Going To Another Level. New Layers of a Life

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It takes time to get to know yourself and what you really need. It can take time for others to get to know you. My theory is that once you know better who you really are, the opportunities to meet other like-minded people will show up…almost magically. It seems to be a law of the Universe…or maybe just the Universe I have decided to live in. I have done a lot of work on myself and tooted around Paris the last 4 years of visits, getting aquatinted with what I feel to be a City for my Spirit. It was time to meet up with more friends this year…and test out my theory. Sometimes you don’t realize what has happened until you are down the road a piece. Friends from both California and Paris really made this a special year. They treated me to all kinds of unexpected adventures, eating talking and otherwise. One great evening out was with friends, Jim & Ellen, who actually live near me in Alameda, across the Bay. They made reservations for us to go to a special restaurant they had found, Mon Vieil Ami, on I’le St. Louis. So excited were they to have me experience this small restaurant which did exciting things with vegetables that they reserved before they left for Paris, a week earlier than my own arrival. I took my time on a beautiful, warm Sunday evening to actually stroll over from my apartment, walking up and down the narrow streets of the I’le… stopping into different boutiques, and patisseries to see what was going on. I have had a great framed poster on my wall since 1999, showing this restaurant in its former life as, Le Monde des Chimeres. In the poster there is a black racing bike parked out front…very much like my first bike. I tried to find Le Monde last year, but when I could not; I just thought I had gotten the address wrong. When my friends asked me about going to this restaurant, I was in a dilemma, thinking in my heart that I really wanted to go to Le Monde. After accepting the invitation I went on line to see what I could find out about Mon Vieil Ami, and be somewhat prepared. What a great surprise…The Mon Vieil Ami owner bought the space from Le Monde back in 2002…Magic? Magique! As I walked around I noticed many places I would like to return to another other time. I know I am not alone in liking the feel of this small island but perhaps because I live on a small island in California, it has special appeal. It really does not matter; your feelings are your feelings. I just know that it feels as though I know the place, without really knowing it…yet. Finally meeting up with my host couple, we went in. Our 7:30 pre-made reservation seemed not to be on the books but we were graciously seated at a table right up front anyway. Our servers were charming and funny. The place was pretty full when we arrived, and all evening people were being turned away. Pretty popular place. My friends shared a venison stew with fresh vegetables, and a sauce that made them swoon. I remember the pre-dinner complimentary drink with fresh fruits and watermelon…yum. I also remember that my dessert was exceptional but my memory fades as to what was in-between. I do remember that walking back to the apartment I felt just great. I think the conversation was the “food” I needed most and that I do remember well! On Tuesday, it was Afternoon Tea with friends Ted and Lillian Williams… back on I’le St. Louis. I had asked if they knew Boulangerie Patisserie Gabriela, on the Rue des Deux Ponts. I was surprised and delighted to find they had gone out and gotten pastries from there to go with our tea…along with some delightful lemon cookies Lillian loves. Again, there was wonderful conversation going over the history of their 17th C. Pied-a-terre and the delightful 17th &18th C. collections they have filled it with. “Food” of the best kind. The very next day, I had the pleasure of dinner at Café Marley, in the more formal indoor section. The view of the Cour Carre at night is marvelous and the Coquilles St. Jacques I chose absolutely matched that… This was another catch-up conversation with my Parisian born amie, Mme Suzanne, and her son Jean-Marc, our translator. I thought I was bringing her birthday gift bag, only to leave with a large goodie bag myself. I also left knowing a bit more about what it was like growing up in Paris after WWII. We are working at learning each other’s languages… sometimes one frustrating word at a time. Somehow it works though. On Thursday, it was lunch with my buddy, Terrance Gelernter, founder of Paris-Expats. He was on his Paris side of life and would be showing up in California soon. Another surprise surfaced when I arrived at the address he had given me, and it turned out to be the Paris design studio of Myra Hoeffer of 21st Arrondisement here in Healdsburg Ca. This is the same Myra I had written about right before this years visit to Paris! He treated me to lunch at Chez Janou, the…
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