5/10/17. The Latin Quarter, Marais, and Seine
Parisians enjoy much more freedom than we do in big American cities. They live in a pleasure-loving, walking-friendly, park-centric safe milieu–a comfortable take time-to-savor-life and people-focused city.
It’s fun to bargain shop Paris. World class, inexpensive cosmetics, lingere, scarves. Get a handful of small 💶 Euro notes and head out!
And don’t forget the bookstores. This one, that published Ulysses when no one else would touch it, is near Norte Dame in the 5th. The tabby sleeps upstairs.
Justine and Will invite us to meet them at a cafe on the rive droite of the Seine tonight. It’s a warm night, the first of the late spring. The open air and the jovial young crowd add to the frisante Parisian joie de vivre. After a great dinner and some light, dry red wine, we walk home a mile or so at midnight along the banks of the Seine. There are many young people are out along the banks under the full moon drinking and talking. Have you seen Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris? I kept expecting Monet to show up.
It’s jarring, and a bit sad, to experience, in the bones, being in a safe and walkable city. Like, all of a sudden everything is good again. This is the way San Francisco used to be, isn’t it? Many of us have only a dim memory of the peaceful and livable cities we came up enjoying in the now hyper-urban, Siliconvallenized Bay Area.
5/11/17 The 5th Arrondissement
It’s now 3pm and 73.5 degrees in The City of Lights. Parisians are hustle-bustling around town in black down jackets and long black wool coats, and big, heavy jackets with wool scarves. It hasn’t registered with everybody that the weather has just changed. Like just changed today. I am most certainly the only person in town with sandals on, and the only one wearing a sleeveless knit top. Don’t they know that in Northern California this is summer weather? Tomorrow we fly to Toulouse, the jumping off place into another, very different world.
We are staying a block from Norte Dame. I wonder what the story of the guy holding his head is?