STARTING OVER…….AGAIN……….

JAYSPEAK

I am starting over. Today is August 2, 2020, and it is a new day for me. Why? OK, here goes…. Some of this is repetitive to those who “follow” Jayspeak. But, a lot of it is not.

That said, during July, I had a bunch of tests plus an MRI to find out why I am so dizzy and feel so bad. I was terrified to find out the results, hoping it was not a tumor. One doctor told me I probably had a tumor in my left ear. What?????? With the virus and trying to survive in general, I MAY HAVE A TUMOR????? She did not know and wanted to find out. SO DID I!! NOTHING. They found nothing. There is nothing wrong with me! WHAT?? Nothing is wrong with me.??? Great!! Ok, all of this has been going on. Terror, then relief. Frustration, then not frustrated.

Main…

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STARTING OVER…….AGAIN……….

I am starting over.  Today is August 2, 2020, and it is a new day for me.  Why?  OK, here goes….  Some of this is repetitive to those who “follow” Jayspeak.  But, a lot of it is not.

That said, during July, I had a bunch of tests plus an MRI to find out why I am so dizzy and feel so bad.  I was terrified to find out the results, hoping it was not a tumor.  One doctor told me I probably had a tumor in my left ear.  What??????  With the virus and trying to survive in general, I MAY HAVE A TUMOR?????   She did not know and wanted to find out. SO DID I!!  NOTHING.  They found nothing.  There is nothing wrong with me!   WHAT?? Nothing is wrong with me.??? Great!! Ok, all of this has been going on.  Terror, then relief.  Frustration, then not frustrated.

Main reason    ——  I am moving……. again. 

A bit of the back story – my deal with my current landlord (a friend who is back and forth between Paris and Nice) was that I could stay here until I found an apartment. It is not easy to rent an apartment in Paris for expats. Most people and real estate agents require a “dossier” and “guarantors” and things I don’t have.  AND, they don’t want a tenant to be 83. 

SO, in the middle of a pandemic – at the age of 83, and without dossier or guarantor, I start looking for another apartment.  Haha.  Welllll, my thinking was that owners wanted rent/income.  Therefore owners needed tenants to pay rent, and NO ONE was movin IN or OUT of France. No one was moving!  I could pay the rent. And, I contacted the owner.  BINGO!

Right away, I found one I like!  And yesterday, I signed all of the contracts and paid the security deposit and the first month’s rent.  It has some nature nearby (the Bois du Boulogne  –  “woods”) and one bedroom with two elevators and a balcony on the 5th floor.  It is in the 16eme arrondissement in the auteuil area (for those of you who know Paris).  I like the owners.  That will be my new home. I hope I get to stay put for awhile, anyway.

Now, for those of you who know the 6eme (busy and touristy and college town with the Sorbonne), the 16eme is very different (residential).  The lifestyle will be very different. I think that will be good for me. Why? After spending a LOT of time researching dizziness, I think a lot of it is emotional. I think I am longing for a lifestyle that feels right for me – large city in a nice residential area.  LA, living in Pacific Palisades or Brentwood or Westwood or Beverly Hills.  I hope so anyway.  I need to give it a try. 

So, my work is cut out for me.  I need to get a grip, get into regular physical therapy, balance my crystals, exercise, improve my outlook, wear a mask, wash my hands, …….  WHAT????  That is TOO hard.  ALL of Paris has a café society.  I must find a new café, fix the balcony for Missy, find new doctors, find movers, new physical therapy, new, new, new.  New neighborhood.  Begin again.   Ouch.  

I gave notice to my current landlord that I will be out by September 1,2020. So, it is all ahead of me…..again.

Actually, this is all good news.  I think Missy and I will both get better.  This Studio has been perfect for my 7 months here.  But, this is not for either of us.  Now, where I am going has problems, too, but so be it.  I will find a way.

More than you ever wanted to know.  So, Jayspeak will keep you informed.  I don’t want to post any photos at this point because they are not good.  And, I have not taken my own photos.  This is the front of the building.

Front of Building

This is a listing photo of the kitchen.

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This is the ad that caught my attention:

“Auteuil district. Furnished (or unfurnished) 2 room apartment 47 m² on a quiet, bright street. Possibility of shared accommodation without hindrance – double access – Bathroom, wc and entrance – from the bedroom and the living room.
Standing building with garden, 5th floor, 2 elevators, Entrance-Library, Living room with sofa, Flat screen, telephone socket, table for 4, 4 chairs, buffet – Fully equipped kitchen, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, 4-burner gas cooker + oven, extractor hood, coffee maker, crockery, vacuum cleaner, ironing board and iron, bed and toilet linen possible – Bedroom with double bed, Bathroom (washing machine) and Dressing room – separate wc wash-hand basin ( cupboard). Collective heating – Building access 1st digicode, then a 2nd digicode, intercom, security guard on site. Close to all shops, Auteuil market.   Close to the Bois de Boulogne, close to Roland Garros.”  And the Auteuil Market!

