Tuesday, May 02, 2006


What do YOU think of, I wonder, when you hear the word deconstruction?! I think of what's happening to this barn near our house here in Atlanta. It's being torn down, board by board. De-constructed. But not exactly what I'd call being destroyed, oddly. Taken apart. And in the process, you get to see what's there, something you didn't quite see before.

I introduced you to Ruth (my "little" sister) and her new blog, Synchronizing, back in Februry. Not too long ago I introduced her as one of the "step-sisters" in my family. You can safely say I'm downright proud of her! Now let me introduce you to her newest blog, Paris Deconstructed.

Now she trumps herself! She is in the process of "deconstructing" Paris as a business hobby (soon to be full-time??!!). As she says, it's "travel coaching," for a city that defies description and imagination.

It also sometimes defies getting your hands around, as was the case with Donica and me. We kept putting it on our back burner to see "some day." To be honest, we didn't know how to tackle it. It seemed too big, too arrondissement-ed, too sophisticated, too ritzy, too too too...whatever!

Until, that is, we got the bright idea to fly Ruth over with us in October of 2004 and then again with her husband, Don, in April last year in exchange for her coming up with a day-by-day schedule and tour-guiding us through the city.

Omigod! If it's food you want, or history, or art, museums, literature, bridges, architecture, the wars, you-name-it...or all of the above...you've got it. In easily, deconstructed bites that are manageable for chewing on!

Her ideas for a business are mind-boggling. She LOVES Paris. She wants YOU to love Paris like she does. And she will help you! If it's not being your real tour guide, she'll be your virtual guide, coming up with your day-by-day plan for whatever interests you. She knows Paris like the back of her hand and so can deconstruct it the way you need it. In fact, she came up with an incredible, comprehensive questionaire we had to fill out separately before she came up with her plan for us. Custom-tailored!

She already has her web domain. She already has the know-how, the guts, the energy, the pizzazz and entrepreneurial spirit. She'll do it and when she does, watch out. Paris will never be the same!

Sisters get to boast like this. Sisters get to pop their buttons. And usually sisters know what they're talking about!


  1. Ginnie - that's very cool. Somehow I totally relate with her from Paris to Switzerland.

  2. Go Ruth! I'm so excited for this concept! Someday I'll be able to afford to go to Paris, and when I do, I want you with me, either in person or as my own personal "virtual" travel guide. Love you!

    Thanks, Mom, for the highlight!

  3. I love this post, Ginnie! I think I'll be giving you commissions one of these days! :) Thank you! As always, I love your perspective.

    BTW, I need to do my homework on Jacques Derrida, the "founder" of the deconstruction (literary) concept. It's complex and difficult (sort of like post-modernism -- who knows what the hell it is??), but I feel a certain responsibility to understand it at least a little if I'm bold enough to use it in my company's name!

    Amy, I'd love to share Paris with you!

  4. What a great idea this is! I can't wait to read all about Paris!

  5. ET: Yes, I know you'd relate, for sure!

    Amy: Someday you will indeed go to Paris and I have a feeling Ruth will be part of it!

    Ruth: After I started reading about deconstruction, I realized I wasn't as sure about its meaning as I thought. So I'll be glad if you figure it out for all of us :) I'm so excited for you about this new endeavor.

    Dixie: You and me both :)

  6. Ginnie, your enthusiathm comes through loud and clear. You'll be her best sales person. :)

  7. What an awesome sister you are! I'm coming, too, Amy!

  8. Tim: HA! In that case, I'll definitely shoot for commissions :)

    Rachel: Now THAT would be something--a chance for you and Amy to get to know each other as cousins, IN PARIS! Wouldn't THAT be a memory!

  9. When I was in Paris, 20 years ago, I found it so full of everything that it is worth a journey and a long stay for itself. If Ruth knows French, I am sure she could be a good guide for me the day I decide I return there.

  10. I do not know French, unfortunately. I know enough to get by, to be polite, and then I switch to English. Very soon I will find a good set of books/CDs to get serious about it.

