Tag Archives: Paris

Leaving for Paris

14 Jul

“Paris is the greatest temple ever built to material joys and the lust of the eyes.” – Henry James

“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.” ~Angela Carter

Today I leave for Paris. I arrive tomorrow. Time zones–what can you do?

I am more or less packed, I have printed off my boarding passes (ah, the internet) and now I am biding my time.

I took the dog for a walk and tried to explain to her that I was travelling to another country.
“There are other countries?” she asked, a bit incredulous.
“Yes,” I told her.
“Just one?”
“No, Domino, there are thousands of other countries.”
She was speechless. So I explained, “Where else do you think we get English Bulldogs, German Shepherds and French Poodles?”
This seemed to clarify things for her.

Ideally, I hope to check in from Paris from time to time. I love the idea of dispatches from Paris. I’ll see what I can do about that.

At any rate, I plan to take notes and pictures–so I should have some stories to tell.

Until my next blog: Au revoir pour le moment!

“In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, and in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.”-Geoffrey Cottrell

I can’t believe I am going to Paris

12 Jul

I told myself I would finally believe I am going to Parish when my passport arrived.

The passport arrived a week after I applied for it. I paid for expedited service and I got it. Thank you, U.S. Department of State.

That Hillary Clinton runs a tight ship.

So, I have this passport and I am still having a hard time believing I am going to Paris.

I have been reading travel books to prepare myself. There are a lot of travel books about Paris. It can be a little overwhelming.

To get myself further in the mood, I have watched movies. Paris Was a Woman, a documentary about the women who flocked to Paris between the World Wars–Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, and others; Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s time-shifting romantic comedy–the opening shots of Paris alone make the movie worthwhile; Les Chansons d’amour (Love Songs) which stars Louis Garrel.

The shots of Paris aren’t as compelling in this movie but, hey, Louis Garrel. OMG. Where has he been all my life?

I tried to watch Last Tango in Paris, but couldn’t get into it.

I first saw that movie when I was in college and remember it being a pretty depressing film. Seeing it so many years later, I was surprised how attractive Marlon Brando looked. When I first saw this movie, I thought he had lost his looks.
Still, I couldn’t watch very much of it, because it was so depressing. I didn’t even make it to the butter scene. If you don’t know the scene to which I am referring, suffice to say, it does not involve a croissant.  It is just as well I did not watch the whole movie. I had sort of hoped watching French films might help me pick up the language. With my luck, all I’d pickup would be the line when Maria Scheider asks Marlon Brando to sodomize her. What happens if I get nervous at the airport and blurt that out to some surly Customs Agent?  That could get real scary, real fast.

These movies did not make me believe I am going to Paris. As appealing as it is to imagine me in the same city as the Eiffel Tower and Louis Garrel, I am still having a hard time believing this is real.

So, I ordered up some Euros. Very pretty money. Exchange rate, not so pretty, but the currency is lovely. I’d better be going to Paris–what else am I going to do with this pretty money with the lousy exchange rate if I don’t spend it in Paris?

I have been getting tips from friends who have been to Paris. My friend Jeffrey revealed to me that when he was in his 20’s he carried a paperback copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast with him everywhere he went, as a talisman. This astounded me, because I have been doing the exact same thing ever since I knew I was going to Paris.  Clearly if I felt compelled to carry Hemingway’s memoir of his early life in Paris, I must be going to Paris. It got Jeffrey there, why not me?

Now it is my last work day before my trip. Tomorrow, I tidy up and pack. Saturday I get on the plane and, they tell me, eventually I’ll wind up in Paris.

I will believe it when I see it.

I can’t wait!

Preparing for Paris

3 Jul

I wrote previously about The Coming Out Monologues.

The show was this past weekend and it was great. People really responded to the show. There was this whole exchange of energy between the audience and the players that made both evenings extrordinary. The response from the community has been wonderfully positive and appreciative. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of something so special.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and something terrific came of it. I am a richer person for it. Along the way, I met some extraordinary new friends. What a blessing.

I know why they call it the “comfort zone”–because it is comfortable. Comfort is a good thing. But it is also over-rated.

I have for a very long time, been a creature of habit. I am not sure I fully appreciated how attached I was to routine. I just kept riding the well defined grooves and another day passed. Another week. Etc. This is easy to do when you have a job, a home, a partner, responsiblities. Routines are comforting. Again with the “comfort.”

When I first heard about The Coming Out Monologues, a voice in my head said, “you should do this.” It was an opportunity to write. It was also an opportunity to perform on stage. I hadn’t been on stage since high school, and I didn’t even know I missed it.

Once I met the amazing people who were the drivers behind the project, I knew I wanted to take this ride. I am so glad that I did.

While I was involved in this project, an opportunity arose for me to join two friends who are going to Paris this month.

Now, in my head, if one is going to a foreign country, one should plan the trip for at least a year–learn the language, figure out travel iteneraries, etc. So, I was very reticent about running off to Paris with only a month’s notice. By my standards, that was like going off to Paris on a whim. Who goes to Paris on a whim?

Apparently me.

I gave it a little thought, checked the finances and found this was entirely doable. Then I said, “Yes, I would love to go to Paris.”

And so I am. I leave a week from Saturday.

“Bill–you were in The Coming Out Monologues and it was great! What are you going to do now?”

“I am going to Paris!”

Now that the show is over, I am focusing on what I need to do to get ready. I have my passport. I have ordered some Euros so I don’t have to flounder around trying to get cash when I first arrive. Flight has been booked. Hotel reservation is confirmed.

What next?

I am preparing for Paris. The question is, is Paris prepared for me?

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