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That works!  Now, I know nothing much about this area, but it looks very interesting.  It has an amazing history.  And the Bois du Boulogne looks great.  So, to be continued.  Stay tuned.

Best, Jay

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FROM WHERE I SIT……..

“Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.  Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key.” Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.” – Representative John Lewis. 

From where I sit this week, these words from John Lewis are inspiring and reverberate throughout my soul.  Even with all of the chaos that is penetrating throughout the world. His words are a beacon of light at the other end of the tunnel.  For me.  All of this what “from and for and about” me. Haha.  Why? 

I am starting over.  Tomorrow is August 1, 2020, and it is a new day for me.  Why?  OK, here goes….

During July, I had a bunch of tests plus an MRI to find out why I am so dizzy and feel so bad.  I was terrified to find out the results, hoping it was not a tumor.  One doctor told me I probably had a tumor in my left ear.  What??????  With the virus and trying to survive in general, I MAY HAVE A TUMOR?????   She did not know and wanted to find out. SO DID I?????

NOTHING.  They found nothing.  There is nothing wrong with me!   WHAT????? Nothing is wrong with me.???   How can that be?????  Ok, all of this is going on.  Terror and relief.  Frustration. Why?  I must move.  My deal with my current landlord, a friend, is that I can stay here until I find an apartment – for a year.  The year is up in the middle of winter (which in Paris is dreary).  Plus, it is not easy to rent an apartment at all in Paris for expats. Most people and real estate agents require a “dossier” and “guarantors” and things I don’t have.  AND, they don’t want a tenant to be 83.  In the middle of the pandemic – at the age of 83 and without a dossier or a guarantor, I started looking.  Haha.  My thinking was that owners wanted tenants (to pay a rent) and no one was moving in or out of France.  I could pay the rent. 

I found one I like.  What were/are my requirements? Some nature nearby and one bedroom in Paris – not too high up with an elevator.  The apartment I found is a one bedroom on the 5th floor with two elevators near the Bois du Boulogne. 

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Lots of nature.  I like the owner.  But the lease is not yet signed.  So, hopefully, that will be my new home.

The lifestyle will be very different. I think that will be good for me. Why? After spending a LOT of time researching dizziness, a lot of it is emotional.  So, my work is cut out for me.  I need to get a grip, get into regular physical therapy, balance my crystals, exercise, improve my outlook, wear a mask, wash my hands, …….  WHAT????  That is TOO hard.  Plus, I am beginning to like the 6e and its “café society.”  Well, ALL of Paris has a café society.  I must find a new café, new doctors, new physical therapy, new, new, new.  New neighborhood.  Begin again.     

STOP liking where you are.  The deal was that you would move.  Period. End of story.

So, that is what is going on from where I sit.  I am not going to die from an ear tumor.  I don’t have one.  And, so far, I don’t have the virus.  I am mostly staying inside or social distancing and wearing a mask and washing my hands a lot. And, if I don’t move into this apartment – in a residential area near the woods, I will find another one and try to convince the owner that I am an honest, nice person at age 83 (a good tenant).  And, time is of the essence because “the second wave is coming.”  Remember, happiness is the journey.  Enjoy the journey.   Enjoy your life.   

More than you ever wanted to know from where I sit. 

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P.S.  I will try to get interesting photos  wherever I am.  But, they will not be photos of the 6e.  So, while I am still here, here are some beauties (I think.)

Best, Jay

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Donation – Beginning Again in PARIS)

Thanks for helping me afford where I am going AGAIN in Paris. I will do my best! Thanks, Jay

$50.00

THE PIANO

JAYSPEAK

When I was a young girl, I took a lot of lessons – speech, voice, piano, baton twirling, dance (ballet, tap, jazz), swimming, diving, tennis. And I was in a lot of recitals and loved being a “show-off”.

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I was good at most of them. Actually, I was good at a lot of things (especially sports), but I excelled at piano. I could not play by ear, but I would practice a lot. And I had a good teacher who would encourage me, and she would give me pieces to learn that were very hard. And, I learned them. Her name was Martha Finger Stratton. And, I am friends with her beautiful daughter Ellen Stratton Mcallister on Facebook to this day.

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So, when I was around 10 or so, Daddy bought me a Steinway medium grand piano. This is a photo of what it looked like. It was built by…

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THE PIANO

When I was a young girl, I took a lot of lessons – speech, voice, piano, baton twirling, dance (ballet, tap, jazz), swimming, diving, tennis.   And I was in a lot of recitals and loved being a “show-off”. 

janet-posing

I was good at most of them.  Actually, I was good at a lot of things (especially sports), but I excelled at piano.  I could not play by ear, but I would practice a lot. And I had a good teacher who would encourage me, and she would give me pieces to learn that were very hard.  And, I learned them.  Her name was Martha Finger Stratton.  And, I am friends with her beautiful daughter Ellen Stratton Mcallister on Facebook to this day.  

