Paris Newsletter: Month Ten

Dear Paris,

Surprise! I'm in New York! Apologies for not posting a final send-off, but I came home just in time to surprise Katherine at her engagement party on Saturday. I was too busy guzzling caffeine to take many pictures, but here is one of me and Goldrick, in which we both look naked. This must have been taken post-streaking and pre-hot tub, vital parts of the engagement festivities.

June was a guest-filled month and the old apartment certainly earned its rent during its last four weeks. I was able to host all four members of Goldfest and the Sunshine Band '07, and rather comfortably at that. Other than Mclo, who spent a couple nights in a sleeping bag on the floor and commented that she slept well, but felt a little like her lungs had been crushed. To which we responded that a couple of crushed lungs was surely a small price to pay for free lodging 10 minutes from the Arc de Triomphe.

I saw more of Paris as a tourist during June than I had all year and I spent some incredible moments with the girls in the gardens of the Rodin museum and on boat rides on the Seine. We also hit up the Fete de la Musique, which I can't write about without feeling a huge sense of disappointment because on the one night where free music is everywhere in Paris, we didn't see any. Not one guy with a guitar. Not even an accordion in the metro. I took some advice from some real Frenchies, who suggested avoiding the touristy areas and looking back, I think that was a bad move, that those areas were precisely where we should have gone. Note for those in Paris on June 21, 2008: HEAD FOR ST. MICHEL. OR BASTILLE.

Anne came over from her new job in London, where the exchange rate makes sandwiches cost $15 and you could buy a small island in St. Barths for the amount you spend on rent. It was so good to have an inter-continental trip with them that I am thinking of suggesting an annual pilgrimage to anywhere that allows you to drink wine on bridges and cheese consumption surpasses all other food groups by a factor of 5. Speaking of cheese, I will now refer to Goldrick as "Le Goldrick", as she has shown her allegiance to the country by becoming its most valuable tourist... in fact, stats show that 86% of 2006-07 tourism was generated by le Goldrick and her love of Raclette. It's true, I swear! Here she is proving it:

So now I'm back in the Y-town, trying to get used to American accents and Oreos. It is nice to be home among Mom's flowers on the deck and a little brother who vacillates between acting like he's 15 and 35. This is someone who operates a complicated computer program researching something caterpillars and walnut trees one minute, and has a personal photo-shoot the next. He's an ego and a half.

This morning I went to the eye doctor to have my eyeballs classified in the new category of "SORT OF CAN'T SEE MUCH ANYMORE, BE IT NEAR OR FAR." First they took some blinding pictures of my eyes and then did a glaucoma test, a procedure in which someone blasts air at you after a loud click and for half a second you sort of believe that someone just shot you through the eye and you wonder why you are paying for this eye-trauma. Diagnosis: too much reading and computer work creates eye-strain (ahem... Proust, anyone??) and so now I've been outfitted with these:

It is strange to be back in America; as usual, things seem bigger and portions are out of control. But everything is so cheap that I can't handle it, even the price of chai tea lattes make me tear up with joy and when I bought a pair of wedges this morning at Gap priced at $8.97, I almost got an American flag tattooed on my forehead.
I was feeling a little grumpy landing on Friday night because I didn't want to think about the pace and the attitudes that awaited me in New York. But as we touched down, the NY skyline was backlit by a pink sunset; I could see the Empire State Building standing taller than the rest and a feeling swept over me, the never-imitated, un-duplicated feeling of being home.



seasidesar said...

the glasses look so great, jen! better than any of those rediculous french ones you tried on ;)


Anonymous said...

yep! good to know you are enjoying yourself in your country with your family and friends!
enjoy the hot new yorker summer...
(still raining in Ireland and 15 degrees...damn it!)