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Welcome back to blogging…

December 7, 2012
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photo-8à Malakoff 7 décembre 2012

I am supposed to be unpacking from my seven week trip to the United States, but instead I decided to log on to WordPress to close out my blog post, and now I am writing an entry. So much has transpired since my last post in 2011. Tomorrow is the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the one year anniversary of Malik and I entering into a PACS (or civil union) in France. I am still waiting for the renewal of my second visitor’s visa to be processed so that we can initiate the change in status of my visa to ”vie privée et familiale.” I continue to pray that in time, I will be working in France. I pray sooner, not months later. I have been in the French social security system for one year, and I am anxious to begin to contribute my fair share.

I have numerous blessings this year… my cancer is in remission, pilgrimages to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence France and to the birthplace of St. Mother Théodore Guérin, unforgettable dining experiences with dear friends old and new, visits from and with family, friends and friends of friends, a century bike ride from Levallois to Honfleur, a Harley bike tour through Normandy and Brittany with my dear Rotarian friend Leon, frequent visits with Malik’s family, a seven week visit to the States to see family and friends, daily breakfast with Malik, riding on the scooter throughout Paris and our daily ritual of taking off our glasses and kissing each other’s eyes when we wake up and when he comes home from work. Life is good. Thank you God!



The last 30 days…

January 12, 2011

It has been over a month since I have written a post.

In the last month or so, I visited with my sister, Michelle, who came from Orlando. Traveled to Geneva and spent the Christmas holiday with my cousin Celeste and her family. Enjoyed the beautiful snow in Paris by riding in the Dominiale de Verrières Forest. Started networking and job searching in earnest. Revised my CV a dozen times. Applied for positions at OECD, LVMH, Dell abd YouTube. Celebrated the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 in Burgundy with Malik and his family. Spent time with Jesse Bond during his first trip to Paris.

Here are some photos which reminds me that I feel like a princess in France.

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Apparently, the part about my hopes for 2011 did not get included, which are to find permanent work that allows me to live in Paris, to continue to improve my French and wake up each day with a grateful heart.

May you realize your heart’s desire.

Bonne année,


Thanksgiving Everyday…

December 9, 2010

It snowed about five inches in Paris yesterday and the city is in gridlock.  Apparently snow of this quantity occurs rarely.  I am grateful for it and today’s blue skies.

Here are some photos of the Hart-Munier Thanksgiving dinner which took place on Sunday, November 28.  Thank you Cynthia, Rémi, Margaux and Liliana for your hospitality, introducing me to new friends and the delicious meal.

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My First (and only?) Rotary Club of Paris Meeting

December 1, 2010

Back in 2008, when I came to Paris for three weeks, I planned to attend a Rotary club meeting.  I did not make it then, nor last April, when I came to run the Paris Marathon. But  today I made my first Rotary meeting.

The Rotary Club of Paris, founded in 1921 has 260 members.  Members meet every Wednesday, 12:30 at the Dauphine Pavillion in the 16th.

As I planned how I would get there, I felt that this venue was familiar.  When I made my way out of the Porte Dauphine Métro onto Avenue Foch, it came to me.  This was the street where the Paris Marathon ended.   Days after the race, I ran by the Dauphine Pavillion.

Before I left home, I noticed that I only had 3o euros (39 dollars). My intuition told me I would need a little more and hoped they took a credit card.  I arrived to find that the cost of lunch was 60 euros (78 dollars)! I was in shock for a few seconds.  Fortunately, they gladly took my credit card and off I went to find a place to sit.

Oh,  and there was the formality of the Rotarian taking the money who tried to put me in a category. Are you a Rotarian? Well, not really. I told him that I was a member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis. I just moved to Paris and was visiting to see if I wanted to join this club. He gave me a visitor’s badge anyway, and I filled it out as if I was a member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.

I quietly asked one of the servers “where are the women?”  Out of the 100+ Rotarians, I counted five women.  It also appeared to me that most of the members were retired. I later found out from the club secretary that the average age of the club is 66.

The meeting started promptly and lunch was served. What was I getting for 60 euros?  A mâche salad with beets, a perfectly prepared ground chuck bourgeoise with steamed potatoes, carpaccios of pineapple and coffee.  Wines served were from Bordeaux.

