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The Texture of Paris

By Jeff Masquelier

The Texture of Paris
Paris is more of an experience than a place, and the details stay with you.

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Paris with a Cherry on Top

By Jeff Masquelier

Paris with a Cherry on Top

We arrived in Paris, on our overnight flight to Dallas, in which we both failed miserably at achieving the goal of sleep and waking up fresh and ready to conquer the 7-hour time difference.

Bleary-eyed but full of excitement, we ambled through customs and taxied to our Paris Perfect apartment on Rue St. Dominique. We dropped our bags and started out to explore the City of Love. 

Lisa lives by the tenet “stop and smell the roses” and rarely neglects a stop at a flower stand, produce section, book store or café with a menu posted in the window. We hadn’t gone 100 feet from our door when we stopped at a small market with fresh fruits and vegetables spilling scents and color out onto the sidewalk.  She landed on a basket of sweet ripe cherries to snack on while we walked. Whether jetlagged or caught up in the experience, she neglected to calculate the exchange rate and it hadn’t occurred to us until the cherries were all but gone that we’d spent nearly $30 American dollars on the small basket!

So much for our trip’s day one budget. Those were the best (and only) $30 cherries we’ve tasted.

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Old Nice and Older Bicycles

By Jeff Masquelier

Old Nice and Older Bicycles

Last fall, Lisa and I drove from Paris to Nice with a stop-over in Lyon.  We stayed at a hotel on the west end of the Promenade des Anglais but spent much of our time at the east end of the strip for the great restaurants, markets and the unforgettable charm of the old town built largely in the 1700s.

A cab ride felt too quick to enjoy the coastline and a walk felt too long to get to where we were going, so we opted for the rentable bicycles that were smartly located at intervals along the promenade.  What we didn’t know is that every ride would be an adventure, and navigating the 20km round trip would become a game all its own!

Finding two bikes that released from the kiosk was the first challenge, followed by rides with broken seats, stuck handle bars, cantankerous pedals, flat tires and the final test of finding open berths for the bikes when it was time to park. 

One late night ride stands out.  After a favorite meal (and wine) at Attimi in Vieux Nice, we biked late at night back to our hotel. Stollers, skaters and other bikers gawked at us as Lisa wrenched her unruly handle bars to keep straight while I low-rided my bike like a chopper with its faltering seat. We cracked up the entire way and somehow did not crash over the rail to the stony beach below.

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About Vieux, Nice

Vieux Nice is the city’s vibrant old town, with narrow cobblestone streets and pastel-hued buildings where shops sell Niçoise soaps and Provençal textiles, plus meats and cheeses. A daily market on pedestrian street Cours Saleya offers produce and flowers, and busy pubs and outdoor eateries serving specialties like socca crepes dot the area. Leafy, hilltop Parc de la Colline du Château has grand city and sea views.

 

 

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Honeymoon in Paris

By Jeff Masquelier

Honeymoon in Paris

Lisa Marie and I spent the morning exploring the Musée D’Orsay and returned along the Seine to our Paris Perfect apartment on Rue Saint Dominique, in the 7thArrondissement.  My new wife and I took in the scene, while cars, buses and taxis sped by on the boulevard and joggers, dog-walkers, and bicyclists flowed below on the bank.

Out of the blue, Lisa declared that she had always wanted to be “that” French girl on the bicycle, with the flowers, baguette and wine. Okay then, let’s make this happen, I said.

In no time, we were ready to roll film (as they say) in Eiffel Tower Park. Lisa looked as beautiful as ever and played the part naturally and literally, with bloodlines back to the Normandy Coast.  On the other hand, I fumbled through the role as the director, producer and videographer in every way imaginable.

We pushed through pedestrian interference, items in her basket falling about, a leg sniffing dog, and a near miss with her bicycle and a bus; laughing all the way. In the end, my love became “that” French girl on the bicycle.

Take a look.

 

 

 

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