That Red Clay

I don’t think there is a more stunning place to watch tennis than Roland Garros, home of the French Tennis Open even if the surface is no longer really red clay but crushed red bricks over white limestone. Maurice and I both like to watch tennis although neither of us play anymore and have been to Roland Garros quite a few times since moving here (and I’ve posted about it serveral times too). Seeing that red clay surface while sitting in the green stands is a great feeling when you have watched televised matches for years. I haven’t been to Wimbledon yet but would like to one of these years. The tennis got rained out the day before I went but there was sunshine for me, thank goodness.

You see this sculpture as you near one of the big stadiums. I am sure people living then would be really surprised if they could see what the women players are wearing now.

A view of some of the grounds as you look down from one of the stadiums. There is talk of moving the French Open elsewhere as the players are complaining that it is too small. I personally would hate to see that happen. Versailles or the area out by Disney Paris have been mentioned as possible places but I read that the Paris mayor hopes to get permission for the grounds to be enlarged. It is along side a very beautiful park and they don’t want to give up their land. Plus, what would they do with Roland Garros once the tennis open wasn’t there?

The view from my seat.

Some of the people working there wore the cutest outfits. I thought they looked like something out of the 20’s. I especially liked the shoes that the women wore.

Serena Williams serving. She won this match and is still in the Open but her sister, Venus, has been defeated. Venus was wearing a rather controversial outfit which she designed that looked sort of like a corset with a skirt and had lace. What had the photographers (male) interested was her fleshed toned tennis panties underneath which gave the illusion that nothing was there-which she said was her intent. I think there were more comments on what she was wearing than how she played.

Never Again

Paris is always having displays of this and that around the city. Some of the largest ones are done on the Champs Elysees. They actually close the avenue and put up various exhibits. The best one I saw was ancient engines from trains. Last year I tried to see the Chinese New Year parade as it went down the Champs. It was a year of a China and France cultural exchange and that year the parade was to be full of people and objects from China. The only problem was that there were so many people that I couldn’t see a thing. It was so crowded that it felt dangerous-if you fell you would be squashed like a crepe. I finally left with not one photo. So this year the Champs was closed again this time with gardens and flowers. The temperature was in the 80’s at three in the afternoon by the time my friend and I got there and, once more, there were so many people that it was crazy. I saw some grass and that was about it. There may have been flowers but we decided to leave after a short time and take off down a side street to catch a bus back home. I’ve decided to skip this type of thing from now on. As my friend said, “Parisians really love their city and they love these types of events”. I think I will be happy just to come upon one accidentally in another area of Paris with just a few people milling around which has happened to me before.

Here’s the first display we came to. You can see the Arch de Triumph in the distance. It was to celebrate gardens and growing things I think. I wish I could have gotten there early in the morning.

There is a large Adidas store on the Champs Elysees and the French Tennis Open is going on now so they had these tennis balls “smashing” into the building. I liked it.

Monoprix also got into the act with a floral and greenery display.

On the way to the bus stop we passed this famous restaurant. Very high prices as you might expect. I think I enjoy meals at simpler places although I wouldn’t pass up an offer of a free meal here.

You Never Know

You never know what you will see up on Montmartre. There are always interesting people milling around and events going on.

This lady has been performing with her accordian there for years. I think she started when she was a little girl. As you can see, she has added not only a costume but some decorative background things as well. She has CDs that you can buy too.

There was a Perigord festival going on. I knew that area of France was known for it’s geese and foie gros but the walnut thing surprised me. These men must be part of a walnut society. I liked the little walnuts on their heads and shoulders.

There is a little cemetery next to the little St Pierre church that is only opened on November First. If you press you nose against the gate and look to the right you can see a small moulin (windmill) on top of one of the tombs there.

Inside St Pierre is this statue of Saint Vincent made of wood. He is the patron saint of those who plant vines and make wine. Montmartre was once covered in vineyards-windmills too.

Paris Potpourri

I’m back in Paris and was out and about yesterday and I have to say I even felt hot. There was sunshine and blue skies and the temperatures got up into the seventies. Hard to beat that. Here is a mix of a few photos I took yesterday.

That tunnel of trees that I love in Palais Royal.

That tunnel at the Louvre leading to the pyramid. My camera was set wrong and too much light is in the photo but I sort of like the result.

Up in Montmartre, an artist’s palette.

An artist at work.

And now I must start going through the apartment and start getting rid of things that I don’t want to move. Why is there so much of it? Read my blog post called Changes is you are wondering what I’m talking about. I am indeed moving to another apartment. Lots of work ahead.


Well, I am trying to carry on with my life sans the Internet. It just seems so strange to not be able to sit down every morning and do my usual routine of reading the news online and then my favorite blogs. I can look at a few of them but am unable to leave comments for some reason. We are on our way to Paris this Tuesday where I will hopefully still have an Internet connection and surely by the time we return in a few weeks everything will be up and running.
Before I went to India I had made and saved a few short posts using some of my favorite photos from years past. This is one of them.

This statue is in front of the Hotel de Ville. Someone had placed a neckclace on her made of an old tire. I sort of liked it.

Stilts—Finally Able to Post

I’m finally able to post in a round about way. Something is wrong with our usual Internet and phone lines but, via Maurice’s IPhone I am able to get online. They told us our line should be fixed by the 17th. It just takes longer to get things done out in the boonies. In the meantime, here is a post I saved a couple of months ago.

You never know what you will see in a big city. I’m always coming upon things that surprise me. One surprise were these men on their stilts. There is a big Celtic/Breton gathering in Bercy Park coming up and I think these men were going to be part of that but on this day there were in front of the Hotel d’Ville.

Here they are in their colorful outfits.

They had drummers to give them a beat.

They weren’t there just to walk around but instead they were trying to knock the other guy off of his stilts. One guy went down with a bang on the hard cement. Notice that you don’t see any women there doing this. The women I know wouldn’t do this because they don’t want to hurt themselves. I still remember my male cousins jumping off of a high set of steps and then doing one of those rolls in the dirt like a soldier when they hit the ground. There was no way I would do that. First of all, I didn’t want to hurt myself. Secondly, I didn’t want to get dirty. Just a couple of differences between boys and girls.