Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saint Germain des Prés


Before the prison episode of yesterday, I passed by the Saint Germain des Prés area and I could not help but taking a photo. If you have been to Paris, there is a good chance you had coffee at Les Deux Magots, just in front of l'Eglise Saint Germain. This area used to be famous before WWII and until the 60's for it was the rendez-vous of the literary and intellectual elite of Paris. People like Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre but also Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso hung out there.

80 comments:

  1. Did you forget F.Scott Fitgerald, one of our boys?!! One of my 9th grade students whom I tutor is going to Paris with her mother during spring break and I intend to have her check out your blog in particular as well as other French blogs before she leaves. This photo is a classic.

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  2. Sounds like it was a pretty happening place. On my list of places to see if I ever visit Paris. Not likely, though.

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  3. Great Shot! This is such a great area to hang out.

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  4. Just finished posting my own pic at midnight and decided to see Eric's. Oh this is a privilege indeed! Two of my favourite authors are Camus and Sartre. L'etranger - from memory i think the first line is 'aujourdhui ma mere est mort ...' I have read many times in French and English and it moves me each time. This is lovely Eric thanks!

    Is that a real mackerel sky, do you think or has Eric photoshopped one in?

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  5. And you see SUCH interesting people there. We sat for hours in both Deux Magot and the Flore and enjoyed just looking at everyone!

    I remember the waiter at the Flore who had ben to New York, San Francisco, and...Peoria! So we called him Monsieur Peoria.

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  6. Ahhhhhh :-D

    Whenever I see pictures of that neighborhood, I remember that song:

    Maintenant que tu vis
    A l'autre bout d'Paris
    Quand tu veux changer d'âge
    Tu t'offres un long voyage
    Tu viens me dire bonjour
    Au coin d'la rue Dufour
    Tu viens me visiter
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés

    Il n'y a plus d'après
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés
    Plus d'après-demain
    Plus d'après-midi
    Il n'y a qu'aujourd'hui
    Quand je te reverrai
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés
    Ce n'sera plus toi
    Ce n'sera plus moi
    Il n'y a plus d'autrefois

    Tu me dis "Comme tout change!"
    Les rues te semblent étranges
    Même les cafés-crème
    N'ont plus le goût qu'tu aimes
    C'est que tu es une autre
    C'est que je suis un autre
    Nous sommes étrangers
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés

    Il n'y a plus d'après
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés
    Plus d'après-demain
    Plus d'après-midi
    Il n'y a qu'aujourd'hui
    Quand je te reverrai
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés
    Ce n'sera plus toi
    Ce n'sera plus moi
    Il n'y a plus d'autrefois

    A vivre au jour le jour
    Le moindre des amours
    Prenait dans ces ruelles
    Des allures éternelles
    Mais à la nuit la nuit
    C'était bientôt fini
    Voici l'éternité
    De Saint-Germain-des-Prés

    Il n'y a plus d'après
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés
    Plus d'après-demain
    Plus d'après-midi
    Il n'y a qu'aujourd'hui
    Quand je te reverrai
    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés
    Ce n'sera plus toi
    Ce n'sera plus moi
    Il n'y a plus d'autrefois

    A Saint-Germain-des-Prés

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  7. et moi aussi j'y ai habité, et c'etait java, banboula et tout le tralala...
    j'habitai rue saint andré des arts...

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  8. By the way, sorry I'm not translating that song, I tried for a few minutes, but I really can't. Someone else might have better luck than me with these lyrics.

    Soosha: On my list of places to see if I ever visit Paris. Not likely, though.

    You never know. You might win a trip for 2 to Paris some day when you least expect it.

    Last week, one of the senior citizens in the neighborhood called me up with a BIG emergency. She was really agitated. When I got there, I find out that the emergency was that she won an iPod at Safeway without even trying (they told her she won something when she paid for her groceries because she was customer number x at the cash register and that was it.)

    So who knows, maybe you get to win a trip to France and you might walk down the Champs Elysees or St. Germain des Pres much sooner than you think, uh?

    Have a nice WE and keep dreaming; there is really no harm in it :-D

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  9. Java, banboula et tralala... doivent sûrement refléter l'ambiance de la Corse maintenant.

    Nous avons eu meilleur de lui rendre visite à Terra Vecchia et le voyons pour nous-mêmes.

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  10. Tomate, what a beautiful song.
    Do you know who sung it? I would really like to hear it.
    Also, I didn't mean your numberplate was silly; "cute " would have been a better choice.
    I should defer to Michael, the master of synonyms.

