Jul 16

Sarah: Paris

by in Blog

Paris makes me think of that Marianne Faithfull song, The Eyes of Lucy Jordan – “at the age of 37 she realized she’d never ride through Paris in in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair.” I am 48. I have now felt the warm Paris wind and, … meh.

Lucy Jordan’s Paris was about running away from her family. My Paris was about reuniting with mine after being separated from them for a month. Big cities aren’t the best places for kids. But, it was a mighty glamorous spot for our much anticipated rendezvous.

We had a lovely flat with plenty of cafes and shops nearby. The closest park had a duck pond. You couldn’t sit on the beautiful lawn surrounding the pond. Everyone was of course, until a gendarme came through blowing a shrill whistle and scooting everyone off onto the walkway. The most fun we had as a family was in the Jardin des Plantes at the Museum of Natural History, the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. It was beautiful AND you could sit on the grass! The kids could finally run amok.

Nadine and I had a fun girls’ day of shopping in the department stores of Boulevard Haussmann (I LOVE the fact that a street is named after a famous urban planner!). We saw the stained glass ceilings of Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. We marveled at the women of Paris who all wear painfully fashionable heels and flats. Even if our course American speech hadn’t marked us as tourists, our sensible shoes would have.

On a professional note, the urban planning and transportation system of Paris is excellent. Zoning and building codes have succeeded in making the city feel ancient and modern at the same time. If the historic buildings of the Louvre can coexist with a modern glass pyramid at their center, we in Travis County can figure out how to preserve the iconic buildings of our past while accommodating the new .

Narrow neighborhood collector streets open up to grand boulevards connecting neighborhoods. Cars are small, there are lots of motorcycles, buses and bikes and bikes and bikes. Women in painfully fashionable heels even ride bikes. Paris has self-serve bike sharing and electric car sharing stands, too. Although I missed seeing Copenhagen with Kurt and the kids, I hear Paris is working on adding grade separated bike lanes like their buddies in Denmark. Will some streets be designated for bikes only?

I’m glad I saw Paris! But, we’re all happy to move on to the fresh air and rolling hills of Tuscany.

6 Responses to “Sarah: Paris”

  1. From Ka:

    Awesome! Feels like I am there with you all. Post pix of Tuscany!!!
    p.s. Shel wrote Lucy Jordan, didja know that?
    xx

    Posted on July 17, 2013 at 9:48 pm #
    • From sarah:

      Shel was awesome. It’s one of my favorite songs. That man knew women.

      Posted on July 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm #
  2. From Arden Price:

    Wow Paris sounds just like I imaged it would be, was the shopping the best part? What am I saying of course it was!

    Posted on July 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm #
    • From sarah:

      What ARE you saying? Of course it was!!

      Posted on July 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm #
  3. From Omi & Opi Sauer:

    Darn, I should have joined you. I could have taken my 6 new pair of high, high-heels and ridden the motor scooters and jogged to the sights; after, of course, I let someone else use my scooter. If you go to another city, let me know ahead of time. I’ll send you some REALLY fashionable shoes by the designer SAS. You will really be the envy of all!
    O.

    Posted on August 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm #
  4. From Sofia:

    WOW!!!! I would love to go to Paris you guy are lucky!!
    Your friend from Argentina,
    Sofia Ryan

    Posted on August 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

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