I am not reading anything at the moment since I am on vacation. I’m spending most of my time walking, visiting, learning and talking with my baby girl. However I did upload two books to read when I get some downtime, Paris Forever and Lunch in Paris. Essentially they are about women who decided to stop everything in their native countries and move to France. I am interested to see what things in particular drove them to simply quit their comfort zone and take the plunge in a foreign country, and why France. I know why it would be France for me, it’s because I equate France with strong family ties, I’m curious what pulled them here, if not for family.
Yesterday after returning from Angelina’s, we went back to the hotel for two reasons, one was for the baby girl to relax a little before we set off walking again and two I wanted to change. I have to admit that I feel frumpy. I never feel frumpy at home, even in New York or in Boston. I walk around without a care in the world, confident and happy with myself. Here you can’t help but be extremely aware of how well put together the women and men are in this city. The key is accessorizing, the scarf around the neck just so, the statement necklace, the cardigan casually draped on the shoulders, the high heels and on and on. In short, I changed my jeans for khaki’s and my long sleeve shirt for short sleeves, because now it is warm, actually 81 degrees. I still felt frumpy, these sophisticated ladies almost make it a patriotic duty to be at their best all the time. I think that if I lived here, my outlook on fashion would take an extreme form of evolution and I don’t mean that to be negative, I think that there is something in the air.
Besides the people watching, the architecture here in Paris is just breath taking. Everywhere you look there are tall imposing residences and public state buildings such as the Palais Royale, The Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, the Palais de L’Elysees, le Musee D’Orsay it is incredible. I get a laugh when I think of the Pont Neuf, which means new bridge, when in actuality it was constructed in the mid 1600’s. The constant reminder of the agelessness of Paris reminds me of how insignificant the individual can be but at the same time an individual can be very significant. You just don’t know while you are passing through that moment of time. All the statues built in memory of the greats were most certainly not built during their own lifetimes.
One exception is the builder, engineer Gustave Eiffel, he knew that he was impacting the world on a huge scale and he was present to see both monuments to his genius completed and presented to the world. The Statue of Liberty and the Tour Eiffel, both are incredible. Yesterday when the baby girl and I were standing directly beneath the tower, I mentioned that the Tour Eiffel was built before trucks were on the road and before power tools. She thought about it, I think that the Tour Eiffel impressed her even more after thinking about it in a historical perspective. With the sheer size and metal framework, I think that it is very easy to forget that it was built for the Paris World Fair of 1899.
After we admired the tower, we went and had a drink at Cafe Gustave, walked some more and then took the metro. The baby girl was quite impressed with the Paris metro, clean and fast, we hopped on and it took us directly back to the Opera.
Navigating Paris once you get the hang of it, is fairly easy. We are definitely enjoying the city.