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  11. tomate, I can dream, yes. If I ever did win a trip for 2 to Paris I'd be at a loss for who I'd take. Hubby has already firmly squashed the notion that he'd come with. I don't know what it is with him, but he refuses to entertain the idea of going to Paris. Guess I could go it solo and pick up some hotties in Paris!

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  12. m.benaut: That song was sung by many people, I'm sure, but to me it'll always be Juliette Greco's (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliette_Greco

    Yves Montand sung it too, as did Mouloudji (I believe) and many others of that era I'm sure. I'm not sure if it's in the public domain yet and whether or not it's possible to post or find a MP3 somewhere?

    It has a beautiful, nostalgic sound to it, or maybe it's just the way I feel about that song?

    Let's wait for the French commenters to wake up in a few hours and see if they can help us out with that. (I don't have time to do the research now, sorry).

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  13. By the way, M.benaut: what do you mean by my numberplate? I have no idea what you're talking about. Did I miss anything?

    Soosha: I'm quite familiar with the attitude. I've been trying to get a couple of friends to go with me for ages, but no go. I think they are afraid of the language barrier mostly and perhaps also afraid of the stereotypes they've heard. Rest assured that if you win a trip to Paris, there will be a truckload of people at your doorstep with suitcase in hand before you know it. Hell, I'll go with you! :)

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  14. Soosha...you can always go by yourself! You seem like an adventurous type of woman! It's always more fun to go with someone but I've done it alone....and don't regret a minute of it!

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  15. Tomate, thank you for that response. Vous êtes très aimable.
    Espérons les Français ne dorment pas toute la journée !

    My comment #47 on the 15 November, was telling Eric of the pleasure he gives us by introducing us all to folks all over the world.
    Some have cute licence plates, (e.g. POU-BEL), some love lavender, etcetera.

    As Michael kindly came up with French synonyms for "funny", I was implying a synonym of "silly".

    I seemed to recall that that was the plaque d'immatriculation of your 2CV on your blog, once, but I may be a bit up sh#t creek, as we Aussies say.
    En tous cas, there was no offence intended, but it sat on my conscience afterwards, and as well, because there was a bit of shennanigans going around with you-know-who mouthing off ,,,,

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  16. M. Benault... I'm definitely not the master of synonyms, but Synonym.com certainly is. Given what I found, I think your first guess was correct. "CUTE" was probably more appropriate.

    Here's what I found:

    1. cockamamie, cockamamy, fool, goofy, sappy, silly, wacky, whacky, zany, unreasonable

    2. airheaded, dizzy, empty-headed, featherbrained, giddy, light-headed, lightheaded, silly -- (lacking seriousness; "a dizzy blonde"; "light-headed teenagers"; "silly giggles")

    3. pathetic, ridiculous, silly -- (inspiring scornful pity; "how silly an ardent and unsuccessful wooer can be especially if he is getting on in years"- Dashiell Hammett)

    4. punch-drunk, silly, slaphappy -- "knocked silly by the impact"; "slaphappy with exhaustion")

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  17. TOMATE: You really had me working hard this morning. First I couldn't find the words to the song above in English, but I did learn that the title is: Il n'y a plus d'après [by Guy Béart]. I won't even tell you how long I looked for "Saint Germain des Prés" with no success...obviously! ;-)

    So, here's an excerpt of the song to listen to if anyone wishes. I couldn't find the whole version. But at least you can hear the voice of Tomate's recommendation, Juliette Greco.

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  18. I often can see Albert Cossery on the terrasse of the "Café de Flore" where he comes almost everyday.
    He is a 94 years old Egyptian writer, writing in French.
    I love all his books which are of equal quality.
    At least one has been translated in English: Men God Forgot (les hommes oubliés de Dieu), but it is better in French ;-)
    He is living in the same hotel room in Saint Germain des Prés since about 60 years (he checked in in 1945 and he is still there...).
    He could be published thanks to Henry Miller and Camus.

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  19. Wow Haxo...an author-spotter! I'm impressed. Of course, I'm sure you are someone quite famous as well...if not in the popular media, on PDP at least!

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  20. Being famous on PDP would even be too much responsability for me ;-)
    Tomate Farcie mentionned Juliette Greco.
    Juliette Greco used to live in a building on the side of "Saint Sulpice" (still in St Germain des Prés area), at the corner of the "rue Palatine" and "rue Servandoni".
    Michael, i am not famous, but i could have been a Paparazzi...lol

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  21. Soosha - hook into my blog for the latest whispery goss.

    What a beautiful song. i miss listening to french music, i have some old tapes but that's it. One of my favourite singers is Elsa. Is she still around and popular?

