom where a large window looks out over our courtyard. Open to the breeze and the faraway voices of toddlers at play drifting in, the window reveals some neighboring buildings but mainly the view is of the upper branches of the large Ficus tree outside, green and leafy, with the soft blue California sky behind.  The trunk disappears below the second story window, the leafy treetop lies somewhere up and beyond what's framed within my view, like a painting.  The tree branches, long outstretched fingers reaching upwards, bejeweled with dots of emerald and jade, every shade of green, from deepest forest to palest celadon.  

Taking a deep breath, I open my laptop and ponder the new template sample I've been toying with. It's nothing fancy, but like the view from my bedroom window, it feels light and airy.  The background, a pale shade of California sky, is the same color I use on Chapter1-Take1. A color I love. I don't have to move. All I have to do is press "apply to blog" and I can breathe again. I can own my little corner of the sky.

What do you think? Do you like the change? 

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