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So, when I was around 10 or so, Daddy bought me a Steinway medium grand piano.  This is a photo of what it looked like.  It was built by Steinway himself in NYC in 1946.  It has a serial number.  One family owner for all these years.  Gorgeous sound.   

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I loved playing on it.  I would practice for hours.  I continued playing until I graduated from High School, and in the spring of 1955, I gave a private voice and piano recital and had approximately 150 guests to attend.  As a finale, Martha and I played a two piano concerto. A lot of people came.   Below is a fun picture of me in High School, probably 1954 or 1955. Haha.  Mother’s Cadillac.  I had my driver’s license so I had to be 16 or over.  

janet an Cadillac

Over the years, the piano sat in the “Music Room” (un-played).  After Daddy died in 1975, Mother promised to leave me the piano when she died.  I asked her to give it to me in advance of her death.  She did – as part of my inheritance.  I received it sometime in the 1980’s by shipment by moving van to California.  I have had it ever since, moving it from house to house. This photo is in Nice. 

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Now, it sits with me in this tiny Studio in Paris, France. 

The piano. 2020

It has had physical damage.  It needs a lot of things – all of them expensive.  All my friends and acquaintances tell me to get rid of it. I don’t want to.  I have not played it for years.  Why? Because I have lived in apartments with neighbors who don’t want to hear me “practice”.  Because it has to be moved up lots of steps by movers who know what they are doing.  Expensive.  Because it requires Steinway parts.  Expensive.

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I wish I had a Sugar Daddy.  I wish I had someone who would pay for the piano to be restored by Steinway, and I could play it in a beautiful apartment in Paris, France, until I die.  Then that person could have it to sell or to keep.    Wouldn’t that be wonderful???  But alas and alack.   A PiPe Dream.  I have a lot of pipe dreams.

I considered selling it now AS IS and get some money to live on.  I don’t know what to do.  I am thinking, thinking, and looking for an investor.  I doubt I am Sugar Daddy material.  Haha.  And, I am thinking of moving into an apartment on the sixth floor.  What to do about Missy and the balcony? 

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The piano and space?  And, physical therapy!!   And I worry about a virus and what’s going on in the White House.  I know who I am going to vote for.  And, I am profoundly grateful that I have discovered so many people who care as deeply as I do about my country.  Anyway, it is a lot. Stay tuned…….

Best, Jay

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Donation PIANO

None of this is easy. Thanks, Jay

$50.00

JOHN LEWIS, DAN RATHER, AND JESSE JEWELL CHICKENS Ramblings…..

JAYSPEAK

As you know (if you have been keeping up with the news), our democracy is under attack.  And many of us are weary and afraid of what’s to come. I am.  Irrational anger. Vicious hate. Meanness.  Greed.  Someone said that we can still be friends, even if we don’t agree.  Uh, no.  And, no one is going to give up control without a fight.  Brace yourself. 

John Lewis was my peer.  He was actually three years younger than I am – born in a segregated deep South (Troy, Alabama), like I was (Gainesville, Georgia).  I KNOW the world he lived in.   Well, not really.  I was the blue-eyed blonde living in a big house, and he was the son of a share-cropper.  But, I grew up in it and knew what was happening in real time. But, how dare I compare my life to what he lived through!!!! I could…

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JOHN LEWIS, DAN RATHER, AND JESSE JEWELL CHICKENS Ramblings…..

As you know (if you have been keeping up with the news), our democracy is under attack.  And many of us are weary and afraid of what’s to come. I am.  Irrational anger. Vicious hate. Meanness.  Greed.  Someone said that we can still be friends, even if we don’t agree.  Uh, no.  And, no one is going to give up control without a fight.  Brace yourself. 

John Lewis was my peer.  He was actually three years younger than I am – born in a segregated deep South (Troy, Alabama), like I was (Gainesville, Georgia).  I KNOW the world he lived in.   Well, not really.  I was the blue-eyed blonde living in a big house, and he was the son of a share-cropper.  But, I grew up in it and knew what was happening in real time. But, how dare I compare my life to what he lived through!!!! I could not possibly ever know.  How dare any of us know what it was to live in a pre-war Germany under the rise of Hitler?!!!! We cannot possibly ever know what it was like.  Or to leave a war-torn Libya, fleeing from tyranny. Or Mexico. Or Brazil!  But, John Lewis?

How did he do all he did?  What courage!!!  Lewis said, “When you lose fear, you are free.”  I don’t think I have ever lost my fear.  I was afraid through all of it.  A scaredy cat! I just did it anyway. And, I got into trouble a lot of the time.  Now, when I am in the twilight years of my life, I don’t think I have ever NOT been afraid to make some noise. Yet, I made noise.  I tried to NOT make waves. I made waves. I did NOT want to confront, yet I confronted. 