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  22. goss-ling? You have cute baby geese on your blog?

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  23. Yeah, I suppose I could go it alone in Paris. Looks like I'd have far less suitors waiting for me to make hubby jealous then I was hoping, though...bummer. Oh well, not as cute as I used to be.

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  24. so how about that sky then - is it photoshopped?

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  25. We spent alot of time at Les Deux Magots. Hardly a day goes by that we don't listen to Juliette Greco sing about Saint-Germain Des Pres as we are eating dinner. I have been enchanted by Juliette for years, since the fifties when she made an American movie for Daryl Zanuck.....I believe she eventually couldn't stand him. He apparently was a tyrant.
    The photo is a classic beauty.
    My wish is to see a concert starring Juliette. She did a few last year but never when we were near or around her. I think one is scheduled for Montpellier sometime soon. She has a style similar to Marlene Dietrich but Juliette has a much better voice.

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  26. Gossip. Hmmm. Might want to ask orientation before you get carried away.

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  27. A rendezvous of the literary and intellectual elite of Paris must also include Eric.

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  28. Just remembered. I saw a very good movie about Satre and Beauvoir on TV5. It was called "Les Amantes du Flore". I think I saw interior shots of Les Deux Magots. It seems funny (strange not HaHa) to be tied so much to France while living in Lexington, Kentucky.

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  29. lynn, don't you know Eric better than that by now! He hardly ever photoshops pics. Eric is a man who knows how to get a beautiful and thought provoking photo with nothing more than a camera, a fun angle, and a good eye.

    anonymous, does orientation really matter? I mean, it matters to the person who has the orientation, but it's not like a person can't like someone who isn't interested in the liker because of their sex. One of my best friends used to totally obsess over this very obvioulsy gay man. Didn't matter that he's gay, he was still a cutie and a sweet guy and all that!

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  30. very nice photos... beautiful city paris... its so carismatic... it takes so little to photographe her...

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  31. You know, I was just assuming on what you were talking about, anonymous, because of all the crush talk lately. If you were talking about something else that I obviously didn't get then I appologize for assuming.

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  32. Alright, being alone and having nothing to do on a Saturday sucks. And the day's not even half way over yet. The Wii had better be worth it!!!

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  33. > People like Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre but also Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso hung out there.
    Yeah, and now it's all loud Americans paying ludicrous prices. That place is a ridiculous travesty, and the Flore is only a tiny bit better.

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  34. LikeOMGitsthiscoolnewvideogamesystemanditsgonnabesofunitsgonnabelikewiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

    Sorry, bit too much sugar there.

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  35. It is that Paris literary, musical and artistic history that I love. Such fertile ground for expat creativity.

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  36. For sure, this place has lost a lot of its soul it used to have in the 50ies. But it is still a nice place to walk in, for everybody.

    I am glad so many tourists love Paris and come to visit it, because it is thanks to them that Paris is preserved the best way it can be.
    There were several silly projects (like the total destruction of "Le Marais"!) which have been cancelled thanks to the tourists.

    I am glad Paris is an open place to everybody, which belongs to everybody around the world.

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  37. OK Lynn I confess, it's a little Photoshoped... But only a little (and you're right Soosha, I rarely - very rarely do it - but in the particular case the original sky was grey, but boring grey...)

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  38. "the original sky was grey, but boring grey"

    Eric, don't you mean just Parisian grey?...lol
    I can't remember i ever felt Paris boring, whatever the weather.

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  39. Even though it is a tourist stop, the environment there is magnetic. Something about that space connecting the corner restaurant and the church across the street. I don't know, it's special, and that is why those people were drawn there too, I suspect. We sense when there is special energy in the air.

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  40. Destruction of Le Marais?!! What are they, f..!$!@#$ nuts?!!!

    Le Marais seems to have turned into that expensive yuppy neighborhood but it wasn't always that way. We used to go buy pastries at the ever so colorful Rue des Rosieres and walk around there when I was a kid. I don't remember les Halles very well but I know it was there at first. Then there was a hole in the ground. Then there were these newly-built or renovated expensive buildings around there....

    It seems to me that the "soul" of that neighborhood has disappeared a long time ago, as did the Latin Quarter's and other areas of Paris.

    Christiane Rochefort was a French writer who documented a little bit the changes taking place in Paris in the late 50's/60's in some of her novels. She may be a little hard to read for some people, because she tends to rambles on a bit, but she is translated in English and maybe they cut some of that in the translation? Anyway I remember, in one of her novels she wrote about what was happening around Les Halles, too.

