Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

A weekend enjoying Paris

Monday, August 12, 2013

This weekend I wanted to take in more of Paris and was fortunate to be able to do so. With many of the Parisians away, the city is left open like a large museum for tourists to enjoy. On Saturday, we drove into Paris for dinner and then went to the théâtre (theatre) to see a comédie (comedy). We ate at a restaurant off of the rue Montorgueil. This street reminds me of Florence with food shops, cafés, and restaurants lined up on both sides. Besides the many people strolling down the street, the terraces are filled with people sipping drinks, smoking cigarettes (since no smoking is allowed inside) and nibbling on their food.

We turned onto a narrow side street to go to the Théâtre Melo d’Amélie to see a pièce de théâtre (play), called “Au secours, je l’aime!” My beau read the reviews on line and bought tickets for us. We waited at the entrance until everyone left the previous spectacle (show) before entering the dimly lit théâtre . After we found seats in the third row, I could feel excitement bubble up inside of me. I find it magical to have actors stand only a few feet away and perform. I knew nothing about the pièce de théâtre except that it was a comédie.

We thoroughly enjoyed the pièce de théâtre and can’t wait to find another one to attend. In the past few months, we’ve gone to four of them and have never been disappointed.

We made different plans for Sunday since the weather was so lovely. We began by taking a bike ride to the Parc des Chanteraines. The park was peaceful and quite large. I watched with envy as we passed up runners on the trails. I almost wished that we had come by car so that we could have run instead. We rode through the entire park and around the two small lakes to the other end where we could see the Seine and the Ile de Saint Denis (Saint Denis Island).

In the afternoon, we headed back to Paris so we could visit the Musée d’Orsay. I hadn’t been there since my mother came to visit me while I was living in Paris probably around 15 years ago. Memories of my mother flooded me as I perused the tableaux (paintings) by Monet, Cézanne, Degas, Renoir, and Van Gogh (all her favorites).

Afterwards, we drove to rue Thérèse in the 1st arrondissement where there are many Asian restaurants (mostly Japanese and Korean) to find a place we could have dinner. Even though I love French food, I also love good Asian food (probably because of my Chinese origins and California upbringing).

As we drove along the Champs-Elysées with the sun shining just above the Arc de Triomphe, I realized just how fortunate I am. I not only got to enjoy a park in the Parisian banlieu (suburbs), but also the théâtre and a museum in Paris. It’s nice to have such variety in one place, to be able to take advantage of it, and also to appreciate it.

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