Friday, May 08, 2009

Lunch at Les Invalides

In Paris it's prohibited to walk on the grass in most of public gardens. Therefore the only option you have when it's sunny outside and want to take advantage of the nice weather, is to sit on a bench or go to one of the woods in the suburbs. That is unless you know the secret places! Like l'Esplanade des Invalides where I took this photo today around lunch time. It was a beautiful day yesterday as, apparently, next Thursday (the day of the PDP Picnic) will be - well according to the forecasts...


  1. Ah what a fun photo of this guy eating lunch on the grass. Beautiful green grass! Dejeuner sur l'herbe and all that. Hope the sunny weather holds for the big picnic next week!

  2. What a fresh perspective of Pairs.I like this one of the guy eating his lunch all indian I wonder what he's reading?? *hmmm* wonders
    It looks like other people are enjoying their day too in the park.

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  4. We love that park. Wish i could be there right now.

  5. Well I think, although you can't really see who he is, I know it. He reminds me a lot of Nicolas S. (don't wanna reveal him ;o)), non?
    Didn't know he's so down-to-earth!

    I love your blog Eric! :o)

  6. Hi Eric, just to say hi and also that I thought the picnic will be on next wednesday and not thursday, won'it?? Not that I'll come, because i have my incognito status to protect (pffff) :) but I keep myself informed!!!

  7. Just wanted to say, I ran into your blog right after a trip to Paris, and I love seeing your photos everyday. It makes me so happy and bring back great memories...thank you!

  8. My goodness that's a handsome man. Well he is! He's making me hungry too, the way he's attacking that lunch. His shirt is a good one, I'd venture it's a YSL.

    I have never understood the Paris rule of don't step on the grass. What's all that about? I can understand formal gardens, but stretches of.... lawn? It's MEANT to be sat upon! Laid upon, played upon, cuddled on with a lover...that's what it's there for! ... isn't it? :0

  9. An inviting photo, Eric! Yes, Lynn, even with a little pixellation, that man looks handsome. And I agree about the grass. Liberate the Lawns! A lush patch of couch is romance waiting to happen!

    Katie, congrats, GF! So what's it to be? Some miniature gourmet sandwiches? Ken dolls? Mondo grass tufts?

  10. The older I get, the less inclined I am to sit on the ground. I'll take that bench, S.V.P.

    However, if this gent was to ask me to sit with him, I may reconsider.


    These words always made me very sad. Good shot, Eric!

    I love this shot. It is a sight for sore eyes from where I'm sitting right now ;)

  12. I'm with ET Suzie, by the way. Sitting on the ground, tsk, tsk, tsk... Sitting is OK, actually, it's the getting up that's unpleasant! ;)

  13. Ken dolls! he he....

    Yes Katie GF! Yay.
    Suzy I'm rather reluctant to be on the ground too, unless for a very special reason indeed. I quite agree ;)

  14. Depending on what I'm wearing, I don't mind sitting on the grass at all. It's a nice place for le dejeuner. Especially a Paris lawn.

    Such a warm, happy photo, Eric. Merci.

  15. I see a man getting burnt retinas. But it does look lovely out there.

  16. Is 'stay off the grass' one of those rules they post but don't enforce unless a lot of people are doing it? Like US speeding laws!

    Why this man is French- He is obviously enjoying his sandwich, he is still wearing his tie, he is reading, his jacket is neatly folded next to him.

    Looks like spring!

  17. Oh my!!
    I have walked on, sat down, nearly rolled over, and took a picture on this same grass and I didn't even know it is one of the "secret places"!

  18. One more way I know he's French- his hair is long enough that it moves in the wind! Horray for men!

  19. Hey, watch out for the moutarde dripping on your ... tie! Ah, too late, but who cares, it's such a lovely day to bask in the sun. I think I'll order a thinly smoked slice of that heaven and introduce it to some cheese, lettuce, tomate, and bread and join this suitless suit. :-)

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  21. I agree with Anonyme , I think he looks like Sarkozy.. Could it be?

    I'd love to be sitting on the grass in Paris reading the paper and eating a sandwich or better yet, a crepe.

  22. Uh, Karen, your cat looks like Miss October.

    I never knew certain grass was forbidden to walk on. I just knew I got looks when I Jaywalked.

  23. Shell: "A lush patch of couch is romance waiting to happen" & Monica: "nearly rolled over." WOW! Just WOW!

  24. Mon Dieu!! I too thought it was Monsieur le President having a pique-nique on the "pelouse interdite"...LOL!!

  25. Yeah, so did I! He does look a little bit like Sarko.

  26. The lawns are forbidden at certain times to allow them to rejuvenate. Seriously, grass that is open for seating and playing all the time get ragged looking fast. Right now there are lots of lawns available for picnicking in Paris.

