Life in Paris


I wandered around the Notre Dame area with a friend.

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One street away from Notre Dame you can find this restaurant. The exterior is always decorated.

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They really decorate it big time when Spring arrives.

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It’s always nice to cross the Seine.

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August is the month a faux beach is created along the Seine.

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A look from up above.

There are many little pockets of gourmet food, or at least French food, in Paris.

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This place sella charcuterie, which is items like sausage.

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A famous cheese place, said to be the best in Paris.

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At first glance, these cheeses look like pastry. They had one blue cheese with slices of apple compote made with calvados marinated apples in between sections of the cheese.

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Can you tell that this restaurant is near Notre Dame? Quasimodo is the hunchback you lived in the bell tower of Notre Dame in the book, hunchback of Notre Dame.

We made a quick trip to Paris for a birthday celebration and I got out here and there to meet a friend and wander around a bit.

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I met my friend at a Pain Quotidien in the Marais. I always like their food.

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These are some of the pastries on offer as you enter.

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But I waa good and had this called a Super Green. One of those healthy detox drinks. I don’t think it detoxed me in any way but I felt virtuous.

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We went into the nearby BHV, a great department store which had this map on the wall.

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And I saw this through a window while in the store. Parisian architecture is so great.

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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