"Leslie Lewis et Gérard Hagen" Bonjour de Paris 18 Juin 2019
Bonjour de Paris ...
We just returned from a killer four days in Porto, Portugal. Other than a quick run out that Leslie made to Volnay, FR earlier this month, it was the first time that we left Paris since returning from the jazz cruise in May. The weather was fantastic, (so nice to see the sun everyday) and the city is beautiful in terms of both the people and the surroundings. We have been curious about the city since we met some people from Porto in Paris a couple of years ago. So when we heard that some friends from California were coming to Porto to do the walk to Santiago de Compostela, we decided to join them for a few days in Porto before they began their walk. So the city has both beach areas and also a river waterfront which winds through the city. It is a city built on many hills which makes it both very interesting in terms of cool neighborhoods, architecture, and visual surprises, but also a challenge to negotiate as one explores these neighborhoods on foot. There were a lot of things that reminded me of California, including freeways and a bit of urban sprawl, but also the weather, the beaches, the waterfront and the vibrancy of the people. There are many neighborhoods that have become run down but are being gentrified. For example we heard of a restaurant that had great sunset views as well as great food. When we arrived the entire block looked like it was a hang for bikers. The buildings had metal doors, barred windows and were covered in graffiti. Even so we checked out the inside to find this beautiful dinning room that was completely booked for the evening. Since we were a party of eight fortunately we had a reservation. We had an incredible meal that evening to go along with some great conversation.
As you might imagine there are many opportunities to explore the making and drinking of port wine. I was told there was a winery in town that will let you taste port that was bottled in the year of your birth. As it happens I didn't take advantage of the opportunity to try a glass of port wine in Porto.
Riverfront in Porto, Portugal.
Beach in Porto, Portugal.
Gerard at the beach in Porto, Portugal.
Street in Porto, Portugal.
Sunset in Porto, Portugal.
Party of eight for dinner in Porto, Portugal.
We are still waiting to hear from the Prefecture about having our residency permits extended another four years. In 2015 we waited for nine months for them to process our dossiers and finally grant us new permits. So this could take a while longer.
I have completed my teaching assignment at IMEP Paris College of Music. My grades are in and with the exception of a couple of auditions for incoming students, I am out of the classroom until mid September. I love the job but I am happy to have some time off.
The rest of this month we are doing our normal gigs in Paris. However not all of our gigs are of the normal variety. We were asked to be a part of a band that will do a concert of motown music at the U.S. Embassy in Paris at the end of June. Leslie and I are fans of that music and the band is made up of some very good American musicians who are living in Paris so we are really looking forward to that night.
For those of you in Paris or if you’re planning to visit this month, here is our remaining June schedule.