Skip to content

Monthly Archives: October 2007

Tuileries Garden, midday on Tuesday

Two men with leafblowers, another two men following along vacuuming up leaves from long, snaky rows. Four gardeners digging up plants with wide, heavy pitchforks, one man shoving plant waste into a large green canvas bag. Trees dropping chestnuts, copper-colored leaves. Smaller trees wrapped in one-inch-weave burlap. Ten-foot-tall trees standing in wooden planter boxes painted gray. […]

Writing in Paris doesn’t always mean writing about Paris

Maybe away from Paris I could write about Paris as in Paris I could write about Michigan. — Ernest Hemingway in The Moveable Feast Sometimes when you’re in Paris you want an away-from-Paris experience. You’d like to curl up and dig into something in your familiar language. Take a break from the walking, the map […]

Sad days again as Diana’s death investigated this week in Paris

It was a sunny morning as I crunched through leaves walking along the Seine from my home bridge, Pont Neuf, to the Pont d’Alma, a bridge close to the Eiffel Tower.  Below the d’Alma on the downriver side is the statue of “Le Zouave” (pictured below, far left), an image of an Algerian infantryman in the […]

Wrapped up in Monet at L’Orangerie

Claude Monet (that’s “MOE-nay,” 1840-1926) started creating his waterlily paintings in 1914, as the Great War was beginning. The fighting was mostly to the north and to the east of Giverny, so Monet’s property and studios were not damaged. Pre-invasion bombings by the World War II allies in 1944, however, wrecked some towns around Giverny. At the small museum […]

I’m just not getting the writing-in-the-cafe thing

“What never wearies me is to sit on chairs which belong to nobody (or, if you like, to everybody), in front of tables which belong to nobody; that’s why I go and work in cafes–I achieve a kind of solitude and abstraction.   –Jean-Paul Sartre I don’t get it. When I sit in a cafe, open my […]

Around Paris with Jack Kerouac in my head

Jack Kerouac visited Paris 40 years ago. He drank wine, sat in cafes, made notes, talked with barkeeps and coffee-drinking table-sharers, keeping his sharp eye on the locals. He never wrote a cliche, never wasted words, always kept his ear out for the language that would sound bebop cool and descriptive.

Well, I guess “Eiffel” is a lot easier to say than the “Boenickhausen Tower”

The best introduction to Paris on a clear day is from the second etage (“floor”) of the great symbol of the city, La Tour Eiffel (“the Eiffel Tower”). Though I took the elevator to le sommet (“the summit”) the other day, I could only see structures and hills very far away from the central city. My […]

Finding the quiet Paris

I look for the quiet Paris.