DOORWAYS TO THE SOUL OF PARIS
When I arrive in Paris, it takes me several days to get into the rhythm of the city. Whether it's jet lag or just feeling a part of the city again, I find that my first days are aimlessly walking the streets near where I will be staying and admiring the architecture of the area. I think that it's Paris' architecture that first draws everyone into it's web of awe.
As you walk down Avenue Montaigne, one can not miss the Hotel Plaza-Athenee that is such a glorious example of Art Nouveau architecture. I just love the sand colored stone building with the deep red awnings and the red geraniums in each window. Avenue Montaigne is a street of high end designer stores such as Chanel, and Dior and has the famous restaurant "Avenue" where last year I saw Jacques Chirac walking in to have Sunday brunch. One never knows who they might see on this famous street.
A half block away from my apartment is the famous apartment building on 29 Avenue Rapp. You don't expect to see a building like this as you walk along. It was built in 1901 by Jules Lavirotte and is an another excellent example of Art Nouveau.
What is so amazing about this building is that there is so much detail and interesting aspects of this architecture that you can stand for long periods of time and be mesmerized by it's beauty. I try to imagine what it might be like to live in one of these apartments with each floor so different and what the interiors must be like.
This window is several blocks away from my apartment on my strolls down rue Grenelle. To walk down any street in Paris takes total concentration so as not to miss these lovely additions to many of the buildings. Can you imagine having this lovely pair outside your balcony window?
Or this pair over your door? I found this beautiful doorway on a small side street as I was looking for a restaurant to have dinner. Along with the sculptures, the wrought iron railings on all the buildings are like that added touch of lace. It seems that each building has their own style of railings and everyone is different. I always wish that more of North America's architecture had these details, don't you?
And each morning, as I make my way across the Alma bridge to have my breakfast, I pass my absolute favorite Parisian face over an apartment doorway. She makes me smile and every year, I take numerous pictures of her. It's funny how this beautiful sculptured face has such an impact on me. Of all the faces in Paris, she is my favorite and I always say "Bonjour" to her each morning. I know it's crazy, but I wish I could take her home......