    Unfortunately that gentrification phenomenon seems to be happening everywhere and it's pretty sad. OK, I'll stop rambling, too ;)

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  41. Well, good afternoon...I am just waking up! Yawn...stretch. Beautiful day here...almost Thanksgiving...my favorite holiday. Happy Thanksgiving all! LOL...just kidding (I saw an American make that comment on another blog..apparently oblivious to the comedy of it)!

    Yes Ruth! Just being across the street and having the view of the church is kind of amazing. Kind of magical...made me do something out of character...and I'll just leave it at that! I have a night picture of it. I was standing right in front of it before going into Les Deux so I couldn't fit all into the photo. By the way, the food make me sick a few hours later. Seriously! But I am glad I was there anyway. If you would like to see the picture, click on my name and then the "Paris" set. It came out well.Have a good rest of the weekend!

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  42. Michael: so it was Guy Beart and not Mouloudji. Yeah, that makes sense. I can hear his voice, too (in my head), now that you mention it. As far as finding a translation to these words, good luck. Some of the paragraph are not going to translate other than word-for-word, and then of course, the meaning of the lyrics get lost in the translation. Anyway, thanks for trying. :)

    Mbenaut:
    I seemed to recall that that was the plaque d'immatriculation of your 2CV on your blog, once, but I may be a bit up sh#t creek, as we Aussies say.


    You mean this car ? I'm sorry to say, that's not my car, just an adorable little car I saw and photographed. I still couldn't see a comment where you might have said it was a silly plate, but don't worry, no offense taken anyway. :)

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  43. Johnny Parson: if you really want to see some interesting shots of Old Paris you should rent The last time I saw Paris with Elisabeth Taylor. I didn't rent it for the story but to see if there were some intersting exterior shots, and there weren a few. The movie take place immediately after the WW2 and since it was filmed early 50's I believe the exterior shots must be authentic. You can see Les Halles (the food court) and you also see a couple of interesting street shots. They do show some shots of Liberation of Paris but I couldn't find out if these shots were original or made up.

    Audrey Hepburn also filmed on location in Paris a few times, a little bit later. The movie with Cary Grant called Charade shows the most exterior shots of Paris in the 60's and is kind of fun to watch.

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  44. Eric - kind of you to be so honest, you didn't have to be, about the photoshopping. Who cares anyway? It's a great shop. I enhance my pictures in photoshop too with contrast and brightness. I love the picture x
    Soosha - i wasn't meaning to criticise Eric, i was merely curious as to his methods :) i know what you mean about being alone - boring isn't it. I should do some work, but checking in here makes it a bit better. It is Sat. night after all. Who should be working? Thanks for your comments by the way.

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  45. I knew you didn't mean to critize Eric. No one ever means to critize their loooooooooooove!

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  46. It's funny (quirky funny, not silly funny) Tomate....I had never heard of Guy Beart, Mouloudji or Juliette Greco until this string of comments. Thanks for turning me on.

    And Johnny, I'm so impressed with your knowledge. Haxo might have to step it up a level to keep up with you!

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  47. Michael: I had never heard of Guy Beart, Mouloudji or Juliette Greco until this string of comments. Really, Michael? Well, that could be because the bulk of what they did as artists happened before you and I were born :-)

    I still got to hear it anyway when I was growing up in France, thank goodness.

    You may not know Guy Beart but maybe you know his beautiful daughter, actress Emanuelle Beart? :)

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  48. Lynn, 11,582,722 could be your stats soon.
    Thanks to all for yet another stimulating day in Paris.
    And for introducing me to Juliette Gréco; Tomate and Michael.

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  49. Tomate,
    I know the movies well. I have Charade on video tape. I need to see "The Last Time I Saw Paris" again. Michael, It is strange that I have so much of Paris and French Stars in my mind. I loved Danielle Darieux, Micheline Presle, and Patachou when they were young and exquisite. I just saw all three of them on TV5 in three different movies and they still fascinate me.

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  50. M. Benault - gosh i wish! Glad you went to my blog and noticed though thanks.

    Soosha - my loooooooove? he he ... giggle ..... he is SO NOOOOOOTTTTTT ? ... blush...

    Michael - and who EXACTLY turned you on? hmm... let me see...lol

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  51. Are others finding PDP a long time to load when first coming in? Film loop seems to take forever, holding up the home page. Or is it me?

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  52. I've been having trouble getting PDP to load too. Probably because it's been such a happening place lately, so many comments.

    *WHEW* Is it hot in here, or is that just the folks turning each other on?

