After a few days of being painfully lazy and not venturing very far because jet-lag is a bitch, I put this week into over-drive. Although I had work to do, I made enough time to indulge in what I’ve now anointed as certain traditions.
As I stated in my last post, I had every intention to hit up le cimetiere du Père Lachaise, which I did. However, and I actually knew this before going, Oscar Wilde’s grave (my main reason for being there), is now enclosed in glass so as to prevent people from kissing it. I had never thought of lipstick as being acidic, but apparently it was deemed not only graffiti, but graffiti that was taking its toll on his headstone. Although part of me was sad to see that my kisses from the past, as well as all the other kisses had been scrubbed away, it didn’t stop anyone from kissing the glass case to show their affection to the man who made wit a perfect art form.
With my new Chanel lipstick on, I added my kiss to the glass and found myself laughing out loud to find that someone had left a new tube of Chanel lipstick off to the side. Perhaps for those who had forgotten to bring theirs, maybe? I also felt that the cemetery was a perfect spot to ditch some photos of Swede and I that I had been carrying around for weeks — photos from his birthday that I was going to give him, but never had the chance. So being the romantic that I have become in my “old” age, I discretely left them behind a tombstone and stared at them for a few minutes. I delighted in the fact that the Paris weather would eventually destroy them there in a place where so many amazing souls had been laid to rest. Not that he or I would ever be put in that “amazing” category, but it seemed a fitting end. I walked away not considering for even a second to go back and retrieve them.
Although I had sworn against it, I also went into le Louvre for all of 30 minutes. I made my way to the wing that holds the Winged Victory of Samothrace, touched the base (although I’m not supposed to), photographed it then left. I couldn’t help it. Le Louvre was on my way to le cimetiere du Père Lachaise (I did walk the whole way from the 16th arrondissement to the 20th — look on a map and you’ll see), and I figured it was worth it to bustle through the crowds just to have my breath taken away once again. And was it worth it? Absolutely.
I’ve also swung by my old neighborhood where I stayed last time, le Marais, where I proceeded to get weepy-eyed like the emotional sap that I am these days; but stopped before I made a scene and went to a cafe for coffee instead.
This week has also included a visit to parc des Buttes Chaumont where not only I had never been, but where I realized that the hipster culture is alive and well in Paris. There has also been a brief rendez-vous with a Parisian fella, because I felt it an important part of my experiences here. As I found last time French men are really forward. I’m not sure if it’s because they think American women are forward or if they’re this way with French women as well. Either way there are less games and it’s rather refreshing.
However, my favorite part about Paris is its beauty at night. Unlike New York City, it shuts down very early. There have been times where I find this annoying, but mostly it’s a beautiful escape from the life I know back home. I can walk for streets and streets and not see a soul. I love that. I’m alone with my thoughts, my camera and sometimes I just let myself get lost and not even consult my map for direction. Sometimes it’s necessary to get lost if one is to grow. I figure I’ll eventually find my way back someday. When I’m ready, of course.