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It’s Bastille Day

I just realized it’s July 14th!

Arc de Triomphe

Happy Bastille Day!

Set in Paris

Since the release of the new Woodie Allen movie, Midnight in Paris, I’ve been thinking of the movies I’ve seen that were set there.

Eiffel Tower

Here’s my list:

  • The Day of the Jackal (Edward Fox) 1973
  • A View to a Kill (Roger Moore, Christopher Walken) 1985
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Michael Caine, Steve Martin) 1988
  • Frantic (Harrison Ford) 1988
  • Dangerous Liaisons (Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Malcovich) 1988
  • Valmont (Colin Firth, Annette Benning) 1989
  • The Bourne Identity (Matt Damon) 2000
  • Chocolat (Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche) 2000
  • Amélie (Audrey Tautou) 2001
  • Le Divorce (Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts) 2003
  • The Truth About Charlie (Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton) 2003
  • Something’s Gotta Give (Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Kneau Reeves) 2003
  • The Devil Wears Prada (Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway) 2006

Watching some of these movies – Valmont, Dangerous Liaisons, Chocolat and Something’s Gotta Give come to mind, really gives you a good feel for Paris. It’s also great to see a scene in a place you been to, like Roger Moore’s James Bond at the Eiffel Tower or at the Pont Alexandre.

I can’t wait to see how Midnight in Paris compares or what places I recognize.

Enjoy!

I Didn’t Even Get a Croissant! Ten Things I Wish I’d Done in Paris

Okay, so eating a croissant wasn’t really on my list of things to do in Paris. But I had envisioned a much different trip than the one I actually had.

In the trip I imagined, I’d spend a week in Paris, visit a few friends and all the must-see spots, the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc., then make my way to Bordeaux, the wine region, and Saint-Émilion in search of the Château Grand Mayne. (About 10 years ago, I discovered a Bordeaux with my name on it. I was so excited, I bought a case! Visiting a place that had my name was high on my list.)

At some point, I’d travel to Lons le Saunier, to visit ma petite soeur, Murielle, and her family. I was looking forward so much to seeing the French countryside that I’d sit at my desk when I was supposed to be working and daydream about it.

But life (aka work) intervened. Instead of spending two weeks in France and two in London, I had two weeks between London and Paris. I could manage only three days in Paris. It wouldn’t be enough — I like to spend my time, slowly peeling back layers and discovering a new place — but it’d have to do.

Lines outside the Musée d'Orsay

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of my three days but it went by so fast, if I didn’t have photos, I’d think it had been a dream.

I’ve been reflecting on the dream and all the things I didn’t get a chance to see or do in Paris, and I made a list:

  1. Sunset Cruise on the Seine Bateaux Parisiens offers dinner, nighttime and private cruises on the Seine that leave from the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
  2. La Sainte-Chapelle – I don’t consider myself a very religious person but looking at cathedrals always humbles me. Located at Île de la Cité, this Gothic Cathedral was consecrated in 1248. It has been a national historic monument since 1862.
  3. Église Saint-Suplice – The second largest church in Paris.
  4. Moulin Rouge – Home of the can-can, the Moulin Rouge has been around since the late 1800s. Artists from Edith Piaf to Josephine Baker have performed there.
  5. Montmartre – The bohemian place that played host to artists like Picasso, Dali, Modgiliani, Monet and others.
  6. La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre – The Basilica is located in Montmartre, the highest point of the city.
  7. Musée d’Orsay – I wanted to visit this elegant former train station turned gallery for Western art but after standing in line at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t muster up the energy for another line.
  8. Montparnasse – I have created my own (highly romanticized) narrative about what living in Montparnasse must have been like for artists such as Jean Rhys, Madox Ford, Henry Miller, Salvador Dali, Jean Miró, Diego Rivera and many others who made it their home. I wanted to walk in their footsteps.
  9. Château de Versailles – One of the largest palaces in the world, it is the location where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.
  10. Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Gardens – Built between 1615 and 1627 for Marie de Medici, the widow of Henry IV, the Luxembourg Palace is home of the French Senate. Wonder how difficult it must be to have to work there? I’ll never know!

The trip I took was an appetizer. I’m ready now for a more leisurely and elaborate feast with ten (or more) reasons to return to Paris.

What Some Bloggers are Saying About Paris

 

I could write about Paris everyday and not run out of things to say.  But I woke up this morning thinking about my blog buddy, Heather Munro, whose posts on Paris really got me stoked. Heather’s photographs capture the romance and the beauty of Paris like no other blogger I had seen in a while.

The Seine

So I went looking for what other bloggers are saying about Paris. Hope you like my selection:

  • Jordan (http://ohhappyday.com), an American who recently moved to Paris, is giving away a 7-day trip for two to Paris. Unfortunately, the giveaway closes at 11:59 tonight. So head over to her blog and enter.
  • My Little Paris (http://www.mylittle.fr/mylittleparis/en/) is a bilingual blog on all things French.
  • Nicole, an American, lived in Paris for a while. Her blog (http://littlebrownpen.blogspot.com) chronicles her Paris Color Project, a series of photographs on color in the city of light.
  • Prêt á Voyager (http://pretavoyager.blogspot.com) is the blog of self-confessed Paris-loving graphic designer Anne Ditmeyer. Anne’s posts cover living in and visiting Paris.
  • Erica Berman’s post on French Restaurant Etiquette: Dining in France Like a Local caught my eye. Erica, an American who’s been living in Paris for several years, owns a vacation rental company and blogs about everything hip in Paris. (http://hipparis.com).
  • Cynthia is a French student who’s studying in England. Her blog (http://goodtipsinparis.wordpress.com) offers tips on Paris.
  • Kathy, my blog buddy over at To Write is to Write, did a sweet little post on her trip to Paris. Read it here.
  • Heather lives in the U.S. but it’s safe to say she’d rather be in Paris. I loved her post on the Eiffel Tower and Chartres but check out all her posts under the Paris category. You’re in for a rare treat.

Enjoy these images of Paris:

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