the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog

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Paris Memories

It's amazing how far away it already seems. It was a wonderful holiday, and I thought I would post some final thoughts about memories and impressions.

Paris by the senses:

Sights: the yellow stone and matching paths and earth. the vastness of some of the monuments. the intimacy of some of the streets. closed shop windows. the cafes, spilling onto the sidewalks. billboards for that pirate movie, Cannes, adopt-a-pet. the bright window boxes everywhere. greenery. dogs. birds. people walking along the street with baguettes under their arms, or more often walking and eating baguettes on the street. art.

Sounds: the rumble of the metro under my apartment. the buzz of vespas. the determined "clop" of women walking with heels and attitude. the coo of mourning doves and song of finches. church bells. great buskers.

Smells: cigarette smoke and cologne (both men's and women's). the hot, cindery smell of the metro that is not unique to the Paris underground, but also the uriney smell of the metro tunnels which is (the Paris metro being the least clean of the many subway systems I've travelled on). cooking. the soap in my apartment.

Tastes: wine. good coffee. great bread. great food, generally.

Feelings: the buzz of good wine. the bruises from being thumped by passersby in the metro. the steamy humidity. the cobblestone streets. tired legs.

What I loved: many of the things above, but especially the green spaces, the culture, the cafes, the dogs.

What I disliked: the fairly clear economic divide - aggressive beggars vs an apparently indifferent suave bourgoisie. the "fuck you" attitude to opening hours. being buffetted on subways and sidewalks by aggressive walkers indifferent to the rules of shared walking spaces.

What I wouldn't have bothered with: Versailles. the Praxiteles exhibit at the Louvre - interesting from a kind of Julian Barnes-ish perspective, but there's a limit to how many copies of callipygous statues one can look at in one space.

What I wouldn't have missed: Sainte Chappelle, Giverny, Mont St Michel, the cafes, the wine, the food, Ile St Louis, Shakespeare & Co, the unicorn tapestries, the illuminated manuscript pages at the Marmottan, Monet, Malmaison, Montmartre, Sainte Chappelle, Sainte Chappelle, Sainte Chappelle...
Tags: memories, paris, trip

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