So, academic responsibilities mean that while the region of Paris is all around me, I could as well be on Mars. It is crunch time at my “Grande École” and I am buckling down for hours of writing. Blogging and spending time with this city that I love so much are going to suffer as a result. I guess then I am going to live the life of a student stereotype: a steady supply of caffeinated hot beverages, unhealthy amounts of sweets to keep the energy up and frequent conversations with the cat. For example, I cannot wait to explain to the cat some of these amazing constructivist theories and how awesome critical readings of European Union foreign policy are: Yes, it is quite a sad situation indeed! (and the image is one by Chagal, you are correct for having guessed that if you did! Captures my current situation to some extent)
In yet another episode of wandering, I happened to walk past an old church which once occupied a very central place in the politics of France, whose church bell on St. Bartholomew’s Day summoned the massacre of several innocent people – and in more recent history, was the venue for the ill-fated wedding of Eva Longoria. All of these events have had their full life’s cycle, are defunct and long past. And, this to me is part of the beauty of wandering aimlessly around Paris – the opportunity to walk on streets trod by kings and queens on their way to mass or daily prayer, the hurried hate-filled footsteps of ‘genocidaires’ thirsty for the blood of unwanted foreigners – and those of countless young lovers about to take a plunge into the unknown realms of commitment. It is what makes wandering Paris a transcendental experience, each and every time. And, on another note – while I am trying to resist being overly fascinated by the city’s christmas lights : it is increasingly difficult not to …
Took these pictures on one of several bouts of aimless wanderings in the 5eme. I suppose this one of the gifts of the city to souls searching for many things – meaning, love, companionship, comfort and an endless list of deeply held desires: The gift of small streets each a treasure of its own. The gift of minute hidden little streets that give you the impression that you are one of a very few people who know of their existence. An obviously false impression, but nonetheless, a beautiful and consoling one:
Tucked away at 91 Rue Saint Honoré, this little ‘village’ hosts gorgeous antiques, paintings and even vintage Coco Chanel dresses. There are also remarkable jewellery items ranging from brooches to stunning rings and necklaces. It’s a geat pace to pick up authentic vintage wares, or simply gawk.
So, it appears as though the cold, white winter of last year is not going to repeat itself this time round. But, the indecisive, brooding, cloudy greyness makes for a stunning canopy for the already beautiful city of Paris. Here are some images I took the other day on a particularly grey afternoon:
It is that time of the year to meet deadlines, create pages of written work, turn in applications and proposals – to either drown, swim or sail upon oceans of words: words from hours of passionate lecturers.. the written word often written in convoluted jargon and many more that we have to magically create after hours of reading. All that comes to my mind is the refrain of this classic French ‘pop’ song by my darling and dearest, Dalida and the ever so attractive Alain Delon – “Paroles, paroles, paroles” (words, word, words). These are precisely what I am trying to swim through and make it to the end of the semester without being overwhelmed by – all of these word, words, words.
Last night, finally got round to watching Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess in “One Day” where Paris makes a dazzling cameo appearance. In this clip, La Gare du Nord provides a backdrop for one of the interesting turns in the movie.