Paris Journal 2004

Saturday, July 17, 2004

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Hotel Dieu

Incredibly, the public hospital for Paris faces the square in front of Notre Dame.

Hotel Dieu

Emergency Room entrance

The side entrance to the Hotel Dieu is for emergencies, although it was the one Tom used a few years ago.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame, summer, 2004.

Sign for oldest tree in Paris.

Sign at the base of the oldest tree in Paris.

On Thursday, we continued our grand tour of the French private health care system. Tom and I took the metro up to an imaging lab near the Parc Monceau. There were some long waits and worries, and some truly hilarious moments that are too personal to relate here. Overall, we are very favorably impressed with the PRIVATE health care system in France (we still remain unimpressed with the public system, personified here by these pictures of the Hotel Dieu, the public hospital near Notre Dame). Everyone has been very professional and courteous. The radiologist actually talked with us for at least 20 minutes about the CT scans and x-rays, which showed nothing abnormal.

After, we had a long walk home down the Boulevard Malesherbes, the distinctive Avenue Matignon, and the fashionable Boulevard Montaigne, where we stopped to give the x-ray and scan films to the specialist that Tom saw on Monday. (Yes, they actually gave the films to US for US to deliver to the doctor.) Another oddity: Before going to the radiology place, Tom was told to go to a pharmacy to get the syringe and dye. This must be a government regulation designed to help the pharmacies stay in business.

In the evening, we had a delightful dinner at Le Blavet (75 bis rue Lourmel, tele 0145790816, 15th arr.). There were five of us, including our houseguest Wendy and our friends from California, Alan and Deb, who are living in Paris for a couple years. The desserts were the most beautiful I’ve seen in years. The food was delicious, and unbelievably reasonably priced.

Yesterday, after working for a while we took off for a long walk because the weather was perfect. We walked all the way to the 5th arrondissement, stopping a few times to have refreshments or to look at something interesting. The pictures tell the story.

Degres de Notre Dame

The café ©n the Degres de Notre Dame hotel is a favorite place for us to stop and have tea or cocktail hour. We sit outside, facing a quiet intersection on the left bank, very near Notre Dame. Notice the retractable awning. The instant it starts to rain, someone inside presses a button and the awning stretches out to shelter the clients.

View of Notre Dame from Degres

View of Notre Dame from the street near the Hotel Degres de Notre Dame.

Park at St. Julien le Pauvre

We’re fond of the square at St. Julien le Pauvre. Note the oldest tree in Paris, leaning at right, Notre Dame in the background, and the deep shade provided by manicured chestnut trees. Nearby is the ancient church, St. Julien le Pauvre, which is now used by the Greek Orthodox church (but, like most churches in Paris, is owned by the government).

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