The guest speaker was Hervé Mariton, French politician, deputy of Drôme and mayor of Crest. My listening comprehension has not developed enough for me to summarize his comments.

Rotarian Jean-Claude Amselle and me

The meeting ended at 2:30 and Mssr Amselle introduced me to Mme Catherine Beurton. She was eager to have me join so that I would lower the average age of the club.

First things first, I need to get a well paying position before I consider a weekly lunch at 60 euros.

Bonne journée,


David Sedaris in Paris on December 7

November 26, 2010

My dear cuz, Rachel (in Portland), gave me the heads up that David Sedaris will be in Paris on December 7 at 7 p.m. at the Village Voice Bookshop. Listening to him read Me Talk Pretty One Day is a riot.

David Sedaris’ new book, squirrel seeks chipmunk: a modest bestiary, is a collection of animal-themed tales. I’m sure it will be standing room only and hilarious.


What I Did in Paris on Thanksgiving Day….

November 26, 2010

Revised…too many typos!

It’s 00:59 on “Black Friday.” I just returned from an impromptu meal with the the mayor of the lower part of Montmarte. His official title is “le maire du bas Montmartre.”

My day started out with writing postcards and letters, calling friends and family and then I babysat for my host family, Cynthia & Remi. They have two delightful daughters Margaux and Lilianna.

While I babysat, I did my laundry (a perk) and on my way home with my bag of clean clothes I stopped at my favorite neighborhood Italian cucina, Tentanzioni.

The owner, Bruno, and his family greeted me warmly and introduced me to Guido Fiorentino, mayor of Montmartre (the lower part of it or so I think). I sat and had a glass of red wine. I did not plan to eat. Bruno suggested the potiron (winter squash) soup. It was finished with a little bit of virgin olive oil, the perfect dish for my impromptu Thanksgiving meal.

I am a planner and what I am discovering about myself in Paris is that no expectations brings forth gratitude and the most beautiful moments. I experience this daily.

He spoke mostly French to me because I requested it and told me about his life and that he lived in Montmartre since he was 7 (he is now 58). He said the Montmartre that he grew up with is dead.

He said he lives his life simply and without pretension. The impromptu Thanksgiving meal we shared together was a simple gift.

I feel close to humanity and perhaps it is because I am allowing myself to listen and be present.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!


Desperately seeking “une coiffure à la mode”

November 5, 2010

Last week, one of my to dos was to book a hair appointment. I needed a haircut badly, yes I was desperate. My friend, Erica, recommended her “coiffeur,” Patrick, at  Abat-Jour in Montemartre. I went in and booked my appointment in French with success.

Later, I mentioned to my friend Malik that I needed a haircut. He suggested that his sister Myriam Addou, who has a private salon in her home in the 16ème, cut my hair. Pourquoi pas?  I set un “rendez-vous” with her and canceled my other appointment.

Avant - Myriam and Me

It was the most memorable haircut. A scooter ride whisked me from the ”banlieue” of Paris past the Eiffel Tour across the Seine to the Tracadéro and into the heart of the 16th arrondissement.  I entered the spacious apartment to find Myriam cutting the hair of a handsome French comedien. He was ”a peu près” 55.

Later, I discovered listening to their conversation, that she has been his “‘coiffeuse” since he was 18-years old. She has a selective clientèle. I was surprised to see her giving him a dry haircut. Her hands moved with alacrity. In the middle of his cut, she stopped, made two espressos one for me and him and then went on her way to finish his cut.

She greeted me with a warm hug and kindly told me that my hair needed reformation or transformation, can’t remember which. She also mentioned that she had the pleasure of cutting Chuck Berry’s hair  (Gong Show fame).  Okay, I said do with it as you wish. I scheduled myself  for a cut, but as she performed the same Edward Scissorshands routine on my head I asked if she had time to color my hair.

Pendant - Me

This question gave her and I’m sure my Daddy great pleasure. The French are not direct people. What she wanted to say in the beginning was “honey, you need to color your hair.” We chose a color close to mine and off she went.

Here are the results and I’m very happy.


Après - Malik and Me

Every day is an opportunity to experience something new and be in the moment.

