Featured Post

Dreaming of France: 29 Avenue Rapp

Image
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 …

Dreaming of France: Picturing Paris


Bonjour! Can you guess where, precisely, this picture was taken? I love the diamond motif on the staircase, and the diamond pattern the lattice-work trellis creates on the wall. I shot the photo in France when we were there last spring, but where exactly? It took me a moment to remember where until I spotted the man tucked beneath the stairs. 

So who was he and what was he doing? He isn’t Harry Potter, I can tell you that. An American tourist? A French student? I’m not sure. What was he doing? Drinking a cup of coffee. Perhaps a Cafe Américain or maybe a cafe au lait. Chances are it was espresso. 

Where? Any guesses? I’m betting some of you more experienced French travelers will be able to pin it down. 


The answer: Starbucks on the Boulevard Saint Michel just down the road from Boulevard Saint Germain. Located quite near our hotel, Cafe de Flore and Deux Magots were both just up the street but on that occasion I just wanted to grab a coffee and take it back to our room. No muss, no fuss. No sitting at a lovely little outdoor cafe to watch all the other tourists go by. Just wanted to kick off my shoes, sit on the bed and look out the window.

I couldn’t resist taking a minute to snap the intriguing design of the place though. Those extra decorative touches behind and above the staircase are what makes Paris so special, even when the setting is that of a very American coffee house. 

I’ve only been to Paris a few times in my life, once when I was a child, again when I was a single woman of twenty in the 1970’s, when I was a single woman of 36 in the 1980’s and earlier this year, at age 64, with my husband Mark for our 25th anniversary. We joke that we wanted to take the trip while we were still mobile enough to enjoy it. We called it was a once in a lifetime adventure but now we both can’t wait to go back. In the meantime we are so grateful we were able to visit and to store so many fond French memories and precious Parisian sights in our memory banks. When we recognize locales in movies or television shows we gleefully—and somewhat smugly—smile at each other. We were there! Believe it or not, the Starbucks on the Boulevard Saint Michel is one of those places.

Posted for Paulita’s Dreaming of France 

Their visas have arrived. Paulita and her husband are moving to France in the New Year! Do you have any exciting plans up your sleeve?

Comments

  1. Sim, I love this picture and your memories of France. It's crazy to think that if we meet someday, it will be in France, and maybe the odds are better that we'll actually meet in France than we would here in the U.S. I've been to a Starbucks in Paris, but it was research for my novel Paris Runaway. It was on Boulevard Sebastopol in the 1st arrondisement.
    Thanks so much for playing along with Dreaming of France. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking the same thing!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. Insecure writer at work.

Popular Posts

A + for The A-Word

As Seen in Britain

Time to slay your own dragons, ladies.

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 28: Sloane Rangers