Sunday, October 26, 2008

New York upon Seine!


Even if it looks like this photo was not taken in Paris, it was! And more precisely, at the last Mondial de l'automobile, the big automobile show that just took place in Paris. They had a section dedicated to taxis from all over the world throughout the ages and I thought this was perfect for today [Sunday], as I am heading to NYC. The PDP party will most likely take place on Tuesday 28, around 5:30/6:00 pm. Stay tuned for the location as I still need to arrange this [with Alexa!]. Also, I'd like to dedicate this post to Lynn (aka PHX-CDG) because it's thanks to her that I am here today;)

33 comments:

  1. I love this cab and would like a ride. In Paris, of course!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, wow. I was first. That's because I don't have to get up tomorrow to go to work. Golden Paw!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Quite a classic automobile. ave fun in the Big Apple. Maybe I'll sms at your party.

    ReplyDelete
  4. P.S. The photo title looks like my typing now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's delightful, it's deLovely, it's DeSotooooooo. Remember that tuned for the car, Mr. Abe Lincoln? I do!
    The joke in NYC, is that your driver comes from the area of the world that is having political troubles. I love talking to them. I will always ask someone from say, Ethiopia, if they ever expected to know exactly where Bloomingdales was when they were growing up!
    The last taxi driver I had in CDG was Algerian( it was not , what you referred to as the"rude" Parisian driver you found for me, Guille).
    My most memorable taxi ride I had in Paris was routine, until after about 5 minutes, the driver's french poodle popped his head up from the front seat to turn around and take a look at me.I KNOW I was the more surprised!!!
    Thank you Eric! I printed the NY upon Seine page to keep!
    Enjoy your time with your fans in NYC! Wish I could be there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Have fun in our country, especially in Boston. I really enjoyed that city when my husband and I visited last month. There is a lot to see, and a lot of history. Make sure to just walk around the city streets.

    And may I be the first to say, Welcome to America!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Eric, love the color in this shot. It is so vibrant.

    I hope you all have a wonderful time in NYC. It would be lovely to be there as well, but I need to be here with my family. Have a wonderful time and know we're with you in spirit!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'd love to see you all in New York. Have a wonderful time!

    Congratulations on your GP today, Bibi! And congrats to you, to, PHX, for having a post dedicated to you. That's quite an accomplishment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is our last day in Paris. We are standing in the lobby of the hotel, all packed and ready to be shunted off to our country of origin. Our bags, bursting at the seams with mid-priced mementos and several hampers worth of dirty laundry, are sitting next to us, like taxidermied pets. Trying hard not feel the pain of our immanent departure, we run through our checklist of “things to do before pissing off back home”, as if being sure we haven’t forgotten to pack our toothbrushes, or to dispose of any tell-tale signs of our sexual activity, is any kind of consolation for going back to a place we couldn’t wait to leave, and which now holds no allure at for us after the glories of France.

    We are sad – very sad. Our faces, however, are flawless examples of “departure denial”, that odd little quirk of the traveller’s psychology that would have him believe in the magical properties of a stiff upper lip in the face of his impending exit. But exit he must, as his carriage awaits him, and if he fails to board it at the designated time, there will be hell to pay. This is why, despite our internal agony and agitation, we wait patiently for the concierge to finish dealing with another guest before approaching him and asking him to order us a cab. Delighted to receive such an insanely simple request - yet eager to ensure that we have settled our account in full – he attempts to process our credit card payment while ringing for a taxi. To be fair, his performance is Swiss in its commitment efficiency and accuracy, but Italian in its efficacy and precision. He makes a mess of our bill, which he has to recalculate from scratch no less than three times, and fails, after several attempts, to secure us a ride to the station, where a train bound for Florence is about to leave without us.

    The minutes pass. Our concern grows. Perspiration varnishes the concierge’s brow as he apologises for the delay – which, at the same time, he is at pains to suggest is in no way due to French, the taxi company’s, or his own personal incompetence. Non!

    All the while, in a laneway next to the hotel and clearly visible over the concierge’s shoulder, a man is tinkering beneath the hood of his car on an engine he is clearly on very bad terms with. What’s more, he seems unable to find the right words to heal this rift, and although there are a few splutters and chugs from his estranged petite ami, there is nothing about his efforts that might convince an idle observer they will ever again tootle around the City of Light with the intimacy they once enjoyed. In short, he is the very model of a modern major dilemma – the immigrant taxi driver, whose undeniably valiant and highly commendable efforts to succeed are only surpassed by his pitifully cuckoo belief that the aging motor of a twenty-year old Peugeot can be kept running with nothing more than the mechanical expertise of a shepherd.

    You can imagine what my reaction must have been when our floundering friend behind the counter suggests, after a furtive and quite frankly panicked, glance at the gentleman I have just described, that he may have a solution to our problem. “Point is,” I think, “do you have a solution to his?” He doesn’t hear this thought, which I stifle in the interests of international diplomacy – and, of course, a quick get away.

