July 6, 2013
This post is difficult to write. I’ve been putting it off for a long time, mostly because I’m in denial about leaving Paris in the first place.
Yes, I’m leaving. I’m going back to LA because… well, various reasons. My long-stay visa is up, my job wants me back, I have an apartment waiting for me, etc. etc. etc.
Right now it all feels like meaningless excuses. It’s so hard to leave, especially in summer with the long days and blue skies and flowers and the strawberries and cherries and tomatoes at the markets. It doesn’t help that I’ve been staying at the most charming AirBnb apartment I could ever imagine, a tiny chambre de bonne with an Eiffel Tower view. I am truly tempted to say, “screw responsibility, screw being an adult, I’m going to live the broke bohemian life here.”
But that’s not me. I’ve always been the safe one, who makes sure that the edges are all straight and aligned before sewing them together. And let’s face it, I couldn’t go to nearly as many good restaurants if I was living the boho life.
July 2, 2013
I have yet to utter the words, “summer is here!” I’m afraid I might jinx it. But there was a barbecue last weekend, and rain did not come to put out the fire — that’s got to be proof, right?
There are a few things that are different at French barbecues. The sausages they grill are thinner, and they go in pieces of chewy baguette, not the soft buns I’m used to. The grills are adorably tiny. And they can’t be held in the city, so you must find friends with homes in the suburbs. Preferably with gardens.
May 20, 2013
During our day-trip in Ajaccio, I had what was possibly the most charming encounter with a stranger that I’ve ever experienced.
A couple of us were eating lunch on the terrace of a small Italian joint in the old town, and I was sketching the small church just across from us, when an older gentleman came up and, in French, complimented me on the drawing. He proceeded to tell me that I should make sure to get the bell tower in the sketch, and I assured him I would as soon as I finished filling in the details of the face of the building. He wished us a good day and went on his way.
As we paid our bill and were getting ready to leave, the same gentleman came by and asked to see the finished sketch. After looking at it and complimenting me on a job well done, he asked if he could draw as well, to which I responded, bien sûr!
He spent about five minutes drawing the little church for us, during which time I learned that he’s been living in Ajaccio, and in fact on the same little street as this church, since he was a little boy.
April 30, 2013
… are spent au bar.
Beyond the well-traversed cobblestone streets behind Sacre Coeur that throng with tourists all day and night, there are still corner bars entirely peopled with locals. That “real Montmartre” you’ve been hearing about. You’ll probably have to walk through some sketchy-ass metro stops and streets to get there, though.