I got better at all of it when I was practicing law, but now I am back to processing fear. Here in Paris. Especially, with health on the wane.  I have felt misunderstood.  Mistreated.  Always making it about myself.  I have found myself feeling despair.  Becoming bitter. Becoming hostile. It is time for me to be hopeful, be optimistic.  I need to make some noise and get in good trouble again.  I must find a way to make a way out of no way.  Just do it anyway.  I have been inspired by John Lewis’ life and words, especially now.   I followed a little of his life. And, now, I am hearing more of his words.  I think I have more to give before it is over for me.

John Lewis said, “You must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more. We must use our time and our space on this little planet that we call Earth to make a lasting contribution, to leave it a little better than we found it, and now that need is greater than ever before.  Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way.”

Just a lot of “ramblings”.  And, segueing to Dan Rather, as I ponder the status of things……

Dan Rather wrote this and I am posting it here because it says what I would say (if I had the gift of words), and says it more elegantly than I could say it.  He is approximately five years older than I am, born in Texas (another Southerner, sorta.  Another peer, sorta.) and I am in that certain age and stage of life to understand what he means. 

“I sit locked in a self-imposed isolation as a deadly virus surges outside. Time frames for returning to any hope of a faint echo of normalcy stretch into the many months or years. This distant horizon strikes particularly deep for those of us at a certain age and stage of life. Our nation is adrift amidst rocky shoals with cruel incompetence as our captain and enabling cravenness as the first mate.

What a perilous time to live.

I know I am extremely fortunate. Neither the roof over my head nor the food on my table are in doubt. I have the privilege of protecting myself and my loved ones more than many. We don’t work in meat processing plants, or distribution warehouses, or even in hospitals. I strive to keep habits and schedules, but hours bleed and to-do lists go unchecked.

What a moment to contemplate the future.

The basic tenets of decency, truthfulness, and compassion are torn across our political divide. We see scientists denigrated and charlatans exalted. We see the rule of law and the norms of our democracy debased for personal gain. We see our allies bullied and our adversaries coddled.

What a time to be an American.

But that’s just it. It is a time to be an American, to contemplate our future, and to live. We have had very dark days in the past. We have had deep, systemic injustices. We have faced daunting odds. And women and men of courage, of ingenuity, of resolve have stood up time and time again.  They have said some version of, “we will not abide.” It is our duty to not abide either.

From the streets, to newsrooms, to online social and political activism, I see countless millions of Americans who are not abiding. We are living through damage, loss, and sadness that could have been avoided. Much trauma lies ahead. But I know most of my fellow citizens agree that this shall not be us.

I desperately wished this was not our lot. I wish so many things. I wish the hospital wards were empty. I wish kids were having a summer and could go to school safely. I wish small businesses weren’t closing. Heck, I wish I was at a baseball game trying to not have the mustard drip on my pants. That’s not where we are.

We must be true to ourselves to recognize that much of what we are seeing now was not only the product of the last few months or even the last three-plus years. We have big problems, wherever we look. But we see them now. And we must do the hard work to fix them, not only through the ballot box but through the energy of our hearts and power of our imaginations. Whatever despair I might feel is tempered with a hope that is growing within me. I will not abide, and I believe most Americans will not abide either. Courage.” – Dan Rather.

And, now for the Ramble of the rambles…….

… a thought about my father, Jesse Jewell and a chicken.  (I was always called “Jesse Jewell’s little chicken”) 

Janet & Jewell Chickens

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

DONALD TRUMP: I’ve been told by my many sources, good sources – they’re very good sources – that the chicken crossed the road. All the Fake News wants to do is write nasty things about the road, but it’s a really good road. It’s a beautiful road. It is the most beautiful road ever built.  Everyone knows how beautiful it is.

JOE BIDEN: Why did the chicken do the…thing in the…you know the rest.

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he’s a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

AOC: Chickens should not be forced to lay eggs! This is because of corporate greed! Eggs should be able to lay themselves.

HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JESSE JEWELL: The chicken crossed the road to get to the other side.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white?

  1. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding any new problems.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hard working American.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

– author unknown with thanks to the poster I have stolen it from….

I always heard that the chicken crossed the road “to get to the other side.”   Maybe that is not true in today’s world.  

And, now for a favorite meme.!IMG-1562

Best, Jay  (Have a good one!)

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THROUGH MY EYES…..

