It isn't all about cancer around here, you know. As much as I will be writing about the cancer stuff -- because this is a blog about my life in France and cancer is, for now (unfortunately), a big part of my life here in France -- this is still Paris and there are still so many other things to write about life here!
For instance - today I was able to go across town to the Left Bank (woo-boo, out of the 'hood at last!) to meet Linda for lunch. Typically when we hook up for lunch, we also do a lot of walking around and taking photos, and I was physically up to some walking, but it was so freaking cold today that we ended up sitting in Saint Germain-des-Prés church for a while so we could quietly talk out of the cold. Then we went to a restaurant just a block away because it was close and I'd eaten there before.
Then we did manage a few photos of the outside of Le Petit Zinc, a gorgeous (and pricey) Art Nouveau restaurant, before catching the 95 bus. We got off near the Pont des Arts because I haven't been able to go there and check out the ongoing horror and damage of the love locks since early November. Couldn't believe that even in that cold, there were people selling, buying and attaching locks. There was even one couple sitting on a bench with a bottle of champagne and two glasses, and a lock all ready to attach somewhere. Are they blind? The entire bridge was boarded over and covered with graffiti, with only little sections of the boards torn away (by the illegal lock sellers) where it is still possible to attach locks. Even in the cold, these tourists are willing to go there and totally disrespect and vandalize Paris with those locks. But I was too cold to stop and yell at them.
It was so cold that we kind of speed-walked our way across the bridge, taking photos as fast as we could because our fingers were freezing, and then we each rushed off to catch our respective buses. Behind the Louvre, I was approached by two of the Roma pickpockets with their usual fake petitions -- even in the freezing cold they are out there "working" -- and told them in French that if they didn't back off and get away from me I was going to call the cops, then I wished them a nice day and kept moving at top speed to catch my bus and get out of the cold (I even heard one of those girls say to the other how freaking cold it was).
Luckily I only had to wait 3 minutes for my bus: although transport can be aggravating, on a cold day I'm just plain grateful to let someone else do the driving. I've been home for more than an hour and I'm STILL shivering. It's just that kind of a cold day in Paris.
To celebrate that I was able to get out and enjoy a normal day out with a friend (cold or no cold), here are some photos from this sunny yet freezing day. Enjoy and STAY WARM wherever you may be (and if you're somewhere tropical, don't tell me. I don't want to know.)
On my first-ever visit to Paris, THIS was the first thing I saw when I came out of the metro with my suitcase, looking for my hotel on the Rue Bonaparte. Still love this ancient church, the oldest in Paris - Saint Germain-des-Prés.
It's dark inside and needs restoration (they're working on a fund for this) of the old painted interior. Sort of a combination of Gothic and Medieval architecture.
From the oldest church in Paris to the newest look in Parisian fashion, I fell in love with this neat little handbag from Yves Saint Laurent in a shop between the Deux Magots and Café Flore. Although I just noticed, looking at the photo, there is a small padlock on the zipper. Well, better a lock on your purse than on one of our bridges (see last photo).
Gorgeous Art Nouveau exterior of Le Petit Zinc. We decided that at some future date, we'll actually go inside and have at least a coffee and some cake or a drink. We really want to see the interiors but probably won't eat lunch while we're there. The lunch menu costs 39€ - pretty pricey; I spotted lots of very well-dressed people sitting inside enjoying their expensive lunches. They must work for Louis Vuitton which is located just next door; those LV executives can probably afford to eat there regularly.
You're killing me, tourists and locks sellers. You are absolutely just KILLING ME while you are also killing the view and killing this bridge with your ridiculous, misguided perspective on a padlock meaning love (Hint: a padlock doesn't mean love, it means ENTRAPMENT.) NO LOVE LOCKS!