Saturday, March 17, 2012

the French dream

It's weird to think that I haven't been to Paris since the mid 1990s - but here, at last, courtesy of Alice speaking at a conference on the 60s, I'm back again. Back in a city that was hugely influential on my whole personal development back when I was a teenager - learning to think on my own (abstract thoughts are/were so much easier in French); learning to look at different paintings for myself (the Gustave Moreau museum and the Delacroix studio were stand-outs here); taking a sketch book to all sorts of corners (I have a drawing from a room in the rue du Bac that's one of my all time favorites, made during a strange six weeks during which time I was nanny to Marie-Eve, Severine, and Christophe, and then parked in an apartment whilst Granny visited for Easter - an apartment with hissing flaring radiators, that drove me to wish that I hadn't left a copy of Ulysses - in French - back at their country house.  It would have served to take my mind off imminent combustion, but I drew, instead, and ate cheese).  And here I am, back in the Marais, staying in the Place de Vosges for three nights - and it's not a part of Paris I know at all well, so I'm exploring as well as Doing Nostalgia, all at the same time.

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