Sunday, June 12, 2005

Things are nutty these days at the National Mall, aka the big green lawn that spans from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. There are hordes of tourists, although Sunday afternoon wasn't all that bad...maybe by that point the tourists that were in for the weekend were already starting to head home.

I went to the National Gallery to see the Toulouse-Latrec at Montmontre exhibit. Now, I know that sounds awfully arty of me, but then keep in mind that I've been meaning to see this exhibit since April and I just went on the very last possible day. And it was crowded, not surprisingly. I didn't really get all that annoyed, because I had mentally prepared myself for lots of people...not without some self-criticism ("this is why I shouldn't put things off!!"). One thing that was unexpected: I miss Paris. A lot.

In looking at all of the great lithographs and paintings of people and Montmartre, a wave of homesickness for a city I only lived in for a few months just tackled me, right in the middle of the museum. I miss Paris and its winding, tiny streets with patisseries and crepe stands; and artists standing around and drawing people and buildings; and sidewalk cafes with good strong French coffee; and speaking French and knowing my way around the world's best Metro system; and the beautiful bridges that span the Seine; and the incredible art galleries, especially the little ones that none of the tourists visit; and oh la...I miss Paris.

I realize this might sound a bit snotty, as if I'm writing about Paris like people name shampoo products with French sounding names to make them seem fancier. But French culture and living and people and food and just everything really got under my skin over a long period of time, not just when I was living there. And I don't think I really realized to what extent this had occurred (or maybe I just remembered again...) until this afternoon.

So, Paris in October, anyone?

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