Sunday, July 08, 2012

Daylight in Paris

I've just opened the louvered shades and brilliant late morning sun is falling through the leaf patterned curtains on to the floor. It's after 11:00 a.m. and folks are beginning to stir in the courtyard. It is Sunday morning and exactly a week ago, I'd just arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport from Houston and was keeping my eye out for my friend Aggie, who was flying in from Copenhagen.

What a week we've shared and I've written so little about it. Why? Because daylight reigns and darkness arrives slowly. The sky is still light at 10:30 p.m. The streets and cafes are crowded with people. Real night begins at midnight.

We leave museums when they close at 6:00 and then meander through the streets for hours more. On one early evening, we wandered through the Jardin de Tuileries, passed under the carefully pruned trees and by the fountains, around which dozens of Parisians lounge on those green metal chairs. We continued north through the Louvre courtyards, stopping at the pyramid and finally exiting at Rue de Rivoli.

The day of that long walk began with a visit to Musee D'Orsay with Jane, a friend of Aggie's from San Antonio. We went immediately to the fifth floor to see 'Misia, Queen of Paris,' a wonderful exhibition that focused on this muse of Bonnard, Vuillard, Toulouse-Lautrec and Renoir. She was a friend of Diaghilev, Nijinsky, Stravinsky, Cocteau and Chanel. I loved the exhibition and coveted a catalogue, but it was published only in French. There was also a French book on Misia's friendship with Coco Chanel that I'd have loved to read.

Often at 8:00 in the evening, Aggie and I are gathering elements of a light supper from our neighborhood fruit stand, a small grocery market or from little shops that offer French, Italian or Lebanese take-away. By 11:00 p.m. I am too weary to write and do little more than offload photos to my iPad. So they go, these wonder-filled days.

(Will add photos soon.)

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