  27. A wonderful moment in Paris - love it, Eric. Dan was in the park yesterday as he explored city on foot. What a gorgeous day for it.

    Looking forward to telling you about our week tomorrow night at Cafe de Flore!

  28. Paris someday...

    At first I thought he was waiting for someone special, but it was my mistake. Waiting has been on my mind a lot lately, but not anymore. What a lovely spot to have lunch on a nice and sunny day. Bon Weekend ~ Z

  29. No they enforce the rules. I found it funny when I was in le Jardin du Luxembourg and there was a guard who told me to get off the grass when all I wanted was to get a better view of one of the gorgeous sculptures. We don't have a problem with grass growing in our parks here in Canada so I'm not sure why they have this rule.

  30. Anonyme life's too short to wait ;)

    The only thing I can criticise about this lovely man is that he should folded his lovely jacket inside out.

  31. should HAVE. He can criticise me for not proof reading.

  32. From Cali, don't get any ideas! It's just that I have this thing, when I'm in a park or in a field of grass like this I feel like running, jumping, rolling over etc!

    It's the child inside of me that always comes back in occasions like this!

  33. Monica: that is exactly what I was thinking! ;)
    I always want to kick off my shoes and feel the grass beneath my feet!

  34. I'd like to say something ... About this man that I'm picturing somewhere in Paris, enjoying his week-end. Did he notice the woman almost back to back to him? I'm leaving these words in the train and the landscape running through my eyes is really lovely, green and light, with a lot of animals, eating the grass.
    Paris is in my mind though! And this nice guy too or is it another I'm missing? Hm... That's it!

  35. Precious little moments like this is what makes life so lovely...

  36. Nice comment Jackie! Yes, there's a story waiting to be written regarding the lady with her back to him.... hmm.

  37. was not a mistake to wait Z. But it was to shut the door.

  38. The young woman looked in her mirror once again. It WAS him! It had been five years...
    Of course, he hadn't noticed her as he strolled into the park, her hair had been coloured since... she had lost weight and no longer was she constantly in jeans. She had followed his every step in her mirror, watched as he found the perfect spot just feet away from her and craned to see more as he unwittingly turned his back on her. He'd glanced at her quickly as he opened his newspaper and she'd dipped her head. He couldn't have recognised her now; she looked very different, longer hair. Parisian summer dresses were the order of the day so ...oh! he turned round. She was sure he did a double take. Fix the hair, lower the mirror though just a bit. Should she say something, dare she awaken those emotions? Could she take it, all over again. Re-arrange the pile of lunchtime detritis by her feet.
    "Marie?...." She looked up into his eyes. "Marie. It's you." He rubbed his hand through his hair as he used to, in disbelief. " are you doing here, in Paris?"
    There was no ring on his finger now, Marie noted, with a gentle smile breaking on her lips.
    "Sit, join me, why don't you." She smiled, reaching out her hand to him, also now lacking her then engagement ring.
    He touched her slender fingers and, caressing her naked third finger for just a moment too long, smiled and sat on the grass next to her, searching her eyes with that deep stare of his...

  39. You know how I hate shut doors and closed windows. Can we not just enjoy the beauty of the public gardens today? Have you noticed, I am waiting for you yet again...
    ~ Z

  40. Gosh Anonyme, someone who waits like you do, deserves to be met in the gardens.

  41. cont'd......Her eyes met his momentarily, she quickly looked away, "Er, so what have you been up to for the last five years?" she blurted out nervously.
    "Well, I married a supermodel and now I'm President of France" he replied nonchalantly.
    She tossed her head back in that carefree way he remembered so well and laughed, "I always loved your sense of the ridiculous Nicolas!"........

  42. You know I hate it.
    Trust life.
    Every part gets well together.
    I'm looking forward to living that minute. If it has to happen, it'll happen : whether we want it or not! Strange but I kinda believe it! Please don't stop waiting or please stop waiting but please don't stop loving as I won't either.

  43. "Well apart from that, silly!" Marie laughed, "Don't you worry about being seen here?"

    She glanced around her, no-one was looking.

    "No," he smiled, "People don't notice what they don't expect to see. It's fine. I often do it. I find it... calming, normal."

    She giggled and offered him some of her lunch. He popped the top of her bottle of water open and took a sip.

    "I have to bring those though, with me."

    He nodded over to the side of the park, where two men in dark suits waited nearby, chatting together and looking over occasionally. One nodded to Nicolas.

    "-they're very trustworthy though, don't worry."

