CAFE TABLES ~ They're everywhere! Some are so small they barely hold two cups of coffee or two glasses of wine. The one pictured is one of the larger café tables at a sidewalk café at the corner of our street. This was our first cappuccino after our arrival. My journal is there, waiting for me to fill with thoughts and impressions.
TINY ELEVATORS ~ We rented a small apartment this time around instead of staying at a hotel. Much of Europe is known for small elevators installed in centuries old buildings. Here's the elevator in "our" apartment building on rue Bertholett. By counting the tiles on the floor, the elevator was 1.5 feet wide by 2 feet deep. We carried our luggage up in multiple trips. When I pushed our largest suitcase into the elevator, there was no room left for me to stand. So I sat on it, pulled my knees to my chest and reached for the button. Folks, I hadn't been in that position since giving birth to my youngest child. As the elevator slowly ascended, I prayed no poor schmuck would be waiting at the other end and get an eyeful of American ass. Calvin and I both tried squeezing into it once and I quipped, "Is that your flashlight or are you glad to see me?" We'd been shopping for some groceries and were holding the bags over our heads at the time. The door to the elevator is here.
SCARVES ~ I saw them on men and women everywhere. The French have a love affair with scarves, wrapping them artfully around their necks. Just to blend, I bought a few and practiced my scarf swing.
OPEN WINDOWS ~ Lots of open windows with no screens. And why not? There are no flies or bugs to buzz in. Don't ask me why. There just aren't.
COUPLES ARGUING ~ Oddly enough, I have a photo of another young couple arguing, taken on the same corner when we were there five years ago. Tears running down this girl's cheeks snagged the attention of this romance writer, my creative mind writing various scenarios of what made her cry.
MULTIPLE JAPANESE NUPTUALS ~ There were six Japanese couples married in front of the Louvre on a Sunday afternoon. I don't know why they chose that spot, but their exuberance and happiness charmed me. I stopped and watched their last minute preparations, at a distance, of course.
ONE OF THE LOCATIONS FOR MY FUTURE BOOK ~ This plaque marks the location of the original Shakespeare and Company run by Sylvia Beach from 1920 until the Nazi's approached Paris. This narrow shop, painted red now, was the happening place for writers, poets, artists and musicians of The Lost Generation. I have an American jazz musician, a saxophone player, who meets a lovely French writer in this shop...ohhhh, the possibilities....