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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 …

Twenty-four and counting


Edward Good 1915-1992

Weird how things creep up on you. I was thinking about David Bowie, dying at sixty-nine. Sixty-nine seems young when you yourself are sixty-three. Then it hit me that my dad was seventy-six when he died and that it was twenty-four years ago today that I was in a hospital room in Sherman Oaks, California with my brother and sister and our mother, waiting for my dad to die. I’ve written about my dad a fair bit but I still havent quite hit that day yet, my sister throwing herself on our father’s body when they pronounced him dead, my own throat rough and raw with the ache of a thousand smoked cigarettes. But I did write a short memorial to him a couple of years ago.

Swept Away

I thought he was God. Or Robert Young on Father Knows Best. Take your pick. Except that in my eyes my father was even more glamorous than Robert Young. I didn't know about God.

He and my mother met at the tail end of World War II when he was home on leave in England. He wooed her in French, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic and he danced like a movie star. They fell in love and then he went away again, back to the western desert, back to the end of the war. Her family, her friends, all warned her about him. He was no good. He'd been around. She was only twenty. He was thirty. Forget him, he was too old. At thirty, her grandmother pronounced, he would have done everything already. He would be jaded, world-weary, they'd have little to share together. Forget him.


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Comments

  1. I love your story, Sim. I lost my dad three years ago and it seems like yesterday. Someday I will tell you my parent's story of love and marriage and 6 girls. So glad that there are memories that remain like imprints on our brain.

    Fond thoughts to you,
    Genie

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thnx Genie! I look forward to hearing it ... 6 girls! That’s a Bridesmaids movie sequel right there!

      Delete

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