muzing on the big and little questions of life

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

while the cat's away

While most Parisians were out of town for the big long weekend of the 15 August, the pigeons were making the most of it. As I crossed the road from the Metro Havre-Caumartin I was reminded of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, and started walking a little faster.... Then I began to wonder: Do pigeons go on holiday? Was this in fact a large tour group of pigeons? Do pigeons visiting from China and Russia coo and gush at the thought of all those brioche crumbs falling on pavements? all those forgotten crusts from Croque Monsieurs, all the butter and honey dripping from carelessly nibbled crepes?
Perhaps this was in fact a pigeon gourmand's tour of Paris.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

famous muzer

Voila, the famous muzer in the Jardin de la Musee Rodin. It just goes to show that you can sit in the same spot muzing for over a hundred years, and still have a great body.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I have two loves

Josephine Baker, she of the banana bikini, sang "J'ai deux amours, mon pays et Paris", and I can well understand her. Each time I come to Paris I fall in love with it again, and this time is no exeption.
It is summer, but the heat wave is over. The weather is warm, half the city is on holiday and it is still light until 9 at night.
Not everyone finds it but there is a magic in Paris, if you look for it. It is not easy, and it is not on the surface. The surface is beautiful, that is certain - particularly if you wander past the Pyramid de Louvre at night or across the Pont des Arts at sunset.
But the magic I'm talking about is in hidden places, in the glances of strangers, in an ancient doorway, or a tiny garden almost hidden under a stair well, in Arab cafes where people sip mint tea and play music from their homelands, in the bustle of the African markets of Belleville, in the eyes of lovers leaning against a scooter and kissing.
It is the magic of life, finding cul de sacs and new paths, chaotic and ever changing. Paris is not a museum as many seem to think, but a living thing, subject to the forces of entropy and creativity. It is a melancholy, unruly, beautiful dance, and I'm just finding my feet again...