That was great Barry. Thanks.
--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, 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 also > 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 to > work, and the area is just littered with great cafes, restaurants, sushi > 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 male > 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 > does...it'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 historical, > 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 it > has been converted into upscale apartments: > > [http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8523/8626604507_d9a0713621.jpg] > > although the rooms are still nun-sized. Fascinatingly, next door is a > cabaret/strip joint: > > [http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8525/8626603253_ae77774192.jpg] > > 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 denial > for me to even think of trying to rectify that situation. :-) > > The apartment-hunting hopefully over, I decided to walk along the Seine > this morning and find a nice cafe with free Wifi (often here charmingly > 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 over > the Pont de l'Archevêché, now famous because lovers have decorated > 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. > > [http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8122/8626606361_5f9f6d7e34.jpg] > > 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 for > a moment outside the front entrance to photograph one of my favorite > mini-monuments to the French mindset: > > [http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8384/8626608325_62d317266e.jpg] > > This is called "Point Zero." It is the point from which all distances in > the known physical universe were measured. In other words, not only did > 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 Fairfield. > :-) > > After that I walked over to St. Michel, always one of my favorite > people-watching areas, and settled in this cafe, which is right outside > one of the exits from the Metro/RER stop there: > > [http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8103/8626608551_d573287d07.jpg] > 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 process > 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: > > [http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8537/8627720330_2354db4318.jpg] > 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 any > more spectacular than it really is. I have been one fortunate frood, and > 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 them > that their jealousy and uptightness is misplaced, and that their lives > are just as exciting as mine is, wherever they are and whatever they're > 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'... >