On Monday - the one weekday I don't work - Le Garçon and I made a visit to the Musée du Chocolat. OUI! There is a CHOCOLATE MUSEUM in Paris. I didn't know this either, until I spotted a brochure at work on a display of all kinds of "things to do in and around Paris" for our customers to browse before or after their tours with us. I've been waiting for a good time for me and my step-son to go and check it out, and this week we finally went now that he's finished with school for the year. The museum is just near metro Bonne Nouvelle (Lines 8/9) and Strasbourg Saint-Denis (Line 4) in the 10th, not too far from Gare du Nord, on the Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle. It's a small museum but surprisingly well organized. They also have special things for children to do and see while they're there. You start your visit on the ground level with a self-guided exhibit (with text in French, English and Spanish - other languages may be available but you'd have to ask about that) that takes you through the history of chocolate - a history that goes back more...
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The setting sun in Paris does incredible, magnificent things with the light: The dome of the Sorbonne. See the little half-moon up there near the cross? The Church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, just behind the Louvre. The setting sun really brings out the color in the stonework. My favorite view in Paris: Ile de la Cité and the Pont Neuf. Lots of people picnicking there on the tip of the island; that's what Parisians do on a summer's eve. The sunset on my birthday last month: glorious!
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On my way to the gym today (yay, Me!) I snapped a few random shots. Waiting for the #30 bus at Blanche, looking over at the Moulin Rouge which is resting up after a long night of keeping Paris' tourists entertained. A rose garden next to the Saint Laurent Church, just around the corner from Gare de l'Est. The main portal to the Saint Laurent Church. The exterior is in very bad condition and most of it is blackened with soot and pollution, but this colorful fresco (it may be a mosaic, I couldn't quite tell) has always caught my eye. Here's a closer look: Normally, I change buses at Gare de l'Est to get the rest of the way to my gym which is just north of République, but when the buses are running slow I just walk the rest of the way (hey, 10 extra minutes of exercise!) So it was nice to finally have a chance to get photos of the entrance of this church. I've been noticing it for a while and just never had time to take pictures.
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On the left, the tip of the Ile de la Cité with the Pont Neuf... and many, many Parisians relaxing in the sunshine along the banks of the Seine. This is what Parisians do, especially whenever the sun is out. On the right... a passing boat, also with many people basking in the sunshine. They're tourists, doing what tourists do in Paris. I have nothing against tourists (well, except the ones with padlocks). I used to be a tourist in Paris, and I was a happy one. I even took one of these boat cruises every so often. I like knowing that other tourists will get to have some of the same experiences and have some of the same happy memories. I hope they enjoy themselves on that boat. But I like being a happy Parisian even better.
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It has been two months since I began my new job working in tourism. I have to say, I'm glad I ended up working in this particular company (for one thing, none of their tours involves love locks!) The people are great, a very international crew, and the management has been very flexible and supportive of the occasional moments where I need to duck out to take a call from some journalists... even the time where I was kidnapped by motorcycle by a French TV station to do an interview on the bridge and didn't come back for an hour when I'd told them I'd be gone for 20 minutes. But since I began the job, I've had a bit of a hard time getting into a good rhythm, the right balance, with all the various parts of my life. My new job coincided with the heaviest wave of media attention, my house looks like a bomb exploded (not that I was ever the world's greatest housekeeper but this is ridiculous), and we sometimes have to scramble to pick up necessities like toilet paper and orange juice because I am not as observant as I once was about when we're...
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