Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paris Memories





Paris sunset over wine by near the Palais Royal.
Paris is in my thoughts a lot recently. Not so much because I miss the city, but because I miss the friends I met there, and the people I love who've shared the city with me. Some of them I can talk to or email, some would not want to, and others I have no clue how to reach.


A sandwich I made often--thin Basque ham, brie, honey soaked apricot on sliced boule.
Hemingway said: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." This is not hyperbole or fetish. Paris is a feast for the senses and the spirit. One is nourished twice; once there and then through enduring memories of everything. The food, the friends, the art and architecture, the conversations of life in other lands, politics, philosophy...too many rich experiences to collect into one sentence.


Sacre Couer

So I will have to go by memory and pictures. I can close my eyes and taste the honey soaked apricots and baguette that I shared with friends for breakfast in front of an alley cafe near the Seine. I can ruminate on hints of musty ripened cheeses on display at the outdoor markets where I shopped each week. Often I've been downtown and felt the same feeling of being alone in an empty metro station late at night; mechanical clanking sounds in the distance and dirty air breezing through the tunnels as the last trains of the night glided past. I remember informal gatherings of friends and strangers for conversation on the street near St. Michel or outside Shakespeare & Co. at dusk. My heart is filled with the lifelong friendships I formed with others there, searching as I, to feast on Paris.


From inside the Musee D'Orsay looking onto the Sacre Coeur on the hill of Montmartre (left).


This may sound like so much pomp, and it is perhaps in the grand scheme of things. I am a writer and I consider many more things than food. But food is sometimes where it all starts. Food is essential. Food is a counterpoint to living as well as a necessity to sustain life.


I also wrote about my time in the city of lights here.










Montmartre
Tuileries

A good place to eat: the Seine just near the Louvre.


A particular view from Montmartre.

Luxembourg Gardens

Pere Lachaise Cemetery, 2002. There was a young girl being buried up this hill.



3 comments:

  1. Lovely photographs. I hope to visit some day.

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  2. I'd love to go back to Paris sometime. I was 16 when I went and there are so many things I know I didn't appreciate at the time.

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  3. AH, yes: to be in Paris and in love.

    I went to Paris once. With an ex. He and I were not even on speaking terms by the time we reach this city (we had only been dating a few months prior to this adventure). I actually had no desire to go, but drove there for his sake.

    I find myself thinking how different my experience might be, now, with someone I am whole-heart in love with. In fact... this is a GREAT blog post idea! :) Thanks!

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