Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Homesick...for the Sixth.

For the month of June and part of July, I lived in the sixth arrondissement in Paris. I lived with a wonderful family in their penthouse. I was surrounded by art-- real art, people, antiques and walking distance from...well, everything. I loved this neighborhood; Catherine Deneuve lived just down the street! There are cinemas, markets, shopping (ridiculous shopping [Yves Saint Laurent and Lacroix were both on my corner), and I was situated right between Saint Germain and Saint Sulpice. At the top of the hour I could hear both sets of bells ringing and could see one from my balcony and the other from my kitchen window. Alas, I am no longer living with this family in their beautiful home, but in the more affordable 14th.

But tonight, I found myself back in the sixth, back on Rue Bonaparte. And as I walked to the Luxembourg RER station, I stopped at Saint Sulpice. The large square in front of this church is typically filled with booths; each week a different type of market (antiques, used books, chess tournaments) take over the square. But tonight, it was empty and they turned the fountain on. After six weeks of living one block away, tonight was the first time I saw the fountain with water gushing from the strange little faces and the lights were turned on. I asked an italian couple to take my picture in front of it and spent about a half an hour enjoying the ambiance of the square like I'd never seen it before.

The fountain, itself, is enormous: the bottom lip comes up to my waist (I'm 6'2"). What a wonderful end to a very pleasant afternoon.

As I posted yesterday, I had plans to hang out with Doug. He is returning to the States after a whirlwind trip of Northern Europe. He went everywhere and had some great stories. I met him at Shakespeare and Company (I wanted to pick up my reserved copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince [which sadly was not in-- they had only received the UK edition and I am waiting for the US Scholastic edition] and he had never been there). I love S&C. It is one of my favorite places in Paris. I love the smell of the books and the buckling of the shelves underneath them (see link at right). It is an institution and you should make the trip if ever you find yourself in the City of Lights.
S&C is also in Lutece and Doug wanted to do some souvenir shopping for family and friends. This is, in my experience, the best place for souvenir-y souvenirs in Paris. You can buy shot glasses, spoons, pashminas, g-strings (ick!), berets (I'm still searching for one that says Rusty* or, at the very least, a place where you can get them personalized), posters, keychains, and anyything you could ever want to find with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it. After browsing the boutiques, we headed for Avenue Saint Germain-des-Près and Les Deux Maggots. Les Deux Maggots is a very, very famous café/restaurant in Paris. It was frequented by Hemingway and his crowd and is still very popular with Parisiens. We drank hot chocolate and people-watched (I love, love this neighborhood! Have I mentioned that?).

It was a beautiful day in Paris and a nice afternoon. And, it's strange to think of going home right now. Doug is headed back to Texas (America x 10), and I am still just getting started; I feel like a resident of this city-- not a tourist. I am just getting acquainted with the 14th. I live by the stadium (a stadium, but I have no idea what they play there), I might try to get tickets, "I love tickets." I know where the supermarket and bakery are. There is a great park, but that's about it. It's very residential and quiet at night-- so much so that I had trouble falling asleep the first few nights. But it is nice, and the money I am saving allows me to eat three times each day, so it's got that going for it.

*Nat'l Lampoon's European Vacation: Clark buys the family personalized berets. Rusty hates his and throws it off the Eiffel Tower. If you have not seen this movie, you must!


Blogger Serena said...

I'd like to have a really phenomenal blog with colors and art, fancy fonts, and maybe some animation, but just as in life: I'm really not that motivated. But I have decided I would like to mix it up with some colors. Which colors? I don't know, I'm still working on a palette. But stay tuned, the next few days will probably bring several stages of my blogs infancy.

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Variety is the spice of life" so they say.

Many journallers change their designs, some change every month, others as the spirit moves.

I'm enjoying seeing Paris through your eyes.
-- Rolly

6:48 AM  
Blogger Serena said...

I'm working to get more pictures linked up.
Check back :)

12:44 PM  

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