Tuesday, November 01, 2005

a stroll through town

Having a visit from a friend from out of town lets you see your familiar surroundings in a new light...or in my case learn really obvious things about them that you should probably have known in the first place, except that you just got here...like the fact that the Eiffel tower turns into a SPARKLY PILLAR OF LIGHT for five minutes on the hour, every night. Otherwise it sends out this incredibly dorky beam of light that makes it look as though Big Brother resides chez vous or as though a World War Two air raid siren is about to go off, while this beam searches out zeppelins and enemy aircraft in the sky. But for the five minutes that it shimmers, it doesn't seem to have a fixed volume -- it could be a pillar just as easily as a pointy cylinder. So much for my claims that the Tour Eiffel is really not kitsch! really! which was already a hard argument to make in certain quarters...but on the other hand there is something to be said for a light effect that makes the Paris nightscape seem to have been colored in by preschoolers.

We went right up to the Tour Eiffel, on the Champs de Mars (Field of Mars) right by the Ecole Supérieure de Guerre (France's national Superior School of War), and looked up the Eiffel Tower's skirts... as you can see she looks red-gold at night.

Walking through the Louvre, we found this bold chestnut seller, who not only dares to set up shop in the middle of the main walkway of the former king's Jardin des Tuileries, but had the foresight to prepare for the arrival of the police. Should they possibly think he didn't have a license to sell chestnuts on the street. Illegally. And I have NO IDEA why they would.

Quick getaway, anyone?
We may have looked a little suspicious ourselves... in the beautiful light of a freakishly warm October day (low 70s) on the Place de la Concorde...

Though not nearly as suspicious as when I dragged my m-bag containing two boxes of books home through Paris, two blocks on a muddy day, because the postman refused to deliver them to my door. You will just have to imagine that teetering moment where it hung in balance whether I would be dragging the books up the stairs or they would be dragging me down. Ph.D. student vs. diss books: the Cage Match. Also just what I needed to improve my image with the neighbors: young American imitates homeless population and drags large shapeless sacks around the street for kicks.

It only took 7 weeks for them to arrive. Maybe that's because they labelled my m-bag "Domestic Mail, 1.47 lbs"???


Blogger moscerina said...

thanks, i like your blog too.
now i have a bunch of questions-- like the creative commons tag, how can i do that?
(am not very tech)

10:51 AM  
Blogger mmf! said...

hi erica.

click on the "creative commons" button, and it should take you to a webpage which has several different types of copyrights you can choose between to put on your page. just paste the HTML code the website will provide for you into your template.

i used to live in rome too, on the via dei banchi vecchi. maybe you know it. paris is beautiful but i miss italian people & culture so much. am reading calvino's "eremita a parigi" right now (which is really more about new york anyway, but it's great).

if you have any more questions, feel free to drop me an email.

3:07 PM  

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