My parents, niece, nephew and sister-in-law met me in New York last April. For many years, I had been resisting the call to New York.  Crowded streets and underground transportation don’t appeal to me. I was happy to leave it all behind when I moved from Paris to Los Angeles. But my father insisted: “Tu dois voir New York!”

My French family doesn’t understand that, having only 2 weeks vacation a year, I’d rather spend it at Mono Lake or Big Sur – two out of the many dream spots that gorgeous California has to offer – than in a congested city. You see, my sister-in-law has 12 weeks paid vacation. I repeat: TWELVE WEEKS.  I rest my case. In fact, I stopped talking to her after she mentioned this little known fact. If I had twelve weeks paid vacation, I would probably spend one of them in New York.  

I must say at first I was put off by the many RULES OF CONDUCT postings we saw in the subway. By the time I spotted this sign on the Hell’s Kitchen street where we rented an apartment, I had it: “If you can’t even stand in your own street!!!!”

Seriously, I’ve never seen a NO STANDING sign in Los Angeles and for a moment I pondered the meaning of this one. Cars don’t stand, do they? Buildings do. Is this skyscraper truly blue or is it the sky reflecting in its windows? I call it the Cloud Scraper.

Loved the juxtaposition of past and present:

Visiting New York with my family meant we hit a lot of  tourists’ spots. 

Central Bench:

Introducing: Tha Building.

My nephew Armand sleepwalking through MOMA:

La Statue de La Liberte:

The Streets:

The last time I saw Paris…

paris in ny

Our day in Harlem was one of the best. Whether we ate at a soul food buffet or went to the local drugstore in search of umbrellas, we were greeted warmly by West African immigrants who were happy to speak French with us.

Miracles on Hell’s Kitchen street:

My niece Ariane… the other miracle:


My Parisian niece Ariane probably wondering when her aunt is going to stop taking pictures of her so she can go for a secret smoke.


What the heck are those things for? We saw them everywhere and couldn’t figure it out.

Look for the paint brushes on the wall to the right of the little alien.

Theater row nearing the Lower East Side.

Entering the Lower East Side, my favorite area.

The Tenement Museum was unfortunately closed.

A Buddha Church?

Our visit to Ground Zero was difficult. I felt a tremendous sadness overcome me, enhanced by the graves I had just seen in a nearby church.

graveyard tree