Promenade au Present et au Passe

Noelle remembers my past better than I do. We have known each other since we were 10 years old and attended the same class at the Lycee Francais in Brussels. We both came from respective highly dysfunctional families and while not discussing our lives at home at the time, we probably unconsciously bonded over this common situation.

Noelle tells me I used to confide in her being relentlessly seeking the forbidden. I remember being a wild child but not expanding on the reasons. She reminds me of the immaculate walls in my house, and how my father would go ballistic on us if we forgetfully rested our fingers upon them. She recalls how after learning to put the thermometer on the radiator to feign illness, I spent most of my time at home instead of school. I was eleven. I was a mess. Noelle is my voice of the past. Sometimes, I think it would be better if she stayed silent.

Noelle and I had a lovely walk at the Luxembourg Garden (Luco) in Paris back in May.

There was an “artistic installation” called “Some Wind in the Trees.” On each ribbon was the inscription “Etre dans le vent est une ambition de feuille morte” which means “To be in the wind is the ambition of a dead leaf.” It was inspired by the masts you find in Tibetan monasteries.

Children can rent sailboats at the special cart.

Then they can lose them on the pond.

The Luxembourg Garden is on the cutting edge of the fashion world.

Of course, it has its fair share of lovers on a bench.

Places to read in peace.

Fabulous bronze statues. The original Statue of Liberty is at the Garden but I was too lazy to walk this far.

This is “L’Effort” by Pierre Roche. It depicts one of the twelve labors of Heracles, the cleaning of the Augean Stables in one day.

The back of “Le Triomphe de Silene” by Aime Jules Dalou. Kind of looks like this butt, don’t you think?

There is a whole area devoted to chess playing. On the above picture, the whites are not doing that well.

The player are fascinating to watch. So serious! Except the guy in the middle.

Their concentration is intense.

No pastis drinking here! And no women in sight. Chess players. Not the funniest bunch.

Unlike the Petanque players. They are a whole different story. Noelle and I ate many crepes watching them argue.

“Les boules”, it’s vachement serious! And stylish. The man above is modeling Armani pants.

The spectacle is also in the audience. Look at the man next to the tree. Typical Frenchman with a little beret!

Father and son. Forget baseball! In France, it is the art of boules which is transmitted from generation to generation. Petanque players have much better manners too. No spitting. No scratching. And it’s co-ed! I’m routing for baseboule and its cochonnet.

Noelle and I ate way too many crepes. After hours spent sitting and eating, she had to go home and prepare dinner for her husband and the three children, Louise, Diane and Gael.

I stayed behind to take a picture of the crepe menu and ate just one more little crepe for the road. Then I did not feel very well and I had to sit some more…

12 responses to “Promenade au Present et au Passe

  1. That is one beautiful park, and it seems, all the more, seen through your lens.
    Agreed, chess players “not the funniest bunch”

    Hello Warrior Witch, it is indeed a most beautiful venue. I had so many photographs I wanted to post but I decided that the new me would be more restrained. Thanks for your compliment! 😉

  2. Perhaps chess is for men without women. Or at least those who want to get rid of the one they have.

    It’s not much of a spectator sport, except for those with cameras. Photo magazines often have shots of chess players and of course I’ve taken many shots of them as well in my youth.

    In your youth… Ha!Ha! As if you were all that old! I agree, they are definitely fun to photograph. For one, they are not aware of the camera, and also they all have very interesting features.

  3. VERY nice photos.

    Thank you! And thanks for your visit too. I hope you come back. 😉

  4. Amazing pictures once again H! I am visiting London next month and was trying to decide whether or not I should hop the train to make a quickee visit to Paris. Now I’m even MORE undecided…

    Thanks Alan. Paris is very special… and so much better in springtime! You might encounter some pretty crappy weather in November. Still, no question there. You should go if you have the opportunity. If anything, it will lure you into going back.

  5. Nathalie- Paris is so in your blood, your DNA must have a Left Bank genome in its’ structure.

    Every time you post photos of Paris, it’s like a Valentine to that city.

    It’s hard to imagine your transformation to Texas. ( no offense to your Texas readers ).
    Just observing the contrasts. Not judging them.

    You create the vignettes of another life with such authenticity , affection and beauty.

    Bonnie, you’re such a queen of the ultimate compliment! I DO love Paris. I have a hard time imagining my transformation too. I guess sometimes, you just end up somewhere, get comfortable, and you stop questioning. Anyway, with the pitiful state of the US dollar, I’m going to be stuck here forever!
    Thank you so much! You always make me feel so good!

  6. I was going to say something about petanque, but realized I have nothing to say on the matter. It is fascinatingly watchable though.

    It’s GREAT to watch. If you add crepes and a little Pastis, hours just go by… Then it’s time to go home and you’ve gained 10 pounds.

  7. I’ll say it then! I love petanque and play it any chance I get. I’m total rubbish at it but that doesn’t stop me from loving the game.

    It’s been ages since I’ve had the pleasure of playing it in some little French village someplace, but I have my own set that comes out every spring. The lawn has to make do as the playing court since my wife would be less than happy with me turning it into a regulation pitch.

    Beautiful pictures, as usual, Nat. I can’t tell you how badly I wish I could order off that menu and watch the games.

    -Turkish Prawn

    TP, If I ever come up northeast to photograph the little ones, I’ll make crepes for you. I promise! You’ll never want me to leave. Ever. Unless I set myself on fire which has happened in the past… but the crepe was still good!

  8. Thanks for all your comments!

    I’ll leave individual answers so that I don’t take up all your My Comments space and then you would hate me, wouldn’t you?

  9. Wow, just what I needed a nice walk through Paris with a giggle. You spin an incredible tale with images that ignite the imagination beyond anything I have ever seen. Thanks you!

  10. ax murderer?

    Y/N ?

  11. Excellent photos. I once ate 31 crepes. It wasn’t pretty.

  12. Excellent photos, as always!

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