    The two of them chatted a while longer until he had to leave. Standing, he asked her where she was living.

    "I'm on 7th."

    His eyebrows raised.

    "Yes," she laughed, "I have the view I always wanted. It's a nice place. I think of... well, you know... of ...well; every night as I look from my window to La Tour Eiffel..."

    He smiled at the reference and passed her his card with private contacts on. She took her own from her wallet and handed it to him.

    "Shall I ... call?" he asked, shifting from one foot to the other.

    Long seconds passed as she looked at the card and back to those eyes of his.

    "Yes." she whispered. "Call."

  44. The curtains swayed in the warm evening breeze drifting through the open window of the elegant appartment in the 7th.
    Madamoiselle Marie de P. sipped a very dry Martini, while Madame ET twinkled in the distance, just as she had done for the last 120 years.
    A cold, almost imperceptible smile played across her flawless features - the first phase of Eric's plan had worked perfectly! The sap had fallen for it hook, line, and sinker. There was no time to lose however - the picnic was only four days away. At this very moment the others were meeting at Le Cafe de Flore - she had to move fast!
    She threw back the Martini, and made her way to the door of the appartment but was stopped in her tracks by the sound of the street entrance buzzer. "What one was supposed to know I was here!" She hesitated, then her long perfectly manicured finger pressed the intercom button. A sultry voice responded, "We haven't met, my name is Bruni, Carla Bruni..." be continued.

  45. "You must be Marie," said Ms. Bruni unnecessarily.
    "And you are Ms. Bruni." answered Marie with a cool and enquiring smile.
    "No," said the elegant model standing before her. "I am Mme Nicolas Sarkozy. May I come in?"

    Ouch, thought Marie. That told me. She gestured to the chaise longue - a Mme Sarkozy merely took it in once with her eyes but bypassed it and headed for the window.

    "You have a marvellous view of La Tour. My husband has a particular fondness for it."

    "How can I help you, Mme Sarkozy?" brazened Marie.

    Shiny chestnut coloured hair swished as the beautiful First Lady of France turned to face her.

    "I know you are... friends... with Nicolas."

    Marie opened her mouth to protest, to attempt some innocence from somewhere. It was true that she was friends, but it was - so far at least - nothing more than that. Carla Sarkozy held up her hand to silence.

    "That does not concern me, Marie. Do not think that someone like you can threaten my position. Do not think it for a moment."

    Marie didn't think it. She thought it best not to. There was something further hanging in the air though. The tall, slim mannequinn continued, with confidence.

    "No; what you can help me with, what I must know from you, Marie, is something quite different."

    "Oh?" Marie was intrigued.

    "Something much more important. The ... forthcoming 'pique-nique'..."

    Marie frowned. "Er..yes?"

    "I need to does one secure an invitation to this ...exclusive event?"


  46. Marie, always one for the main chance knew she had to play her cards just right.
    "So, who spilled the beans about the picnic?"
    "Let's just say we have our methods" replied Mme S with the hint of a smirk.
    "Think you're pretty smart don't you? Let me tell you Madame high and mighty you ain't as smart as you think, no one gets to the picnic without my say so, understand?"
    "I believe your little friend, I think she's called Bettina, or something like that, has disappeared. We wouldn't want anything unpleasant to happen to her would we my dear?"
    Marie realised this dame was one tough cookie, this was going to be harder than she thought,
    "Listen here sister, let's lay our cards on the table "I ain't interested in your husband in that way, you get my drift? Sure, we were an item once - back in the old Casablanca days but a lot of water's gone under the bridge since then... Tell you what, deliver him up to the picnic and I'll see what I can do for you."
    Madame S gave Marie an icy stare. "So I shall expect an invitation on my desk tomorrow morning" This wasn't a question, it was an order, she was one cool customer.
    Marie looked out of the window into the Paris night, avoiding the other woman's eyes. She thought about Bettina - this was all getting too heavy.
    "There's one small problem" she said, the words forced slowly through her clenched teeth...... "and it's called Madonna"

  47. "What has an ageing pop star to do with this? I was never anywhere NEAR her husband!" shrieked the normally calm Carla.

    Marie made a note to self to follow up this fascinating and random denial later, but continued.

    "No, not that one. The Madonna - there is a fraud case being investigated right now. A highly respected depiction of the Madonna and Child has been stolen. It is being circulated at present in the underground art world of Paris and is believed to surface at - the 'pique-nique'."

    Sharp intake of breath from the lovely Mme Sarkozy.

    "I got involved," stated Marie de Parie, "too involved."

