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Jewish Childhood Blog – Skipping Around In Paris
Friday, 17 June 2016 12:48

I have decided not to be linear but to jot down things as I remember them not necessarily in the order they occurred.

Right now I’m thinking about Barbie dolls. Why you ask yourself would a woman of my age be thinking about Barbie? We didn’t know about Barbie when I was a child. There was a Sparkle Plenty doll, and one I called Susie whose head was cracking right at the hairline.

But Barbie dolls? In Paris from March 10th to September 10th at the Museum of Decorative Arts, there is such a grand staging of all ages of Barbies including her small dog, Honey, which looks to be a Yorkie or a silky terrier. Of course I choose the latter and change the name to Alice B.

There were seven hundred Barbie dolls, including one which appears to be a slightly full bodied one. Thank you to Mattel. We have all known her since 1959. If we never had one, maybe we have given one as a gift.

Now we return to linear time for a moment. Tuesday I spent at the flat, going out only toward 7p.m. for dinner. I spent the day working on writing a memoir like narrative with a poem embedded in it.

There was talk about possible danger around Paris. There were strikes in transportation but not around the Marais.

Monday, I had lunch with Martine, my new friend and another new friend, Tegan. Both I met last year. The evening before, at a dinner party, Martine described this upcoming lunch to be held at Closerie de Lilas, as an anniversary lunch as it was the second time the three of us would gather at this elegant restaurant noted for 1920s writers and artists, a gathering place. It was a delicious meal and fun catching up. La Closerie de Lilas is an historic landmark with the ambiance of old-world Paris. Famous authors and artists who frequented this restaurant included Hemingway, Picasso, John Paul Sartre, Beckett, and Man Ray.

Afterwards Martine took us for a walk in Luxembourg Gardens, a short block away. She wanted to show us the beautiful trees in this one part of the gardens. We were covered by these magnificent trees. She tells us that she walks here every day. Varying shades of greens cast shadows at 3pm., each one more beautiful than the one before.

I tell her of my daily walks over the past eight years when I stayed two blocks away. I mention about my conversations with the Queens of France who encircle the raised area around the large pond where children are often seen floating boats, and others sit around, reading, talking or just gazing off.

We go to Martine’s apartment in back of the Pantheon. Last year I took a photograph from her kitchen window, of the steps where the cars became 1920s Paris in ‘Midnight In Paris’. That is where the magic happened. I tell the two of them, Martine and Tegan, how I own a copy of the movie and watch it at least three to four times a year. I first saw the movie in Paris with my friend Sonia, when it first came out.

After our visit, I run an errand with Tegan to pick up some papers she must grade from a class she taught this past semester.

Tegan is off to Berlin, then Dusseldorf to present a paper.

I think about how I have made some very good friends from meeting them last year. We will visit again and even take another walk or two in the Gardens.

As I write this, I am sitting in a Chinese restaurant and the television is turned on to what is called football but actually the EU soccer yearly matches. This game is between France and Albania. I heard cheering in the street as I was writing last night but I can’t even tell you who won.

Thanks for reading A Jewish Childhood Blog.