Breakfast delivered in the wheelhouse of the bateau each morning. Croissants, bread, butter, jam, coffee and tea. View of the Seine. Good conversation about the day before and planning the day ahead.
Yes, somebody lives here. This dwelling is under the street between the dock and the Musee d’Orsay. Our host told us that the man who lives here, whom we saw walk out a few hundred feet and back a few times, has lived there for about 5 years and has stomach cancer. I can’t imagine living there. There must be very little light inside.
We went to the Musee d’Orsay, which I absolutely adore. It was created out of an old train station and it’s new since the last time I was here, in 1983/84. Due to some weird idea that I wanted to be unencumbered, I didn’t take my camera. (No worries, I knew I’d want to go back again, and I did.)
Kids taking a break at Montmartres. I dunno. I figure I could give you the shots I took looking down over the city or up at Sacre Couer, but this is a photograph I’ll bet no one else has.
Mom went off in search of a fabled cybercafe that has English keyboards while Hydra and I headed for this area. Saw the Moulin Rouge and the Place Pigalle with all its sex shops and peep shows on the way up. Also lots of charming winding streets up to the summit, where Sacre Couer awaits.
I lit a candle at this altar to St. Therese and internally expressed my hopes for the health and creative well-being of my writing group. I’m not Catholic. Not religious. But I believed in my little fundamentalist church’s teachings when I was a kid, and I think I’m still a sideways sort of spiritual person. Some churches, monuments, and other sites hold great emotional resonance, and just because I’m not religious doesn’t mean I can’t access the vibrations of all those hopes, griefs and intentions.
Wine on the square peopled by artists selling their wares. A good spot to relax and people watch. A couple bought a painting that we thought had all the charm of a piece you could be taught to do with a palette knife on Public Television in the 70s.
The lady at the next table and I shared an astonshed glance as the couple opted for the larger of the two nearly identical pink and grey canvases and shelled out what looked like about 260 Euros for it.
But quietly. Hey. Live and let live.
Hydra’s yummy assiette charcuterie (butcher’s plate, basically). We loved these. Meats, sometimes cheeses, good bread and wine. I had a salad with a big round of warm soft cheese on top. Not a lot was open… There are a lot of two-day holidays in May in France and the city was quiet.
While we sat outside the restaurant having this late supper, we saw police cars and about 6 police vans go by. No sirens, but blue lights flashing. We asked the server, and he said it had to do with post-election demonstrations. Nothing to worry about.
Window shopping in the neighborhood. Ha! The _…For Dummies_ series in French!
Walked across the bridge to the Place de la Concorde, then strolled slowly down the Right Bank side of the Seine. Hydra wanted to see the Eiffel Tower pop it’s lights again, and wanted Mom to see it. We sat on a chilly bench and waited, and yeah, it was worth it.
Crossed the Pont Solferino back to our place on the water. Hydra and I sat up until around 2 a.m. talking and watching the river from the wheelhouse. The last boats went by, the lights went off outside the Musee d’Orsay, a couple snuggled on the opposite bank, another couple sat on the footbridge above us and even got up and danced for a little bit…their shapes were just a little darker than the night sky and had the effect of one of those iPod commercials.
Hydra’s last night before returning to the States. A pretty good one, I think.