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At Home and In Paris

Updated: May 2, 2022



March 19th was my birthday. I am 73 years young, and with the sun shining and having the opportunity to drive out into the countryside, to breathe the fresh air, and to see the flowers blooming once again all make me feel like I’m 37. It truly looks like spring has arrived with a 10-day weather forecast for blue skies, full sun, cool temperatures, and no rain in sight. Printemps, one of the two grand magasins (department stores) just three blocks from my home in Paris on the Boulevard Haussmann, is cheerfully decorated

as if in honor of the season after which it was named. Our warm sweaters and coats are not quite ready to be stored in the cave, and although daylight savings time wasn’t to begin here in Europe until the 27th of March, it still feels very much like Spring.

The day before my birthday we visited our Master Coiffeur, Monsieur Eric Dechoux, in the new location of his stunning salon, Le Sens des Cheveux was just moved from the 9th to the 8th Arr.

We were pampered, as always by Eric, with coffee, chocolates, luxurious shampoos, messages, and stylish cuts at the expert and gentle hands of this master, along with the soothing pleasures of varieties of music to enhance the delicious atmosphere and decor. When all was said and done and we both felt duly beautified, Eric recommended an African Restaurant at the end of the passage. The name of the restaurant was l’Afrodisiac, where the food was fabulous and the portions as large as the continent after which it was named.

It was a good day with surprises we hadn’t expected.

The next day, we visited a relatively small medieval village located in the north-northwest outside of Paris. We spent the day fully steeped in centuries of French architecture, food and history. The name of the village is Mantes-La-Jolie. And with all of the daffodils and other flowers blooming in abundance, the "Jolie" seemed quite fitting. This commune, in the department of Yvelines, has a population of approximately 40,000 residents and stands

halfway between the Dukes of Normandy at Rouen and the Kings of France at Paris. Along with most of northern France, it changed hands frequently during the Hundred Years' War.

Philip Augustus died at Mantes, 14 July 1223. Notably, Louis XIV instituted the manufacture of musical instruments in Mantes, and it was chosen as the centre of brass and woodwind

instrument manufacture. In the 19th century, painters were attracted to the town, particularly Corot, whose paintings of the bridge and the Cathedral are celebrated.

Prokofiev spent the summer of 1920 there orchestrating the ballet Chout or, in English, "The Buffoon".

Originally known as Mantes-sur-Seine (meaning"Mantes upon Seine"), Mantes merged with the commune of Gassicourt in 1930 and the commune born of the merger was called Mantes-Gassicourt. Mantes was the location of the first allied bridgehead across the Seine in WWII on 19 August 1944,

by General Patton's 3rd Army, which allowed the Allies to engage in the Liberation of Paris. During the two days of the bridge crossing, American anti-aircraft artillery shot down almost fifty German planes. Major rebuilding was needed after the war. On 7 May 1953, the commune of Mantes-Gassicourt was officially renamed Mantes-la-Jolie (meaning "Mantes the pretty"), allegedly in reference to a letter of King Henry IV addressed to his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrées who resided in Mantes: "I am on my way to Mantes, my pretty" (French: je viens à Mantes, ma jolie). There is so much history in this one small village on the Seine, I could go on and on -- this from one who never cared much for history.

And, of course, the food was to die for

(and if we keep eating like this, we’ll die younger than we care to). So I’ll share the view if not the calories and the sublime tastes, unless you decide to pay us a visit. Of course it’s not just the wonderful vittles to be found in such charming first class restaurants as Le Moulin de la Reillere that attract a steady flow of patrons , but the

beautiful natural surroundings, the streams, rivers, and the old water mills

that lend their beauty to our experiences in such places as Mantes-la-Jolie. These views, and the frequently discovered witticisms )like the one pictured below) will always put a smile on the oldest of faces. Simply translated into English, it states that “Patience is like chocolate; One can never get enough."

I might also add that one can never get enough of places like Mantes-la-Jolie. For these discoveries are so close to Paris that we might have missed them, if it hadn’t been for the constrictions imposed by the dangers and the fear of going too far from home over these past two years .

Very soon, I’ll share the wonders we discovered on our visits to Parc Montsouris and Parc de l’Lle Saint Germain, Issy-les-Moulineaux, and the wonderful City of Strasbourg. I hope that you will share your thoughts and experiences with me as well!

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Sounds like a great trip. I"ll send pics from Easter Sunday with my son and daughter-in-law and the Eikler House they redid. She is an architect, from Iran originally, came here after the Shah fell; and he is a lawyer. His specialty is Public Relations.and they live in Orange. I'm lucky to have them as they are thoughtful, fun, interesting and attentive even though very busy, well traveled all over the world, like you, and no kids. He has overcome a lot - dyslexia and having oral implant surgery in high school as he was born with only a few adult teeth. ( I think we talked about that many moons ago, Teddy. All that, along with both his …



Happy Birthday to you, young thing! It is spring time for all here as I am going to finally get my hair cut after a two year growth . Hair style is easier to handle than the other parts of aging so I look forward to the lift-a pun as there will be abut 7 inches less. Otherwise, I am no longer driving

Judith Mitrani
Judith Mitrani

Congratulations on your new haircut. Send a photo❣️I’ve been driving more than ever. June/July we drive through Germany and Denmark to see friends in Southern Sweden and the travel with them by car fro Malmo to Oslo Norway. We will stay in Cologne, Hamburg, Malmo, the Archipelago off of Gutenberg Sweden, Oslo Norway and Munster Germany all in three weeks❣️

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