    Marie paced the room, pausing only to place a cigarette in her long, elegant holder, light it, take one small puff between her red lips then proceed to hold it with a straight arm at 45 degrees to her body. She knew she had the full attention now of the First Lady and was in control.

    "Art?" squeaked Mme Sarkozy, "but I love art. I am ... an artiste! I love to sing! Have you heard my..."

    "Yes, yes" Marie de Parie brushed away the idea, "That's for another time and not any time soon. What you must do, Mme, is to arrive at the pique-nique incognito but you must find out as much as you can about the missing painting."

    "Yes, yes!" enthused the model wife. "I can do that. I can sing! My album..."

    "Enough," interjected Marie, "for now... I shall arrange for the exclusive ticket to reach you. I shall have a brief conversation with you at the pique-nique. Don't worry I shall recognise you because I know your disguise will be so awful. Do not, remember, do not wear a .... moustache. It will be far too obvious."

    "Yes, yes." capitulated Ms. Bruni, "I shall wait for the ticket."

    "Now you must go," directed Marie de Parie, taking one long draught of her golden encased cigarette.

    As she closed the door to her apartment on 7th, she heard the excited sigh of Mme Sarkozy as she descended the stairs.

    "The pique-nique! Art! Secrets! I AM an artiste! I AM!"

  48. Marie de Paris, or Parie,or whatever, pursed her ruby red lips and exhaled a perfectly formed smoke ring in the shape of a heart.
    That was one close call - sometimes a gal's got to think on her feet. That phoney lost art treasure line she spun Carla was just what the doctor ordered and she took her medicine like a good little girl!
    Marie allowed herself a silent chuckle at the thought of Carla in some ridiculous costume, like a tartan trouser suit or how about a big red tomato?

    Things were dropping nicely into place. She and Carla would make sure Sarko pic-nicked and there would be no possibility of M. being upstaged by the divine Ms. Bruni.

    Her heart beat faster - Eric would be pleased with tonight's work.
    Afer last year's no-show by old pointy-bra he might be in a mood to forgive and forget now. How she longed to be allowed back into his inner circle! She knew Eric from way back, before his 'Mr. Nice Guy' days, she knew what he was capable of.

    Her mind drifted back to this time last year and she felt a cold shiver run down her spine.
    She, Marie de Paris(e), was going to be the star of PDP - Eric's blue eyed girl - she was going to get Madonna to the picnic!
    Then her little scheme fell apart at the seams - the bitch got a better offer from Ulan Batar Daily Photo!
    Eric was not a happy bunny, retribution was swift, she was a PDP outcast....

    This year would be different, with Pres. Nic. as bait, and Carla no competition, nothing could go wrong.......

    Marie was tired and hungry, it had been a long night. Four hours of eating and twenty hours of sleeping was what she needed now.(French you know)

    "I need to relax, now where is that Carla Bruni album?".......

  49. Following the eat-drink-sleep fest, Marie de Paris dressed herself for the pique-nique. She wore a strapless number in a dark pink, with elegant pearls and low heels in the same dark pink. In her oversized clutch she carried diamante flip flops, just in case Eric had planned a midnight stroll around the city, one never knew. Tonight was her night.
    Carla had rung moments before, to check whether her yellow canary outfit would be suitable. Yes,yes, assured Marie de Parie, it's perfect. She had also been very careful to put on the card that the pique-nique this year was being held in Montmartre. She wished she could watch the canary arrive in such surroundings, but she had more important things to do.
    Now, applying her lipstick, she was off to La Seine and to the event of the year. As she exited her front door, she picked up a calling card from the floor. There was a picture of La Tour plus a huge red heart. On the back was written "Surprise! I cannot let you steal the show."

    The picnic was a delight, but Eric had hardly noticed her. He was surrounded by those in the inner circle, posing and making wisecracks so it may be their turn to be featured on the coveted PDP site - the No. 1 blog in the world. She and Nicolas had managed to talk. A few had come to speak to him, but he was not overwhelmed with attention as Eric was. Marie jumped up and down at the back of the crowd trying to gain the attention of Eric, waving and pouting, but he was, as usual, packed in by his adoring fans and barely noticed her. Nicolas pulled at her elbow.

    "You are embarrassing me. Eric is far too busy a man to be noticing us. Let us ... go to your apartment."

    She took his hand reluctantly, blowing a kiss to the nonchalant roi Eric and as they moved off, watched a small launch arriving, managing to draw attention of the Eric party. Flashbulbs popped, people clapped and the crowd parted so Eric could get the best shot of....the surprise out stepped Parisian Heart.

    Nicolas et Marie sloped off into the night, leaving the elite to their fun. Just when WOULD Marie de Parie be the centre of attention at one of Eric's soirees?