Life in Paris


Phillippe Starck has opened a new place in les Puces, the famous area for buying antiques. I probably would never go there for a meal as it is very much out of our neighborhood but the party for Maurice’s grandchildren who just turned 18, was held there so I got to experience it. It’s not far out and wacky in design like many of Starck places are, and not a geisha to be seen, as several of his places have them. It had lovely old fashioned tile on the floor and had a sort of basic bistro look. The party was upstairs in a private area with doors that opened to balconies. It was a warm evening so it was great to be outside in the shade.

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We walked around the many stalls holding antiques before the party. It turns out they close at 6 PM on Saturday nights but we did see a few interesting things. At one time, in my former life, I had a table something like this. I downsized in material things and upsized in husband.

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I thought these giant framed medallions were interesting. I though a lot of the furniture and decorations could only fit in a chateau and wondered who bought things like that.

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The exterior.

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A look at the downstairs.

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Isn’t that a great floor?

Thank you, everyone, for the very nice comments on Lisa. Maurice and I went to the memorial service at Pere Lachaise to say goodbye to her. There were many people there, many Americans who met Lisa through blogging, and family of Georges and friends of his as well. I shouldn’t be surprised by how many people Lisa had touched either with her blog or in person. She really reached out to people and was involved in their lives.

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Pere Lachaise

I have to say the memorial service in a beautiful room at the crematorium at Pere Lachaise was very difficult. All of us were crying before we even entered the room. At one point I sobbed as I was telling Aimee Osbourn-Gille (look at her wonderful tribute to Lisa on Facebook) how great her photo of Lisa was, and the photos she took of Georges and Lisa when they first fell in love. I saw them as I was looking at Lisa’s blog and the photos in a frame were a Christmas gift to Georges from Lisa and as I tried to say this my throat shut down and I could hardly talk. It was hard to see her coffin, her mother, sister and niece trying to hold up and, of course, Georges. Two of Lisa’s friends gave really great talks about Lisa and how much she meant to them and Georges also spoke.
I hope the heart will go on, the soul, the essence of Lisa. I believe we continue on after death. I would love to get a sign from Lisa that she’s there. I hope Georges and his children will feel her presence too. Life goes on even when a hole is left when someone leaves us.
Here is something perfect: Lisa’s ashes will be scattered in two places. First on “Melon Beach” where Georges proposed to Lisa in Saint Raphael and secondly on the water under the Pont des Arts where Lisa and her friend got the “love” locks removed. So fitting. I will think of Lisa each time I see a bridge in Paris.

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This wonderful photo of Lisa was taken by Aimee. I think it shows the essence of Lisa-her kindness, her contentment with life.

I became friends with Lisa Taylor Huff through our blogs. Hers was called The Bold Soul. I’m sad to say that Lisa passed away yesterday after a very short battle with cancer. I still can’t believe it. She was living in New Jersey and had long had a desire to try living in Paris and made it happen. She was lucky enough to be able to work with a computer so she could live anywhere. Lisa came to visit us in Provence in the beginning of her time in France and I remember rolling along in my car showing her the lavender as we sang along to Celine Dion’s Love Is On The Way and I think it must have been prophetic because not long after that she met George, the love of her life. They married in New Jersey and they had a party in Paris to celebrate the marriage. I still remember that the bath tub was full of ice and bottles of champagne and the pretty green dress she wore, the same one she had been married in. So she became a wife and stepmother, happily going about day to day life in Paris. She even eventually became a French citizen.

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Last Thanksgiving we had invited Lisa and George over for lunch. The night before she called to cancel. She ended up in the emergency room with what they first thought was a kidney stone, which she did have, but it turned out that she also had kidney cancer which had eaten its way through her kidney and filled her abdomen with blood. Eventually her kidney was removed but the cancer had spread. They started her on an oral chemo treatment that she didn’t do well on, and then another. We were at our beach place when I saw on Facebook that she was in the hospital so we started exchanging textos. They were concerned with her blood work and trying to normalize that and she was also anemic so she was having blood transfusions. She didn’t go into detail but I think she was also there to get a catheter put in for more intensive treatment of her very aggressive cancer. She didn’t tell me this, just mentioned “other things” going on. I never talked to her as I think it tired her out but I sent her a little photo each day and a short message. Then last week I sent a photo of a flower and she just sent back a smiley face, an emoticon. The next day I sent a photo of a sunset but got no reply. I thought maybe she was busy going back home. The day after that I texted again and Georges said to call him. She was in an induced coma after a shut down of her respiratory system during the short procedure to put in the catheter. If she was able to start breathing on her own, she would only have a month or two to live due to the cancer now in her liver and lungs. She died without really gaining consciousness the next day. Her family from the States were with her as was George. It was such a shock-she was so young with so much to live for. Just heart breaking. She and a friend were responsible for the No Love Locks movement getting the tons of locks removed from several bridges in Paris and starting a movement across the world. She truly was The Bold Soul. I’m so glad she got to have the years that she did in Paris and that I got to know her. I want to be inspired to do the same, to make every moment count. Rest in Peace, Lisa. You will be missed.

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I love Monet’s home there in Giverny. It’s not huge or sophisticated, but warm and inviting.

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The house as seen from the garden.

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This room was new to me from my last visit. The walls were covered with replicas of his paintings and I believe he painted in here.

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Here was the window giving great light for painting.

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A photo of Monet himself.

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A view from upstairs overlooking the garden.

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The fireplace in the dining room. Lots of blue and yellow in the house and many Japanese prints and etchings.

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The kitchen.

Giverny is the village where Monet lived with his family and did his famous water lily paintings. I went out there via train and then bus with some ladies and we almost roasted to death as the temperatures hit 90 and above and it was very humid. I could have been in Houston. The next day it went down to the 70’s, our bad luck, but it was still beautiful.

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We went into the nearby Impressionist’s Museum first. No photos allowed which I found out after I took this one. It was nice to visit and they were having an exhibit of a lot of Degas took.

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The pond where he did so many of his paintings. He loved light and how it changed.

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The pond with a some flowers in the foreground.

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Loved the shape and color of these flowers.

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A water lily without its pad with cloud reflections.

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A view with a willow tree.

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The famous curved Japanese bridge. You can’t get a photo without people in it. Years ago I came here with friends. We arrived just as it opened and I rushed them to the bridge for photos before the tour buses and groups of people arrived. We arrived this time in the afternoon and it was packed, like the Louvre.

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The more formal gardens which were lush with flowers and bushes.

Rue de Buci is an interesting street in the Left Bank. I almost always wander down it when I am in the area.

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A pretty tea pot and cup in the window of a tea shop.

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Lots of places to eat and, if you are lucky, sun to sit in.

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Flowers for sale in special wrapping so they are in water and you can take them home like this.

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These beautiful roses were actually on Promenade PlanteƩ, in my neighborhood.

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