THROUGH MY EYES…..  Whenever I see something new or learn something new, I try to think about how it applies to my life?  I ask myself “Why is this significant to me?”  That is the only way I seem to be able to relate.  I must make it personal in some way.  I do the same when I read a book.  In other words, I “experience” what I am seeing or reading or watching.  What a great way to go through life!  It makes everything personal.  And, that is taking life to the extreme. I think that is why I was an excellent actress.  I made it all personal.  Problems, yes.  But that is the way I am.  So now, after looking at the gorgeous Mediterranean for hours and hours and taking  the Sea personally along with a LOT of photos, I am walking through the Latin Quarter, taking in everything personally. Haha.  a TERRIBLE way to go sightseeing.   But, I am experiencing each moment – inside and out.  

Honestly, when I heard that I would be living in the Latin Quarter, I imagined a lot of Roman ruins and topless girls dancing in a chorus line, in a kick-line on a big stage.  The Lido and/or the Folies-Bergère.  What did I know?  The LAST thing I imagined was a French philosopher from Brittany teaching students, everyone speaking in the Latin language, about revolutionary ideas in thinking or learning.  I imagined that the Romans once lived in this area, and I would see a lot of ruins. 

I was wrong.  Again.  The Roman ruins were in Nice.  Oh, I think there are a lot of Roman ruins here, but I don’t see them.   I took four years of Latin in High School, but I don’t remember any of it. But I don’t think anyone speaks Latin here at all.  Maybe in classes.  I am not in classes.   That said, I still don’t know much about what I am in the middle of.  And, I am trying to personalize all of it.  As I have said before and will say again, everything seems to be old and used and gorgeous.  Lots of construction and restoring going on.  Like everywhere.  LA was the worse for graffiti and potholes.  I can see why people from all over the world love Paris.  And, they do.  I am beginning to love it, too.  And want to do more, see more, learn more. 

My problem is that I am having a lot of health problems.  My heart wants to soar, and my body keeps speaking to me.  This virus has not been difficult because I stay home a lot anyway.  Steve and I loved staying at home.  My law office was at home.  I love home.  I always have.  I write at home.  So, having a home that feels like “home” is important to me.  When I go out, I am always glad when I get back home.  I had a wonderful apartment in Nice with Steve.  We both loved it.  On Cimiez.  After he died, I had to move to a cheaper apartment.  It never felt like home.  This Studio I am in now does not feel like home.  I am in a holding pattern.  But, with my health problems, I need a place that feels like home. I am looking.   And, with the virus, I need to love my surroundings because I am “at risk”.  I need air and sky and trees outside my window. So, I am seeing my surroundings in “The Latin Quarter” and taking everything personally, knowing that I am a visitor in the area, in a holding pattern.   Haha.  How dismal is that??? 

That said, everything is exciting.  I wake up in the morning excited about the day.  That is pretty amazing, considering these dreary times. As I have said before, I moved to Paris from Nice, after having lived in Nice for four years.  Nice was beautiful, and I want to spend time there in the future. I also want to spend time in Brittany and Normandy.  But “home” will be in Paris.  Somewhere.  Probably not in the Latin Quarter.   But for now, here I am, in the middle of The Latin Quarter, taking a lot of things personally (Haha) and working on beginning a foundation for the rest of my life.  Today is the First Day even though July is my sixth month is Paris. 

I have always loved college towns. I love being a student!  I love learning!  I adored Law School.  Well, here I am in the middle of a historic center of learning, scholarship and artistic achievement in Paris because of the Sorbonne. Students are everywhere!  This is my neighborhood.  Winding streets, flower-adorned balconies on gorgeous buildings and lots of cinemas.  But here, you must know in advance what film you want to see.  Then, you must find out what time that film is showing.  Usually it is only once a day at a specific time.  And, not usually every day.  So, it is film specific.  I watch my films at home, especially now.  

AND, for the record, i have no problems with masks.  That is SO easy and SO nothing to get upset about.  Hello.  There are only a few things to remember.  Sooooo easy.  1) If you don’t need to go out, STAY HOME.  2) Wear a mask ALWAYS. And have one available if you are out in the open.  3) Keep hand sanitizer in your purse ALWAYS. 4) STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE ALWAYS.  That is all you can do, really.  So easy.  We all have enough REAL problems, and that is NOT one of them.  Wear the damn mask and put it under your chin when there is breathing room.  My problem is that my ears are small but doable.  It is fun and lets me hide my lips that usually need some gloss or lipstick. 

OK.  Let’s post some photos.  These are all new (for the most part). And just interesting in one way or another.  Look.  I am an amateur photographer and enjoy taking “shots”.  So, just go with it.  

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OK, I had fun with that!  I hope you did!   Some good things to leave you with. At my age, THROUGH MY EYES, I am aware that I still feel young inside my head.   Virus, smirus!  I give thanks for another day. Each day. I am eating better food and LOVE the Mediterranean Diet. Delicious fish everywhere!!  I get a lot of good sleep.  I enjoy moments in the park.  Watching people.  I am learning French.  I look forward to traveling.  I look forward to finding my “home”.  I don’t take medicines.  I treasure each moment. I treasure my family.  I am very proud of them.  I have found good doctors. The sun is out today.

