Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paris - Passage Paradis 2010

So does anyone happen to remember I once posted about how this blog came to be named?   Here is a link to that earlier post.

This is a "world" off of the Rue Oberkampf in Paris.  The sign on the archway that you see above says:  Cite Figuiere.  But I was so certain that in 1998 when we discovered it, it was called "Passage Paradis".   Are you with me here?

What changes the years have wrought!

It is much more crowded.

The greenery is almost smothering.

And yet, a timelessness.  Despite the fact that most of the houses have added floors since we were last here.  And there is a more prosperous air.

 A fresh-fresh coat of paint on the elephants-and-palms.

Fresh paint here, too but otherwise - everything EXACTLY the same as when I photographed, and later painted it.  Down to the reds and the hollyhocks.

This was the house that was for sale in the murky freezing winter of '99.  We could have bought it, we could have found a way.  But still.  It was ALOT of money then.  And so, someone ELSE did.

Were we wrong?

Or were we right to walk away?  And to create a Passage Paradis elsewhere....  My husband thinks we were right.  

What do you think?  Would you?  Could you?  Have walked away?

* I've been called in for jury for an as-yet-undetermined period of time.  So my excuses if I'm not coming by to comment.  xoxo


  1. So that's where the name came from. Could I walk away? I think so, I'm thinking house in Paris but no traveling or house in L.A. and see the world.

  2. it looks great. so is that anywhere near la cité mouzaïa? it reminds me of that place, i finally discovered it just last year.
    grtz, lucky you. in paris; always...

  3. Yes, you are right. I do remember the passage Paradis.

  4. how wonderful MP!
    tough question you ask...
    walking away it stays forever in the imagination as a possibility... and sometimes thats enough!
    If you stayed you would not have been here perhaps writing this wonderful blog bringing us all your wondrous ideas and thoughts and views and quirky takes on life...and what would we have done with out you?
    You are a 'one-off' and spin your web so well from whatever habitat you find yourself in!
    Thats what I think!
    S x

  5. Lovely "passage paradis" and I am certain you recreated a "passage paradis" your way and your style where you are now.
    Thanks for your kind note. Yes my Portuguese is alright (often more akin to "portuñol") and I can manage. My Japanese is rather "infant-like" and I think I would starve left alone in a Japanese environment!
    Good luck with jury-duty!

  6. Would love to see the painting version of the house and the hollyhocks!

  7. Ahhh, jury duty. So that's where you've been! :-) So glad you're OK. :-) I love this little place, it feels like a discovery instead of a neighborhood. I think anywhere you are with your man is Paradis. :-)

  8. Ah, so there's the charm and adventure! My husband and I walked up rue O and never found that little oasis... Next time!
    The changes, yes, I know what you mean. I have been noticing Pigalle change over time, since the mid 80's. Rue Le Pic, a place I have stayed, has boomed dramatically. No matter - I am, and always will be, in love with that city :^)... xo

    Good luck with jury duty -

  9. kevin - i think you're kind of right. property is a huge responsibility - i mean HEADACHE! despite the joys of decorating and gardening!

    woolf - thanks for stopping by! i need to get to know you better! i did stop by your blog today! nice! i'm afraid i don't know cite mouzaia at all.

    delphine - glad you found it nice enough to post at paradisexpress. it is paris after all! (i'm pleased and touched!)

    sophie and kenza - you two are too good to me! and you both totally raise the bar for me!

    jessica - so embarassing! i have pictures of most of my paintings but that one totally got away. it was sold before pictures were taken but it was quite true to the original image. thanks for asking! i posted some of my paintings earlier in the year, i'll try to track down the label/link or repost them.

    krista - yeah, i can see you discovering someplace like this too. and then going native!

    janis - i didn't even think about paris changing BEFORE i went over there this time. i was thinking that I had changed and might not appreciate it as much. but it is changing in subtle ways and in some ways it has changed more than either london or nyc in the same period of time. but yes, still so much to love.

    bonne nuit kittens! beaux reves!

  10. we had a similar walking-away experience in the desert...not buying our little dream houses allow us more flexibility to travel and experience other places, right? that's the story i'm sticking with. but my, how magical that little back alley is. those HOLLYHOCKS!!!

  11. wow, what a beautiful city.

  12. I adore these photos!
    They remind me of a film whose name I shall probably remember in the middle of the night ...
    Thank you for sharing them and take care with jury duty.
    I look forward to reading your blog which I've only just discovered, via Vanessa!

  13. lily - yes, i'm happy to have my little virtual packet of picture postcards of "what might have been". because that pile of postcards is now quite high!

    des - nice to see you! but have you been yet? "a la recherche d'Audrey Tautou"?

    Barbara - glad you liked them. Let me know when you remember that name. Glad you found me - I love Vanessa's blog and everything she does.