Live Blogging From My Hotel in Paris

6 Jul

 

 

It is well past midnight in Paris, as I type this. I am doing a stream of consciousness blog when I should be in bed asleep. Vacations are stimulating, but they are also tiring. Paris is a city where walking is the most practical means of transport. Even when taking the Metro, when you change trains, there are seemingly miles of underground passages and steps to traverse.

Tomorrow marks one week in Paris for me. There are several days to follow and then I return to the United States on Saturday. I have seen much and walked much–which is good because I have eaten much, as well.

A random list that comes to mind includes: Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, where I climbed 300 steps to reach the top of the Basilica, which is at the top of a high hill, in order to view a vast and panoramic view of Paris; Notre Dame–an amazing cathedral within walking distance of my hotel. We can hear the bells from here; I walked past this evening close to midnight and could hear the organ inside–midnight mass, I suppose–the church was closed to visitors at the hour. I also had the pleasure of climbing to the top of the Arc de Triophe for another, slightly more down to earth panoramic view of Paris. While I have crossed paths with the Eifel Tower multiple times, I have not yet been to the summit of Paris’s most famous landmark. When I went yesterday, for reasons unstated (and based on my experience with the French, it may well be based on nothing more than a whim) the top of the tower as “temporarily closed.” My friends and I, instead, gathered where many Parisians gather in the evening–the park beside the tower, where we picnicked on cheese, grapes, bread, and, of course, wine. When darkness slowly began to fall, all of us reveled in the glow of the tower.

There is more to report, but I will save that for another day and another blog. I have plenty of pictures to share as well. For now, I must turn in. Saturday has faded away here in Paris and Sunday has dawned. I must sleep so I will have energy for the day’s adventure.

Sleep does not always come easy for me. The hotel (like many places in Paris) is not air conditioned Instead, my window shutters are open wide on a street traversed by drunk and singing young people as they stumble home; the buzz of motor bikes and residual din of the city wafts it’s way through my window. I don’t really mind. I love that when I look out my window one way, I see two Tibetan restaurants, peacefully existing side by side. Further down is the restaurant where I had the most delicious cassoulet for dinner tonight. I love that if one continues in that direction, Notre Dame and The Marsais are a pleasant walk from here. If one goes the opposite direction, you will encounter the steps Woody Allen used in “Midnight in Paris” and the you will encounter the Parthenon. If you choose to follow that street toward the direction of the Eiffel Tower, you will run smack dab There’s also a McDonalds before you cross over to the gardens–across the street from the French equivalent,Quick–which is currently offering burger menus with tie-ins to The Simpsons. I am told the Homer burger is shaped like a donut.

Voltaire quotes on bathroom walls in a restaurant where Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson used to frequent; the day I nearly caused an international incident and nearly pissed all over my friend’s art career (literally, I regret to say;)  the vapidity of Parisian television–these are but a few of the tales I have to tell about my trip to Paris.

As  I am staying 2 weeks, I have decided that in the future when I tell tales of my time here, I will begin each story with a possibly misleading, but technically accurate phrase:

“For a time, I lived in Paris…”

Happy Weekend.

 

 

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