I went down the hill - the back, less touristy side - and had a hamburger for lunch - and I know the correct French way to eat a hamburger: with a knife and fork. I like that so many things come with a side salad - last time I was here, you couldn't get one at all. It's so cold, that the cafe I went to provided blankets for your legs. I used one.
Yesterday, I went to the above church - very small, 12th century, in sight of Notre Dame - and listened to a piano concert of Beethoven and Chopin. It was quite lovely and the audience thought the pianist - Jean-Christophe Millot - was fabulous. standing ovation and much exclaiming afterwards. He sounded good to me, but I don't know anything.
There's a Gospel and spirituals concert coming up. It might be fun to hear that in this location, but it's a bit pricey.
The French are a real mixed bag when it comes to environmental issues. They're no longer allowed to smoke indoors, but they still smoke so much that you walk on a carpet of cigarette butts on the street. They know more about GMO's than Americans, but everything goes into a bag - real heavy duty plastic. So far over 2,500 people have signed up on Facebook to go to the GMO protest on the 25th - which was originally going to take place in a restaurant.
Be sure to get your five servings
of poison a day!
One of the Metro stations has several displays about the environment. They explain the nesting sites that have been set up for hawks in the city and the importance of bees. Some of the parks have beehives and the city has planted beneficial flowers.
This is right near some beehives
in the Luxemburg Gardens
The slogan is "Biodiversite - C'est la vie!" Biodiversity - it's life!
And the masculinity thing is confusing. Though French women have considerable equality - and don't live in a country that acts as though it hates families, the way the US does - it's supposed to be quite misogynistic. At the same time, the men are really colorful dressers - something that would bring heaps of ridicule on American men. They wear purple pants and bright yellow shows and pink shirts and lovely long flowing scarfs, just like the women. It takes a little getting used to, but I think American men should claim it. Life could be a lot more colorful and fun, guys!
Same plants as Home Depot, but it looks
so much better displayed along the Seine.
And then there are all the women mincing around in high heels on cobblestones. I can barely do it in my flats! That's not one I would trade. But they do have great shoes and much more variety than in the U.S.
One is tempted to eat baked good all day. They are everywhere. This boulangerie is by the Canal St.Martin.
There was a line out the door and I've read that if there's a line out the door, it's a sign that you should get at the end of it. I didn't, though, because it was a long way from home.
Nancy Norton sent me a link to a list of literary happenings in Paris. There's a poetry reading I may go to tomorrow night (if it's not raining). And there is an annual literary fair the second weekend of June and Eavan Boland is reading (they are featuring the literature of Ireland - they pick a different country every year), so I'll be heading to that for sure. I'd also like to hear Seamus Heaney, but my kids will be here by then and I don't think Andrew would be too thrilled.
More beautiful neighborhood -
down behind the apartment
I finished Flight Behavior and found myself in it:
"That's America. We watch shows about rich people's houses and their designer dresses and we
drool. It's patriotic."
"Not me. I think I hate rich people."
"Yeah, but you're an equal-opportunity hard ass. You hate everybody."
"I do not," Dellarobia exclaimed, surprised. "Am I that bad?"
Dovey reconsidered. "Hate is a strong word. You don't let people get away with much."
".......so what's my problem?"
And still no writing worth mentioning.
Another one looking out the window