One last day in Paris
I was determined to savor today—my last day in Paris—to the fullest. So as I went to bed last night, I pondered my itinerary. Should I see something entirely new? Or should I go back to one of my favorite old haunts?
In the end, I decided on Montmartre.
The day got off to a promising start with some interesting graffitti. Unless they’re brand new, I’ve walked past these manhole-covers-as-record-players a dozen times just this week.
Then, on the way to the métro I saw a billboard of sorts. “For your legal problems,” reads the graffitti. Maybe it’s how French lawyers economize on advertising.
And during the train ride, I spotted this rather subdued sheep at one of the stations. “I am what I am,” reads the text across his forehead. I love subway existentialism.
Montmartre was just as I remembered it: crowded, kitschy, and great for people-watching. I loved watching people linger outside bakery windows …
… and I was amused by this café patron’s bright attire and glum expression.
Speaking of attire: I saw an alarming increase in pants with words across the butt. What a terrible, dreadful American export. Ugh!
Once I tired of my fellow humans, I turned my attention to the scenery. Montmartre’s architecture is quintessentially Parisian.
And let’s not forget about the art!
But I think that the highlight for me today was joining a capoeira drum circle. I’d stopped to photograph these guys when William (in the white pants) approached me. He shooed his companions aside to make a front-row spot for me. I quickly learned that I suck as a percussionist.
I went home via the Marché aux Fleurs, which is just a few blocks from my apartment. I wish I could describe the wonderful smell of all those flowers …
On my way home I also stopped to give my neighborhood homeless kid one last sandwich. He thanked me, as always, and wished me a good trip. His hollow eyes will haunt me for a long time.
I paused for a few more minutes to enjoy a spirited serenade. A kazoo isn’t the most romantic of Parisian instruments, but in a pinch it’ll do.
After a blissful three-hour nap and a hot bath, I headed back out just in time to catch the sunset. The empty side streets felt melancholic, with their long shadows …
… and the sunset took my breath away. I struggled not to cry, knowing that tomorrow, life in Paris would go on without me.
I called my friend Mo to say goodbye as darkness fell. It’s wonderful to know that I have at least one true friend in Paris. (Merci mille fois, Mo!)
It’s now midnight, and my Paris adventure is drawing to a close. How privileged I’ve been. I’m so very, very grateful.
Filed under: Paris, Photography, Psychology, Travel | 7 Comments
Tags: France, Paris, Paris photography, paris street photography, postaday2011, Travel