Bonjour de Paris ...
We are back in Paris after enjoying four wonderful days in Rome. The travel part of the trip was not bad. Thank you Easy Jet! But when it is a viable option, I still prefer to travel by train. Once we arrived in Rome we successfully used the train to get into town and from there we hopped on a tram to get to our hotel. Rome is pretty easy to navigate by public transit. But you take a chance when you ride with the “public”. I consider myself pretty aware of pick pockets and almost never bring a wallet when I go out opting to bring a credit card, carte de vitale, and some cash all carried in my front pocket. On one occasion Leslie’s purse was heavier than usual so I happened to be carrying it. While we were riding the tram an immigrant woman who was breastfeeding a baby stood next to me and put one arm against the wall so she almost boxed me in. At first I thought she did this because the car had filled up with people and everyone had moved closer to one another. But when the car emptied a bit and she didn’t move away I got suspicious and stepped away from her to get some personal space. At that point we arrived at our stop and I noticed that the zipper of the purse had been opened. After a quick check to make sure nothing has been taken, we got off of the tram and I told Leslie what had happened. At first I was angry at myself for letting the situation get as far as it had, but it wasn’t too much later that my blood started to boil at the thought of what this woman had tried to do to us. Fortunately it was nothing more than a close call.
In the Piazza Venezia.
Trevi Fountain, two views.
On a completely different note, I don’t know why I found this surprising considering it is the home of the Vatican and we arrived on Palm Sunday, but we saw more nuns in four days in Rome than I saw in four years of high school and my high school was called Saint Mary’s Catholic High School!
We spent a lot of time walking in different neighborhoods searching for beautiful side streets.
There were plenty of street musicians in Rome. But as in Paris, most of them are playing American music. We always seem to hear a rendition of “Summertime” wherever we go. This time with not one, but with three accordionists accompanied by guitar and bass. We also heard a cellist playing the “Theme from the Godfather” followed by the “Theme from the Titanic.” Accordions are big in Rome and you see actual Italians playing them. In Paris the only people who play accordions are Romanian.
Leslie at lunch at the Hotel Raphael, near the Pantheon.
At the River Tiber.
The food was glorious! Not one bad meal! On our last night there we ate at a restaurant that was owned by a very nice couple. The husband ran the dinning room and his wife was the chef. They had a very interesting menu which is what attracted us to want to eat there in the first place. We later learned they also own a farm where they make their own olive oil and limoncello. Our Roman epicurean experience was so good that when we returned to Paris and I went to the market to buy food for dinner I wandered around staring at food trying to think of something I could make that wouldn't be a disappointment.
Leslie outside a wonderful deli that was recommended by our friend Sara Monacelli.
Thanks to everyone who sent suggestions for our Rome visit. We managed to make it to most of what we wanted to see.
Next week on April, 8 we are performing the “Billie Holiday” concert we prepared last year in Saintes, FR. http://cityjazzy.fr/concert-jazz-mourad-benhammou-invite-leslie-lewis-gerard-hagen-pour-le-centenaire-de-lady-day/
The following week on April, 16 we are at Catinallegra in Auxerre, FR. http://www.cantinallegra.com/bar-a-vin-restaurant-auxerre-concert-jazz-club-r18.html
We are joined on both concerts with Nicola Sabato, contrebasse and Mourad Benhammou on drums.
On May, 29 we go to Les Pavillons-sous-Bois, FR for an appearance at “The Pavillons Jazz Festival”. http://espace-des-arts.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=32&Itemid=288
Check our website for our other April dates, we have the usual jazz club gigs in and around Paris. While you are there sign up for our weekly email blast to learn where you can hear us.
Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard
Please if you have any comments feel free to contact me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. This email also appears on our website where you may comment as well. http://www.surfcovejazz.com/blog/