THROUGH MY EYES, I focus on growing better, smarter, wiser.

Best, JAY  (just a fun sign -off photo by my friend Helene!)

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Donation – Beginning Again in PARIS)

Thanks for helping me afford where I am going AGAIN in Paris. I will do my best! Thanks, Jay

$50.00

THE LATIN QUARTER

As I have said before, I moved to Paris from Nice, after having lived in Nice for four years.  Why did I not stay in Nice?  There were a lot of reasons, but the main one is that I seem to thrive in a city.  Nice was beautiful but more like a “resort” to me, like living in Palm Springs instead of Los Angeles.  I could have stayed in beautiful Orange County in California, but I wanted to be in Los Angeles.  Now, I think I have made the right decision to move to Paris from Nice.  And, in 2019, when I made the decision to move, I had a friend in Nice who had properties in both Paris and Nice.  I literally begged her to let me rent a Studio in Paris for a year to “look around” for an apartment for me.  She owned a small Studio in the Sixième Arrondissement that she rented to visitors on Airbnb most of the time.  She agreed.  So, I moved to Paris with my cat and a Steinway piano after a major downsizing in January 2020.  Needless to say, it was a tight fit.  But, I did it and let go of many of my dearest possessions.  But that was how much I wanted to get to Paris before it was too late.  None of us could see the pandemic coming. 

But, lucky me!!!  I got to be introduced to one of the most charming areas of Paris with NO ONE on the streets.  WOW!  So, as I walked around empty streets, I had NO IDEA of what I was seeing.  I would read signs, but I had no one to ask.  The cat Missy did not like it at all.  She still doesn’t.  I had a patio in Nice where she would go outside and visit the neighbors.  Eat grass. Lounge in the sun.  Here, she is limited to one room and the bathroom. Nope.  She does not like it.  Many times, I have thought of getting rid of her and finding her a home where she can wander, but I love the company.  So, we are better, but she needs more options.  So do I. 

I knew some French. I knew some French history, but not a lot of either.  That did not stop me.  I have ALWAYS seen myself as French, even though I am Anglo-Saxon from the British Isles.  I don’t think I romanticized it.  Maybe, but I, on the contrary, saw myself as a student at the Sorbonne and as a revolutionary of some sort.  Alone and Joan of Arc ’ish.  Forthright.  Now, not so much.  Haha.   Now, I just want to be able to walk without a cane.  I can.  Sorta.  But I don’t.  Fear of falling.  But I digress.

WELLllllll, here I am, in the middle of The Latin Quarter, without a good foundation.  SO, in order to begin, I have begun my research in order to give a background to what I have seen, photographed, and posted on Jayspeak, Facebook, or Instagram by now.  What????  One other note to this “Preface”.   I had thought that my friend – who is now my “landlord” – would help me get adjusted, but that did not happen.  Why?  We managed to have a HUGE misunderstanding at the beginning and did not communicate much.  So, I was on my own, adrift in a muck of my own making without a rowboat or a paddle.  Still am, but things are better.  I am into my sixth month in Paris and learning my way around a little. 

As luck would have it, I have found myself in the middle of a historic center of learning, scholarship and artistic achievement in Paris.  Unfortunately, the area is also a bit of a victim of its own popularity – much of which I managed to miss during Lockdown.  This is a beloved neighborhood. It is an area in the 5th and the 6th arrondissements and is situated on the left bank of the Seine.  Known for its student life because of the Sorbonne, it has a lively atmosphere and a lot of well-priced bistros.  Students are always walking outside of my window.  Young and enthusiastic.  Also, besides the Sorbonne, the Latin Quarter is the home to a number of excellent high schools and other universities, such as the École Normale Supérieure, the École des Mines de Paris, Panthéon-Assas University, the Schola Cantorum, and the Jussieu University campus.  You get the picture. Lot of learning going on here.  I have considered enrolling in a class or two somewhere or trying to teach.  I always considered myself a “professional student”.   Thus, Law School at age 59.  Oh, to be young again.   Lots of other establishments such as the École Polytechnique have relocated in recent times to more spacious settings.

The Latin Quarter gets its name from the Latin language (duh), which was widely spoken in and around the University during the Middle Ages, after the twelfth century philosopher Pierre Abélard and his students took up residence here. I don’t know who Abélard is. Let’s look him up.  A philosopher?  WOW. His life and accomplishments are too numerous to list here.  Just know that he was the father of scholasticism and the inventor of conceptualism, whatever that is.  He was born in Brittany in 1072 and was a rigorous free-thinker and not a conformist.  That was new at that time (the 12th Century).  He died in 1142.  His life is very interesting.  I will research more of it at another time.  As many of you may or may not know, I have been interested in philosophy for a lifetime, and this man’s life and pursuits are just my cup of tea. I wrote my master’s degree thesis about philosophers – “George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy”, for sale on amazon.com.

