An Unlikely Evening

I slept more reasonably, but jet lag is still my constant companion. (TURNS OUT NOT, but that’s for later.) The croissants from the bakery around the corner were good, but the rest of the things I bought to nibble on weren’t quite so great. I do miss living down the road from Miss Manon! That’s my favorite bakery in the world. Everything there is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

I spent my morning at the Louvre to renew my pass, fighting off masses of tourists in the Carrousel in an attempt to get inside. It’s ridiculous how many people were in there. Finally, I made it through security, but couldn’t find the Amis du Louvre offices anywhere. After nearly collapsing with sadness, for there’s nothing better in the world, I discovered that they’d merely moved to the other side of the building. With a great sense of relief, I made my way in and it didn’t take but a few minutes to get my card renewed. For twelve euros I now have access to every square inch of the Louvre for the next year. There’s no better bargain anywhere! The woman behind the desk was quite the character, and she kept making me laugh when she took my picture, so I look absolutely ridiculous, but it works. She said, “I’m no photographer, after all!”

I wanted to visit another museum that I’ve never managed to see, so I crossed the Jardin des Tuileries to the Orangerie. This is a tiny museum that houses a collection of Impressionist paintings. These are my favorites, and I’ve always wondered why there weren’t any in the Louvre. Mystery solved.

I was very Parisian and budged my way to the very front of the line, which was delightful, and it wasn’t but a few minutes before I was inside looking at Monet’s massive Nymphéas.

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They were pretty. I’ll give you that, but they look exactly like the abstract painting I used to do on pieces of cardboard in middle school. Or even for the signs we made for Band Olympics. I wonder where those all went to? I watched with amused disgust as everybody took selfies with selfie sticks with the paintings. Ridiculous. I took pictures of them taking pictures of themselves. That’s art.

Downstairs was a great collection of other pieces and I had a great time studying the paintings of bouquets. These are my absolute favorite for reasons I have never understood, but I could look at bouquets for days and days. There were many lovely paintings, but the museum doesn’t take more than an hour to see. Two, if you’re irritatingly into art, I suppose. I’m not one of those people. I don’t regret going, but it’s certainly not a museum that merits frequent visits like the Louvre.

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“Danseuses Espagnoes” by Marie Laurencin.

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“Rue de Mont-Cenis” by Maurice Utrillo.

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“La Jeune Anglaise” by Chaïm Soutine.

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“Fraises” by Renoir.

I had a bit of time to kill before my other plans, so I went down the Rue Saint-Honoré and looked at the designer boutiques. I love expensive fashion. To make something similar yourself would cost maybe 10% of the designer label. It’s not as fun to wear your own creations, though. But who am I to talk? I have an account to save up for Saint-Laurent boots. I’M GOING TO WEAR THOSE BOOTS EVERY DAMN DAY! Let’s drool over them in unison:

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I stopped in Colette, as always, to do a frantic search for Karl Lagerfeld. This is one of the shops he frequents, but not today. OR ANY OF THE TIMES I HAVE BEEN THERE. I did see his autograph, though, and I hoped with everything I could hope that I would one day be closer to him than his autograph.

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I wept the next day when Colette posted this picture:

"Karlito" @karllagerfeld @fendi #colette #KarlLagerfeld #Fendi bag in store & online.

A post shared by colette (@colette) on

 

*throws self out window*

It’s always a fascinating place to visit. Where else will you find solid gold iPhone cases? Nothing was striking my fancy, so I wandered through the Place Vendôme (home of the Ritz, currently under renovation) and then down Rue Cambon to see the original Chanel, but Karl wasn’t there, either.

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I had a snack then made my way to the Jardin de Luxembourg to meet Anne, the woman I had met on the plane to Paris. Her godson was singing with his school on a little tour of France and she invited me. I thought that sounded like a charming way to pass a few hours so I agreed. I’m so very glad I did.

I had the most marvelous time with Anne and her friend Sue. We drank champagne and discussed everything. Then we drank wine and continued to chatter away for absolute hours about writing and life and a thousand other subjects.

I took them on the Métro so that they wouldn’t have to get an expensive taxi, and we had fun down there, too, gossiping about the royal family, then marveling at the bizarre chance of talking to an eloquent Egyptian man who sat beside us who was from Giza while we were discussing my tattoo. I just don’t know if I believe in coincidences anymore. Too many oddities happen with me and Egypt. It calls to me in the strangest way, and I am answering the call with every chance I get.

The night passed by in a flash, and suddenly it was close to midnight and we were sipping espresso in a café with a view of the Eiffel Tower. It was a magical evening. They’re both dear friends to me now, and I do sincerely hope to see Anne and Sue again someday. We’ll certainly stay in touch.

It was one of those nights you can only have in Paris, and I’m surely glad to have had it. A little giddy, I fell easily into sleep.

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