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  53. Johnny said Danielle Darieux, Micheline Presle, and Patachou ...

    Wowwww, now THERE is a blast from the past!! Actually, I have Patachou in my iPod. I don't think I ever saw her movies, but she was a pretty good singer.

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  54. Tomate Farci said: You may not know Guy Beart but maybe you know his beautiful daughter, actress Emanuelle Beart? :)

    Uh, actually, no. Does this now officially make me culturally challenged?

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  55. So soosha...did you get your Wii? WE want to know!

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  56. Hmmmm, no, Michael, I wouldn't say that... It's really hard to know everything about the popular culture of a country during a particular time frame unless you were there, or have an particular interest and, of course, time to look it up ... I think what it really tells me is that you came to France after these guys were already artistically passé?

    But you see, I'm confused because about a year ago I asked on the blog if anybody knew the Gainsbourg song "Le Poinçonneur des Lilas" and Eric said "of course!" Now, that song must be years old!

    If it makes you feel any better, I only found out a couple of years ago who the "Adams Family" was, sort of accidentally. Hey, there is lot to learn when you get to a new country, and it's impossible to take in everything.

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  57. I'm sorry, I meant "that song must be 40 y old!"

    (Arrrrrghhhh!! One of these days, I just might post something without typos, but don't hold your breath 'cuz it hasn't been happening yet!!! Grrr)

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  58. The Adams Family? Now that IS popular culture (I use the word "culture" loosely here). We used to have words to the theme song that were made up. Wanna hear them? I knew you'd say "yes"!

    The Adams Family started
    When Uncle Fester farted
    It really is retarded
    The Adams Family
    (duh duh duh duh snap snap...)

    Ok, so I've really gotten off track, but your comment reminded me!

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  59. Michael: ROFL!!! OK, let's just say you and I grew up in a different environment, and leave it at that, uh? ;) I'll stick to my "Il n'y a plus d'après" but if you're really homesick and you wanna pull my finger or something, I'll understand. Ahem. ;)

    (And while I'm writing this comment, I'm also listening to Austin City limits on PBS... never mind the Adams Family; I think this country just has a different kind of culture (some of which I don't care for and some of which I adore, like for instance, USA produces massive amounts of incredible musical talents in many musical genres, all the time, and I just can't get enough of that, but OK, now I'm really out of topic...)

    (By the way, Note to blog owner: do not post any pictures showing any neighborhood where TomateFarcie grew up or hung out because then, she can't shut up!)

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  60. Soosha - wow yes it's hot, i bet you've had to remove a couple of layers! Thanks for your comment by the way; "I've replied." she said mysteriously...

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  61. Michael: Wont find out for sure til 8:00 am. It's only 4:45 right now. And now I'm singing the alternate Addams Family song. We used to sing that when we were kids too. And just recently I heard my BFFs 7 year old singing it. Don't know the age difference between us (you and I, not the 7 year old and I), but it's good to see such musical classics might never die!!!

    For the record: LOVE the Addams Family! LOOOOVE IT!

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  62. I just saw Patachou in "La Rhumba" on TV5. Tomate, you must get TV5 if you don't have it. She looks great but didn't sing. She is older than I, though.

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  63. I used to be able to get TV5 Johnny when i had sky. It was a way of keeping up my French. I used to particularly enjoy a programme called, i think, Taratata. Is it still going? Also i switched Euronews into French language which was great. I miss Sky ... :( only for those reasons.

    Mustn't it have been great to be one of those literary individuals meeting for coffee at Les Deux Magots, discussing this and that with like-minds? I can imagine such a scene made up of PDP contributors. The fun we'd have...! I miss Paris... :( ohhh i'm missing lots today! lol

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  64. Lynn,
    And don't forget Lapin Agile for famous writers, painters, etc. My life would be such a bore without TV5. I still have a problem with French comedy films. They are too slapstick for my taste. The period pieces are fantastic.

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  65. Agreed about slapstick, i've always loathed it. And Taratata - do you know it?

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  66. Let's not forget la brasserie "Lipp"
    where Francois Mitterrand used to hang out:-)))

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  67. A very good one Isabella...you're right!

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  68. Johnny: Tomate, you must get TV5 if you don't have it

    Last I checked into it, you had to carry the full cable package before being able to order it, and then also pay an additional $10-15 a month for TV 5 on top of it. I'm not sure I want to give all that money to the cable company on a regular basis.

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  69. I don't remember much from this area because it was very dark and I was VERY seoul :)

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  70. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a brilliant writer. I actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward for more updates. Great Job, Keep it up.. :)

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