Springtime in Paris. I could end this post with that phrase, and those who have spent the season called Spring in Paris would know what I'm writing about. There is simply nothing quite *like* Springtime in Paris. It's more than a state of weather; it's a state of mind.
Yesterday I started the day in Leiden, which was warmer than it has been lately (12C), then got on the train, and three hours later I was in Paris, where it was *significantly* warmer than it has been lately (24C). Spring had finally landed, and with the impact of a pheromone/endorphin bomb. The resulting explosion rendered homes empty, and the cafes full. It was a challenge finding an empty seat, but I managed, at a cafe near where I'm staying. The experience was an utter delight, a flashback to all the years I lived here, and to the joys of cafe writing. I will not share what I wrote; it's too joyous and high-vibe to waste on this place. But tonight I'm back in the same cafe, because the Wifi is still out in the Airbnb apartment I'm renting. And because it was a nice cafe, and looking back on them I kinda like the things I wrote there. That's one of my criteria for a good "writing cafe" -- afterwards I like the things I write when I'm there. But now that I'm back, what do I write about tonight? Well, how about Being Here Now, and just writing about what's going on around me, and the thoughts those things trigger in me? That "writing prompt" has certainly paid off for me in the past, so why not give it another try? This 'hood is not nearly as upscale as the last one I lived in, but that may be the basis of its charms. The 5me arrondissement (especially towards the Seine) is WAY money, and thus the people who live there tend to have WAY too much of it. That can really fuck up a 'hood. One of the reasons I loved Santa Fe, New Mexico was that it was a *mixture* of people -- some wealthy, some in the middle, and some at the low end of the economic/social scale. This Paris 'hood has more of that vibe going for that than the upscale upper 5me does. This 'hood is full of old live theaters, some converted into modern movie palaces. Thus the name of the cafe across the street, L'Entracte (between the acts), a bar that first serviced the live theaters in the area, giving patrons a place to go and have a quick absinthe before the final act of the dreadful play they were watching. :-) There is not a large crowd here this evening, even given the Springlike group behavior, but I assume that's because many have headed out to boppier clubs and discos with a higher pheromone count. This place (one of the reasons I chose it) has more of a "I'm cool to just sit here and sip my drink and enjoy the evening" vibe than the often-overpowering club vibe of "I'm here to get laid." The latter, sad to say it, is BORING. In this cafe, people are actually *talking*, the guys' gazes actually often touching the women's eyes as they're talking to them, rather than remaining fixed on their chests, butts, or legs. The women seem equally willing to look past a guy's less-than-perfectly-toned bod and less-than-economically-attractive wardrobe. It's just a bar full of people interacting with other people as if all of them were -- go figure -- Just Human, not potential trophies. As I said earlier about Santa Fe, I like that in a joint. My kinda place. At the table nearest me is a fairly attractive woman sitting with two guys, neither of whom <obviously> is sleeping with her, both of whom <equally obviously> wish they were. The situation does not seem to be causing any of them any obvious distress. It's just what it is. Across the terrace, there are several tables of All Guys, and several tables of All Gals. There is no obvious flirtation going on between these islands of gender-specificitude. And yet. Give it time. :-) I have used the term 'pheromone' several times in this rap because to me it seems appropriate. When Spring hits the air in Paris, so do the sex pheromones. Those who were unable to hook up with a suitable Winter guy or gal before that season hit are out and about looking to rectify the situation. Others -- possibly younger and with sex drives more constant and less seasonable -- are just out and about trying to hook up, As Usual. For me, there is No Problem, either way. Spring is about the renewal of the year, and the renewal of life. if this takes the form of good conversation at a local cafe with good friends, No Problem. If it takes the form of looking for love (or whatever passes for it on a Monday night in Paris), No Problem. The joy is in the moment, not in the attributes of the moment.