A Pretty Day

I went out the other day just intending to pick up a few things and come back home but it was such a pretty day that I set out on a little walk enjoying the sun and fresh air.

I usually take photos of this building in the Marais from the front but it’s also lovely from the back.

A view of Île Saint Louis from across the Seine.

Some mosaic graffiti on the side of a shop selling wine.

These looked good. I think there were apples inside. They were really big too, larger than your average cookie.

As you can see by the reflection of my iPhone , I look a photo of this painting through a window. It was a shop on Île Saint Louis and it was full of really great paintings.

On the weekends the bridge between Île Saint Louis and Île de la Cité behind Notre Dame is very lively. On this Sunday there was an accordion player, a puppeteer and this piano player. The whole area was packed with people, mostly tourists I think.

le Marais

The Marais, a very interesting and ancient area of Paris, is just a short distance by metro from our apartment.

The entrance to the Hotel de Sully, once a mansion.

Part of the courtyard behind the mansion.

Continue on through the courtyard to the back door in the garden and you enter the Place des Vosges with it’s fabulous architecture.

A waiter taking a cigarette break on the street.

A view down a street of the Saint Paul Saint Louis Church in the winter light.

Here it is up close. Lovely architecture.

Passage Vivienne

One of the prettiest covered shopping arcades left from years past is Passage Vivienne. So elegant and refined.

So beautiful.

I especially liked this corner. The doors to the left lead to a stairway and apartments. Wouldn’t it be great to live there?

A painting for sale in one of the shops. I’d love to know who it was.

This restaurant looked really inviting. It was still being set up for the grand opening when I look in the window. The designer shop Jean-Paul Gaultier used to be in this space.

Seen in a window. I took a photo of this years ago but have recently seen photos by others on instagram. You do wonder how the pigs got there and why they remain.

Leaving Arizona

I am back in Paris with deadly jet lag and a bad cold so I thought I’d post some photos from Arizona where I spent time with my Mom and had the unexpected bonus of having my gall bladder removed. (Thank you for all of the nice comments on that. After surgery, although I was very sore, I never needed any pain medication and after a week or so, pretty much felt back to normal).

Of course, there were palm trees and beautiful sunsets.

We saw many movies. This is a brand new theatre at the mall. The photo make the rug look like it’s undulating for some reason.

My Mom’s home was built in the 70’s and probably last decorated in the 80’s. She’s never touched this living room since then. It looks like a movie set to me. The glass on the chandelier tinkles when there is an earthquake in California.

This ceiling is in the entry way to the Wrigley Mansion built by the Wrigley gum owners. It was also owned by Geordie Hormel who, interestingly to me anyway, was once married to Leslie Caron, the French actress in Gigi. The mansion itself is mostly empty of furniture and is used for weddings and has a very nice restaurant with views overlooking Phoenix. It was considered a “cottage” by the first owners and was only lived in for a week or two a year.

I am very taken with the desert landscaping and wall decorations of the freeway system in Scottsdale and Phoenix. So artistic and creative. I was finally able to get a photo when stopped at a red light.

A look at the unusual rock formations down below as my plane left Arizona heading for New York and then Paris.

Georgia O’Keefe

While in Santa Fe we made a stop in the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. She has long been one of my favorite painters and the last time we were in the area we went out to Ghost Ranch where she lived, to look at the beautiful, unique countryside. The museum is small and easy to roam around. They only display 10% of the art that they have-that’s how much they have. She was from the East coast but visited a friend in New Mexico and fell in love with it.

I like her flowers the best.

She also did art from New York City. The volunteer there said this was painted late in her life and at a time when she was losing her eye sight.

I can’t remember what this was but I like it. Looks like white sand and a sunset to me.

I liked seeing her paints and brushes.

A look at one wall. There was a wall of picture frames that she decorated herself too.

Unexpected

Before I left France for the States I had been having vague abdominal pain, mostly in the upper right quadrant, enough that I went to our doctor at the beach. She said she could feel that my gall bladder was enlarged so I had an ultrasound and, indeed, it was enlarged and I had a stone. When we returned to Paris I went and saw our doctor there, a guy I pretty much respect as he always seems up on the latest things. He knew about the nightmare we had gone through in the States last year with the TB diagnosis so I asked him if he thought I should get my gall bladder out before we went in case I had a bad attack while in the States. (We did have insurance coverage this time). He told me no but did give me the name of a surgeon whom I should have gone to see.

Rainbow from the car on the way back.

So we were in Austin and I had really bad pain late one night. If we hadn’t had an early plane flight to Arizona the next morning, I would have gone to the emergency room but luckily I felt a little “pop” and then a little “glug, glug”-I guess a stone came out of the bile duct- and the pain went away and I went back to sleep. The next few weeks I had some symptoms but not major pain. I was hoping to make it back to France so I could have surgery as it was obvious that I shouldn’t have waited. We were in Arizona a week and then drove up to the Grand Canyon and then over into New Mexico. We weren’t  going to return until Sunday but a weather front was on the way with rain or snow and we tried to stay ahead of it sometimes driving between two storms with just a little rain on the car and we returned to Arizona on Saturday. That night I had pain that wouldn’t go away and at 2:30 in the morning I woke up Maurice and we went to the emergency room and had my gall bladder out the next day. The surgeon said it was very nasty and I should have had it out a long time ago-if you have symptoms it should come out. So, this  time we had insurance at least. The attack didn’t happen in a plane, on the road in the middle of nowhere, at a reaally small town in New Mexico but in the right place at the right time.

A double!