It has become an annual tradition to visit Paris during Thanksgiving, the ending of Autumn and before Winter begins. The skies are cloudy, its often cold, and even snowing this most recent time. But its a great time to be there – to visit museums, sit in cafes and be glad that when I return to NYC – there is still some sun during the winter months.
During my mini holiday, I stayed with a few friends, and no hotels- as no work was involved here. I was in my familiar zone of the Marais staying with L at her charming little place on Rue de Poitou with the nearby cafe Le Progrés – good neighborhood place for sitting, drinking, and a bit of eating.
The Day of ‘Thanksgiving’ - Thursday, slept, had a late lunch and then Moroccan food for dinner .. some good couscous @ 404 restaurant, warm intimate place which is comforting when cold outside (next door to a popular bar called Andy Wahloo).
After dinner we thought about going to the VIP room because a friend of a friend told us about some great party and we could be on the ‘list’. I did not know about VIP room – but when I look it up it says “very important Parisians frequent this famous club on the Champs-Élysées where only the finest and most fashionable specimens are selected to pass the threshold.”
I also just found a clip of Lady Gaga performing @ VIP room. We drove by and line was too long.. too old to stand in cold. Maybe if I knew Lady Gaga was performing I would wait – but not this night.
So, we ended up going very close near to Le Fumoir – a cafe just opposite the Louvre. Nice place- would recommend. We had the special margaritas, 3 of them, a novel change from red wine..
Change is in the air. Soon onto new things and new challenges.
Being in NYC in Autumn can be a good thing. there is a great energy in November. Halloween, the Marathon, pumpkins.
The end of October was another journey to Europe for 2 weeks. 2 client workshops in Paris and Stuttgart, Germany and then another client presentation on social media in Switzerland. Spent a wknd in Zurich weekend visiting A (lovely city), Vevey stayed at a great hotel and Geneva for 1 1/2 day in a bland basic hotel room (too cold to go outside).
So. to keep blogging. to change the name. to live in spirit. to stay in nyc. ask and it is given.
47. There is always someone crazier than you. ALWAYS.
38. Drinking is like breathing. Or slightly more acceptable
30. The fact that one-bedroom apartments cost an average minimum of a half-million dollars means we think nothing of spending $12 on lunch.
26. Smart people are the norm, not the exception. (Which doesn’t mean they’re sane, but at least no one’s boring.)
25. Except in select ‘hoods like Park Slope and perhaps the Upper West Side, children are viewed as mysterious beings, rarely sighted and only occasionally understood, like pixies or magical small butlers. Until they scream, in which case, they are banished from the palace.
9. Jaywalking is an art form.
4. 35 is the new 26. Or is it 45? Whatever, age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, and as long as you’re younger than your IQ score, no harm, no foul.
Three weeks ago I was in Prague for a 2 day client workshop.
I arrived on a Sunday morning, walked the city – the bridges along the Vltava river.. and then to the Charles Bridge.. and castle.
I was half awake half asleep – my 3rd time being back in Prague – the last time ten years ago. Everything seemed similar on the surface. I did not have time to explore beyond, as Monday and Tuesday were in some random hotel full day conferences.
* * * * * * * *
And then two week ago, during the last week of September, after a 2 month hiatus – - I went back to Paris.
It felt good to be back in Paris, except I was picking up my belongings. retrieving stuff from storage and taking it home. It was rainy and cooler. I was there for work. but in some sense a closure or a temporary goodbye.
I stayed at a charming hotel in St Germain called Hotel Louis II. I bought some random art from a guy on the bridge.
And now, for the 3rd time, early October, I am back in Paris yet again. Yet again client workshops and meetings. I am staying at Hotel Duo in my old neighborhood of Marais.
After a month of ignoring my Rori + Paris blog, I may have a bit more to write.
After my week in Paris, I will continue to Stuttgart, Germany followed by Zurich, and Vevay Switzerland. 2 weeks of work travel.
* * * * * * * *
And then back to NYC – there is a new energy for me. I am more content. And I may even enjoy Halloween this year.
Its all about the energy radiated. (thank you S. the tarot card reader)
Yesterday B stopped by the apartment to pick up one of my paintings. It was interesting to see her choose which one.. the decision process.
It made me realize which of my works are better and why. a certain degree of fluidity, expression, abstraction, color palette.
And today I finally opened the box. and the paint.
My white walls which I painted a few months ago to cover all the paint .. will once again have paint splashes. The clean floor is going to get dirty.
Oil painting is a messy business. I wanted to leave my apartment clean and empty. but now that I have been back for a few weeks.. how can i not start doing some art.
Other news: Visa situation – no update. Paris situation – no update.
Supposed to go to Prague on Saturday for client work.
Thank goodness I am from NYC. communication works here.
I didn’t expect to be in NY for Labor Day wknd. But, the benefit is that I am still here for the US Open.
Every year I go to one or two matches at night, but this year I decided to try during the day. So I got 2 tickets (someone selling on Craigs List) and went to the Sunday session with N. It was a brilliant sunny day – not too hot.. just perfect weather.
