Au Revoir, Paris

OK – let’s see…where did I leave off?


On Sunday morning, Ben, Brad and Mark performed at the American Cathedral near the Champs-Elysees. I slept in (I felt I’d seen enough churches). I did end up taking the subway there to meet them. I got a tour of the church and we then went out for lunch at this charming little middle-eastern cafe just south of Ile de la Cite. There were all of these narrow alleyways with middle-eastern restaurants crammed together. I had a yummy couscous thing with chicken.


That afternoon, Ben, Brad and I did some more urban exploration. While walking by Notre Dame we caught a glimpse of the Hotel Dieu courtyard. This is an old hospital, but it’s gorgeous! This is the courtyard you see beyond the entrance:


“hotel dieu”


After roaming around a bit, we walked a few more blocks to Sainte-Chapelle – built over 800 years ago! The stained glass is phenomenal.



Of course, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Notre Dame.



So much for my claim of having already visited enough churches. I may not care for organized religion or services, but they sure do make for some amazing architecture.


We then hopped on the Metro and took it to Invalides. We got to watch some strapping young shirtless men playing frisbee on the lawn before walking along the Siene and taking in the sights.



That night we went back to Notre Dame to view a light-show they had advertised. My expectation was that we’d be inside the church (also around 800 years old) and there would be a light show reflecting off the walls and stained glass. However, what it ended up being was essentially a slide presentation with audio explaining the history of the church. It was interesting, but not what I had expected. We then got gelato and headed home.


My bedroom was actually Mark’s library so I watched a bit of TV while trying to fall asleep. A commercial came on for Mazda that made me start laughing out loud (by myself). In America, we have that “zoom zoom” commercial. In France, they show a department store employee strap some lingerie-clad mannequins into the back seat of his car as he goes from one store to another. By the time he arrives at the new location, he opens the back door and pulls the mannequin out of the back seat. As a result of the mannequin’s “excitement” over her ride in the Mazda, her nipples became erect and were sticking out through the lingerie!!!!! You’d never see that in America! I love it!


OK – back to vacation stuff.


On Monday, we went off to view the Eiffel Tower. The lines were so long I didn’t feel like going up. But I did manage to get a few photographs from the ground level:



We then walked across the Siene to the Trocadero, and then set off to find Maria Callas’ home (which we did). Then we walked to the Champs-Elysees where we had lunch. We then split up and I ended up walking around by myself in Le Marais. I took some pictures of some beautiful old areas:



“Le Marais”


That night, Ben and Brad went off to dinner with Bing Crosby’s daughter so I stuck around the apartment with Mark. He said he wanted pizza for dinner so I let him place the order. Of all places, he ordered it from Domino’s! LOL Still, it tasted better than the American version. He got me a 4-cheese pizza that had blue cheese and gruyere (along with mozzarella and parmesan). He then wanted to introduce me to more classic (gay) cinema and we watched clips of That’s Entertainment and then The Philadelphia Story.


On Tuesday (our last full day there), the weather continued to be spectacular. We opted to check out Parc des Buttes-Chaumont; a hilly park located outside the downtown area. It consisted of caves, waterfalls, bridges and huge hills.



It also provided some pretty spectacular views of the surrounding area – including Sacre Cour



I split up with Ben and Brad once again and continued my solo explorations. I walked further around Le Marais and Les Halles, then went to the end of Ile-Saint-Louis, climbed down the stone stairs and sat along the edge of the water overlooking the city (it was not by coincidence that there were some scantily clad men sunning themselves in the area).


That night, we all had dinner on Ile-Saint-Louis. Afterwards, we hopped on a boat that went up and down the Siene. It reached the Eiffel Tower just in time for it’s hourly light show. What a sight to see…and what a vantage point! We got back to Mark’s home sometime after midnight and continued packing.


Alas, it was time to retun to Boston. Our flight back was just as good as the originalo flight to Paris. Jason, our friendly flight-attendant wasn’t on this flight. But his female companion was and she recognized us. She introduced me and Brad to her new companion, Barry, and they continued to offer us free wine for the entire flight. I may be starting to like flying! he he


In conclusion, Mark has offered to let me visit him any time I want. He wants to continue exposing me to traditional gay culture (black and white MGM musicals and movies). I think I could grow to like this!


OH! And if you’re interested in seeing additional photos of Paris, you can find them in my Photo Gallery. Just follow the link on the top right.


 

9 Comments

  1. Comment by Underling on October 14, 2005 10:20 am

    Those are some awesome shots.

    Every time I go someplace cool where there is all this old architecture to admire, I wonder if the people who live there appreciate the beauty of the places they see every day…or do they take them for granted.

    I know there are event hings here in downtown Oklahoma City that I don’t take the time to appreciate and drive past every day without really looking at them (surely nothing as beautiful as a cathedral in Paris), and maybe I should pay more attention to the places around me.

  2. Comment by JC on October 14, 2005 10:41 am

    Those are great pictures, Karl. I am now even more jealous than I was before – I may burst. Did I not tell you that the Sainte Chappelle was breathtaking? Le sigh…

  3. Comment by Brad on October 14, 2005 11:04 am

    Correction here . . . Ben & I did not have dinner with Bing Crosby’s daughter, it was Irving Berlin’s daughter. Sorry, dear Karl, but your tiara has gone klinking and klanking down the stairs again! 🙂

  4. Comment by David on October 14, 2005 2:48 pm

    Welcome Home Karl!
    Glad you had a good time.

  5. Comment by Will on October 14, 2005 2:58 pm

    Hey, Karl welcome back! I am so glad you spent so much time just walking the city–the best way to get to know one.

    Amazing you guys wanted to track down Callas’s last home. If you by any chance took a picture, I’d love to have a copy (sometimes my inner opera queen just comes roaring through). I haven’t checked all your photos yet–maybe there’s one there.

  6. Comment by Ronnie on October 18, 2005 2:16 am

    More Fab photos and a decent into Domino’s hell, as a Chef I should scold you, but as your friend and fellow american I completely understand, hell I probably would have done the same.

  7. Comment by matt on October 18, 2005 2:37 am

    Pretty pictures!

  8. Comment by matt on October 18, 2005 2:39 am

    so, if you had dinner with Bing Crosby’s daughter — did you have dinner with the chick who shot JR back when I was a kid?!?!?!? Wasn’t that Bing Crosby’s daughter?

  9. Comment by matt on October 18, 2005 2:41 am

    Oh, I researched — Isabelle was in LA while you were in France. This saddens me.

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