Grâce à Dieu.

Can’t forget…thanks Erica, Malik and of course Myriam!

Parc Monceau – 1k loop

October 28, 2010

Parc Monceau is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France, and was established in 1769 by Phillipe d’Orléons, Duke of Chartres. Designer, Louis Carrogis Carmontelle, lover of all things English, wanted to create an informal English-style garden in the center of Paris.

In this gem, you will find infants, toddlers wandering unattended, teenagers smoking and playing soccer, couples necking and centenarians strolling or being wheeled around at zazen pace.

The curved walkways make it ideal for running.  A loop around the perimeter is just over 1k.

Six Paris Prix-fixe Restos under 45 euros

October 25, 2010

When I was here in April for the Paris Marathon, I ran across an article in the New York Times European edition on six restaurants where chefs, all under 40, offer a prix-fixe dinner for under 45 euros.

The price of admission was right for my budget. I liked reading the food was fresh and not always so fussy.  So I attempted to dine at all six restaurants in the last week of my visit. Ambitious, I only made it to one, Jadis, albeit twice.

So my bucket list for Paris this time is to experience all six restos. Last Wednesday, I had a 9:30 reservation at Restaurant  L’Agrume. When I made the reservation (in French) the hostess said that I would be seated at the “haute table.”  Not sure exactly where my table would be, but understood that it would be bar height.


Restaurant L'Agrume - 15, rue des Fossées Saint-Marcel, 5e


From the 18e, it takes a good 45+ minutes to get L’Agrume (5e).  When I got off the Métro Gobelins, it reminded me of the time Walt and me had a 10:30 reservation on a Friday night to eat at Yves Camdeborde’s La Régalade.  It was dark and only a handful were on the street.  The meal was one of the most memorable dining experiences in my life. The warmth of the place, the friendliness of the staff and guests and of course the food.

I walked into L’Agrume 15 minutes late, apologizing to the hostess.  She greeted me warmly and took me around the corner to the empty seat at the bar which overlooks Chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi’s (FMG) kitchen.  The patron saint of food was looking after me!

For his prix-fixe menu (37 euros), Chef FMG serves five sources.  He started with a Sea Bream Tartar with Preserved Lemon and Wakame Seaweed. The tartar melted in my mouth and was paired nicely with the 4,50 euro glass of vigonier.  I pulled my camera out to start taking pictures.  The gentleman next to me asked me if I always take pictures of my food.  Come to think of it, only in France have I brought out my camera.

Then Chef FMG served a creamy mushrooms soup with salted butter (Creamy Cèpes Soup), followed by Poached Fresh Cod Root Mouseline and Dill Oil.


L'Agrume - Poached Fresh Cod Mousseline Root and Dill Oil


By this time, I formally introduced myself to the gentleman on my left, Gary from DeCecco, and asked him what brought him to Paris. He was here for an international food show.  He took a picture of me with my food and kept me company, ordering a bottle of Burgundy that went nicely with my next course, Roasted Farm Pork with Artichokes and Raisins.


L'Agrume - Me and my "Pig Course"


For dessert, Chef FMG, served a Roasted Pear with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Puff Pastry.  A delicate way to end the evening.


L'Agrume - Chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi whipping up dessert


I plan to back in December at Chef FMG’s table, and I’m bringing my sister.

Friends New and Old…

October 22, 2010

My dear friend and fellow Rotarian, Leon Mordoh asked me how many people I have met since arriving three weeks ago.  When I arrived in Paris, I only knew one person, Erica Berman (

In my first two days in Paris, Erica introduced me to Amy, Sion and Malik and I met Damary at the Georges Drigny pool.

I’m blessed to also have old friends from Indy who visited Paris these past two weeks.  My laptop died and Marcia brought my new one.  Thanks Marc!

Then, there is my host family (Hart-Muniers). I rent my 10×10 from them and they have graciously adopted me into their family.  Thanks MB for connecting me with Cynthia and family.

So Leon, I could say that I now know about 10 people in Paris.  Photos of friends new and old.

Me, Malik, Faith, Marcia, Leslie and Carrie - Jadis 15e.


Todd Maurer and me - courtesy of Linda Maurer