mardi 17 avril 2012
"be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise"
The weather here is cold -- but our hearts continue to be warmed by this incredible city and its citizens incredible baguettes, cheese, chocolate and of course, pastries. Okay, there are more than a few things to see and do as well.
Yesterday's highlights included a cozy afternoon at Shakespeare & Co. Of course Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare & Co. closed in 1940 during the occupation never to reopen, but George Whitman opened a second Shakespeare & Co. in the Latin Quarter in 1951. I want to believe the flavor is the same as the original -- a tiny, jam-packed little shop of greatness. It was enchanting to see all the college age students snuggled in the little tucked away cots and chairs and when someone started playing the upstairs piano -- the place felt like home. I was overwhelmed by the store -- both in terms of what it has always offered to aspiring writers (sleeping quarters, reading opportunities) and the selection of books available. I could have spent hundreds and hundreds and hours and hours but knew that wasn't an option so spent some time in the Poetry section (a tiny little area one enters through a metal gate) and plucked a copy of T.S. Eliot's "Notes Toward a Definition of Culture, I also bought a copy of The Paris Magazine, a present and of course a canvas store shopping bag. To my surprise, there was no Ezra Pound poetry! Just a critical commentary about his life which I happened to already own. I will go back again and poke around some more on my own before the trip is over --
We mucked about the Latin Quarter winding our way to the 6th and the Jardin du Luxembourg. On the way, I window shopped all the fabulous art and home furnishing shops dreaming of my own Paris pied-a-terre.
Later on in the evening, we fulfilled Hannah's number one wish -- to see the Eiffel Tower in lights. We rode the Metro (stopped to listen to accordion music of course) to the Trocadero stop and arrived just in time for the tower to be lit up and sparkling in all its glory. She teared up -- ran and video-taped. It was worth more than a million dollars. Bless.