Summer in Paris

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Summer in Paris

Paris summers, sizzling. Brilliant light. I long for the sun that sets so very late, so richly in the evenings, always allowing me that last glimpse or that last magnificent photographic shot. Buildings, golden silhouettes, showcased against the new black velvet night sky, sparkling with stars.  Red-orange, black, gold– colors of a summer night in Paris–I miss immensely.
 

I miss the silliness, but now almost necessary, of Paris Plage…leisurely walking past languishing souls resting so kindly on chaises longues, blue as the Seine must have been one time so long ago and how the sky sometimes is. The utmost civility in an utmost unexpected place. A New York Nuage (Vague)? Perhaps. But it’s not the same. And not the Seine.



I miss Pasqual, silver haired and silver tongued, my sudden companion as I stood dumbfounded once more at the utter beauty of the Luxembourg Gardens. It could be any day, any season. But summer’s jardinières, blossoming pink, outrageously beautiful, remain fixated in my mind’s eye. So simple, elegant. I see the summer children patiently pushing boats here and there and then patiently waiting for lost ships to return to them.
 
I miss spotting penguin-shaped patisseries in elegant, frosted vitrines…before brown butcher paper announces the impending vacance. I miss Cador’s tea tables, where I ponder whether to go to the Louvre today—or tomorrow—or be bold, and not go at all this trip.
 
I miss my intellectual connection with the city and my commitment to document the lives of artists and writers who lived here. My address book balloons with intriguing sites yet to be photographed, revealed…Berthe Morisot, Victorine Meurand, Mary Cassatt have been added to my classic roster of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Zola, Degas, Cézanne. It’s almost too much for my heart.
 



And finally in a soulful attempt to end this passioned endless list, I miss my reverent trek up Montmartre’s ultra-busy rue Lepic, to number 54. I always stand in quiet awe at this persistently decrepit building marked for history with a plaque stating that Van Gogh lived here with his brother Théo 1886-1888. And more often than not, from year to year, the same mysterious man appears each time I am standing there and offers to open Vincent’s door for me. The next time I shall say “yes” before he disappears again.

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