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Showing posts from March, 2017

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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 …

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 65: Jack the Ripper is Alive and Well in London

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We're back on track. If it's Friday we're back in London, taking a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Think of me as an armchair traveler, using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings. We're currently following the  District Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 65
Not far from Tower Bridge, we’re close to Aldgate and Whitechapel, home to the Jack the Ripper murders. To be honest, I never bothered with the BBC Ripper Street television series and it’s possible if I weren’t so hooked on contemporary British police shows, that I wouldn’t be interested in Jack the Ripper at all. 



But I did get hooked on the 2009 Whitechapel television series starring Rupert Penry-Jones as D.I. Chandler—tall, aristocratic, posh and absolutely neurotic—with Phil Davis as D.S. Ray Miles—who many of you know as Jud from Poldark—a…

Carry On London: Sending Love and Support

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If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We've just finished following the Central Line, took a detour to the Tate Britain. This week we're following the  District Line. Here are the previous days

I can’t really carry on exactly as usual today, not after the terror attack that struck London this week, killing five (including the attacker) and wounding another forty people when he crashed his automobile into a gate at the Palace of Westminster. Among the dead is unarmed policeman Keith Palmer who was stabbed by the attacker, Khalid Masood. Masood was then shot dead by armed British policemen. Yes, in the sensitive area near the House of Parliament, the policemen do carry guns.

The attack is the worst since the 2005 …

It Was a Hard Day's Fall [#9, Cherrygrove Road]

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I was eleven the summer I broke my arm. I know because it was the summer that the movie A Hard Day’s Night came out and that was 1964. My best friend Trixie had brought her cousin over to my house and the three of us were playing in my backyard, taking turns hitching ourselves atop a green pole and pushing each other off. The pole, about three foot high, ten inches around, dark green, smooth and shiny, was sunk into the earth to mark where the neighborhood’s power or phone lines were located. The pole’s rounded dome-like top resulted in a downward curve that we made a game of slipping and sliding off. While it didn’t occur to me at the time, the overgrown cucumber-like shape resembled nothing so much as a large penis worthy of the Jolly Green Giant. 

After taking turn after turn of shoving each other off, I finally fell too hard and fast, landing face down in the middle of my mother’s staked tomato plants. I felt foolish and clumsy, like a little kid, especially in front of the other g…

Above Ground on the London Ground—Day 64: The Tower of London

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The Tower of London, view from the Thames image via Wikipedia If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We've just finished following the Central Line, took a detour to the Tate Britain. This week we're following the  District Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 64.

The Tower calls. You can take the tube, either the District line (which we're following this week) or the Circle line to the Tower Hill stop. From there it’s a wee walk to the Tower of London. Outside of Buckingham Palace, the tower has to rank as one London’s top tourist attractions. I’m expecting crowds. A crush of people from around the world eager to see the spot where Ann Boleyn was imprisoned and beheaded, the spot which now houses the C…

28 years later. Dreaming of France

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Me, Climbing the steps of Notre Dame, 1989.
Twenty eight years. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve been to France. I was there as a single woman in my middish-thirties, traveling with a female friend, a EurailPass in my waist pack and—in those pre-internet days—a copy of Let’sGo: Europe in my backpack. I had barely enough cash to cover what would turn out to be a ten week tour of Europe. That trip remains one of the great adventures of my life.

After 28 years I am finally going back. This time I go back as an old married lady in my sixties with an equally old hubby in tow. Almost equally, I’ll be celebrating my 64th birthday in France, my ‘younger man’ just turned sixty. We’ll have been married twenty five years in October, a fact we’re using as an excuse for taking what feels like an extravagantly long trip abroad. Thirty days with stops in England, France and Italy. We haven’t finalized anything except our flights—we land and depart from London. The other thing that hasn’t entirely …

The Sense of An Ending: British Isles Friday #BriFri

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It’s British Isles Friday which usually sees me taking a weekly walk around London, sharing the sights from my armchair here in Los Angeles. Last week we visited the Millennium Bridge, the pedestrian bridge that takes you from the Globe and the Tate Modern, over the Thames towards St. Paul’s Cathedral.

As I shared in last week’s post, the bridge has already taken a role in several television shows and movies. This week, preparing a post for my other site Chapter1-Take1 where I cover the world of book to movie adaptations, I discovered the bridge making another onscreen appearance. 

The Millennium Bridge can be seen in the new screen adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Sense of An Ending starring a dazzling cast of British stars, old and young, Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Emily Mortimer, Joe Alwyn, Billy Howle, Michelle Dockery and Freya Mavor. 

Let me know what you think of the trailer ... and don’t forget to watch for the bridge.




I’m currently reading …

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 63: Millennium Bridge to Sky Lounge

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If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We've just finished following the Central Line, took a detour to the Tate Britain. This week we're following the  District Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 63
I think I first saw the Millennium Bridge in an episode of Black Mirror, the British sci-fi series you can catch on Netflix. It’s a dramatic looking structure, especially when it’s empty. At the end of the very first episode of the first season (titled National Anthem) the solitary figure of the kidnapped princess, a beloved Royal, is seen wobbling back across the empty bridge. The show was great but it’s the suspension bridge created expressly for pedestrians, with the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the b…