Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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Jour 18 - A Los Angeles Childhood - Chopin au Jardin de Luxembourg Part I
Friday, 01 July 2011 21:04

This is the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth. There is a concert every Sunday for 6 weeks.

My day began in the usual way. After finishing some sketches I ventured out, down Rue Gay Lussac and into the Gardens. I was two hours early but I heard music coming from the bandstand. A pianist, a soprano and a tenor, starting then stopping, repeating this again and again. None of us sitting there at this time knows if this is the concert or not. It turns out that it is a sound check, a teaser.

I do three quick pastel sketches, the last one frantic. I realized this is the last of my drawings in the Gardens. A melancholy sadness takes over my mood. I know how much a part of my daily maneuvers in this city are based upon coming to or leaving the Luxembourg Gardens.

I love the chairs with the Senat sticker on the back, noting ownership. After all, all this property is part of the Senat. They meet at Le Palais du Luxembourg originally built for King Louis XIII's mother. Built originally 1615-1627 by Marie Medici after Henry IV was assassinated. The Garden facade was built 1836-1841 by Alphonse De Gisers.

The Gardens is the people's park. I snap a few photos in the shade from the large trees above that umbrella above us. It is a hot day in Paris. A sunny day, a day like many I experienced past years. I thank Paris for giving me the moody, rainy Woody Allen Midnight In Paris days. There are so many landscapes and weather is only one. Yesterday at the grand Gay Parade the weather was on the cusp of warmer. Today blatant, unabashed, shameless sun, when one can see Paris with all of her flaws and I still find only one or two. The over-crowded buses, but thank the city for the wonderful transit system. Surely there's the flip side to it all without the other,  it would be one continuous, monotonous visage of rain or Queen Jeanne's moody sky.

Return to read about Chopin's music and the effect of his compositions on the audience present that day in the special Gardens of Paris.

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