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This is my neighborhood.  Winding cobblestone streets, flower-adorned balconies and arthouse cinemas: these are only some of the features that contribute to the Saint-Michel neighborhood’s charm. It is located on the west side of the Latin Quarter.  I took these shots of the St. Michel fountain and the Notre Dame Cathedral, situated just across the Seine River on the opposite bank.

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This popular neighbourhood is home to the Pantheon mausoleum. I have not been inside, yet.  It was closed during Lockdown.  What is the Pantheon Mausoleum?  “Sitting atop Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in the heart of Paris’ lively Latin Quarter, the Panthéon is a mausoleum for celebrated figures in French and Parisian history, including Victor Hugo, Marie Curie and Voltaire.”  – google.com

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And with the Sorbonne University,

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speciality bookshops and famed old cafes like Le Lutece also cluster in the area.

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And the Jardin de Luxembourg,

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and the Senate, and the area of Saint Germaine, and the Seine, and The Cluny Museum, and the Odeon National Theatre, and the Cinema, and ……..

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That means that it isn’t all touristy. Despite its popularity, it still manages to reserve quiet nooks and places that seem curiously untouched by modernity.

Orientation and Main Streets:

St. Michel Boulevard is situated mainly in Paris’ 5th arrondissement  with the Seine River to the north and Montparnasse to the southwest. It’s roughly sandwiched between the Jardin du Luxembourg to the west and the Jardin des Plantes to the east. Meanwhile, the fashionable, rather posh  St-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood is  tucked just west of St-Michel Blvd.  The Gibert Jeune and Gibert Joseph bookshops are rare booksellers across the street from my apartment.  I have not gone inside because most of the books are in French.  But, I have a lot of places to go inside before I leave the area.  

I have browsed inside at Shakespeare & Company Bookshop in the shop’s narrow, uneven shelves and carefully curated tables.  I need to spend more time there. (I did not take this photo.  But, all the others are mine.) I have gone inside of this one.  LOTS of books in English.  Duh.  

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You may have noticed that this entire district is something of a book lover’s dream.  There are few places more iconic in the Latin Quarter than this beloved bookshop. Opened in 1951 by consummate Parisian beatnik George Whitman—who passed away in 2011—it’s now owned by his business-savvy daughter, Sylvia.  Originally opened as “Le Mistral,” this is not the original S&Co shop in Paris: George Whitman renamed it in 1964, in honor of the legendary bookshop opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919 just down the street. Under Beach’s helm, the first shop was famous for hosting and publishing literary greats such as James Joyce. The more recent location is still a literary epicenter and a comforting refuge for English-speakers and readers.  And for those living in Paris, the shop also regularly hosts workshops and talks with great writers; it hosts aspiring writers and poets, charmingly referred to as “tumbleweeds,” by exchanging lodging upstairs for work in the shop. This place is simply timeless and essential.  I plan to attend functions like these in the future.

The Sorbonne is a Parisian badge of pride as one of Europe’s oldest colleges— it opened in 1257 as part of the medieval Université de Paris. The institution that gave the Latin Quarter its name (after the theology students, mostly monks and other religious figures, who occupied the then-Christian institution and worked exclusively in Latin,) it retains a genuine air of prestige.  Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to gain admission inside the hallowed walls of the old college to take a peek, but a visit to the pretty traditional square, lined with cafes and trees, is still worth a bit of time out of your day. 

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In conclusion, I am pretty fortunate to be in this neighborhood for a while even if I move into another arrondissement (because that was the deal) and this one is pretty pricey.  But, that is OK.  I am glad that I am in Paris and beginning an interesting sojourn for the next few years, if my health maintains. 

And, as a final observation, in The Latin Quarter, EVERYTHING seems in disrepair, including me.  Most things are being worked on in some way.  Resurfaced, reconstructed, repaired, torn up or fixed.  All of it is worth saving in some way.  In Nice, entire buildings would disappear with an entirely new structure going up.  Not here.  It is probably my imagination, but I can feel the ghosts from ages past surrounding me in the Jardin and on many of the streets.  I have so much to learn and so much to experience.  It is an exciting time for me.  I pray for good health, energy, money and time left on the earth.  So, all of it will be, “God (the Universe) willin’ and the crick don’t rise…..” (a Southern expression).  If I had to make one suggestion, come to Paris when you are young.  LOTS  of fun steps and nooks and crannies everywhere.  This was a fun one to write!  My sign off picture is recent and au natural sorta. No one here seems to care ((except me when I want to take a selfie!!! (sigh) Mother would be horrified.))

