Saturday, March 3, 2012

Paris 2012 Diary: Day One, Paris Walk With Me

 Arrived at Coco's a little late, but not jet-lagged due to a wide swath of seat on the plane ride over and because of an awesome 2 hour layover in Heathrow in which I got to 1. eat breakfast at Wagamama, 2. Shop at Boots and load up on this and this, then to Jo Malone to smell this and then 3. promptly fall asleep on the runway waking up to a very foggy Paris morning. Pics of Chez Coco, window on the left, camellias in the courtyard (la cour) about to bloom although it's been a colllllld winter here. Settled in a bit and went for what was going to be a short walk to the supermarché....
 
but decide to go up a different rue...

 What's this? Passing such a nice bookstore! What else is on this street?
curving around the Polytechnic (nice nest in that tree!)... 

such nice curves: past cafes, tabacs, a menu that looked nice enough to eat...

But wait? What the? Paris is popping its gothic shizz all out at me already. Ok. I have to accept this as fact. It was bound to happen. Must. Walk. Up. This. Street. (Arms out, in trance, like Frankenstein). MUST. TAKE. CLOSER. LOOK.
 Cute fucking Parisian restaurants. And Cocojazz. A record shop. Cocojazz? As in, to Cocojazz, or "I spent all night Cocojazzing and still haven't figured out my taxes". But then that Gothic thing. And that Roman Capital Intensly Huge Building thing aka the Pantheon? Must. Get. There.
A Church. A very famous church it turned out, one that if I gave a shit about anything besides work when I'm here, I'd know, contained the crypt of Saint Genevieve (Pronounce softly: ZHoNVEEevve), the patron sainte of Paris. Eglise St-Etienne du Mont, the church a tight, ancient, graceful lug, hugging a corner lot, whose body sits on top of the original abby where Genevieve lived in 1222 spanning 1492-1630. It was then my mind and me remembered Paris is mostly lucky--it is surrounded daily by its history, lurking at any corner you are confronted by something medieval, reminders of Lutetia, reminders of every period that followed, the elegance of Hausman, reminders we are far from home...

And then there's that Pantheon, which was too big for my camera, too big for me to decide to go inside at 4:30pm and too big for me to comprehend. And across the way:
Liberté, egalité, mutualité. Let's remember that as we walk away.

Apparently this pharmacy cannot be visited touristically.
(even if the tourist in question has a big headache from all the ancient shit going on across the street? Touristically speaking that is.)

Suddenly I realize it was a really grey day. Gris. Gray. But I don't care because I've been walking for 2 hours and I'm walking in Paris. Can you see the top of the Eiffel Tower popping out from behind the Luxembourg Gardens? Paris. So many ways to know you are in Paris. It cannot be any other place--the incredible thing about Paris. This is my 14th visit, my French still sucks and I don't care that it's grey, it's cold and I'm jetlagging. But I turn around, still in Paris...
 
 Past this nice rail. R is for rail. But who is Eliot?
Past the little square Paul Painlevé , where Remus and Romulus hang out behind the Musée de Cluny, reminding us that Lutéce was once a Roman town...


More from the Middle Ages. 
But what's up with the seashells? Anyone? Anyone?
Does anyone read Benedictine?

More tomorrow mes amies!

5 comments:

miss brooklyn snapshots said...

This pharmacy is very Parisian, how 'ronchon' these Parisians are! And funny!
Enjoy your trip!

John said...

Not just seashells, but scallop shells, a symbol of pilgrimage.

Bonbon Oiseau said...

Yes SCALLOP SHELLS!!! Thank you John--of course le pilgramage.

elizabeth said...

Sign me green with envy
even though the weather looks a bit dull.

Oh oh do I long for some European chic

ox

erin said...

love these shots: paris through deb's eyes. ZHoNVEEevve: my saint's name. selected at 13 just so i could say it. over and over. *ps. been meaning to send you a note re: our impromptu rendez-vous! so much fun to meet, enfin. tea when you get back (and when i do: sisters-take-bratislava). xo.

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