On Friday afternoon, June 6th I arrived at my apartment on rue Gay Lussac. It was a familiar sight indeed. I have been staying in this apartment two blocks from Luxembourg Gardens since 2008 and my first stop after getting online, my life link to friends and family. Wonderful organic cherries, melon, raspberries, 21 boxes of which I froze because it seems the markets here in Paris don’t have frozen fruit or coconut milk drink. Luckily I brought my whey protein with me for my morning smoothie, which I had for the first time yesterday. Who needs gelato? Such flavor. Similar to what I remember of Amerino raspberry gelato.
Then I take a walk over to Luxembourg Gardens, sushi at my local Japanese Restaurant.
Sounds of French everywhere. Do I understand all of it? Mais, non. Does it matter, mais non. That and the birds singing became music. No need for me to understand.
Take a breath. Shout with joy: Je suis ici (I am here). I am here and more than that, I will celebrate my 74th birthday in two months and then…will I still come to Paris this same time next year? Yes.
Two small girls dance with each other. Soccer balls kicked around. You and me, we will be 74 either way so why not say aussi, L’anee prochaine, next year and smile with all the life I can squeeze out.
The queens of France in the Gardens, which one shall I interview next? St Bathilde, Reine de France, 680? Berthe of Bertrade, Reine de France 783? La Reine Mathilde, 1085?
And the pigeons strut, search for crumbs. Two older women at the Fontaine Café ask each other, any news? One pulls out a remote for her TV, new, boasts of new batteries.
Friday night is Shabbat. I watch the events of D Day, the 70th anniversary. It is so close to Normandy. I see Obama, Putin and yes, the Queen of England. I witness this via British television. French doesn’t come easy enough for me to watch the news of France 24.
And so Day 1 in Paris comes to a wonderful end. The sun sets about 1030pm.
Day 2 – Saturday.,
I forgot that I took the 27 Bus down Boulevard St Michel and walked up to Shakespeare and Company just to say hello, I am back.
The day is as gray as it was sunny on Friday. It is a great welcome to me from my second city. Today, perhaps going to the Pompidou Center. There are great exhibits including a retrospective of Henri Cartier Bresson.. But first a wonderful shower to wash off my long travels. Along with the fruit I bought at Maison Marie, I bought cheese whey of the famous curds and whey reputation tasting somewhat like sour cream we have in the States. I was hoping to make a smoothie for dinner but alas, you know the story of the fruit and milk and my own protein powder. My landlady bought me a new blender so that I could have the comfort of a familiar breakfast just like my first home.
In speaking with my friend, Linda, she told me her son, whose Bar Mitzvah I went to five years ago was now 18 and ready to go on to school leaving his friends that have been with him for the past 13 years. And so he goes on to the next level of schooling.
Saturday, the Pompidou Center with the blessings of friends of mine who gave me a 4-day museum pass that they didn’t use in Paris when they were just there.
Tomorrow I will continue my adventures at the Pompidou and an attempt to go to the Jewish Museum, of course closed on Shabbat. Will speak about the two police officers I met stationed right across the street from the museum.
Thanks for continuing to read a Jewish Childhood Blog, this time from Paris, France.