Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Walk Back in Time

It's hard to believe that we moved from Norwood to Paris a little over 40 years ago when I took a job working for CHB (Compagnie Honeywell Bull) in their International Support group. Tempus Fugits...
So, now we are back in our rental at 40 Rue Descartes so we decided to take a little walk down memory lane.

Our market was at Place Maubert. It was open tuesday, thursday and saturday. Judy still remembers the first time she bought a kilo of peas and spent the afternoon shucking string beans. She would go out to shop most every day as we had a very small fridge and not much storage. Sometimes it took a couple of trips to the market to get what she needed. For the most part, she had to interact with the man behind the counter.
We lived at 24 Rue des Bernardins. This street runs from Blvd St Germain to the river and crosses the Seine just behind Notre Dame. It  has changed a lot in the past 40 years. The little restaurant that was next door, Chez Paulette, is no longer there. It has been replaced by an upscale place. The store front that sold the bags of coal and wood is long gone and replaced by a fancy kitchen supply store. The Tabac on the corner is now  a nice little cafe. 

Our apartment was very nice. After coming through the front door, we would walk down a short hallway, passed the concierge's apartment, and cross a nice courtyard to our place. It was on the first floor, or street floor. We had two huge French windows that opened on to the courtyard. The apartment was basically a large studio. The floors were parquet and the wallpaper was made of silk. Most of the furniture was antique Louis XV or was it XIV? It cost a lot but considering we didn't have a car and we were in the center of the city, it was worth it. The fixtures in the bathroom were gold plated fish heads. Quite the place.We lived very close to Notre Dame. We visited the church many times with friends and on our own. One year we went to Christmas Midnight Mass. It was a moving experience, especially the drunk street person staggering down the aisle with his bottle of wine spilling out of his pocket as he made his way to the front of the church. The park behind the church is a great place to just relax, read or people watch. If you climb the towers, you get a great view of the city and a close up look at the gargoyles.Of course, all our time wasn't spent in the city. We did venture out from time to time. After a couple of years, we decided to buy a car. We picked up a used Dyane 6 which was the ugly brother of the Citroen 2CV (deux chevaux). I drove it to work in Paris sometime, mainly to move it from one legal parking place along the Seine to another. But, it did come in handy to take some trips to country side. There is so much to see in France. Paris is great, but there is also Brittany, Normandy, Provence, Loire Valley, Alsace, etc. 

That's why we enjoying coming back here so much.


  1. Loved the trip down Memory Lane complete with pictures.
    Nice shot of Judy at the meat market with the array of tongue spread out next to her, and the guy with the cig in his mouth behind her.


    1. You can't get a good cow tongue anymore.
      I think the guy with the butt was stalking her.

  2. Oh my gosh, I just loved reading your blog Tony! That hot french woman....ooolala!

    1. Wasn't she, er I mean Isn't she hot!
      Still time for a long weekend.
      Tony & Judy

  3. Hi Tony & Judy,
    I tried to post a comment a few days ago but apparently you didn't receive it so I'll try again. I've been following you guys since day one and I'm loving it. When we went to Paris, we stayed near the St Michel Metro. FYI- Laduree on Rue de Bonaparte has French macarons that are to die for. A cup of hot chocolate there is thick as pudding but quite yummy. There's also a Hammam about a 10 minute walk from your apartment.
    Hammam at the Mosquée de Paris
    •Address: 39 rue Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, 5th arrond.
    •Metro: Gare d'Austerlitz
    •Tel: +33 (0)1 43 31 38 20
    •Open: Women- Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat, 10am-9pm; Men- Tues 2pm-9pm; Sun 10am-9pm.
    It has a very Morrocan feel to it and will provide you with a great photo op.

    On Ile Saint-Louis is a wonderful little restaurant. We actually went there twice because it was so good. It's called Cafe Med. 77 Rue Ile de St. Louis

    I look forward to your blogs every day. It's the next best thing to being there.
    Safe travels,

    1. Hi Diane,
      I saw your comment and replied via the blog. I thought you'd get some notice but maybe it only went on the post.
      Anyway, I went to the Mosquee last week with a group and did some sketching. See the post about it.

      Thanks for following along. We'll have great memories.

  4. Hi Tony and Judy

    I see you guys have been busy. Wonderful! Have enjoyed the descriptions for each entry and now I really want to see Paris for myself. I don't know if I could do the 88 steps but, as you say, you earned that baguette!

    Cindy Kerr

    1. Hi Cindy, you have to see Paris. It is just a great place. Wide boulevards, narrow streets, old buildings, older buildings, easy to get around, history, culture, beauty, what else could you want...


If you are comment as ":Anonymous", please sign your name so we know who you are. Thanks