Friday, January 1, 2010

Belated Wrap-Up and Epilogue

Tuesday March 17th - March 23rd, 2009
Days IX -XV Just as Magical as the First Eight

Must say, after pouring so much into a chronicle of the first eight days, I burnt out. At this point, I feel at least a synopsis/finish to my Paris visit is in order....

I believe that my main goal for this trip, to experience some of life as a Parisian, was fulfilled. Whether I was at a restaurant, a cafe, a park, an outdoor market, an indoor hidden passageway, a bar, an out of the way museum, or attending a striker's march; I felt I was either the only or certainly one of the few non-locals! Just maybe this had something to do with how well I was treated by, as many have described, the most snobbish people on the planet.

Yours truly and local snob in the Marais

A Few Standout Experiences During the Last Week:

  • Just across from my apartment was an entrance to the Promenade Plantee. An old elevated railroad was abandoned and decaying. In the early 1990's, the City of Paris converted it to a 2.5 mile pedestrian walkway through lush gardens with periodic stairways to the street below.

  • An out of the way museum:

Masion Europenne de La Photographie

No entrance fee and I was stunned by the black and white photography of Minot-Gormezano and Giorgia Fiorio

I had no idea that photographs of real life on postcards was prevalent in the US during the first three decades of the twentieth century. I was fortunate to see over 250 of these postcards collected by Anthony d'Offay.

Turning t-shirts into music:

After inquiring at the zen center about a t-shirt store in the neighborhood, I was pointed to-

Frederic Wagner is the fun loving t-shirt guy. I spent a couple hours at Liberty Shirt with this crazy dude as customers strewn in and out. We hit it off while I was looking through a gigantic portfolio of custom t-shirt possibilities. Turns out, Frederic is a part-time concert impresario with the nom de plume of DJ Red.

M. Wagner began to turn me onto a series of one night stands for different groups in small clubs and restaurants.

So, for the price of a beer or three I find myself enthralled with the wondrous sounds of live music of the highest caliber. The above was the piece de resistance; a funky jazz orchestra that had everybody packed in and hopping! If you can read in the small print: warm up by DJ Red.

Epilogue: Leaving (Magic) on a Jet Plane

When I travel I always take a book or two. I started a fun read on the way over; but was so captivated by my time in Paris; I didn't get back to the book until I was on the plane for home. The next line when I picked up in the book was: "learning French is difficult".

I heartily agree, but learning to love Paris is easy.