“To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.”
Paris is always a good idea.
A writer’s dream!!! To rent an apartment in Paris and write, in solitude. I am in the 6th, which is lively, surrounded by many universities, high schools (or whatever is the equivalent) and in particular a grade school, with a plaque that reads To the memory of the students of this school deported . . . because they were born Jewish … They were exterminated in the death camps. More than 11,400 children were deported from France. More than 23 of the children lived in the 6th. Down the street was an apartment Zelda and F. Scott lived in, near the glorious Luxembourg Gardens. Gertrude Stein’s salon is around another corner. Down a street not far is Colette’s apartment next to Natalie Barney’s salon, and her Greek temple is there, hidden behind doors. But a historic landmark.
Yes, I’ve gone to Café de Flore and some other Hemingway haunts, just cuz well he was in this area too.
There is a poem “Le bateau ivre”, “The Drunken Boat” on a wall down another street by an interesting character, Arthur Rimbaud. A brief outline of his story’ born in France 1854 (the era I’m writing about), he ran away (a couple times) from a severe mother when he was a teen. He started writing poetry, including and quit by the time he was 20. He drank, was rebellious, was dirty in appearance, rude to many, had a violent affair with poet Paul Verlaine. After writing his great works, he traveled, became a soldier (eventually deserting) traded in coffee and firearms in Ethiopia and died at age 37. He was a huge influence on later surrealists and his story is kinda epic. Should be a film. Daily routine in Paris. Get up have a coffee at a different café every day, reading and writing outside amongst the people (and the smoke! Damn they smoke more than anyone.) You must show your sanitaire pass to go inside anywhere. Then I walk from 2-4 hours, all over the damn place, looking at buildings, museums, parcs. Getting inspiration and ideas for something I am plotting out to write. The ancient streets have been super inspirational. I’ve done a million things I always intended to do but never had time to.
The catacombs are great. I don’t think creepy. I don’t mind bones and I love old cemeteries. I do not however like being underground. So, I walked swiftly through this which is huge, trying to push past lolly gaggers. Still took me 25 minutes underground.
Did you know you cannot buy alcohol in a grocery store on a Sunday afternoon? I didn’t. But luckily you can drink wine from any café and restaurant no matter the day. Praise Jesus! Sat in the sexiest hotel lobby/salon/bar I’ve ever been in. L’Hotel, where Oscar Wilde died. It was a fleabag place back then. Now, its just glorious.
Cheese and baguette. It is serious crack here. I open my window every morning and the perfume of sugar and yeast wafts up to me, calling me Leslie, come and get me now. I do as I am told.
L. to r: Bob, Mark Oxtoby, Aidan Cutler (Biff) and moi
A quick train ride to London with many covid tests! And it was the spectacular opening for BTTF Musical. So good. Can’t wait for it to travel the world. Best story (worse story) Roger Bart who plays Doc Brown, got Covid (he was vaxxed, everyone is vaaxed) on opening night morning. His understood, Mark Oxtoby must go on. He has never run the show. My emotions were ping ponging between Roger’s obvious disappointment and the tremendous pressure on Mark, and the cast who must have been scared! Well, Mark hit it out of the park. It was a show – and story – for the history books.
Smells good too
I have read a lot of books based in Paris. My favorite, besides Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast,” and how great is it to sit in a café and read what he wrote about Paris?) is “The Perfume Thief.” A really delightful read. Wonderfully, quirky, queer characters, a perfume thief set to outwit the Nazi’s infiltrating the world of her friends in a bordello/ sexy cabaret. (Hey part of my searching here is for former bordellos. A few in my hood!)
Excited to announce ENTITY Magazine book club is back on after my summer break. We are zooming with author and NYCB ballerina Georgina Pazcoguin. We are giving 5 books away, go to my IG or ENTITY’s and register and rsvp for a discussion of her book, her initiative Final Bow For Yellowface. Link to RSVP: https://www.entitymag.com/entity-forms/114
If your BOOK CLUB would like me to visit via Skype, I’m available AFTER SUMMER. It’s been fun coming into your homes, sending specialty FAN cocktail recipes before for you all to try, email me at email@example.com if you want me to join in. A questionnaire is on the website to download for your Book Club.
And what I’m reading or recently read
for complete list, I have everything on Good Reads
as I can’t remember them all!
Hopefully not too many typos . . . See ya between the pages. Au revoir!