  11. Mei: Ruth knows more French than she lets on. The two of you would get along just fine :)

    Ruth: Like me and German, it's always good to get better, but you already know more French than I know German! Still, good for you for wanting to get better. Lesley can help when she's around, right :)

  12. Wonderful idea! You sisters are just such and inspiration.

    The last time I was in Paris was 1987 - I'm sure it's changed so much since then. We drove through again in 1991 on our way to Spain but didn't stop, unfortunately. Now we'll know who to contact should we ever get the urge again.

  13. The Louvre? Maybe. The Eiffel Tower? I guess. Ruth? YES! YES! YES! NOW Paris has someting worth seeing. Well, Ruth and that cool fake beach thing they do in August. So two things.

    I once wanted to write a guide called "How to Love Paris Despite the French."

  14. Christina: Sisters are fun, especially when you have a "connection," which we definitely do! That WOULD be fun if Paris includes Ruth for you some day :)

    Jeff: I'm quite sure she'll give you a special price for all the "right" things you say. Flattery will get you everywhere!

  15. I am such an idiot! The whole time I'm reading the post I'm thinking "well gosh, that makes me think of the aftermath of the civil war." Then it dawns on me.



  16. I read that someone (Marcel Proust?) said or wrote that Paris was too perfect, so God inserted French people (kind of like the Amish quilts that need one "flaw"?). Ouch.

    I've also heard that the French outside Paris view Parisians as condescending, the way the rest of the world tends to.

    I've come to feel that, yes, there are rude, snooty French people, just like there are rude people everywhere, but I've far more often found polite ones. They're just reserved. :)

  17. Mr. Fab: You are way too funny!

    Ruth: Stereotypes! They hardly ever get us anywhere!

  18. I love Paris too! I loved it way before I even went to Paris, in 1987.

    Paris is not a city you visit with your brain, it's a city of feelings, of ambiance, of atmosphere. You have to visit it with your heart, and take the time to look at the little things, sit at a terrace on Saint-Germain-des-Prés, walk without going any special place (the place will come), read a book from Colette or Elsa Triolet, and enjoy!

    Oups, I'm getting excited here! But here is another thing I like about Paris, it looks a lot like my city, Québec. ;O)

    Now about the "Parisiens": Ruth, you are right about that! Heard about that old joke, probably because of our french ancestors here, and here too, we feel like that, like the people from the "Province".

    But you don't have to be so polite, come on, Parisiens are TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE PEOPLE! LOL Ok, I exagerate! What you say is true, there is some really nice people living in Paris. Here the hint: when you talk to a rude Parisien, just answer the same, being condescending with them always work! And when you see two Parisiens arguing together... applause and say Bravo! It's sooooooo funny!

  19. Hi Ginnie, now you've got me excited to visit the blog. I too love Paris :) and know it quite well having lived there for a couple of months!
    Best wishes - Neil

  20. Wow! That is a GREAT idea! I went to Paris a few times, but not recently. I'm sure if we decide to go for a long weekend, I will consult her :)

  21. Clo: I agree with you! When I was treated rudely by a waiter (may have also owned the restaurant, at least he acted like it) implying by his disdain that I should have ordered more than a crepe and a cocktail (which was pretty much all that was on the menu), I just said: "what else would you like me to order?" in a matter-of-fact way (a bit haughty, though, I admit) he completely turned his attitude around and treated me like a queen the rest of my visit in his establishment. Let them know they're being impolite, and they respect you.

  22. Clo: I'm sure there's a lot of truth to what you say (of course!) about letting Paris just happen in its own way. I would think that's especially true after you've been there a couple of times and have seen the "prerequisites." Then you can settle down and see the stuff off the beaten track! I know Ruth loved what you said about the French :)

    Neil: Maybe you'll be another good resource for Ruth :)

    CS: I think it's a great idea, too! And I'm not even prejudiced :)

    Ruth: I love that story!

  23. I LOVE Parisians. Lived there for a few weeks, with Parisian friends. Parisian are cool. French people are cool. Enough of stereotypes, please! :)

  24. MP: HA. No stereotyping of me either! It's a deal.