It’s getting dangerously close to real life around here. I found a new doctor, joined a gym, shopped for groceries, and went to the movies in my neighborhood.
But this is Paris and I came here to make sure my life was more than shopping, cooking, eating, and sleeping. So I stopped by a favorite wine bar last week, did I mention drinking? I ordered a glass of Brouilly and the bartender replied: “Non, non, monsieur, aujourd’hui c’est le Beaujolais Nouveau.” Of course it was. All over Paris were signs proclaiming the arrival of this year’s vintage and I was lunching at ground zero. Tasted pretty good, too. More a testament to the context than the wine, but still.
I jumped into the cultural life of the city when Tia and John, the lovely propriétaires of my building invited me to Paris Photo last week. This is a gigantic marketplace: galleries from around the world displaying and selling contemporary and historical photography create a comprehensive survey of the history of the medium. Two hours was as much as my brain could absorb, but just being there made me feel part of the city.
Then I got carried away and booked tickets for a futuristic La Boheme at Bastille. I’m not sure what to expect—the only image I’ve seen looks like a spaceship has crashed in a snowy forest— but Dudamel is conducting and I can always close my eyes, listen to the music, get off the spaceship and return to Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century.
This all followed a propitious return to the city. I rented a van to haul my stuff and what Jess had stored in our house and as I approached the city, a rainbow appeared. No kidding. A rainbow. I’m not making this up and it gets better. We unloaded at her house, drove across Paris to my apartment where I found a parking place in front of my house just as the clutch gave out. Couldn’t drive another meter. When I finally reached the rental company they told me not to worry, those Renault vans are famous for faulty clutches, and they’ll send a tow truck.
So I’m getting there. The bureaucratic details are being ticked off my list, I have a comfortable work space in my little house, central heating, a good baguette only a block away, and all of Paris within minutes on the Métro. I’m home.
©2017 Ron Scherl