Dreams may take a long time coming and wait a long time to be realized, but the possibility of having a dream come true is what makes life interesting, Paul Coelho said. Or as Bloody Mary sang in South Pacific “… if you don’t have a dream, how you going to have a dream come true?”
I have a dream. I’ve been nurturing and imagining it for a very long time and now it and I are on the verge of reality, about to head off for a fortnight sojourn in Paris. I’ve got my plane ticket and my tiny AirBNB apartment on the Left Bank of the Seine. It’s just around the corner from Place St Michael, within view of Notre Dame, the Grand Lady who presides over Paris.
But this trip isn’t about the grandeur of Paris, the monuments, the big moments … it’s about the little moments, the ordinary, the almost missed sights along the way, the ones I find as I saunter through the neighborhoods around my “home”.
I am going to be a flaneur in Paris — it’s a word not directly translatable in English. A flaneur may best be described as a stroller, an idler, a person of leisure, an urban explorer, connoisseur of the streets. And what I’d like to do is invite you to walk along with me. Wander the streets of my 6th arrondissement neighborhood, meander down the alleys, through the parks and across the bridges. Visit the wonderful “lesser” sites of the city … and always, of course, seek out the cafes (famous and little known), browse in the street markets, bravely take on the grocery stores and laundromat, and visit and revisit a favorite bistro, try out some good little neighborhood restaurants, listen to jazz, attend Mass in cathedrals big and small. And so it goes on and on…..
I do have a long short list but this is my short short list … eat some awesome macaroons, find a Basque restaurant and kiss a Frenchman ..
Welcome on my journey … it’s nice to have the company !