Best, Jay

 

Donation – Beginning Again in PARIS)

Thanks for helping me afford where I am going AGAIN in Paris. I will do my best! Thanks, Jay

$50.00

 

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PRICELESS SATIRE!

Had to share. Please put politics aside and enjoy the comedy/satire. 
Dear Diary 2020 Edition,
In January, Australia caught on fire. I don’t even know if that fire was put out, because we straight up almost went to war with Iran. We might actually still be almost at war with them. I don’t know, because Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt spoke to one another at an awards show and everyone flipped the f— out, but then there was a thing happening in China, then Prince Harry and Megan peaced out of the Royal family, and there was the whole impeachment trial, and then corona virus showed up in the US “officially,” but then Kobe died and the UK peaced out of the European Union.
In February, Iowa crapped itself with the caucus results and the president was acquitted and the Speaker of the House took ten years to rip up a speech, but then WHO decided to give this virus a name COVID-19, which confused some really important people in charge of, like, our lives, into thinking there were 18 other versions before it, but then Harvey Weinstein was found guilty, and Americans started asking if Corona beer was safe to drink, and everyone on Facebook became a doctor who just knew the flu like killed way more people than COVID 1 through 18.
In March, shit hit the fan. Warren dropped out of the presidential race and Sanders was like Bernie or bust, but then Italy shut its whole ass down, and then COVID Not 1 through 18 officially become what everyone already realized, a pandemic and then a nationwide state of emergency was declared in US, but it didn’t really change anything, so everyone was confused or thought it was still just a flu, but then COVID Not 18 was like ya’ll not taking me seriously? I’m gonna infect the one celebrity everyone loves and totally infected Tom Hanks, but then the DOW took a shit on itself, and most of us still don’t understand why the stock market is so important or even a thing (I still don’t), but then we were all introduced to Tiger King. (Carol totally killed her husband), and Netflix was like you’re welcome, and we all realized there was no way we were washing our hands enough in the first place because all of our hands are now dry and gross.
In April, Bernie finally busted himself out of the presidential race, but then NYC became the set of The Walking Dead and we learned that no one has face masks, ventilators, or toilet paper, or THE FREAKING SWIFFER WET JET LIQUID, but then Kim Jong-Un died, but then he came back to life… or did he? Who knows, because then the Pentagon released videos of UFOs and nobody cared, and we were like man, it’s only April….
In May, the biblical end times kicked off historical locust swarms and then we learned of murder hornets and realized that 2020 was the start of the Hunger Games but people forgot to let us know, but then people legit protested lockdown measures with AR-15s, and then sports events were cancelled everywhere. But then people all over America finally reached a breaking point with race issues and violence. There were protests in every city, but then people forgot about the pandemic called COVID Not One Through 18. Media struggled with how to focus on two important things at once, but then people in general struggle to focus on more than one important thing, and a dead whale was found in the middle of the Amazon rain forest after monkeys stole COVID 1 Through 19 from a lab and ran off with them, and either in May or April (no one is keeping track of time now) a giant asteroid narrowly missed Earth.
In June, science and common sense just got thrown straight out the window and somehow wearing masks became a political thing, but then a whole lot of people realized the south was actually the most unpatriotic thing ever and actually lost the civil war, and there are a large amount of people who feel that statues they don’t even know the name of are needed for … history reasons….. but then everyone sort of remembered there was a pandemic, but then decided that not wearing a mask was somehow a God given right (still haven’t found that part in the bible or even in the constitution), but then scientists announced they found a mysterious undiscovered mass at the center of the earth, and everyone was like DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH IT, but then everyone took a pause to realize that people actually believed Gone With The Wind was like non-fiction, but then it was also announced that there is a strange radio signal coming from somewhere in the universe that repeats itself every so many days, and everyone was like DON’T YOU DARE ATTEMPT TO COMMUNICATE WITH IT, but then America reopened from the shut down that actually wasn’t even a shut down, and so far, things have gone spectacularly not that great, but everyone is on Facebook arguing that masks kill because no one knows how breathing works, but then Florida was like hold my beer and let me show you how we’re number one in all things, including new Not Corona Beer Corona Virus. Trump decides now is a good time to ask the Supreme Court to shut down Obama Care because what better time to do so than in the middle of a pandemic, but then we learned there was a massive dust cloud coming straight at us from the Sahara Desert, which is totally normal, but this is 2020, so the ghost mummy thing is most likely in that dust cloud, but then I learned of meth-gators, and I’m like that is so not on my f-ing 2020 Bingo card, but then we learned that the Congo’s worst ever Ebola outbreak was over, and we were all like, there was an Ebola outbreak that was the worst ever?
In July…. Aliens? Zeus? Asteroids? Artificial Intelligence becomes self aware?”
Thanks to whoever started this for the copy and paste.
I have no idea who wrote this; and damn it, I want to know.
….Also, why didn’t I know about the whale in the Amazon?
john pavlovitz

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