Yep, I’m quoting Paris Hilton’s famous phrase because Paris (the city) is soooo hot, 38 degrees in the shade, phew! Some of you might think I’m being a wimp but, you see, in Paris air conditioning is not a given. It seems like only chain stores have it and those stores are not predominant in Paris. At one point today I contemplated whether my legs were being cooked inside my pants as I walked around Luxembourg gardens.
Enough about the heat. Luxembourg gardens, which is only blocks from my hotel room, was my first point of interest today. The gardens and the Palace were created in 1612 for Marie de Medci, the widow of King Henry IV of France. Today the French Senate is housed in the Palace and owns the gardens. Her court artist was the famous Peter Paul Rubens. My first thought upon seeing the palace was “this is where Babar lives.” Of course its not, because Babar lives in Celesteville…and because he’s a cartoon, but that was my first thought nonetheless.
While at the gardens I sat down to work, i.e. listen to music and analyze the score, when I noticed that nobody had earphones on. I watched this all day and saw only one set of headphones other than mine. I have a theory about this that I will reveal at the end of the week, but for now, Paris, as I have observed it, is mostly earphoneless. While sitting at a cafe in the park, I had, perhaps, the best espresso of my life. I haven’t had a lot of coffee because I forget about it when it’s so hot, but I’ll have to have another coffee tomorrow.
Next I did a walk about and found these ads:
You know where you should vacation…Canada. We have lots of that!
Then I continued my crazy stupid hot walk and stumbled upon a number of libraries (which are bookstores in Paris). The first one was just a tiny little shop piled to the ceiling with the oldest collection I’ve ever seen in one place (except maybe for the U of T Rare Book Collection). I looked through the collection and found publications that were up to 200 years old. Holy stromboli! When I walk around in France and see all this amazing old stuff I feel like, EVERTHING IS AMAZING. Everything is hundreds of years old and that is FREAKING AMAZING! I felt like running into the street and shouting, “Do you know how old these books are? Older than the entire written recorded history of Canada!”
How I feel, in a youtube video:
Then I went to the following places…
The Panthéon was once a church but is now a secular Mausoleum containing important French citizens such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, and Marie Curie.
On either side of the Panthéon there are these buildings…
If I have given you the impression that there are huge amazing old buildings everywhere, then your impression is correct. When walking in Paris it seems to me that if you’re not walking amongst tiny streets lined with cute apartment buildings, then you’re on your way, through lines of trees, to some sort of old amazing building.