By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger (Reposted from September, 2011 on Blogfinger) I like this post, so here it is again; the third time around since 2011. Read the comments.
It was 1991, and we were visiting Paris with our son Michael, who had just turned 21. We had been there before and we liked the Left Bank the best, especially the area near the oldest church in town (St. Germaine des Pres) located on the Boulevard St. Germaine. You can walk that neighborhood and find bookstalls along the River Seine, Musee D’Orsay—home of the Impressionists, funky neighborhoods near the Sorbonne, antique shops, bistros where you can’t get a bad meal, small hotels with floor to ceiling windows and no elevators, and wonderful food markets.
Behind the old church, where the Blvd. St. Germaine meets Rue de Rennes, is a tiny park where you can relax, called the Rue de l’Abbaye—a respite from the bustle all around it. But also at that intersection is the famous Café Les Deux Magots where Hemingway, Picasso and other artists and intellectuals used to hang out. It’s so much fun to sip an espresso there and people-watch.
One evening Michael and I took a walk. At the corner, in front of the church and across from the café, we heard a street band playing. They were called “The Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band”, composed mostly of American musicians. But we were most intriqued by their vocalist, a seventeen year old young woman from New York and California who sounded like Billie Holiday. She had been living in Paris since she moved there at age 16 with her mom. Madeleine Peyroux is now a jazz star who performs around the world, but we think of her standing on the sidewalk with a floppy hat on, charming the crowd.
As you can imagine, I took a lot of photographs there. Below is the Cafe Deux Magots which dates back to 1875—just a few years younger than Ocean Grove.
And below that is Madeleine Peyroux singing in French. The song is “J’ai Deux Amours” (I have two loves). It is from her album “Careless Love.” That’s a good song for an album with that name.
Presenting Madeleine Peyroux: