Friday, June 19, 2015

Paris Post


"I think it would be wonderful if you did take a trip to Paris. I think you are old enough and seem to have a rudimentary grasp on the language, but I do worry about the possibility of getting into a difficulty in a foreign country.” 

Lucy Hart watercolor 2003
My mother was trying to be supportive but at the same time thought I might not be able to handle all situations all the time.

My duffle was stuffed with all the things I thought I would need.  A couple of changes of casual clothes, one black dress and a scarf for dress up, a copy of Hemingway’s “A Movable Feast” for references as I wanted to visit all the cafes he had mentioned.  My urban city map of Paris was blotched with large red dots of the important cafes I wanted to see.

My first day in Paris was simply a dream. I was staying on the Left Bank (naturally), and found a darling small hotel that was within my budget.  It was clean and tucked into a block of bookstores and cafes along Rue de Buci.   The sidewalks were thick with little tables all of them crowded with students on a break.  I must be near the university.  I marvel at how they can drag on their Gitanes, drink coffee, and talk at the same time.
Lucy Hart watercolor 2003

I found an empty table against a front window where I could gaze out on the people walking by, scurrying to class or to the bakery across the street with windows filled with pastry art which would make the finest p√Ętissier green with envy. I was on a limited daily allowance so would have to save up for one of the delectables featured at another time.  I was scared being alone, but somehow exhilarated at the thought of being my own guide.

I pulled out my notebook and thought about Hemingway doing the very same thing, sitting at a table in Paris and writing down impressions.  The notebook was new, a gift from a school friend, who said he envied me this opportunity but wanted to see my work when I returned.  It was a leather bound book, rather too refined for this girl, but I know he had pinched a large penny to buy it for me so I will treat it with respect.  It is hard to open that first virginal page, all white and clean.  My hand was actually shaking a bit as I started out with the my first line…..”Rue de Buci and I feel completely at home.  Even though a foreigner I feel like I belong here and it is going to be a splendid daily transitory adventure.”

2 comments:

  1. Wonderfully evocative. From Hemingway-- to Lucy B Hart-- to Woody Allen. Americans in Paris!

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  2. Excellent watercolor of the Eiffel Tower! I'm so impressed, but then . . . you stuff usually does impress me. Thanks for this post.

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