In contrast to the US Open – I recently discovered that the French Open is nearly impossible to attend – very expensive and fewer tickets. The US Open tickets are $75 a ticket or even less – the stadium is also larger and more courts.
I saw a bunch of matches, some on smaller courts and some on the main Arther Ashe stadium, including Ferrer, Nadal, Venus Williams, Peer.
Even high up, you can still see – and the energy is high.
Beyond the Open, during this long vacation weekend (officially the end of summer), I did what many New Yorkers do.. I went to a bar and rekindled my love affair with vodka. It was a new bar/gastropub called Rabbit in the Moon and it’s in the West Village. It reminded me of Hotel Griffou, another restaurant/bar a few blocks away that I have enjoyed.
I also ventured to the MOMA on Friday evening, checking out the Matisse retrospective and my favorite regulars. ‘Radical Invention’ seems to me a bit bold as the title of the exhibition.
Surrealism. This art I truly love. Maybe I need to consider using words when I paint. Magritte is the master minder of the words.
And Picasso.. on my genius list.
… but looking at art only goes so far. Creation. Creation.
I am feeling restless and energy that needs to be directed outward. I need to do something instead of thinking about where I will be and what I will be doing.
Fck.. I need to read that book again.. The Power of Now.
Or I can watch Mad Men.
Anxious. I am in between two lives. I just finished a proposal. I envision great things. I throw the ball – but who is catching it. Maybe I need to run and catch it. (this is a scary resemblance to baseball ..no.. need a better metaphor)
Maybe it’s the triple expresso on ice that I drank this morning. hmm.
The ice coffee is crap here at the agency
- so I get the iced expresso.
Ok. triple is a bit too much.
maybe I go back to double.
What was I thinking?
Positive things to focus on. Pilates. I have been able to do that twice since back. my true love. I wish that was in Paris. with the machines. not just mats.
Maybe I need to make an appointment with the astrologist. It’s a once a year check-in. which way are the waves headed. I’m not really sure why – but it gives me a sense of forward progression.
I just spoke to an accountant. he told me how much euros I should make. but he is not the astrologist.
no peace within.
1 block from my apartment
The city speaks
Sun Sets on the West Side
Back in NYC since Wednesday….after a week in Westport.
Strange to be back.
Good to see friends. family. real drinks.
the city has not changed.
Waiting for VISA.
see you soon.. Paris?
Tomorrow I head back into some semblance of reality, after spending the week in Cesme, a seaside resort town about an hour from Izmir – on the Aegean Sea.
Every day it has been sunny, hot – 95 degrees +, but a refreshing breeze, particularly at night, and relative ease waking up early each morning as the sun blazes through the apartment and the sounds of chirping like crickets begins.
To the sea every afternoon for swimming, lots of sunscreen (50+)
and lots of reading, including Sarah’s Key, T ête-à-tête, Girl Who Played with Fire and the beginning of Human Bondage.
First two books take place in Paris and reading about Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauviour certainly reinforced my desire to stay there. It also increased my desire to write more, think more and care less about conventions.
Hosted by A’s mom, and hanging with the two Turkish sisters (A+A), I am lucky to have spent the week here. I have enjoyed being here.. the swimming, the breakfasts and/or lunches of feta cheese, bread, cucumbers and tomatoes, black tea, sometimes coffee, as well as the dinners and calm moments of doing minimal acitivity. Whereas last summer was a bit more partying, this summer, was less intense.. which was perfect for me.
A is also moving from NYC to Switzerland, so we both in varying stages of transit and visa processing.
My last evening is tranquil.. some good cooked food (metze style), and a glass of Reke (Turkish style Pastis – Sambuca drink). Tomorrow is Cesme-Istanbul-London-JFK.
I have been running around like a mad women the last two days trying to wrap everything up before I leave for vacation. I have so much work as well.. and no time. but I am stopping for 10 minutes to write. to calm down and get some peace. focus.
This morning I moved my stuff from the apartment into a storage place in Marais.
It’s just one more number I need to remember (between the storage in Paris and NY, the phone numbers, the access codes, the email accounts, the work passwords and accounts. Since I can never remember it all and change my devices so often, I now email myself everything..sad.. a life that is an email stream to one’s self..)
In the last week there has been an amazing transformation in Paris.
On Monday – August 2, the entire city seemed to disappear.. There was no one on the streets.. Everyone is gone on vacation. Usually around Concorde there are so many cars, but yesterday.. empty.
Today I started seeing some more folks again,. but.. yup… its tourist season..Thus the ferris wheel..
Tonight I will have dinner with M and her creative director friend B – who may have some career advice for me. Then, its off to Cesme.
I will not turn my computer on while on vacation. I will not think about work. I will not respond to bb messages. There is just one thing I may need to do – that is regarding my VISA.. if I want to make it back to Paris.
Although I sent all my materials via email with the attachments to the HR and lawyer – I have had no confirmation of receipt. I sent a second email today. I will send an email every single day until they respond. This French way of not responding is not acceptable for me. I am too impatient. I need feedback. yes . no. something. .So I will harass them.
Beyond that.. I hope to be blissfully in world of disregard..