Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rachel and Kelly (and Mary) in Paris




(This is Mary again!) I spent some time with Rachel and her good friend Kelly, whom she has known since she was 5. Kelly is a dancer based in L.A. but was here in Paris on a tour. The funny thing is, she was in NYC on the tour last week, and Jeff and I saw her perform there! Small world, isn't it?

Anyway, the three of us had a grand time tonight. We all met up at Rachel's apartment, then headed out for some fun and frolic. We went to Trocadero for a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower, then caught the Metro to the Pigalle area (think Moulin Rouge) and had dinner at a quaint Italian restaurant, where the wait staff and chef were a mix of French and Italian. Wonderful food, including huge desserts (always a plus).

After that, we decided to see if this new Ferris Wheel was still open, and it was! So we took a ride, three times around. The photos are a bit blurry, but you'll get the idea of the view: all the way down the Champs-Elyse'es (Place de la Concorde is in the foreground), with the Eiffel Tower toward our left. Magnifique. I shot a very short video on board. Take a look!



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aujourd'hui










Here are a few photos I took today. (Click on them for a bigger view.) I decided to go on a very long walk this afternoon. The "Brocante" is happening again--we were here in the summer for it the first time this year, the huge, blocks-long flea market up and down the Marais, near Rue de Bretagne. Also off that street is a market called Marche' Aux Enfants Rouges, with organic produce as well as fishmongers, florists and other foodstuffs.

I walked through the Marais and noticed a few political symbols. If you look closely at the copycat poster of President-Elect Obama that depicts Pres. Sarkozy, you will see that "Yes We Can" refers to things like: "Create 3 million non-displaceable jobs" and "produce clean and durable engergy."

Also thought you might like to see an example of the teeny-tiny cars people drive here!

After strolling through the Marais and past the Centre Pompidou (modern building here), I went by Le Louvre (see Pyramide), then to the area near the Opera House (see the building with the gold statues). The Christmas Tree is inside Galeries Lafayette, a big department store. A cute French lady helped me choose a stylish winter hat. Sorry! No photo of that here. :-)

Tonight I plan to go see some city lights, perhaps on the Champs-Elyse'es, where the lights are designed to look like melting icicles. It's not as cold tonight as last night, and the sky is clear, so it should be a pleasant evening here in Paris. Just wish Jeff were here with me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mary arrived in Paris this morning

... and is feeling pretty exhausted. Those redeye flights aren't easy. The plane was half empty, which probably isn't surprising considering it was Thanksgiving evening.

It's now nearly 4:30 in Paris. I have already seen Rachel and her friend from NYU, Tia (who now attends USC film school). Rachel seems to be doing a bit better--feeling well and looking well.

I started the process of dealing with the bank here. And when I say "process," that's exactly what I mean. The system here is a bit, well, antiquated. In my opinion, France needs to update its banking procedures in order to keep pace in the world. Otherwise, people like us will switch banks to one with a more international focus--which is exactly what we did. The banker wasn't surprised at all when I told him, interestingly enough.

The apt. has, like, three minor things that still need to be fixed but could be done in just an hour or two, so I would say we are set for launch in about one week. Yay! Still haven't decided on a name, but we are zeroing in on a couple.

Will post pictures when I take them. The weather here today was quite cold. With the wind chill, it was about 30. Brrrrr!

One other thing: I have had to use my limited French skills quite a bit in the one day I have been here. The bank tellers didn't speak English, which was fine. (Thank goodness the manager did, as that's a more complex conversation!).

I also had to speak with a young man who, like me, was having trouble operating the front door of the building. The sensor wasn't working, so our electronic keys wouldn't work. Finally a third person showed up, and for some reason his key DID work--and then ours did, too! I was SO happy, because standing around outside was getting pretty uncomfortable in the low temperature.

I'm going to take a nap, then go do a little grocery shopping and plan my Saturday. A free day in Paris with no commitments--finally! I can't wait. :-)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back to Paris!