    Within seconds, it seems, we have been bundled into this man’s cranky car and, after a set of rushed instructions that we aren’t sure he’s entirely digested, we find ourselves hurtling through the late afternoon traffic in what, at times, feels like a replay of a scene from ‘The French Connection’. Which is extremely apt, given that the aim of our death-defying journey is to connect with a train at the Gare du Nord.

    Having no knowledge of France’s road laws, I can’t tell how many of them we broke. All I can say is that after a hair-raising fifteen minutes of lurching and weaving we were delivered to our destination intact. In fact, the truly amazing part of this manic escapade was not that we survived, but that our erstwhile driver, who appeared to have less muscle on his bones than a Sudanese refugee, was able to leap and bound ahead of us, our luggage in hand, with all the grace and agility of a rocketing gazelle. Clearly, while he knew about automobiles, he knew a lot about haulage and sprinting.

    I can only hope that, in the intervening years, he has persevered and prospered. Because of him, we made it to Florence (and beyond) as planned. More importantly, he gave us what all travellers pray for at journey’s end – a story worth remembering.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Clearly, while he knew *little* about automobiles, he knew a lot about haulage and sprinting."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Looks like one of the wonderful old dolmus (shared taxis) of Istanbul.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well written Lucio. I thought early on that you were actually in the hotel lobby right now.

    I don't remember these taxis, but I bet they were something to see on the streets at the time.

    We changed time here in France last night, so we gained an hour's sleep. I always remember mom telling me how to know which way to turn the clocks: (in) Fall back, (in) Spring ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Petrea/Michael: Thanks.

    I probably shouldn't have posted the first draft, but I felt that if I didn't, I would only keep tinkering, and end up not posting it at all. As it is, I did something I promised myself I wouldn't do. In the spirit of Dame Nellie Melba's endless farewell tours, I tidied it up and added it to 'Voltaire's Monkey'. As they say, if you want God to laugh, tell him your plans. To which I would add, if you want him to cry, ask what his are.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd love to go to New Yor !

    What a great shot to entice us all over there. If only.

    The PDP party huh? I'm so jealous. We need pics of course in the usual Eric style. I hope you have a wonderful time there Eric. Can't wait to see the photos. I do hope you will show us some, even though this is Paris DP? Perhaps if that offends your 'correct' metre, you could put some of NYC on the making of? I'd really love to see them.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great story, Lucio, though I too thought you were in Paris! I couldn't believe I'd missed your Paris tales.

    Michael that's a good way of remembering. Only, now I have to remember to call if Fall and not Autumn. lol.... ahhh we Engleeeesh.

    I don't actually feel like I've had an extra hour, Michael (whine). I put the clocks back last night but I reckon it's better to do it in the morning, don't you?

    ReplyDelete
  16. call it, not call if! See? I'm still snoozy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. When I read the title of this entry, I expected to see the little Statue of Liberty! What a groovy car.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Eric, love the photo.

    Lucio, love you words and the way they flow from your mind to capture our imaginations! I'm sad to say I suffered from that aweful departure denial yesterdayand I wasn't even the one leaving! *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wondered if the time change was going to come as I was flying in. We're changing in the States on the 2d, so, thankfully both will be done before I'm in the air.

    Congrats on GP Bibi and thanks for the traveler's tale, Lucio. (That reminds me of a book series I want to plug here -- they're wonderful, chock full of vignettes -- each book about a different city or country and published under the name Traveler's Tales Series. You start with Paris, of course!)

    ReplyDelete
  20. That is just gorgeous !!! Safe travels and be sure to eat a groovy slice of US pizza : )

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anyone sciencey here? I just felt a quake an hour ago. Er. I think. lol! Very slight of course. So if you're science-minded, pop over to the real-time graph at my Cheltenham blog - see if you agree with my reading. Did anyone else feel anything in Paree?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ok stand down LOL ! it was a small quake, yes. 3.6

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lynn~~~I just checked my earthquake thingy on my homepage and it shows France and UK both had earthquakes. 3.something.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oooh a post dedicated to PHX! Very well deserved!!! Hope you all have fun in NY.

    LYNN (UK): I just sent you an email.. check your mail box later.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Lynn: I figured it might have more impact if it weren't written in the past tense.

    Soosha/Carrie: Very kind of you to say so.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Gramma Ann, yes 3.6 in England, epicentre just 28 miles from where I live. Don't know about France yet.

    Monica, great! I love emails from you!

    Lucio yes I liked the immediacy of it that way, I think your choice was just right. Hooked us all in!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Lovely writing from Lucio!

    I can't see the pictures for some reason tonight but thought I'd say hello anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lynn: As you know, when it comes to writing, experience is valuable, but instinct is priceless.

    Mme Benaut: Needless to say, when it comes to writing, skills are useful, but readers are indispensable.

    ReplyDelete
  29. That is a great looking car! I can't remember a NYC cab looking that clean or that beautiful but maybe they do exist? After all, if you can find a friendly Parisian, maybe you can find a gorgeous, spotless cab like this one in the great city of NY ;)

    ReplyDelete