Friday, June 21, 2013

Walking the tight rope, on skates

There's a line that has been going through my head from Bebe's brilliant record "Pa'fuera Telarañas." It goes, "El tiempo corre en patines cuesta abajo  Y no tiene freno hasta que das el golpe." Time definitely feels like I'm going downhill on rollerskates lately. Malanga Girl turned 5, we had a cookie disaster and then suddenly, I was sending her off on her first overnight school trip to a circus camp in the French countryside while Malanga Papa and I escaped to Corsica.

Now it feels like forever since I was watching the sun set over a peaceful harbor in Corsica while my daughter was playing at being the woman who walks on the tight rope. (She's known as le funambule, in case you ever wanted to know the term for the tight-rope walker in French.) If I don't write down what we've been up to in this last month before we move back to New York, I never will! But where to begin? How about a photo or two of Corsica?

Ah, the exquisite Mediterranean!

Once Malanga Girl and I returned from our respective trips, there wasn't much time for relaxation. We spent a day at EuroDisney that felt like we had been transported to a little piece of America. I'm sure avid Disney visitors will find differences between the park here and the one in Florida, but I didn't. The biggest difference to me was that I am no longer 8 years old and I'm responsible for someone else now. Even that difference faded away when I was whirling around on the tea cups with my eyes squeezed shut.

We've made many recent visits to the Jardin de Luxembourg, one of the places I will most miss  in Paris. The newest show at the Guignol (Marionette Theater) is truly delightful. We've seen La Valise Enchantée de Patachon three times already since it debuted at the end of April and I anticipate we'll go back again before the big move. I've been telling all of my Parisian friends to go and now I am telling you; this one is by far the best Guignol show I've ever seen. We even bought the video!

As for me, I've been finishing up edits on two projects and trying to sneak out to cross things off my "Paris to-do" list in between bouts of straining my eyes over pages and pages of printed text. In the last week alone, I saw Leonard Cohen in concert at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, hit the Musée Rodin and its spectacular garden, finally saw the Chagall exhibit at the Musée du Sénat (Luxembourg), attended a very thorough exhibit on the origins and planning of the city of Brasilia at the Communist Party headquarters here (an interesting building in and of itself), went to the famous flea market just north of the city, was elbowed every which way and had my feet rolled over by several shopping carts at the Barbes-Rochechouart market (where I saw stacks of cut sugar cane the likes of which I hadn't seen since my last trip to Cuba), and enjoyed several meals, coffee dates and play dates with various friends whom I anticipate seeing again one day in New York or Rio or Montreal or Mexico City. These are the kinds of people I've come to love in this city: a bunch of women infected with wanderlust as  insatiable as my own. But still, I will miss our ability to hang out spontaneously in Paris. I will miss so much.

So what's left to do? Well, a whole lot of book-purging and book-purchasing, for starters. I walked over to the Gibert Joseph with a stack of novels I've already read and guidebooks to Berlin, Seville and other places I traveled to since moving here and received store credit for their resale value. I should be purging even more, but instead I am excited about what French novels I can buy with my store credit. After a coffee date with some friends this morning, a trip to the neighboring Portuguese bookstore seemed almost mandatory. Where else will I easily find every Portuguese-language book I've ever wanted when I return to New York? Plus, I have a project brewing and need to do serious research. Here's my loot from today:

I also need to cook more rabbit and duck while those meats are easy to procure just steps away from my home. More baking would be nice, but I'm running low on supplies and doubt I will restock this close to our move date.

On the sight-seeing list, I still have more places than I think I will get to, such as the Institut du Monde Arabe (where I could have taken Arabic classes, but now never will), the Musée du Moyen Age, the Musée de l'Orangerie, and the Musée Picasso. And then, of course, there are the lazy walks I'd like to take around some of my favorite places: Montmartre, the Tuileries gardens, the Montparnasse Cemetery, the Place Monge and the Rue Moffetard... Lazy anything sounds good right now, but impending transatlantic moves don't allow for much of that.

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