Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Journal- "Les Amants de Paris" Part 2

... Across the Pont de L'Archeveche lies the majestic Cathedral of NOTRE DAME de Paris, flocked by tourists with their flash bulb cameras.

Amused to see them in such AWE, I sat on a bench, observing the characters around the area, trying my best to SKETCH them in my notebook. You could see the ROSY cheeks of the children enjoying their ice creams and cotton candy. Some danced together in circles singing along to familiar LULLABIES like "Au Claire de la Lune" while others played with their imaginary friends. The Hawaiian shirts, waist bags, the cameras hanging from the neck, were the stereotypical tourist UNIFORM. The women share sun block lotions, directions, and maps all the while trying desperately to control their children. The men in their navy hats and sunglasses were sharing a few laughs and ANECDOTES. The colors, diversity and beauty of the city were JUMPING out of my notebook.

The sun was warming up and to escape the mass, I headed to MONTMARTRE, home to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Strolling through the narrow COBBLESTONE streets of old Paris, I watched the artists sketching caricatures of people and painting the scenery of the local market. I could hear the steps of the horses pulling on the chariots and the local entertainment acts singing their lungs out to CATCH the tourists' attentions.

 Feeling a petit creux in my stomach, I sat down at the cafe, A La Bonne Franquette, to SAVOR the local delicacies. A woman was standing in the corner, a microphone in her hand and violinist by her side. She was interpreting Edith Piaf's "Milord" to ENLIVEN the spirits of the waiters. Volumptuous, with dark brown eyes and long dark brown hair FRIVOLOUSLY pulled together in a bun, she reminded me of tavern singers in the Spanish countryside. She wore an oversized red provincial dress and a belt that ACCENTUATED her waist. Her eyes were filled with passion as she sang every NOTE.

Allez, venez, Milord!
Vous asseoir a ma table,
Il fait si froid, dehors,
Ici c'est confortable.
Laissez-vous faire, Milord
Et prenez bien vos aises,
Vos peines sur mon coeur
Et vos pieds sur unce chaise

The rest of the day, I venture through the city's museums, libraries, bakeries and flea markets. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the Impressionistic paintings at the Louvres, COMPELLED by the words of Simone de Beauvoir' Second Sex and launched into pure ECSTASY by the taste of the olive tapenades of Marseille. As the day was ending, I was falling desperately in LOVE with the city once more. I head home with a bottle of red wine, two baguettes, goat cheese and a RUSTIC 18th century book that I found for a bargain. My apartment was chilly because the open windows let through the cool EVENING air. As I go to close the shutters, I can still hear Edith Piaf's record playing at my neighbors place. Through the melancholy in her VOICE, I hear her reaching out for the cool nights and the animated SPIRITS of her native French women and men. Feeling a similar HINT of nostalgia, I knew the day was not over YET, it was merely the beginning of an ENCHANTING evening.


With Love,


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