That was great Barry.  Thanks.

--- In, turquoiseb <no_reply@...> wrote:
> I know that a few here have been hoping for more of a travelogue in
> these epistles than a rantalogue, and today I may be able to provide
> one. So far, I've been literally commuting to Paris -- working here
> during the week, and going home to Leiden on the weekends. But this
> weekend I decided to stay, because I have to look for a more permanent
> apartment, and it's difficult to do that while working.
> Yesterday I did just that, and hopefully have found a place that is
> PERFECT for my needs -- it's a one-bedroom apt, with a full bed but
> a remarkably comfortable sofabed that accommodates two more people,
> should any of my extended family choose to visit while I'm there (and
> they will). Just outside the door is the Metro stop that will take me
> work, and the area is just littered with great cafes, restaurants,
> bars, and hangout bars. Steps away is rue Mouffetard, one of the great
> streets of Paris, full of markets, shops, and even more bars and
> restaurants. I hope I get it -- the only issue is that Paris landlords
> are pickier than Judy Stein (imagine that!) and want you to document
> everything about your life before they'll rent to you. I felt
> comfortable signing the agreement to provide her with my first-born
> child if I default on the rent (since that's not likely to happen
> anyway), but one can never be sure she'll go for it. I hope she
>'s a great place in a wonderful location.
> Right now I'm staying a little further away, in a lovely (but tiny)
> apartment in the 5th arrondissement. The building is old and
> and used to be (get the irony of this) a cloister for the nuns and
> priests who taught at L'université de Cardinal Lemoine. These days
> has been converted into upscale apartments:
> []
> although the rooms are still nun-sized. Fascinatingly, next door is a
> cabaret/strip joint:
> []
> so the nuns must be restless in their graves. I think one of them may
> have visited me in the dream plane last night. I turned her down...she
> was old and gnarly and frankly far too frustrated from a life of
> for me to even think of trying to rectify that situation. :-)
> The apartment-hunting hopefully over, I decided to walk along the
> this morning and find a nice cafe with free Wifi (often here
> called "Wistro") at which to write this over un petit dejeuner of cafe
> creme, jus d'orange, croissants and tartines. On the way, I walked
> the Pont de l'ArchevĂȘchĂ©, now famous because lovers have
> it with padlocks with their names inscribed, as if to declare their
> undying love. Color me unconvinced; in one particular area I saw at
> least ten padlocks inscribed with the name Pascal, each one with a
> different woman's name on it. Pascal got around, and his sense of
> undying love seems to be a lot like Maharishi's idea of how long
> promises to his TM teachers were to be kept.
> []
> Then I walked past Notre Dame de Paris, celebrating its 850th year. I
> didn't go inside, having been there done that far too often; the photo
> of me in the FFL Photos area was taken on its roof. But I did pause
> a moment outside the front entrance to photograph one of my favorite
> mini-monuments to the French mindset:
> []
> This is called "Point Zero." It is the point from which all distances
> the known physical universe were measured. In other words, not only
> the French consider their country (and thus themselves) the center of
> the universe, they had an actual point in space that was the *exact*
> center. It's sorta like how Buck thinks of the Men's Dome in
> :-)
> After that I walked over to St. Michel, always one of my favorite
> people-watching areas, and settled in this cafe, which is right
> one of the exits from the Metro/RER stop there:
> []
> Yes, it's touristy later in the day, but at this hour it's 1) mainly
> empty, 2) has heaters on the terrace so I can sit outside, and 3) has
> Wistro, so I can post this if I feel like it. (Although I'll probably
> wait until I get back to the apartment because I have photos to
> and include.)
> This is My Kinda Heaven. Buck can have his "heaven on Earth" in
> Fairfield. Sipping a cafe creme in Paris, watching people walk by,
> writing about what I see, and smiling big-time. Spring is as late here
> as it is in most other places (global colding), and it was 0 degrees
> Celsius this morning, but now the sun is starting to come out and warm
> things up. It's all just so PARIS that I have a tremendous smile on my
> face that I do not seem to be able to remove:
> []
> Some people here seem to get uptight when I write shit like this,
> claiming that I'm bragging about my life or making myself seem more
> important. That is honestly not how I see it. What I do in these cafe
> writing sessions is (wait for it) WRITE ABOUT MY LIFE.
> It really IS my life. I do not embellish it or try to make it sound
> more spectacular than it really is. I have been one fortunate frood,
> my luck seems to be continuing well into my Sixties. My suggestion to
> those who get uptight reading these raps about my ordinary,
> non-important life is that they might try writing a bit more about the
> ordinary, non-important events of theirs. Doing so might reveal to
> that their jealousy and uptightness is misplaced, and that their lives
> are just as exciting as mine is, wherever they are and whatever
> doing.
> When it comes to life and how wonderful it is, it ISN'T (as much as
> realtors like to claim otherwise) about location, location, location.
> It's about attention, attention, attention, and how much of it one can
> bring to living. Do more of that, and you'd have more to write about,
> too. Just sayin'...

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