According to Urban Dictionary

Boheme - Carefree lifestyle unbounded by convention.

Bohemian - Movement of artist and poets in late 19th century France, especially in Paris. Bohemians believed in living outside of the bourgeois (conventional, middle class) mainstream culture. Bohemians were against the Salon (the institution that controlled the literary and art market in France until the turn of the 20th century)and believed that art and literature should be radical. They often gathered in "cafes" and drank absinthe. Many Bohemians were politically radical, being either anarchists or members of the Commune de Paris during the Franco-Prussian war. The Bohemian movement died out at the turn of the century but had a large influence on later movements such as surrealism, the beat generation, and punk rock.
Toulouse - Lautrec depicted the romanticized life of many Bohemians, although the reality of the life-style was often very difficult and tragic.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twisted sense of direction!

The other day a friend commented to me that I never seem to get lost and always know my way around. Now, I know anyone who knows me well, is in hysterics by now and not believing this. Many people who come to Paris complain about how hard it is to get around and how it is all twisted around. However, I do seem to have an uncanny knack of finding my way around Paris. My own peculiar twisted sense of direction seems to work wonders in Paris! Finally, I have found somewhere, where I am not forever getting lost. Hallelujah!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A week of ups and downs in Paris!

It’s been a strange week; both good and bad. On the negative side I lost my phone and of course all my contacts numbers, because I never keep a hard copy. You think I would learn but I never seem to. Then a few nights later the teller machine ate my bank card, so it has been a frustrating week. However, it is not all grim and darkness, I have been to some interesting places in the last week. Starting with last Saturday I went to lunch for L’s birthday. We went first to a café in Montmarte for a drink; kicking off the afternoon with a nice glass of red. We then headed up the hill to Le Moulin de la Galette restaurant. It is on the site of one of the old windmills of Paris and I have often walked passed it and wanted to see what it was like, so was very happy to go to lunch there. There were 10 girls and one guy, with a majority of them being French, a lot of the conversation was in French and was quite testing of my limited French skills. Then after the lunch we headed back down the hill to another café/ bar for another drink. Altogether it was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Drinking wine and eating yummy, yummy food. In true French style there was a set menu where you can order three courses. For starters I had Salmon with roe and lentils followed by cochon and veges followed by Opera Gateaux. Then I stumbled home, full of good food and wine and pleasant memories. Following a relaxing weekend, came St Patrick’s Day on Tuesday, prompting M, L and me to go to O’Sullivans in Pigalle for a night of dancing. Also this week I have been to two nice bars to listen to live music. On Thursday, T was singing at a bar in Bastille called Discoteque, so I went along to check it out. It had a very grungy, hip vibe with a bar as you walk in; then a couple of small rooms leading into each other all painted in a yellow colour with pictures of jazz musicians and posters and records hung up around the place. T is a singer songwriter and performed a set of her songs; it was a great sound, similar in part to Suzanne Vega with the same mellowed tones. Then on Friday night I went to the Swan Bar in Montparnasse to hear N sing some Jazz. She has an amazing voice and spent a nice few hours drinking a glass of red and listening to the haunting sounds of jazz wafting through Paris. So, it has been a busy week for me out on the town in Paris, and bar a couple of mishaps along the way, was altogether not a bad week in Paris.

Below are some pictures of Le Moulin de la Galette restaurant

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Photos on request.

Ok so I have been posting a lot tonight. Funny how going to a book launch can inspire me to write. I have been requested to post some photos, so I have had a look through my photos and this is what I have come up with. Please enjoy.

An interesting character.

Last Sunday at the Writers Atelier, G asked us to talk about an interesting character in Paris we had met; who we would like to write about or view their life for a day. There were too many and I couldn't really think of any in particular, but I talked about the artist I met who ran an Atelier in a set of tiny rooms. The first was like an entrance room of 3metres squared, which led into a room of maybe 15 metres squared, where he had ten artists at easels, crammed into the space, painting different things. They stopped for tea and he passed around all these obscure postcards of artists and wanted people to tell him about them. Anyway, today I saw a much more intriguing character. I was walking along the street this morning on the way to Monoprix (the supermarket) for my groceries. I was walking along when I spotted this man walking then he stopped and turned and gave a little jump and ran on a few feet. Then he started walking along again as if normal; before stopping and repeating the process and then resumes walking and then stepping into a shop window to watch the street. It was a very interesting display to watch and I could not work out if he had a problem, or if he was just playing still. It is intriguing and makes me wish I could sometimes see inside certain people's heads for a day to see what they see.

On the Metro.

I have a love hate relationship with the Metro. I love it because it is such an easy system to use and you can get wherever you need to go relatively easily. I hate it when it is crowded and too many people pushing and shoving you. I love it in the quieter periods, where I can sit and indulge in one of my favourite pastimes of people watching. I love the interesting characters that you see, like the day there was a quaint old french man with his jaunty little hat humming the tune to La Vie en Rose, which was then in my head for the rest of the day. Tonight on the Metro, I witnessed one of the most graceful slides that I have seen. A man caught unawares went sliding back as the train took off and kind of glided towards the pole coming to rest against it with a graceful sweep of one leg crossing in front of the other, resulting in him nonchalantly leaning against the pole as if nothing had happened. Most impressive, as opposed to the one I witnessed the other night where there were a group of drunk middle aged Englishmen heading back after a night out the town. One of them lost his footing and went flying from one pole all the way down the middle of the train to the next pole. Of course in his inebriated state, it was the funniest thing in the world and it actually was quite funny. Anyway the Metro is a breeding ground for interesting characters; quick glimpses at other people's behaviour.

Book Launch

Tonight I went to a book launch at W.H Smith bookshop. It was an enjoyable evening the book is a compilation of journal entries and photographs taken by the author Michael Katarkis. Coming out of the bookshop afterwards I could feel a warmth in the air it was still cool but with a warmth to it as well. the weather is changing and spring is on its way finally. On the metro I started to read the book and would highly recomend it to anyone interested in unique snapshots into other worlds. Indeed I became so lost in the book that I missed my stop and had to change at a different stop to get home, which I nearly also missed. Oops but it is an enjoyable read.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Every Sunday afternoon I make my way slowly to the Marais to meet up with people from the writer's atelier. We meet in various cafes throughout the Marais for a coffee or wine and a chat. It is a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Paris. Sleep through the morning get up late meander around getting ready then stroll along to some metro stop and make my way idly to the Marais. Along the way yesterday I stumbled along an impromptu flea market set up at the bottom of my street. Stalls of beautiful old furniture, books and bric a brac. There were crates of beautiful china dinner sets, stalls of musty old books and piles of wooden furniture. What a lovely surprise for a Sunday stroll. I have grown to love Sundays, at first I hated that all the shops were shut and places deserted. However, I have grown to love the quietness of my Sunday ramblings and then at times the non quietness when you happen upon an area of bustling activity like yesterdays market or the activity when you eventually reach the Marais, which never seems to shut down. All in all I now enjoy my Sunday afternoons in Paris!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More sidewalk presents.

I've already blogged about how annoying the dog presents on the sidewalks of Paris are,but another pet hate of mine is the big gobs of spit everywhere that one also has to dodge. etween the Dog poo and the spit gobules on some pavements in Paris it is like you are doing a dance down the street, weaving back and forth in order to dodge them.