Bonjour de Paris ...
It has begun to feel a bit like Spring here in Paris. Leslie is gardening again on our terrace. The outdoor space is starting to come together. We are looking forward to enjoying some time out there this summer. I even saw a Weber grill for sale in Paris. It was an electric grill, but this being the middle of Paris we will take what we can get.
Paris has begun to feel like it is filling up with visitors. The streets in our neighborhood are becoming more congested and the cafes even more busy than usual. Our neighborhood is really a wonderful place to live. We are continuously finding new restaurants in the area. So much so that we had to put the breaks on our dinners out or risk blowing a huge hole in our food budget. To that end, we had a picnic lunch last Friday afternoon in the Jardin du Luxembourg which is only a few minutes walk from our home. No matter how many times we visit a park in Paris, any park, it never gets old. It’s even a great thing to do in the winter. The same with strolling along the river Seine. This has become a favorite way to end the evenings when we aren’t working. We recently met some friends at the river and enjoyed a few hours watching the boats float by with the lights reflecting on the water while enjoying a few glasses of wine. While we were sitting next to the water, two swans walked out of the river and sat down about 10 feet from us. You can’t make this stuff up. At least I can’t!
The Musée d’Orsay is showing a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition. It was really awe inspiring and I found it difficult to walk away from the paintings. There is something about taking in great art that I find very calming. Leslie and I have been hunting the galleries in Paris for artwork for the walls of our apartment. It has been a blast to search through all of these small galleries and in some cases getting to know the artists. We have found a few paintings that we really liked and happily added to the walls of our home.
We are still working on getting some work done in the apartment. I am hoping for it to start in another week or so. My goal is to have the apartment the way we want it by mid June. We now have a saxophonist living in our building. With three singers (including Leslie) on our floor it sometimes feels like I am in a episode of “FAME” when I return home.
Our work has been going well. 2014 started with a bang and continued like crazy until the end of March when things slowed down a bit. We were actually grateful to have a few weeks of downtime. Fortunately things are getting busy again and we are, of course, very grateful for that as well. Leslie is now working regularly at The Lido on the Champs-Élysées. We are still working monthly at Chez Papa Jazz Club and the Speakeasy. Those monthly dates, plus some concert dates and a number of hotel dates are helping to keep us busy through the middle of August.
Leslie performed at a piano repair shop in a suburb of Paris last Saturday. We played the same room last December and, when another singer couldn’t make the gig, they asked her to fill in. She sang with Alain Jean-Marie a well known French pianist and Grant Stewart, a very swinging New York City based sax player on tour in France. Bernard, the owner of the shop, has set up a small stage with drums, a great piano and sound system. The stage is defined by colored lights strung above the musicians. He covers the pianos with table cloths and has set up a bar, food and desserts. But the best thing is how friendly everyone is and what a nice vibe is created in the room. It is a setting that really allows the musicians to excel and Leslie really brought the house down.
We will be in New York and Seattle in late September. We had planned to be in California, but the time we could be away from Paris was shortened due to our work schedule. Unfortunately there is no time for a California visit this trip.
We hope all is well for you and your families and please keep in touch. It is really good to hear from you.
Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard
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