Somehow I am sitting in the tiny studio in Le Marais and it is the evening of our first day in Paris...I have been on the move for hours & hours – from the Upper West Side to JFK to the wonderful Air France plane (I now have a favorite airline), the train into Paris, the Metro to our studio – dropped the bags, found lunch, then the Metro down to Notre Dame, the Pont Neuf, the Left Bank, the Boulevard St. Michel and St. Germain – an old old church St. Germain-des-Pres which we entered as the light was ending and it was full and there was a crowd of priests dressed in white and a bishop in a mitre, holding a wooden crook and there was singing – right across from the Deux Magots, the coffee shop made famous by writers almost 100 years ago – now crowded with the well heeled. We were gulping in Paris. And it was freezing though everyone else on the street – most hatless and gloveless – seemed not to notice.
I love our tiny studio – in an old old building as we anticipated, up two and a half turns of a curving staircase with very worn unpolished wooden steps. You open our door and must immediately step up two or three tiny steps – almost as if you were going into a tree house, but it adds to the mystique. The ceilling is high, the floor is tiled, our little kitchen looks like it will function just fine, and the bed appears from behind a mirrored wall when required. And there's an internet connection.
I bought second-hand books this evening – Henry James and a memoir by Rudyard Kipling called “Something of Myself” -- I forgot my so anticipated War & Peace in my big suitcase & so could not read it on the plane – a tiny tragedy – and then could not resist buying more books.
I am subjecting the French to my French and have not felt like I'm pissing anyone off yet, contrary to common opinion about the French.
It feels very natural to be here in a surprising way – even the French does not sound strange to my ear. As if suddenly I am in New York and everyone is speaking French.
Much more to come...but suffice it to say that we are HERE, and it's a miracle, and who knows what will happen next?! Signing off, Sunday night, about 9pm Paris time.