Thursday, July 05, 2007

from Paris: changes

I tug my suitcase to the Nice train station. The Provence wind is kicking in. The skies become violently blue, nothing is stable. I wonder how it would be on the beach on a day like this.

Move on. Away from the sea. Past buildings with balconies.


The train ride is, as usual, fast, magnificent. In less than six hours I am in Paris. Paris -- where everyone is looking up at the sky: will it be rain again?


I take a cab from the Gare de Lyon. Within minutes, the answer is obvious. Rain.


Oh, but wait, this is unpredictable Paris. By the time I set out for an evening walk, things look considerably different. Nice-like maybe?


Not quite. Nice was the city without flowers in window boxes. Nice had enough color elsewhere. Nice had scores of people eating at outdoor restaurants. All day long they ate and drank. Informally, buoyantly.

It's not that Paris can't compete. Here's a fellow sitting outside.


Paris, through and through.

Myself, I eat at les Editeurs -- a place just down the street where I always have breakfast. It's sort of like eating dinner at Borders (with shelves of esoteric books). Its rosy tones and warm familiarity suit me this evening. I'm not interested in anything complicated. Steak and pommes frites. Oh fine, and a jug of Provence rosé.


The last evening in France. Thursday I return to Madison