September 19, 2008
Paris, the wench, has finally decided to befriend me.
Today, as I was walking in the sun on a cobblestone quay, she left huge golden heart shaped leaves all over the ground to tell me that she loves me.
I’ve had some interesting times recently, random conversations with Parisians in parks, awkward aperitifs with my host on her birthday, my first ramble through the Louvre, and planning my travels to Belgium, Greece, England, Ireland, Finland, Italy, Switzerland and beyond!
Last weekend I walked hours to the edge of the city, where I found the expansive Bois de Vincennes, a rustic park with a huge boat-filled lake and a little, and a creepy cave. The noise/people/dirt/car/moped-packed city faded away as I rambled through the noise/people/dirt-packed park. But it was still lovely.
But today. Today I found the most beautiful green little park (Parc de Belleville), perched on the hill within 10 minutes of my house, with shade covered benches, ivy covered trellises and little pathways everywhere. And at the top, with its layers of sun-drenched lawn, you can see the city skyline and the Eiffel Tour. It claims to have free WIFI too; so I’ve found my new favorite study, picnic, nap spot. I can’t wait to take Josh there, or anyone else who visits me! And it kept getting better. I kept walking and found the Parc de Buttes Chaumont, a larger rambling space with steep hills, expansive lawns, a lake, and a cliff towering in the middle of the water with another beautiful white dome. But instead of being blocked off like the dome at the Bois de Vincennes, I walked right up to it, sat in the center, and laughed with pleasure. The wind was whipping my hair around my face as a grand halo of green park separated me from the magnificent skyline of Paris, the huge exotic domes of the Sacre-Coeur gleaming in the distance.
I followed some canal through the city, walking on the quaintest cobblestone quay with the water literally glistening from the sun beside me. I worked my way to the Marais, the stylish 3rd arrondisement (known for fashion, jews and gays) and found myself eating the most delicious falafel sandwich and a cone of Italian gelato, crafted into a flower with a lemony scoop in the middle, and passion fruit petals. Then I went to the modern Centre Pompidou, a controversial landmark, where all the pipes, ventilation and structure of the building are completely exposed on the outside, forming this atrocious, bright blue, tubey sort of building. But they give you an hour and a half of free WIFI a day!
Now I’m sitting in part of the Carrousel du Louvre, a little statue-centered, tree-lined, hedge-perimetered park, with the Louvre and her glass pyramid ambling out in front of me, and the arc de triumph casually hanging out 30 meters to my left (okay, not the real one on the Champs-Elysee, but I swear its still called “arc de triumph”. The Louvre is open until 10 tonight, so with my free pass, I might ramble through a hall or two, pretending like I hang out with ancient Greek statues all the time.
For some reason,
Tomorrow should be great too: Hand washing my laundry and homework!