No sooner have we written the previous post, "Back in NYC," than Mary has to go back to Paris! (We realize "has to" is a bit presumptous!)

To make a long story short, we decided that one of us should go back and inspect some final work that is to be finished this coming week. Also need to take care of some banking stuff in person. Plus, we had enough miles on one of our credit cards to cover the cost of one ticket, so there you go.

This time, Mary hopes to have a bit more free time to enjoy the city and spend some more time with Rachel. The irony is, two of Rachel's friends will be there at the same time: Kelly, our dear friend from SLO, and Tia, Rachel's friend from NYU who now attends USC film school.

So Jeff and Mary's Excellent Adventure continues. The apt. should be listed as a vacation rental by the end of the first week of Dec., so we are getting much closer to the end of this very long tunnel. Believe us when we say, you will definitely know when it's available. We plan to blast the Internet universe with photos and information!

Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back in NYC

Recovering from jet lag and getting used to much colder temperatures, we are back at work here in NYC and once again managing the Paris apt. renovation from afar. We have high hopes that it will be completely ready to go in a couple of weeks. You can rest assured that as soon as it is ready to rent, you all will be the first to know!

Seriously, winter is upon us. Snow was forecast for today but didn't materialize along with the cold temperatures. Time to break out the down coat ... the farmer's almanac predicts a bad winter here.

Been thinking a lot about the fires in California. One of Rachel's friends lives in Diamond Bar (she attends UC Davis), and her parents had to evacuate. Seems very strange to be talking about wildfires in November.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"House Hunters International": It's a wrap





After many, many days of shooting--in June in Paris, in August in the Bronx, and now in November again in Paris--"House Hunters International" is finally a wrap. We have to wait about 8 months, yes, 8 months, to see our episode. But here's the final shoot crew: David Stein, producer (tall guy with Jeff); in other photo, Chuck (sound guy), Mary, Jeff, Fre'de'ric (cameraman), Mathieu (assistant--hope we're spelling his name right). Frederic and Mathieu actually went to school together as kids in Paris. Mathieu still lives in Paris, in the neighborhood of Belleville, while Frederic makes his home in Venice Beach. Chuck and David also live in L.A.

As soon as we know the air date, we'll be sure and let everyone know!

A few sights of Paris







We haven't had a ton of time for sightseeing, but here are a few photos we managed to snap.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some apartment photos!




There is still some work left to be done in the apt., but we hope it will be completed within the next two weeks. In the meantime, here are some photos of the Paris apt. We're considering the name La Toile de Joie ...

A lovely dinner



We had a beautiful dinner a couple of nights ago here in Paris. We were invited to the home of Laurence and Emmanuel Dousset. Laurence is the sister of Mary's colleague, Pierre. She and her husband made us a several course meal which, as you can tell by Jeff's position in the photo, also included some excellent, um, spirits! All of which were delicious, by the way--especially Armanac, which neither of us had tried before. We highly recommend it. And the food they served was amazing, including a rhubarb tarte, one of Mary's favorites. Merci beacoup, Laurence and Emmanuel.

One of Laurence's paintings--she is an artist--now makes its home in our apt. Here is a close-up view. It makes a lovely addition to the sleeping area. Sweet dreams!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bonjour de Paris!

We arrived here Friday and have been running around like crazy people, trying to pull together the last bits and pieces of the apt. before the House Hunters TV crew arrives on Tuesday. We will post photos very soon, but the apt. is divine! We love, love, love it. The architect/designer did a brilliant job, and it has everything we--or vacationers--will need.

We just have to come up with a name for it ... Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama Elected President of the United States


What a night!

What a victory!

What a way to tell the "leadership" of the past 8 years, Get the hell out and let us back in!

Congratulations to President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden. We can't wait for Jan. 20, 2009!

We voted!



Time to watch the results start rolling in ...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Are you following this blog?

We would love to know who's out there. If you create a Blogger account or already have one, go to the Dashboard and scroll down to the part where you can add our blog as one you are following. That would be waaaaaay cool!

You know what else is cool? The election is tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!